PhD

Doctor of Philosophy

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is a research degree that provides you with the opportunity to make an original and significant contribution to knowledge in an area of built environment research. 

The focus of a PhD is to develop a student’s expert knowledge in a chosen field and enhance their skills in research, critical and creative thinking and problem solving. As a PhD candidate, you will acquire advanced specialist research training and ultimately produce a thesis that summarises your research and provides evidence of independent thought, critical analysis and effective communication as well as expert knowledge of your discipline in an international context.

 

Key Information

About the Doctor of Philosophy

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is a research degree that provides you with the opportunity to make an original and significant contribution to knowledge in an area of built environment research. The focus of a PhD is to develop a student’s expert knowledge in a chosen field and enhance their skills in research, critical and creative thinking and problem solving.

The faculty encourages both discipline-specific and interdisciplinary research within the domain of the built environment. Collaborative supervision across disciplines and faculties within the University may be arranged where appropriate.

In order to assist commencing students in developing an appropriate research methodology, PhD candidates are required to undertake a course in their first session - BENV7020 Research Seminar.

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

Entry requirements
  • Appropriate undergraduate degree with first or upper second class honours or a completed Master by Research degree, or academic qualification(s) considered equivalent.
  • Candidates may be admitted to the PhD program after one year's full time enrolment in a Masters by Research program with the approval of the Faculty Higher Degree Committee (HDC).
  • English language requirements apply. Please refer to UNSW’s English Requirements Policy.
How to apply

Before formally applying for enrolment in Doctor of Philosophy through UNSW Apply Online, UNSW Built Environment requires that you complete the following 4-Step process:

Step 1: Meet Entry Requirements
Make sure that you meet the entry requirements for the degree for which you are applying, including any English requirements.

 


Step 2: Find a Supervisor
You need to contact prospective supervisors to determine in advance if they are in a position to supervise your research topic. Seek out an appropriate supervisor for your chosen research topic from the UNSW Built Environment website (Find a Supervisor) or UNSW Find a Researcher. Once you have identified an appropriate academic staff member, send him/her, via email, the following:

If the prospective supervisor you have contacted expresses initial interest in supervising your research proposal, then you can progress to Step 3.

 


Step 3: Meet with Supervisor
Arrange a face-to-face interview to discuss your research proposal in detail and determine who your joint or secondary supervisor/s might be. If you are a local student, you should arrange a meeting. If you are an international student, arrange a discussion via Skype.

  • Please note that this is a crucial step in the process. It is a requirement for university admission and counts towards your ranking for a scholarship.
  • Remember too that an interview provides an opportunity to ensure that you and your supervisor are the right “fit” for each other. After all, the relationship you establish with your supervisor will be critical to the progress of your research project.

 


Step 4: Application Assessed at Higher Degree Committee (HDC)
Send the following documents to Dr Riza Yosia Sunindijo, Director of Postgraduate Research at r.sunindijo@unsw.edu.au:

  • Completed BE HDR Expression of Interest Form
  • Research proposal
  • Academic transcripts
  • CV
  • Proof of meeting English requirements
  • Details for two academic referees
  • Email from the prospective supervisors stating that they agree to supervise you upon successful admission into the degree

Your application will be considered by the Faculty’s HDC. The Committee meets on the 2nd Wednesday of every month - with the exception of January when no meeting is held.

If the HDC supports your application, you will be advised to formally apply for enrolment through UNSW Apply Online.

 


Contact the Faculty of Built Environment HDR Team if you have any queries related to the Faculty application process: be.hdr@unsw.edu.au

Contact the Graduate Research School if you have any queries related to UNSW Apply Online or visit their website
For domestic students: domestic.grs@unsw.edu.au
For international students: international.grs@unsw.edu.au 

Deadlines

Please take into account the 4-Step process described above when planning your application. The deadline for EOI submission is 5pm on the Thursday before the HDC meeting to be considered at that month’s meeting.

You need to allow enough time for this process to be completed BEFORE undertaking your formal application for enrolment through UNSW Apply Online. Your formal application will not be processed by the Graduate Research School without providing a successful expression of interest outcome from the Faculty.

If you intend to apply for a scholarship, there are set deadlines. See deadlines for UNSW Apply Online applications and scholarships here.

Please note that the university closes down over Christmas/New Year and many academic and administrative staff take their recreation leave during the month of January.


Contact the Faculty of Built Environment HDR Team if you have any queries: be.hdr@unsw.edu.au

Scholarships

Postgraduate Research Scholarships (RTP, UPA, TFS): allow at least eight weeks from the time of submitting your application to the Faculty HDC to the closing date for the university’s scholarship rounds. For more information please see the Graduate Research School website. See deadlines for UNSW Apply Online applications and scholarships here.

See the BE website for information regarding Faculty scholarships.

Why UNSW Built Environment
  • Centre of Research recognised by industry and wider community
  • Academic support by highly qualified and experienced academics
  • Supervision by some of the top researchers in their fields
  • Regular knowledge-sharing workshops and seminars
  • Quality research facilities
  • Dedicated research space for every full-time candidate
  • Financial support (additional to any scholarship)