Research Degrees

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

  • A research degree lasting 2-4 years full-time that results in a thesis at the end making “a distinct contribution to the knowledge of the subject and afford evidence of originality by the discovery of new facts or the exercise of independent critical power”.
  • Details from the Higher Degree Research Office website

Master of Philosophy (MPhil)

  • A research degree lasting 1-2 years full-time that results in a thesis at the end making “a contribution to the knowledge in the area with which it deals by presenting new interpretations of facts or by demonstrating an independent critical ability to evaluate existing material in a new light”.
  • Details from the Higher Degree Research Office website
  • HDR student: Higher Degree by Research student, which for our Department consists of PhD and MPhil students.

How to Apply


The Higher Degree Research Office has general information about how to apply for a PhD or MPhil. This includes details on:

  • entry criteria;
  • the process of submitting your application, and what needs to be included; and
  • application forms.


Finding a Supervisor

You should first of all have a look at the areas in which the Department conducts research, to get an idea of candidate supervisors.

As the second step, feel free either to email a potential supervisor, or to contact A/Prof Yan Wang.


Research Proposal

The process above includes submitting a short research proposal as part of the application. This proposal should concisely address the following questions:

  1. What is the Research Problem? Provide a brief description of the research problem you would like to tackle.
  2. Why this Problem? Describe why finding a solution to this problem is important, for the world, or the research community?
  3. Why You? Tell why you are particularly interested in this problem. Describe how your academic background has prepared you to solve this problem.
  4. Why Macquarie? Why do you think the department of Computing at the Macquarie University is a good place to carry out this research? How does this problem align with the research interest of the supervisor you would like to work with?
  5. How would you approach the problem? Give some idea of how you plan to solve this problem. It is not expected that you have a solution at hand — you have more than three years for this purpose. But you should have seriously thought about the problem that you are going to spend three to four years of your life upon.
  6. What is new? Presumably other researchers have addressed related issues. What is novel in your approach? How is it different from what others have done? Provide a short bibliography of resources you cite in the proposal.

It is expected that you would consult your potential thesis supervisor, and take their suggestions into account while preparing this proposal.

Further Enquiries

For any queries, please contact our Department’s Director of HDRA/Prof Yan Wang.