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Research Degrees

Research at ECU

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 also 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.

Why ECU?

Research focus

ECU's world-class research

Our researchers are making world-first breakthroughs in a diverse range of fields.

These include discoveries in areas such as medical and health sciences, marine science, cyber security, green energy and mechanical engineering.

To find out more, visit our world class research website.

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.

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.

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


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:

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.

Arts & Humanities Business & Law Engineering & Technology Medical & Health Sciences Nursing & Midwifery Science Teacher Education Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts

World Class research

ECU has a vibrant research community, 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.

"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! Patient, tolerant of my technological challenges and always available when I needed them."
Janice Du Preez, PhD candidate
Janice Du Preez PhD candidate
School of Medical & Health Sciences

Graduate Research School

The Graduate Research School 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.


  • "I feel like I can give back to my country"
    Kudzai ChipongoDoctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Civil Engineering

    Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Civil Engineering student, Kudzai Chipongo, talks about studying the course with Edith Cowan University (ECU). Kudzai's research focus is on water resources. Water is scarce in the country she comes from, so she feels her doctoral research will help her give back to her home country as well as to Australia in terms of finding ways to improve water supply.

    She talks about the support she's receiving. She's the recipient of two scholarships: a School-based one and a Faculty one. She also discusses the support she's receiving from lecturers within the School in terms of getting publication.

    She decided to do her PhD with ECU because she had a great time doing her Master of Engineering and she knew she would have access to the state-of-the-art equipment she needs to complete her research.

  • "Writing, rewriting and more rewriting!"
    Danica Lee Larcombe
    Danica-Lea LarcombeIntegrated PhD candidate (Biodiversity and Human Health)

    The skills I have learnt while studying the Integrated PhD have assisted with my research proposal, literature reviews, data analysis and grant writing.

    My ethics application helped with recruitment of participants and surveys. I've also learnt how to develop and analyse complex surveys.

    I've attended many workshops run by GRS and found them invaluable. And the GRS SOAR centre helped when I experienced issues designing my surveys.

    My greatest challenge has been multitasking between data analysis, writing literature and coordination of participants. Also writing, rewriting and more rewriting!

    In the future I want to work with developers and government, and continue writing and teaching about the importance of nature to human health.

  • "I would definitely recommend ECU"
    Bernadine Tucker
    Bernadine TuckerMaster of Criminal Justice by Research graduate

    One of the best skills I obtained from undertaking this study was how to critically analyse situations and propose reasoned arguments in response.

    Additionally, my writing skills enhanced significantly, giving me the confidence and ability to write substantial technical reports and proposals.

    My qualification has certainly helped me obtain senior employment opportunities and progress to a State Manager level.

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