Our modern world is dependent on data-driven insights. Use your IT and computer-science expertise to contribute influential ideas that help society progress.
Become a leader in IT and mathematical modelling, making real advances in many areas with original research and ideas.
VU's PhD in Information & Computer Sciences program
Our PhD in Information and Computer Sciences program gives you access to world-class research centres and expert supervisors. You’ll have opportunities to collaborate with top researchers from around the world. Our focus areas include big data analytics, software engineering, information theory and cognitive knowledge modelling.
We have an interdisciplinary research approach, which focuses on solving real-world problems using innovative IT applications. Your research will benefit society through our partnerships with healthcare, community, business and government.
You’ll learn to present your research findings clearly and effectively, through your thesis, presentations and publications.
When you study with VU at PhD level, you’ll have access to our institutes and research centres.
Our Centre for Applied Informatics (CAI) is a leading research group in computing and IT applications. It engages computer scientists and partners from the public and private sectors to develop IT applications that benefit society.
Professor Yanchun Zhang and his team at the CAI have developed algorithms to predict patients' vital signs and provide early warning of complications during surgery.
VU’s Centre of Policy Studies (CoPS) undertakes economic-modelling research for government and businesses. CoPS's economic-modelling software, GEMPACK, is licensed to users in around 70 countries.
When you undertake a doctoral degree in information technology and computer science at VU, you’ll specialise in one of our areas of research focus. These are supported by expertise from the University, research partners, institutes and research centres.
We are committed to undertaking high-impact research that shapes healthier, smarter and more sustainable communities across six interdisciplinary areas of research focus.
Our world-class innovative applications in smart environments and active living rearch areas include:
- cognitive knowledge modelling
- machine inference
- big data analytics
- sensor networks
- software engineering.
Our research is conducted in collaboration with industry and community partners, in Australia and overseas. Our research collaborations include:
- University of Queensland
- Swinburne University of Technology
- RMIT University
- Deakin University
- La Trobe University
- Chinese University of Hong Kong
- University of Chinese Academy of Science
- Wuhan University
- Central China Normal University
- Zhejiang University (NIT)
- Fudan University
- National University of Defence Technology.
Our PhD is offered at various durations, allowing you to fit study in with your existing commitments. You may choose your own area of study within the discipline.
Choose a research area that matches your ambitions and interest:
- complex dynamic systems modelling and analysis
- artificial intelligence and knowledge modelling
- data mining and big data analytics
- cyber security
- sensor networks
- software defined networks
- image processing
- ehealth, decision support and active living
- reliable control systems design, robustness analysis, signal processing
- mathematical inequalities and their applications in numerical analysis
- information theory and coding
- population dynamics
- special functions theory
- probability and statistics.
Our Women in Science & Engineering program supports our current university students, and inspires women to choose engineering and science careers.
We run hands-on workshops in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines for secondary-school students – giving you the opportunity to encourage future IT experts.
VU Research gives you opportunities to:
- connect with other researchers
- participate in research festivals and competitions
- develop your research skills
- get funding for your research
- publish and promote your findings.
We offer support for graduate researchers including:
- an induction program
- a Graduate Research Centre
- units to help you conceptualise and contextualise your research
- research ambassadors and student association.
Find out more about graduate opportunities at VU.
Create a customised brochure in a few simple steps. Your brochure will include country-specific information.Create an e-brochure
Take part in research conferences to network with industry professionals
Be part of a supportive community of IT and computer-science researchers
Careers in IT and computer-science research
Depending on your area of research, your PhD could lead to one of the following careers:
- academic researcher and lecturer
- actuarial scientist or statistician
- government adviser
- data scientist and data analyst
- cyber security consultant
- ICT trainer
- ICT manager
- IT consultant
- software developer/engineer.
These average industry salaries are taken from the government site, Job Outlook:
The PhD is a research based degree with a maximum duration of 4 years (full time) and 8 years (part time).
As well as enrolling in Research Thesis units Doctor of Philosophy (Science) students will be required to complete two coursework units, ROP8001 and ROP8002.
An average result of 70% is required in the compulsory coursework units in order to proceed to candidature confirmation. Ongoing progression is subject to policy and procedures for candidature management as per the VU HDR Policy.
On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
|1.||expert understanding of a substantial body of theory and its practical application at the frontier of a field of work or learning, including substantial expert knowledge of ethical research principles and methods applicable to the field.|
|2.||intellectual independence and cognitive skills to undertake a systematic investigation, reflect critically on theory and practice and evaluate existing knowledge and ideas, including identifying, evaluating and critically analysing the validity of research studies and their applicability to a research problem.|
|3.||expert cognitive, technical and creative skills to: design, develop and implement a research project/s to systematically investigate a research problem; develop, adapt and implement research methodologies to extend and redefine existing knowledge; manage, analyse, evaluate and interpret data, synthesising key ideas and theorising within the context of key literature.|
|4.||expert communication skills to explain and critique theoretical propositions, methodologies and conclusions; to disseminate and promote new insights; and to cogently present a complex investigation of originality, or original research, both for external examination and to specialist (eg researcher peers) and non-specialist (industry and/or community) audiences through informal interaction, scholarly publications, reports and formal presentations.|
|5.||capacity to reflect on, develop and evaluate strategies for achieving their own learning and career goals.|
|6.||intellectual independence, initiative and creativity in new situations and/or for further learning.|
|7.||ethical practice and full responsibility and accountability for personal outputs.|
|8.||autonomy, authoritative judgement, adaptability and responsibility as an expert and independent scholar.|
What's a unit?
A unit or 'subject' is the actual class you'll attend in the process of completing a course.
Most courses have a mixture of compulsory 'core' units that you need to take, and optional \'elective\' units that you can choose to take based on your area of interest, expertise or experience.
Each unit is worth a set amount of study credits based on the amount of time you study. Generally, 1 credit is equal to 1 hour of study per week.
Admission & pathways
Meeting the minimum admission requirements does not guarantee you entry into this course.
Some courses receive more applications than the number of places available. In this situation we will also assess your education, work and other relevant experience.
- Bachelor/Honours degree: Completed a relevant Masters degree or four year undergraduate degree with Honours or its equivalent at a high standard.
- International: Achieved an IELTS, (Academic Module) result with an overall score of 6.5 (no band less than 6) or equivalent and completed a Masters degree or a relevant four year undergraduate degree with Honours or its equivalent at a high standard.
English language requirements
Find out if you meet the entry requirements, including English language and academic requirements.
If you have completed study with another university or institution and believe you are eligible to receive credit for skills and past study, you can apply for advanced standing.
Applications for advanced standing can be made after a discussion with your course coordinator or academic adviser.