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Research Students

There are two ways of approaching the future. We can see what tomorrow will bring, or we can use our research to shape it for the better.

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, shaping them for the better.

Why ECU?

  • The Good Universities Guide 2021

    Highest quality teaching

    ECU is one of the best unis in Australia for teaching. We've had 16 straight years of 5-star ratings in the Good Universities Guide!

  • Good Universities Guide - Student Support

    Legendary student support 

    Everyone has challenges as a student, but few universities can match ECU for student support. We even have a student success team!

  • Good Universities Guide - Overall Experience

    Best experience in WA

    ECU has been rated 5 stars and best WA uni for postgraduate overall experience in the latest Good Universities Guide.

    Read more

What's your research dream?

Looking to find a cure, test theories, discover new facts, inform and change policy, or improve culture and society? ECU might be the place for you.

If you're interested in a research degree, we're assuming you already have an idea of your research topic or a research theme.

That’s why, as part of your application, we’ll ask you for a 2-page research proposal outlining your research project.

Try to ensure that your research proposal capitalises on the expertise of our key researchers and the areas they are working in. Our research themes below are a good place to start.

ECU's 4 research themes

Our research work focuses on four themes that recognise both our collective expertise and our progressive view of the world.

Dr Pauline Zaenker next to lab facilities


Prevention, detection and management of disease and injury.

Professor Hongqi Sun sat in a lab

Natural and Built Environments

Understanding, harnessing, building and protecting environments for sustaining people, place and planet.

Two students sat at a table looking over a drone.

Securing Digital Futures

Enabling a safe, secure, productive and enterprising digital environment.

Jean-Michel Maujean experimenting in the field

Society and Culture

Impacting and supporting social change through ensuring diversity, creativity, cultural identity, education, personal and organisational success and social justice.

World-Class Research

ECU research aims to transform the lives of people in global communities. Our work focuses on four themes that recognise our collective expertise and our progressive view of the world.

Find out more

Kids’ books missing the mark on gender

New research from Edith Cowan University has revealed childrens’ books are perpetuating outdated stereotypes of gender roles including boys playing sport, doing physical work and girls as passive onlookers.

Bird Song

New research from Edith Cowan University has created an engaging music project pairing native Western Australian birdsong with experimental instruments.

Prostate Cancer Exercise

New research from Edith Cowan University shows exercise causes muscles to secrete proteins that can suppress tumour growth and help fight cancerous cells.

Flexibility and support

Many of our postgraduate students have busy jobs, families and other commitments. It's why we make it as flexible as possible with courses you can study online or part-time.

For students with kids, our campuses provide professionally accredited Childcare centres, and ECU Sports Centres offer short-term crèches.

And when you undertake an ECU postgrad research degree, you'll be strongly supported. This includes a supervisor qualified in your chosen field and a group of peer mentors.

Our Graduate Research Services will also ensure you have professional development and networking opportunities and much more.


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).

Study courses online

At ECU, we understand that everyone is different.

We all have different work arrangements, family responsibilities, locations and learning styles.

That's why we offer the flexibility of studying many of our postgraduate courses online.

Online students receive our full support, just like their on-campus equivalents. We don't forget you!

Explore your interests

To help you find a course to match your career aspirations, we've grouped broad areas of work into eight study areas. Each study area has disciplines you can explore to find your course.

Scholarship opportunities

Scholarships recognise students whose life journey may have been challenging, as well as people who've shown outstanding academic excellence and endeavour.

Need some help deciding what to study?

Our future student events include a mix of on-campus and online sessions designed to help you decide what to study at ECU.

Become World Ready

Experience Research at ECU.

Research projects for students

ECU's eight schools are looking for prospective Honours, Masters by Research, or PhD students to undertake research projects on particular topics.

These may be individual projects, or collaborations with other institutions or industry partners. In some cases, the projects may also include funding opportunities such as scholarships.

Find out more about research project opportunities in ECU schools.

Graduate Research Services

The Graduate Research Services offers free workshops to help you develop new research and professional skills, plus opportunities to network with other researchers.

GRS also organises regular social events to encourage a collaborative and supportive peer network.

Our SOAR Centre (Support Opportunities Advice Resources) also provides a key support service, connecting research students from different backgrounds, cultures, ages and academic disciplines.

Janice Du Preez, PhD candidate

Janice Du Preez

PhD candidate
School of Medical & Health Sciences

"Without having the team of SOAR Ambassadors to draw on, I would have thrown in the towel within the first semester. They have been brilliant!"

Do you have any questions about Research Degrees?

Student stories

  • Callum McCaskie

    Callum McCaskie

    ECU PhD candidate (Sports Science)

    I definitely recommend conducting an industry-based PhD at ECU.

    Conducting my PhD in Sports Science with ECU and the West Coast Eagles has allowed me to create great networks at the university and within the industry. ECU has a fantastic group of staff supporting postgraduate students with up skilling sessions, webinars, and extra advice sessions to ensure students receive the help they need.

  • Aniyath Ali

    Aniyath Ali

    ECU Education PhD candidate

    Every step I’ve taken has been a new learning experience

    The journey at ECU has been wonderful. Every step I’ve taken has been a new learning experience. I appreciate all the learning support that ECU provides for HDR students, including the research supervisors, the facilitated seminars and the SOAR peer advisors that provide continuous support in completing our projects.

  • Amanda Binns

    Amanda Binns

    ECU Education PhD candidate

    The research completed at ECU is at the leading-edge

    The lecturers are friendly, approachable and impressively knowledgeable on all educational developments, curriculum, documentation and current policy. The research completed at ECU is at the leading-edge across all of Australia and this means that ultimately, we are working towards providing all children with the best possible learning experience within Western Australian and Australian schools.

The Important Things

Things you should know about if you're thinking about studying here.

Course Entry

There's more than one admission pathway into an ECU course. It depends on what you've studied already, or your work or life experience.

Fees & Scholarships

Course tuition fees can change, but we can give you an estimate of your costs. If you’re eligible, a scholarship or student loan can help too.


Applying for a course is a fairly simple process, especially if you have scanned copies of qualifications, your resume or other paperwork, ready to upload.

ECU Experience

Starting a course is an exciting and sometimes daunting time, so we make a massive effort to ensure you get all the support you need to have a positive experience.