Admission for the Engineering research degree program

Higher degree research study involves original and critical enquiry that makes a significant contribution to existing knowledge of relevance both nationally and internationally. Postgraduate research students are required to produce a thesis presenting the results of independent investigation under the guidance of an academic supervisor.

Download a guide on how to apply for postgraduate research

How to apply

To apply for a postgraduate research program at UNSW Engineering you will need to follow the steps below:

Step 1 - Find a research area 

Before applying for a postgraduate research program, match your area of interest with those offered by our schools. See our Key Research Areas for a list of research topics offered by each school.

Each research program has specific entry and eligibility requirements. For more information:

Step 2 - Find a supervisor

Before submitting an application, you must independently contact a UNSW researcher and secure their agreement to supervise your work. Proof of correspondence needs to be included in your application.

Find a potential engineering research supervisor, from our Research Academic Index.

If you’re having difficulty finding a researcher, contact the school’s postgraduate research coordinator. Click here for contact details for coordinators.

Step 3 - Develop a research proposal

Your proposal needs to be sufficiently detailed to enable the University to determine if it’s possible to provide adequate supervision and resources to support your research.

What is a research proposal?

Each research application must be accompanied by a research proposal of prescribed length; in general, a research proposal should include:

  • a statement of the research problem and its significance
  • an outline of the method to be used to analyse the problem
  • the names of any academics you have contacted in the School
  • details of previous publications and/or research undertaken in your nominated area of interest

Information and guidelines regarding research proposals.

Step 4 - Prepare supporting documentation

Required documents may include your supervisor’s agreement, research proposal, resume, all transcripts (degree results) and English language test results. Documents must be in English or include a certified English translation.

Information and guidelines regarding research documentation.

Step 5 - Submit your application online

Once you have secured a supervisor, developed a proposal and prepared supporting documents including proof of financial support if you are a self-funded applicant, you can lodge your application.

International students need to apply for admission and scholarships at least six months before their planned starting semester.

Information about online applications for research.

Entry requirements

Entry to the Master of Philosophy is usually on the basis of a good quality Bachelor degree or equivalent from a tertiary institution recognised by UNSW.

Entry requirements for Research Masters programs.

Entry to the Doctor of Philosophy requires an upper second class Honours degree in engineering or a related discipline from a tertiary institution recognised by UNSW.

Entry requirements for PhD programs.

In considering applications for research programs, the Faculty will usually assess:

  • your academic background
  • your ability to produce a coherent research proposal
  • your research proposal can be supported by the Faculty's resources
  • an appropriate supervisor will be available.

English language requirements

All courses at UNSW are taught in English. All applicants, whether local or international, for admission to any UNSW program delivered either in Australia or overseas, who do not have an assessable qualification undertaken and assessed in English, must provide evidence that their English language ability meets the minimum requirements for admission. Find out about UNSW Australia's English language requirements.

Scholarship applicants

Many scholarships are available for postgraduate research programs, from UNSW Australia, the Australian government, industry partners, and organisations from other countries.

Please refer to the Scholarship website for further details regarding Scholarship applications, requirements and deadlines.