Higher Degrees by Research (PhD and Master)

Whether you intend to work in academia, government or industry, a higher degree by research can give you a competitive edge throughout your career.

Student sitting at a computer with screens behind her, studying

With our research areas positioned above world standards*, and six disciplines ranked in the top 50 globally**, our internationally renowned academics are at the cutting edge of research and discovery.

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.

Studying a Master of Philosphy (MPhil) or a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) will provide you with the chance to engage with exciting research projects with significant societal impact and potential industry engaged research opportunities.

2018 Excellence in Research Australia ERA
** Academic Ranking of World Universities 2020

Available opportunities

Please see our frequently updated list of available research opportunities including appropriate supervisors. 


Access the benefits

  • Become a field expert, make an impact on society and solve real life problems and global issues
  • Access scholarships that provide a tax free living allowance equivalent to a taxed income of $33,000 - $55,000 (subject to eligibility criteria) 
  • No tuition fee scholarships provided to eligible candidates
  • Participate in 120+ hours of free professional development
  • Develop industry experience and networks 
  • Develop skills in creativity, critical thinking and problem solving 
  • Form lifelong connections through social activities.

HDR Research Opportunities FAQs

As a postgraduate research student in the Faculty of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences (ECMS), you will:

Career pathways

Studying 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 employability 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.

Many of our graduates are now working in consulting, research, data analytics and management positions within organisations such as:

  • government
  • tertiary education
  • research institutes
  • not-for-profit organisations
  • new start-ups
  • corporate sector

Other graduates have even started their own companies in their field of expertise!

Industry engaged research

The University of Adelaide Industry PhD (UAiPhD) is an exceptional and innovative 4 year program, which includes a 6 month industry placement. Gain valuable understanding about how organisations innovate and solve real world problems, making an impact with your research while gaining a significant employment advantage. You will also have the opportunity to undertake professional development activities offered by the University or your organisation.

More information about UAIPHD

Further enquiries

For more information, please contact the Adelaide Graduate Centre.

Information for new and current HDR students

Learn about the higher degree by research induction program and all the resources you'll need during your candidature with ECMS.

New and Current student resources

Current projects and scholarships



Meet the ECMS 3MT Faculty finalists and prize winners

After much deliberation the Faculty Judging Panel have selected our two winners who will proceed to the Virtual University 3MT Final Competition which will be held as part of the Research Tuesdays Series on 14 September. Thank you to all of our talented students who took on the challenge and we wish our ECMS finalists all the very best for the University of Adelaide Challenge.



PhD opportunity: Microgrid Battery Deployment

This scholarship is jointly funded by Future Battery Industries Cooperative Research Centre (FBI CRC) and University of Adelaide to support a full-time PhD student who is undertaking research in Power Systems Engineering and application of large-scale energy storage for microgrid operation.



Travelling scholarship available for PhD Architecture students

The Clive E Boyce Scholarship was established to fund one postgraduate scholarship in the undertaking of research activities or study-related travel by a current or commencing higher degree by research student in the School of Architecture and Built Environment. Applications close 12 April.



ECMS Travelling Scholarship for MPhil or PhD students

In 2021, the HDR Travelling Scholarship is available to all 2nd year MPhil or 2nd/3rd year PhD students to cover registration fees for participating in peer-reviewed virtual conferences or conferences held in Adelaide. Applications close 12 April.



PhD opportunity for Chemical Engineers: Develop catalyst materials for future fuels by operando computation

This project aims to design catalyst materials for the production of future fuels (green ammonia, hydrocarbon and alcohol). Facilitated by advanced computation techniques and reliable catalyst materials design procedure, this project will address the biggest challenge in future fuel generation, which is the lack of efficient catalyst materials.



PhD opportunity: Create a platform to test smart grid operation mechanisms

This project aims to develop, test, and verify the impacts of local markets on the operation, profit and business model of the aggregator. To that end, the game theory will be used to form the interaction between prosumers, local market platform and the aggregator operation considering the potential of islanded operation as a business case for the aggregator. Applications open until filled.