Higher Degrees by Research

Master of Philosophy

CRICOS 096609F
Master of Philosophy | Hands with jewellery on laptop | Torrens University | Large

What is a Master of Philosophy?

The Master of Philosophy provides a postgraduate qualification for those seeking to enhance their skills in the professional domain of research. The Master of Philosophy provides research training through coursework and a research project, culminating in a minor thesis.
The core structure of the course has been designed with an underpinning of adult learning theory to promote collaboration and critical thinking on the part of the student. This delivers a challenging, engaging, and integrated learning experience for students. Knowledge and skills are both scaffolded within each subject and is built throughout the course.

Graduates of the Master of Philosophy (MPHIL21) will have knowledge and skills for research, professional practice, and further learning. They will have an advanced and integrated understanding of a complex body of knowledge in one or more disciplines or areas of practice. They will have expert, specialised cognitive and technical skills in a body of knowledge or practice to independently analyse critically, reflect on and synthesise complex information, problems, concepts and theories. Graduates will be able to independently undertake research projects.


Learning outcomes

  • Critically reflect, synthesise and evaluate a substantial body of knowledge in the chosen field of study to demonstrate a high level of personal and professional autonomy.
  • Apply critical thinking, digital literacy and problem-solving skills to search and critically appraise the existing literature in order to develop a framework for your research project.
  • Apply an advance knowledge of research principles and methods in making a substantial contribution in the context of your discipline.
  • Ethically plan and execute original research project that demonstrate the capacity to scope, design and conduct research projects independently.
  • Use appropriate and coherent communication skills to report, present, publish and disseminate research data and findings to peers and the community.
  • Exhibit professional skills including leadership, reflective practice, ongoing learning and accountability by planning and executing an original research project in the chosen field of study.
Study mode
On campus, Blended
Campus locations*
Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Online
Course duration
2 years full time, part-time options available
Start date
20 Feb 2023
05 Jun 2023
18 Sep 2023

This course is delivered by Torrens University Australia Ltd, ABN 99 154 937 005, RTO 41343, CRICOS 03389E.

*For more details on international student study options.

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Contribute new knowledge to your field
Under the supervision of experienced and expert researchers, make a significant and original contribution through thought leadership and a research project.

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Be a catalyst for change
Become an innovative changemaker by challenging current research and finding new ways forward.

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Transferrable skills and a new career
Build upon your expertise, opening doors to unique career opportunities in academia and industry.
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Career opportunities

Graduates of the Master of Philosophy have a bright future. They will have demonstrated their preparedness for a career in research and analysis within government, higher education, research centres and private enterprises. Graduates will have demonstrated intellectual leadership, positioning them for roles such as those in the following areas:

  • Policy research
  • Research projects
  • Research & development
  • Academic research
  • Industry and government advising
  • Further study, including the Professional Doctorate or PhD

Madison Browne - Bachelor of Business Event Management student testimonial
This course has exceeded my expectations. I never thought on the day I started studying nursing I’d be researching models of care and policy in the Netherlands, Canada and Scotland.
Heather Allanson
Master of Philosophy

Subjects and units

This course comprises of 5 core subjects, 1 elective subject, and 10 thesis units. Each subject involves 10 hours of study per week, comprising 3 hours of facilitated study and 7 hours self-directed study.

  • Core
  • Thesis
  • Electives

Core subjects

  • Critical Literature Review | RES611
  • Developing the Research Proposal | RES612
  • Methodology and Design | RES613
  • Preliminary Research Thesis | RES614
  • Research Communication | RES615

Thesis subjects

  • Thesis Unit | THE601 to THE610

Elective subjects

  • Qualitative Research Methods for Public Health | PUBH6013
  • Biostatistics | STAT6200

International students must not enrol in more than one-third (33%) of online subjects over their course, and must study at least one face-to-face subject each study period. Please note that due to COVID-19, authorities have provided exceptions to the usual face-to-face learning requirements. For more information, visit Study in Australia.

International students on a student visa are required to study full time (i.e. must complete a minimum of 1.0 EFTSL of study per year). For the latest information on study locations, please check the entry requirements flyer.

Higher degrees by research | Torrens University

Research project

The Master of Philosophy is comprised of independent research under the guidance of experienced supervisors, culminating in the submission of a thesis. You will be required to provide an Expression of Interest and a Research Proposal as part of your initial application.

Entry details

  • Domestic
  • International


Check the domestic course fee schedule for the cost of your course.


Eligible Australian students may choose to defer some, or all, of their tuition fees through FEE-HELP, a loan scheme repaid through the tax system based on income.

Learn more about fees and FEE-HELP


We're serious about supporting your studies from start to success, which is why we offer partial scholarships for both international and domestic students undertaking HDR, and eligible students can also apply for the Research Training Program scholarship (RTP). RTP Scholarships for 2022 are now closed.

Admission criteria

Before you get started with your course application, check you meet all the requirements listed below.

Australian bachelor's degree (honours) or equivalent
Australian bachelor's degree (with credit average) or equivalent
Australian graduate diploma or masters by coursework (with credit average) or equivalent
Research proposal

View full course admission information

Guaranteed pathway and Recognition of Prior Learning

If you have already completed a qualification you may be able to credit this against your degree with us, even if it’s from another institution. This is called Recognition of Prior Learning. We also offer pathway opportunities to further your learning.

Learn more about study pathways


Check the international course fee schedule for the cost of your course. Onshore international students requiring a student visa should choose campus-based / blended options.

Fee payment

Course fees can be paid across three study periods. Each instalment to be paid before the beginning of the academic stage census date.


We're serious about supporting your studies from start to success, which is why we offer partial scholarships for both international and domestic students undertaking HDR. Please contact the HDR Office at hdr@torrens.edu.au for more information.

Admission criteria

Australian bachelor's degree (honours) or equivalent
Australian bachelor's degree (with credit average) or equivalent
Australian graduate diploma or masters by coursework (with credit average) or equivalent
Research proposal
Academic IELTS 6.5 (no band less than 6.0) or equivalent

View full course admission information

How to apply

Frequently asked questions

  • What is a Higher Degree by Research (HDR)?
  • What is the application process?
  • What is required in a Higher Degree by Research?
  • What is the time commitment for a Higher Degree by Research?

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