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Postgraduate research students in Philosophy have an opportunity to develop original philosophical ideas, working alongside leading scholars with extensive professional experience.

The Philosophy Department offers both an MPhil and a PhD by research. Students are supported by a primary and secondary supervisor, and have access to other members of our active and friendly department. There is also a sizeable and welcoming cohort of other postgraduate students.

Postgraduate students in our program also undertake professional development activities through the University’s CaRST program to develop diverse skills for the academic and non-academic workplace. During their candidature, students contribute to our annual postgraduate colloquium and participate in our departmental seminar series.

For further information please contact the postgraduate coordinator for philosophy, or see our handbook:

You can see what some of our former students are doing now at our postgraduate destinations page. To learn more about studying in the department select "Invitation to Postgraduate Philosophy" (below).

  • Our Postgraduate Offerings

    The standard pathway into postgraduate research is through the MPhil. This is a two-year research only degree, assessed by the production of a thesis (of 30–40,000 words) demonstrating thorough understanding of a research question and the capacity to critically evaluate answers to that question. It is the ideal capstone to an undergraduate career, allowing students to conduct in-depth and sustained investigation of a philosophical issue that is not generally possible during an undergraduate coursework degree.

    The MPhil is also a robust base for further original research in a PhD. Most students are not prepared to go straight into a doctorate at the completion of their undergraduate degree, and the MPhil provides an opportunity to hone research skills, develop an appropriate topic, and get a better idea of the realities of postgraduate research.


    The PhD is our flagship postgraduate research degree. This is a three–four year research only degree, assessed by a a thesis of up to 80,000 words. It must demonstrate the same qualities of understanding and capcity for critical evaluation as a MPhil thesis, but must also be a significant and original contribution to knowledge.

  • Information for Prospective Students

    Students who wish to enter the MPhil need to have completed a Bachelor degree (with or without Honours) at a distinction average or higher. Prospective MPhil students will typically have a strong undergraduate background in philosophy, such as a major in philosophy or HPS. The department also welcomes students with other disciplinary backgrounds who wish to work on foundational questions in those disciplines. Students who don’t meet these conditions, but whose average in philosophy subjects is distinction or higher, are encouraged to apply.

    Our preference is that students who wish to enter the PhD program should have completed an MPhil or equivalent research degree. It is also possible to enter the PhD from an honours degree.

    To be competitive for a domestic or international scholarship, students typically need a High Distinction/1st class undergraduate degree or equivalent levels of performance in a postgraduate degree.

    Forms and information concerning the University’s admissions requirements can be found at the Adelaide Graduate Centre.

    The Admissions Process

    The admissions process in philosophy is a little different than other fields at the University. You do not need to have the agreement of a supervisor before submitting an application. The discipline will consider any complete application submitted by the due date, and will determine whether there is an available supervisor at that point.

    Whether applying for the MPhil or PhD, all prospective students need to complete a research proposal outlining their intended research question and background. This enables the department to establish whether appropriate supervision can be found. The university supplies a template for the research proposal.

    To avoid wasted effort, prospective students are advised to consult the discipline website to identify areas of research strength and possible supervisors. You may also consult our page of current postgraduate students, which lists their thesis topics. If your area of research interest does not match the research interests and expertise of academic staff within the discipline, it is extremely unlikely you will be offered admission. You should mention any potential supervisor you have identified in your research proposal and in the application form.

  • Invitation to Postgraduate Philosophy

    The University of Adelaide’s Faculty of Arts invites applications for MPhil and PhD scholarships in Philosophy.

    Research Strengths and Topics

    Postgraduate research students in Philosophy have an opportunity to develop original philosophical ideas, working alongside leading scholars with extensive professional experience. The Department of Philosophy at the University of Adelaide has significant research strengths in the following areas of philosophy:

    • Philosophy of Mind and Cognitive Science
    • Philosophy of Science
    • Ethics, Moral and Political Philosophy
    • Metaphysics
    • Epistemology
    • Aesthetics
    • Ancient Philosophy

    We welcome applications from candidates with interests in any of these areas. We run regular research seminars, with local, national and international speakers, and host conferences and workshops across diverse areas of philosophy. For information about research in our department, please see

    Our Department and our Environment

    The Philosophy Department at the University of Adelaide dates back to the foundation of the university in 1874, and has a distinguished history of teaching and research. Successful applicants to our postgraduate program will be joining an active and friendly department. There is also a sizeable and welcoming cohort of other postgraduate students. A list of our staff and current postgraduates (including indicative titles of their research projects) can be found here:

    The University of Adelaide is centrally located in Adelaide, a compact and welcoming city of 1.4 million people. High quality local food and wine, a mild climate all year round, parks and beaches close at hand, and a reputation for having a relaxed lifestyle means that Adelaide permits students some balance for their research, without the high cost of living or congestion of larger cities.

    Application Details

    We are currently calling for applications from domestic prospective students to our PhD or MPHil programs. Scholarships are available for high quality applicants to either of our higher degree programs.

    The closing date for applications for 2019 is 31 October 2018.

    Applications should be submitted at Applicants should submit evidence of their previous academic record and a proposal (max. 5 pages) describing the proposed research topic and approach. Candidates may approach a prospective supervisor to discuss their research proposal.

    All admitted students will have their program fees covered by a Australian government Research Training Program (RTP) Fees Offset scholarship, and will be nominated for competitive RTP Stipend scholarships or equivalent University awards (for 2019, these stipends are worth 27,596 annually, tax free). It is quite possible to live comfortably and close to campus in Adelaide on this amount.

    Eligible candidates will have a record of excellent academic achievement. Applicants for the MPHill will possess a relevant prior degree: either an Honours degree (at upper second class level or higher) or a Bachelor degree with a distinction average. Applicants for the PhD will normally have completed a relevant research masters. Candidates with a first-class Honours degree who are interested in the PhD will typically be admitted to the MPhil with possibility of upgrade to the PhD after a year of candidancy.

    Further Information

    An overview of our postgraduate programs is available at For further information, please contact Dr Antony Eagle

Department of Philosophy

Level 7, Napier Building


T: +61 8 8313 4249
School of Humanities