Master of Philosophy

  • 2222
  • Full-time or Part-time
  • Semester 1 (March) or Semester 2 (August)
  • 1.5 years (min) or 2 years (max)


The Master of Philosophy (MPhil) is a research degree that includes a coursework component designed to help you develop research techniques appropriate to your area of study. 
Under the supervision of some of Australia’s leading built environment academics, the degree provides you with the opportunity to undertake research in various fields, including architecture; digital modelling; interior architecture; landscape architecture; industrial design; property development; construction management and economics; sustainable development; planning; and urban design.
The MPhil has the flexibility to be undertaken as a written thesis or as a research by design thesis, (with a proportionally reduced written component.) The program requires submission of either a scholarly written thesis (maximum 40000 words) or a combined design output and scholarly written component (maximum 20 000 words).

As a candidate you can undertake the program in one of two ways:

You can develop your own research topic within a built environment discipline OR choose a specialised research project such as those listed below:
You can find out more about our Faculty research areas by exploring our research pages or visiting individual staff profiles.
For information on the structure of the program, please refer to the UNSW Online Handbook.

Coursework Component

The coursework component normally comprises three courses (totalling 18 Units of Credit):
  • Research Seminar BENV7020
  • Two electives from a postgraduate coursework program in BE (Built Environment)
Most courses are offered in only one semester per year. Some courses may not be offered every year. Please check course availability prior to enrolment. 

Who should apply? 

If you’re looking to undertake higher degree study by research, but have limited research experience, this is the right degree for you. This degree will enable you to acquire basic research training. If you have an undergraduate degree and a keen interest in a Built Environment discipline that you want to investigate further, then we encourage you to apply.

Supervision and Academic Support

Highly qualified and experienced academics, representing a wide range of built environment disciplines, provide academic support and supervision to the faculty’s research students.
PLEASE NOTE: If you are considering applying for enrolment in a Master of Philosophy, you need to contact prospective supervisors to determine in advance if they are in a position to supervise your research topic. It is recommended that you make initial contact via email. If you are local, you should then arrange a face-to-face meeting; if overseas, ideally arrange a SKYPE interview.
UNSW Built Environment also provides other forms of support, including dedicated workspaces and related facilities for its research students. Regular seminars and workshops aimed at developing skills in academic research and writing are also provided. A close relationship is maintained with the UNSW Graduate Research School to address student needs on an ongoing basis.

Admission, application and enrolment requirements

As a general guide, the minimum requirement for admission to a Master of Philosophy in UNSW Built Environment is an appropriate undergraduate degree in the relevant discipline from UNSW or a qualification considered equivalent from another university or tertiary institution at a level acceptable to the faculty’s Higher Degree Committee, usually at honours level.
For full admission, application and enrolment requirements please see the How to Apply page.
Page Last Updated: 06 Mar 2017