Higher Degree by Research

Why choose a Higher Degree by Research?

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 continue to attract millions of dollars in external grants and fellowships.

As a Higher Degree by Research 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 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.

View the School's current HDR projects

What programs are on offer?

How to apply

Becoming a Higher Degree by Research (HDR) student in the School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry (HPI) requires you to meet UQ's entry requirements 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 HDR theses. Obtaining the School's support is not automatic. We recommend that you start the application process 2-3 months before UQ’s scholarship 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, outlined below. You are welcome to contact the School’s Higher Degree by Research Liaison Officer (HLO) for guidance or with any queries related to HDR study on hdr.hapi@enquire.uq.edu.au.

Step 1: The Expression of Interest (EOI)

The first step is to express your interest by applying online.

  • Upload with your application an EOI which includes the proposed topic of your HDR thesis, and your proposed principal and associate supervisors.
  • You will also have to attach your academic CV, your academic transcripts and an academic writing sample of at least 2000 words.
  • Provide as much as you can of the documents requested in the online application, but know that you will be able to upload additional documents after submitting.

The School’s Higher Degree by Research Liaison Officer (HLO) will send your details and documents 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 three of them judge that you have the ability to complete a high-quality HDR thesis, they will inform the School’s Director of Research Training that you have their support.

Step 4: Gaining the support of the DRT

If the Director of Research Training judges that the case has been made for the School to support your application, it will be progressed for final assessment and possible scholarship consideration.

Further information

More information about entry requirements for HDR admission and HDR 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 or search UQ's Researchers page. You can find the names of the School's Director of Research Training and RRT Advisors in the 4 disciplines on the Key roles page.