Postgraduate Research Programs

Three research degrees can be undertaken with supervision provided by staff in the School of Geosciences: the Master of Science (MSc), the Master of Science (Environmental Science) (MSc(Environmental Science)), and the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). Entry requirements for the Masters programs are a First Class or Upper Second Class Honours degree, or equivalent. A First Class Honours or equivalent is required for direct enrolment in a PhD; students enrolling in a Masters degree may request to be assessed for upgrading to a PhD, usually after two semesters. Students may also gain entry to a research Masters or PhD if they complete, with an average mark of 80% or better, a Master of Applied Science in any discipline area relevant to Geosciences; for these students, the degree must include a Research Project unit.

Local students meeting entry requirements and enrolling full-time may apply for an Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) which provides a stipend of just under $19,000 tax free for two years (for Masters) or three years (for a PhD). The University of Sydney provides additional research scholarships (University Postgraduate Awards or UPAs) which have the same conditions as an APA. Applications for APAs close on 31 October each year, and usually the end of May/early June for UPAs.

International candidates must be enrolled full-time; local candidates may proceed either full-time or part-time. In both cases, supervised research leads to the completion of a thesis. Candidates enrolled in the MSc(Environmental Science) usually take one semester of coursework units before commencing two semesters of research. The minimum time for completion of a Master of Science is one year, although the most usual duration of candidature is two years full-time. For a PhD, full-time candidature continues for a minimum of 3 years and a maximum of 4 years. Part-time candidatures extend for twice the duration of a full-time candidature for both the MSc and PhD. Enrolment can commence in the February or July Semester.

Potential postgraduates are encouraged to develop a research topic in consultation with a relevant staff member who is likely to be able to supervise the research. If you are uncertain about which staff member to approach for potential supervision, or have difficulty in deciding on a research topic, contact the School's Postgraduate Coordinator .

Applications will be accepted only if suitable laboratory and other resources are available, and an appropriate supervisor has agreed to supervise the project. Postgraduate research students in Geosciences are provided with a shared office, desk space, a book shelf, a lockable filing cabinet, and access to computing facilities, fax, phone, and photocopier. Small amounts of funding can be applied for to assist with research costs incurred for items like fieldwork, presentation at conferences, specialised software, laptop for fieldwork, visit to a specialised facility etc.