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This Program covers study towards the PhD undertaken in the School of Social Sciences, the Social Policy Research Centre, and the Centre for Social Research in Health. Staff of the School of Social Sciences conduct research in the broad areas of sociology and anthropology, criminology, politics and international relations, social work, policy studies, and development studies; Social Policy Research Centre in social policy; and Centre for Social Research in Health in social aspects of health and health care, including HIV, sexual health, viral hepatitis, drug use, Aboriginal health and related areas of education, health and wellbeing. For details on the disciplinary and cross-disciplinary areas of research in which these academic units offer PhD supervision, visit the School or Centre websites.

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree is offered in all faculties of the University of New South Wales and encourages initiative and originality in research. Candidates should make a significant contribution to knowledge in their field. See UNSW Higher Degree Research Learning Outcomes.

This program involves a minimum of three years full-time study. Students undertake supervised research leading to the production of the thesis.

The length of a doctoral thesis normally should not exceed 100,000 words of text and should be submitted for examination within 4 years of full-time study.


Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences



Study Level


Typical duration

3 to 4 Years

Delivery Mode


Academic Calendar

Research Calendar

Minimum Units of Credit


Award type

Doctor of Philosophy


Doctor of Philosophy - PhD



Program Structure

Students must complete 144 UOC as a standalone program.

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Entry Requirements

Additional Information

If you are considering applying for a PhD at UNSW you will need to make contact with the relevant School by emailing the School's nominated representative. This is necessary in order to establish that your research interests and those of the Faculty are aligned, and that there is a suitable supervisor for your particular area of research.

Prospective students can also make contact with potential supervisors before applying for research study at the University.

Visit the following websites:

UNSW Arts and Social Sciences
Information on entry requirements, how to apply, contact details, supervision areas.

School of Social Sciences; Social Policy Research Centre; Centre for Social Research in Health
Discipline information and potential supervisors.

UNSW Graduate Research School
Information for future research students including scholarships, English language requirements, thesis preparation and other research related matters.

Program Fees

At UNSW fees are generally charged at course level and therefore dependent upon individual enrolment and other factors such as student's residency status. For generic information on fees and additional expenses of UNSW programs, click on one of the following:

Pre-2019 Handbook Editions

Access past handbook editions (2018 and prior)

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