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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.

And you'll have plenty of professional development and networking opportunities that can advance your career.

Little wonder our Graduate Research School has received a 99% satisfaction rating from international students*. Since 2011, we've rated 95% or better - placing us in the top 3 among Australian participating universities.

*International Student Barometer 2015

Get ready to SOAR

The SOAR Centre is a free service that enriches and adds value to the academic and social lives of ECU's higher degree by research and honours candidates.

Part of our Graduate Research School, SOAR stands for: Support Opportunities Advice Resources

Since opening in 2009, the Centre has had a significant impact on our research community. Its popularity is due to the unique peer-to-peer support and research training, and its ability to break down the isolation often associated with undertaking a research degree.

The SOAR Centre's deep concern for equity and diversity has seen it successfully cater for the needs of international students from over fifty different countries. The Centre connects research students from different backgrounds, cultures, ages and academic disciplines.

Attracting top researchers

In less than 25 years, ECU has become internationally-recognised for the quality of our research.

For the last seven 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.

Our Inspiring Minds Scholarship is valued at $40,000 pa and is available to Australian residents who are exceptional students.

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.

Your Degree

Your Degree

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

Your research degree normally involves producing 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 faculty, 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.

Download the 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 faculty research and writing consultants, research and higher degrees staff, a research ethics office 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

Our annual Research Week celebrates the work of ECU’s research staff and students and aims to foster creativity and collaboration.

Members of the public are invited to discover our cutting-edge research on business, the environment, engineering, education, child health, creative practice, health, security, nutrition, sports science and more...

The week includes interactive sessions, presentations, panel discussions and a range of performances and exhibitions.

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 faculties or 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.

What next?

Studying here...just the facts

Course entry

Minimum requirements, entry pathways, future student events and credit for previous study

Fees and scholarships

Calculate course fees and explore scholarships and student loans


Applying for courses, special application types and important dates

Uni life

Student accommodation, campus services and support, open days and orientation

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