Graduate Research

How to apply

Higher Degree Research (HDR) applicants for Master of Philosophy (MPhil) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees in Art History, Art Theory, Design and Visual Arts can apply to the program at any time. However, if you wish to be considered for Australian Postgraduate Awards (APA) and ANU postgraduate scholarships the application deadline is October 31 each year.

Please see the Research-intensive programs page for more information.

Domestic and international student please follow the requirements and steps to apply via this link.

We recommend you have this FAQ open as it will assist you as you go through the formal application process.

School of Art - specific requirements for MPhil and PhD degrees in Design or Visual Arts

In addition to ANU entry requirements for HDR students, applicants will need to demonstrate they have the capacity to pursue research at MPhil or PhD level in the School of Art. Assessment of this is based on the applicant's prior achievement in the discipline, the merit of a submitted research proposal and the quality of the portfolio of art/design or other audio-visual works submitted. As well, the School's capacity to provide appropriate human and material resources is taken into consideration.

In addition to the information requested on the ANU Application Form, an application for practice-led research should provide the following:

  1. A Research Proposal of three to four pages (i.e. maximum of 2000 words), which addresses the Research Proposal Guidelines below.
  2. Approximately 12 high quality images each with name, date, title, medium, and size of the work. Applicants may submit material in any media: Powerpoint, CDs, videos, print form etc.
  3. An up to date curriculum vitae.
  4. Evidence of ability to satisfactorily engage with theoretical matters and complete written research material. This could include papers submitted for prior degrees (essay, thesis etc) or published material including journal articles, reviews etc.

The application procedure

Prospective applicants are invited to consult with the Heads of relevant discipline areas and the Higher Degree Research Convenor prior to lodgement of an application. Consideration of a Research Proposal may involve critical feedback, advice and subsequent amendment and re-submission of the Proposal.

The Research Proposal - guidelines for preparation

The Research Proposal should be a clear and concise outline of the objectives of the study and the means by which the goals will be achieved. The ANU School of Art looks for research proposals which demonstrate that, with the advice of the Supervisors, the applicant has the capacity to translate the ideas into an appropriate Study Program, with potential outcomes appropriate to graduate level study.

In preparing the Research Proposal(s), applicants are advised to use the headings below, and to make sure that they have addressed the questions raised under each heading.

  1. Which program are you proposing to undertake (MPhil or PhD)?
  2. Aims of the proposed research.


    • What are the general aims of the proposed research? Please outline the topic of your proposed study and its anticipated outcomes.
    • What are the research questions you intend to address?
    • How does the proposal relate to your prior practice and experience?
  3. Your approach to your topic. What is distinctive about the approach you intend to pursue?
  4. What methods and/or processes do you intend to use?
  5. Locate your proposed work in the wider context of practice in your field by referring to specific examples of precedents, traditions, and other relevant visual or design practices.
  6. Indicate what reference material has been relevant to the development of your Research Proposal. This can be in the form of a bibliography of writers, artists or designers you refer to in your proposal.

Additional information

International applicants should see the International students page for information regarding language requirements, and for other relevant information about studying at ANU.

Updated:  23 February 2018/Responsible Officer:  Head of School/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications