Honours and Higher Degrees by Research

Study with us and open the door to a range of rewarding career opportunities. Become a part of a community of alumni that includes Nobel Prize winners, pioneering researchers and world-renowned leaders in health. Our research programs are held in high regard, their quality and impact respected by peers and the community.

Why study honours or a higher degree by research?

Studying honours or a higher degree by research can provide you with the skills and experience to pursue different career opportunities, particularly a career in research. Employers recognise that the research ability and broad range of transferable skills which University of Adelaide graduates possess equip them well for challenging and diverse roles in industry, government and business, as well as in research and academic organisations. By undertaking a research degree with us, you will be involved in discovery, innovation and cutting-edge research. Our strong focus on addressing global challenges creates a highly stimulating setting for our students interested in changing the world.

We have a huge range of research projects listed in the 2020 Research Opportunities Guide(pdf file).

Honours scholarship opportunities 2020

Please note: To be considered for the below scholarships, applicants are strongly encouraged to submit an expression of interest by 30 November (semester 1 start) or July 1 (semester 2 start). All Semester 2 applicants will be ranked with the following years Semester 1 applications.

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  • Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences Honours Scholarships

    Amount: $4,000 paid in two equal instalments.

    The scholarships are available to students enrolled in an Honours program in the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences. Selection of the successful candidates will be made according to academic merit. Academic merit for continuing students will be determined according to students’ cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) or equivalent score.

    Students must declare if they have applied for other scholarships on the expression of interest (EOI) form. Please refer to 'How do I apply to study Honours?' below, for the relevant EOI form.

    For more information please contact fhsresed@adelaide.edu.au.

  • Adelaide Medical School Honours Scholarship

    Amount: $4,000 paid in two equal instalments.

    The scholarships are available to students enrolled in an Honours program in the Adelaide Medical School, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences. Selection of the successful candidates will be made according to academic merit. Academic merit for continuing students will be determined according to students’ cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) or equivalent score.

    Students must declare if they have applied for other scholarships on the expression of interest (EOI) form. Please refer to 'How do I apply to study Honours?' below, for the relevant EOI form and download the Adelaide Medical School Honours Scholarship rules(pdf file).

    For more information please contact fhsresed@adelaide.edu.au.

  • Jeffrey Robinson Scholarship

    Amount: $4,000 paid in two equal instalments.

    Open to students with a Robinson Research Institute supervisor (can be within or outside of the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences).

    Selection of the successful candidates will be made according to academic merit. Academic merit for continuing students will be determined according to students’ cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) or equivalent score. Final recommendation will be made by the Director of the Robinson Research Institute.

    Please refer to 'How do I apply to study Honours?' below, for the relevant expression of interest (EOI) form and download the Jeffrey Robinson Scholarship rules.*

    *Students outside of the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences must complete the online application form.

    For more information please contact fhsresed@adelaide.edu.au.

  • Repromed Reproductive Health Scholarship

    Amount: $5000 of which $4,000 will be paid to the student in two equal instalments and $1,000 for the supervisor.

    Open to students who have a demonstrated interest in human reproduction health and/or animal reproductive health that is transferable to humans.

    One scholarship shall be awarded to a student undertaking an Honours Degree of Bachelor of Health and Medical Sciences, Honours Degree of Bachelor of Science in the areas of Animal Science or undertaking the further or subsequent year of the Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery program of study at the University of Adelaide. Selection of the final candidate will be made by the Director of the Robinson Research Institute or nominee.

    Please refer to 'How do I apply to study Honours?' below, for the relevant expression of interest (EOI) form and download the Repromed Reproductive Health Scholarship rulespdf file).*

    *Students outside of the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences must complete the online application form.

    For more information please contact fhsresed@adelaide.edu.au.

What is honours?

Honours is a one-year qualification studied as an addition to an undergraduate degree. Completing an honours degree provides an opportunity to investigate an area of interest in greater detail. As an extension of an undergraduate degree, honours is recognised as a prestigious qualification and develops specific knowledge and skills in your chosen research field as well as working independently, critical reasoning, scientific writing and presentation. An honours degree will prepare you for further postgraduate study, such as a masters and/or PhD. For those interested in academia or a research-based career, honours is the platform to kick start these professions. The skills and knowledge developed throughout an honours degree are highly transferable and are sought by employees and can provide a distinct point of difference in a competitive job market.

Which degrees offer an honours program?

You can choose to undertake honours in the following:

How do I apply to study honours?

Honours degrees have two intake periods per year: semester 1 and mid-year.

  • For semester 1 entry you are encouraged to apply by 30 November.
    Note: Bachelor of Psychological Science (Honours) applicants have an early application deadline of 21 October.
  • For mid-year entry you are encouraged to apply by 1 July.
    Note: Bachelor of Psychological Science (Honours) mid-year entry not available.

Contact Professor Amanda Page, Director of Research Education, to discuss how honours can fit your career goals.

The application process varies depending on which degree you are applying for. Choose your desired degree and follow the steps outlined below.

If you have any questions about the application process, contact the relevant Honours Coordinator. You will receive a confirmation receipt of your expression of interest upon submission. 

Further information

The University offers scholarships to undergraduate students. These scholarships, as well as many others funded by industry and non-profit organisations, are available to potential and currently enrolled students. 

Are you a current medical student? Students enrolled in the MBBS program at the University of Adelaide will need to apply for a leave of absence (request this by emailing med_director@adelaide.edu.au).

Are you currently studying at another university? If you are completing undergraduate studies at another institution, you will need to provide a copy of your academic transcript once your final results are available. 

Closing deadlines and next steps  

Bachelor of Psychological Science (Honours):

  • For semester 1, 2020 entry, applications close on 21 October 2019.

Bachelor of Health and Medical Sciences (Honours), Bachelor of Science in Dentistry (Honours) and Bachelor of Nursing (Honours):

For semester 1 entry, you are strongly encouraged to apply by 30 November (unless a due date is specified). All other applications will continue to be accepted up until mid-January. Please be aware that many scholarship closing dates are earlier than November. 

For mid-year entry, you are strongly encouraged to apply by 1 July, however applications will continue to be accepted up until mid-July.

Once final results for the semester are available (in July or December), Honours Coordinators will finalise their recommendations for honours projects. Successful students will then be emailed with instructions to submit a formal application for admission to the honours degree via a University internal transfer or, for external applicants, via SATAC.

Want an exceptional student experience? Our postgraduate research students receive a world-class education from a university ranked in the top 1% of universities in the world.

Our postgraduate research degrees allow you to specialise and extend your knowledge in a research area of your choice. As part of the South Australian Health and Biomedical Precinct, we offer significant state of the art core technologies capabilities and facilities enabling students to provide innovative solutions to their research questions.  

The benefits of completing a postgraduate research degree include:

  • The opportunity to attend conferences and symposiums to present your research and to network with national and international researchers in your field.
  • The development of strong time management and organisational skills.
  • The development of professional skills in presenting research in an academic context, both within your school and the wider University community, as well as nationally and internationally.
  • A wider range of employment opportunities including higher paid jobs, both in Australia and overseas.

Finding a supervisor

A key component of a successful postgraduate research experience is finding the best supervisor to help you achieve your investigative goals. Depending on your area of interest, there are several avenues for you to explore potential postgraduate research topics and locate a supervisor. For an overview of all research within the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, and to locate a supervisor, explore our areas of research and browse the Research Opportunities Guide.

Before applying online, you need to secure the support of a supervisor and postgraduate coordinator within your proposed school. To secure a supervisor, please forward a copy of your complete portfolio in one PDF to the faculty's research education team. Please refer to the HDR portfolio submission criteria below.

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  • HDR portfolio submission

    To be considered by a postgraduate coordinator for higher degree by research studies, prospective students must submit a portfolio, including all of the below listed items in a single PDF formatted file.

    1. The degree you are applying for (e.g. Doctor of Philosophy/Master of Philosophy/Master of Clinical Science). Refer to Degree Finder for further information.
    2. The names of up to three potential supervisors from the school in which you wish to study. For information on our researchers and their availability to supervise, visit Researcher Profiles.        
    3. A short statement of your research interests and what you would like to research for your degree (maximum 200 words).
    4. Your English Proficiency Certificate. The faculty only accepts IELTS/TOEFL/PTE/CAE with scores as per the Adelaide Graduate Centre's English language requirements.
    5. Your academic resume.
    6. Your Google Scholar ID and/or ORCiD ID.
    7. Your academic transcripts for your undergraduate and postgraduate studies.
    8. Certificates for all of your university degrees and diplomas. Please do not include any other certificates, such as merit awards or for non-degree training.
    9. A summary of the main findings from the research component of any masters and/or honours degree, and from any other research experience.
    10. The full Vancouver or Harvard reference of any peer-reviewed publications with a statement regarding your contribution to each.
    11. The names and contact details of two academic referees who can comment on your research performance to date and on your aptitude for HDR studies. At least one of these referees should preferably be a principal supervisor and able to comment on the research component of your masters and/or honours degree.

    Please note: Incomplete portfolios or documents that are not combined into a single PDF file will not be considered further. PDF converters are available to download from the Adelaide Graduate Centre.

How to apply

The Adelaide Graduate Centre administers both domestic and international postgraduate research applications.

To be eligible for entry into a research degree, you must have honours or proven experience in research, either through a coursework program with a substantial research component or industry experience. For more information, regarding entry requirements, admission and scholarships, visit the Adelaide Graduate Centre.


International study opportunities for PhD students

In 2015, the University of Adelaide and our priority partners, Nagoya University (Japan) and the University of Freiburg (Germany) signed formal agreements to offer Joint PhD programs in the area of medical and biomedical research. In these programs, PhD students are enrolled in both the University of Adelaide and the respective partner university and will be supervised by experts from each university. At PhD completion, students will receive a jointly awarded PhD degree.

Students undertaking the joint PhD program will spend most of their candidature at the University of Adelaide and at least one year under academic supervision within the School of Medicine, Nagoya University or International Spemann Graduate School of Biology and Medicine at the Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg. All instruction is undertaken in English. 

What are the benefits?

  • Obtain world class training and experience in quality research environments at two highly ranked universities
  • Build international networks between researchers in Adelaide and Nagoya or Freiburg
  • Attend Japanese or German language and culture training before departure to Japan or Germany
  • Receive a Joint University PhD Degree at completion

Who is eligible?

Students interested in a biomedical or medical research area who received a first class honours or research master degree. You must be interested in working on your research project at both universities.

Are you interested?

If you would like to learn more about joint PhD opportunities, the application process and how to get in contact with suitable supervisors at both universities, please contact the Office of Research Development and Research Education at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Adelaide. Email: fhsresed@adelaide.edu.au