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Get ready with a
Research Degree

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At ECU, we're committed to research that has strong social, economic, environmental and cultural impact.

We make a practical difference to people's lives. Want to join us?

When you undertake an ECU postgraduate research degree, you'll be supported in many ways.

This includes a supervisor qualified in your field of interest and access to a group of peer mentors who know their way around.

You'll have professional development and networking opportunities that can advance your career.

And in some disciplines, you'll have the flexibility of online study to better balance your life.

Our Graduate Research School has also been rated #1 in Australia in a survey of over 45,000 international students*.

*International Student Barometer 2016

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What's your research dream?

If you're interested in a research degree, we'd first like to know more about you - including your research topic.

When you start the application process, we'll ask you for:

  • information about your work, academic history and qualifications
  • references from any publications or conference papers you've co-authored
  • a 300-word research abstract and a 2-page research proposal

If this information is assessed favourably, your application will progress to the next stage and we'll ask you for some more information.

Attracting top researchers

In less than 30 years, ECU has become internationally-recognised for the quality of our research.

In recent years, the best 5% of our research output has been rated in the top 5% globally.

Now we're taking ECU to another level by recruiting outstanding researchers from around the world.

It's an exciting time for our university - especially if you're a research student.

Scholarship opportunities

As a doctoral or master by research degree student, you may be eligible to receive an ECU scholarship.

Scholarship opportunities are also available to work on specific projects, often in collaboration with industry or community partners. These provide valuable experience and can increase your career prospects.

More information about research scholarships.

School Research Centres and Supervisors

To give you an idea of the research we're undertaking across our schools, including leading researcher profiles, download one or more of these brochures.

Research Scholarships

Scholarships at ECU

If you're thinking of undertaking a research degree, you may be eligible for an ECU scholarship.

Scholarships are available for PhD or Master by Research degree students across a range of fields.

Scholarships are also available to work on specific projects, often in collaboration with industry or community partners.

These provide valuable experience and can increase your career prospects.

Our Inspiring Minds Scholarship is available to Australian residents who are exceptional students.

It's valued at $40,000 pa and offers you the opportunity to undertake a PhD here.



If you're looking to be involved at the cutting edge of your field, our research degrees provide a stimulating intellectual challenge.

For your research degree you'll be expected to produce a written body of researched work, called a thesis.

If your degree is in a creative discipline, you may produce a creative work plus an exegesis (written exploration of your work).

Degrees of support

We have unique and innovative programs to support you through your research degree.

Here's a snapshot of what you can expect:

  • an orientation program and events to help you get started;
  • an extensive cross-discipline research training program;
  • discipline-specific training and research forums run by your school or research centre;
  • special seminars with guest presenters;
  • guest speakers from business & industry groups;
  • fully-funded annual writing retreat;
  • travel grants for international research placements;
  • an inter-university research training conference; and
  • support for planning your career beyond your research degree.

Postgraduate course guide


Masters degrees

A Closer Look

A Closer Look

ECU has a vibrant research community that is committed to supporting students on their research journey.

We provide dedicated staff and support services for postgraduate research, including school research and writing consultants, research and higher degrees staff, a research ethics team and specialist librarians.

Play video

A day in the life of an ECU Sports Science postgraduate research student.


A PhD candidate's day...

Sam is an ECU Sports Science PhD candidate, researching exercise performance in athletes. Follow Sam on a day in his life at ECU.


Research Week

Research Week is an annual showcase of our research achievements, collaborations and contribution to knowledge - locally, nationally and internationally.

Held in September each year, it's a busy week where we celebrate our research through interactive sessions, competitions and exhibitions at our three campuses.

It's also an opportunity to meet the people behind the research and find out about our postgraduate degrees, admission pathways and scholarships.

Play video

ECU’s Research Week is one of the highlights of a busy year for our students and staff.

Student stories

Student stories

ECU higher degree by research students and graduates share their stories about their time at our university.

Play video

Tina Phan is studying for a PhD in Medical Science, researching depression and anxiety in people with breathing problems.

Play video

Penelope Blanco is a former professional dancer who is following her passion through a Sports Science Master by Research degree..

A new life for PhD graduates

Margaret Merga

"There was so much support for Research students at ECU."

"I won an Australian Postgraduate Award to undertake my PhD at ECU, allowing me to undertake the PhD without being too much of a burden on my husband and kids. I also connected with Dr Brian Moon, a potential supervisor with a wealth of experience in my area. There was so much support for Research students at ECU. I had my supervisory team, plus a range of consultants, SOAR ambassadors and the Graduate Research School. And I could access as many of these free services as I required! GRS provided really useful training sessions that helped me develop the research project management skills needed to achieve my PhD, from designing mixed-method research to coding qualitative data. I now use many of these skills in my working life. After graduating, I stepped straight into a senior role in the public service. It has been a relatively easy transition, as it is a project/research-based role, and my experience at ECU equipped me with the required skills."

Margaret Merga

PhD graduate in Education

Luis Penaililo

"I was very impressed with the quality and quantity of the research performed at ECU and the facilities and equipment are fantastic."

"A PhD in Sport and Exercise Science is not available in my home country of Chile so I needed to look elsewhere. I choose ECU mainly because my supervisor, Professor Ken Nosaka, is very well known in the area of sport sciences. Professor Nosaka has been very supportive and helpful in my research journey at ECU. He is more than a supervisor; he is more like a mentor and I learn something new every meeting, both as a researcher and as a person. Probably my greatest challenge at the beginning was the language, especially in scientific writing. I attended writing and other workshops and I’ve since had the opportunity to do oral presentations at three big conferences in Europe and Australia. Since graduating, I have returned to Chile to teach and undertake research at University Finis Terrae."

Luis Penailillo

PhD graduate in Sport and Exercise Science

Our research community

We have an active research community at ECU. Most university schools have interest groups or events that relate to your area of study.

You can also make connections and join conversations on our social media pages.

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What next?

What next?

Studying here...just the facts

Course entry

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Applying for courses, special application types and important dates

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Let's talk

Let's talk

If you've come this far and have a question or two, please contact us.


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+61 8 6304 0000 (Int)


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