University of Sydney Handbooks - 2020 Archive

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Postgraduate research in Medicine and Health

The Faculty of Medicine and Health is comprised of seven schools and ten clinical schools. It brings together the Schools of:

  • Dentistry
  • Health Sciences
  • Medical Sciences
  • Nursing and Midwifery
  • Public Health
  • Pharmacy, and
  • Medicine, inclusive of
Central Clinical School, Concord Clinical School, Nepean Clinical School, Northern Clinical School, Rural Clinical School (Broken Hill), Rural Clinical School (Dubbo/Orange), Rural Clinical School (Northern Rivers), Sydney Adventist Hospital, Sydney Children’s Hospital Westmead and Westmead Clinical School.

The faculty offers a number of exciting research degree opportunities right across its Schools. Additionally. There are a number of multidisciplinary research centres and institutes within and associated with the Faculty. Each of these units are valued for their contributions to the Faculties commitment to Research Excellence.

The following research degrees are offered:

  • Master of Applied Sciencs
  • Master of Philosophy
  • Doctor of Philosophy
  • Doctor of Dental Science, and
  • Doctor of Medical Science.


Master of Applied Sciences

Master of Philosophy

Doctor of Philosophy

Doctor of Dental Science

Doctor of Medical Science

Degree Abbreviation






Time to complete full-time

1 - 2 years

1 – 2 years

3 years 

0.5 years

0.5 years

Time to complete part-time

2 - 4 years

2 – 4 years

3.5 – 7 years



What is a research degree?

A research degrees is a degree in which the majority of work is self-directed study with supervision by a group of academics, working on a project that aims to make an original contribution to knowledge. Some degrees require a limited amount of coursework, but at least two thirds of the degree must be by research for the degree to be considered a higher degree by research. The Doctor of Medical Science and Doctor of Dental Science differ in that they are not supervised degrees.

Apart from any required coursework, the assessment of all research degrees is through the examination of a thesis written by the student. The thesis is sent to a group of examiners and their recommendations form the basis for the outcome of the examination.

The five research degrees currently offered by the Faculty of Medicine and Health are the Master of Philosophy, Master of Applied Sciences the Doctor of Philosophy, Doctor of Dental Science and the Doctor of Medical Science.

Governance, including the resolutions, or reference to where the resolutions for the postgraduate degrees by research can be found, are covered under this section. The information here provides a summary and is subordinate to the provisions of relevant degree resolutions.

Financial information about research degrees

Domestic students, upon being offered unconditional offer to undertake a higher degree by research course at an Australian university, will be offered a RTP Fees Offset Scholarship. This scholarship, supported by the Commonwealth Government, provide tuition fees. Research Training Program (RTP) Stipend Scholarships are Commonwealth Government scholarships awarded to students of exceptional research potential to undertake a higher degree by research at an Australian university. The scholarships are provided to assist with general living costs University of Sydney Postgraduate Awards (UPA) are also available and they are similar to the RTP Scholarships in terms of tenure and benefits. Eligible RTP applicants are automatically considered for these awards more information can be found at the University of Sydney Scholarships website.

This means that tuition fees for domestic students are covered by RTS for periods defined by the scheme.

International students are required to pay fees for each year they are enrolled for the duration of the degree.

Visit Fees, costs and loans website for additional information.

There are a number of scholarships available for domestic students to assist with living costs, and a limited number for international students. Information about University-wide scholarships for domestic students can be found at the University of Sydney Scholarships website.

Theses: production and examination

These rules are located on the University of Sydney Policy Register at:
University of Sydney (Higher Degree by Research) Rule 2011 and the Thesis and Examination of Higher Degree by Research Policy 2015.

Application information

Information on how to apply can be found on the Sydney Courses website:

Contact the Faculty of Medicine and Health

For further information regarding research degrees, email the