Entry requirements

PhD admission requirements

Entry to Deakin Business School and Deakin Law School PhD program is based on a demonstrated capacity to undertake significant independent research at a very high standard in the proposed field of study. Applicants applying to undertake a PhD must:

  • Meet Deakin University’s English language requirements; and
  • Have completed an appropriate qualification in a relevant discipline from a recognised tertiary institution at the standard specified.
  • Your latest qualification (Masters/Honours) should not be more than 5 years old, or you should provide an additional portfolio of evidence of equivalent research or professional experience and outputs from the last five years
  • You should have at least 2 research methods units in your prior studies

English language requirements

A high standard of English is essential for a student to be considered for admission. As a minimum, applicants should have one of the following:

  • IELTS (Academic) overall band score no lower than 7.0 (with no individual band less than 6.5)
  • Paper-based TOEFL score no lower than 600 (with a writing score of at least 5)
  • Internet-based TOEFL score no lower than 94 (with a writing score of at least 24)
  • Pearson’s Test of English (academic) (PTE) overall score of 65 (with no less than 58 in each skill)

The minimum entry requirements for other English language tests of proficiency can be found on the HDR English language requirements sheet.

Applicants may be exempted from these English language test requirements if they have:

  • Completed their entire secondary and post-secondary studies in English and, since graduation, have had residency in Australia or another specified country where English is the official language*
  • Completed a university degree of at least three years duration (full-time equivalent) within Australia or another specified country where English is the official language*, no more than two years prior to their proposed enrolment at Deakin.

*Specified English speaking countries: Australia, Canada, Fiji, Ireland, Kenya, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Africa, United Kingdom (including Northern Ireland), United States of America, Zambia

Appropriate qualification

Having an appropriate qualification is only one factor in the decision to offer PhD candidature – other factors include the availability of supervision, the alignment of the proposed research project with University and Faculty strategic goals, and the quality of other PhD applicants. However, at a minimum, all successful applicants will have typically completed a:

  • Research project in a related area of study, including a thesis which is equivalent to at least 25% of a year’s full-time study at Level 8 or 9* of the Australian Qualifications Framework and with mark for that project equivalent to a Deakin grade of 80% or higher. 

*Level 8 and 9 of the Australian Qualifications Framework equates to a Bachelor Honours Degree and a Masters Degree, respectively.

Disciplines available

For more information regarding each of the disciplines offered, please visit our Disciplines page.


An alternative pathway to the PhD: Master of Research (Business)

Do you want to research pressing issues in business? The Master of Research (Business) degree is a two-year course that will develop your research capabilities, expose you to the latest thinking in your chosen field or discipline, and immerse you in a research project of your own.

This course is a pathway to a research-focused career in industry and offers a gateway to the PhD in Business and Law for those who want to pursue an academic career.

In the first year of your Master of Research (Business) you will complete research training coursework units, covering the research thought process, research methods and the current state of theory in your chosen field or discipline.
The second year is devoted to a major research project on a question of interest to you (subject to supervisor approval) and includes your Research Proposal and Research Dissertation/Thesis.

For details, visit our Course Information page.



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