Research Higher Degree

Why choose a Research Higher Degree

The School is actively involved in research and scholarship of international significance. Our staff and students are published in leading national and international journals and by major scholarly presses and continues to attract millions of dollars in external grants and fellowships.

As a Research Higher Degree student in the School, you make a vital contribution to the research culture, playing an important role in creating dynamic learning and discovery environments. The School maintains a strong research profile with a number of affiliated research centres, as well as close links with Faculty-based research activities. Students have the opportunity to participate in an exchange program with UQ partner universities in New Zealand, and are regularly involved in the organisation of conferences, seminars and workshops.

How to apply

Becoming a Research Higher Degree (RHD) student in the School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry requires you both to meet the entry requirements of the UQ Graduate School (UQGS) and also to gain the support of the School. The School only supports applications from candidates who clearly demonstrate the ability to complete high-quality RHD theses. Obtaining its support is not an automatic process and requires that you do more than simply meet minimum entry requirements. We recommend that you start the School application process 2-3 months before the UQGS’s deadlines for online applications. This will allow you sufficient time to gather documents and to prepare a research proposal, and the School sufficient time to review your application.

There are 4 stages to gaining The School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry’s support. Throughout this application process you must send your application materials only to School’s Administrative Officer - Research Higher Degree Studies, who will be your primary point of contact. The Administrative Officer - Research Higher Degree Studies will liaise with, and assist, you throughout the whole process. The Administrative Officer - Research Higher Degree Studies in the School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry is Ms Judy King. Her email address is rhd-hapi@uq.edu.au.

Step 1: The Expression of Interest

The first step is to send an email to the Administrative Officer - Research Higher Degree Studies that expresses your interest in, and qualifications for, an RHD candidature. You must describe the proposed topic of your RHD thesis, and your proposed principal and associate supervisors. You will have to attach your full academic CV, your academic transcripts and an academic writing sample of at least 2000 words. The Administrative Officer - Research Higher Degree Studies will send your email to the Research and Research Training (RRT) Advisor in the relevant discipline. If he or she judges that you meet UQ’s entry requirements, that the School has the capacity and the expertise to supervise you, and that the proposed supervisory arrangements are appropriate, you will have passed step 1 and will be invited to write a full research proposal.

Step 2: Writing the Research Proposal

Your detailed research proposal must be between 2000 and 3000 words, excluding the bibliography. It must cover the following points:

Research Question: What is the major problem or issue that your thesis will attempt to solve? What major question will it try to answer? What hypothesis will it test? In essence what will your thesis be about?

Significance: Why will your thesis be significant? What makes it important or original?

Relevant Scholarship: What does current scholarship say about your major question? How does your thesis relate to what has already been written on your topic? What will make it important or original? In essence why will it matter?

Method and Evidence: What methods will you use to conduct your research? Will you use particular theories and/or schools of thought? What evidence or texts will you be using? In essence how will you do your thesis?

Chapter Outline: What will be the titles of your thesis’s chapters be? In essence how, tentatively, will your thesis be organised?

Supervisory Team: How does the expertise of your proposed supervisors match your project?

Preliminary Bibliography: This needs to include at least 20 relevant items and to demonstrate some familiarity with the major scholarly works in your proposed area of research.

Step 3: Gaining the Support of the Supervisors and the RRT Advisor

Your prospective supervisors will review your research proposal. If they are satisfied with the proposal, you will be invited to an interview, in person or via the internet, with them and the relevant RRT Advisor. If the 3 of them judge that you have the ability to complete a high-quality RHD thesis, they will inform the School’s Deputy Director of RRT that you have their support.

Step 4: Gaining the Support of the PGC

If the Deputy Director of RRT judges that the case has been made for the School to support your application, you will be invited to submit an online application to the UQGS.

Further Information

More information about UQGS entry requirements for RHD admission and RHD scholarships can be found on the UQ research degrees page. In order to find prospective supervisors whose expertise appropriately matches your area of interest you will need to browse the profiles of the School’s academic staff. You can find the names of the School's Deputy Director of RRT and RRT Advisors in the 4 disciplines on the Key Roles page.