Doctor of Health Sciences

School of Health Sciences, Fremantle Campus

The University of Notre Dame Australia is dedicated to building a strong and innovative research culture. The Doctor of Health Science is a specialised degree that combines coursework and research with strong workplace connections. You will be required to complete four research training and writing courses in your first semester, before commencing the research program under the supervision of leading health academics. Your research may be undertaken in collaboration with industry or with a professional mentor connected to your field of study.

  • About this program

    The Professional Doctorate is a research degree designed to meet the needs of professionals who aspire to achieve academic excellence and lead the development of knowledge within their profession. The program seeks to examine crucial professional topics and integrate professional experience with scholarly inquiry. In particular, it aims to generate a research-based approach, providing answers to questions relevant to the professions or industry and encouraging a systematic way of collecting, analysing and interpreting data. For this reason, we recommend you seek the support of a relevant professional body, employer or industry group in defining your research area.

  • Program outline

    • RSCH7000 Quantitative Research Methods
    • RSCH7001 Qualitative Research Methods
    • RSCH7002 Scholarly Reading and Writing
    • RSCH7003 Developing a Research Proposal
    • RSCH7007 Supervised Research – Biological Studies OR
      RSCH7011 Supervised Research – Biomedical Science OR
      RSCH7035 Supervised Research – Human Movement

    The Professional Doctorate comprises coursework and a substantial research component leading to the submission of a thesis. The coursework component includes four compulsory research training courses to be completed as a prerequisite to your individual research project. The coursework will provide opportunities for you to formulate substantial elements of your planned research (e.g. topic refinement, identification and justification of the preferred research method(s), preparation of a draft proposal), and to develop personal competencies in critical analysis and scholarly writing relevant to your profession.

    The completion of the coursework is facilitated by a course delivery schedule which takes into consideration that you may also be in employment during your candidature.

    Full details of the program are contained in the Program Regulations & Planner.

  • Supervision

    As a doctoral candidate, you are required to have a minimum of two supervisors who will provide support and academic guidance throughout your degree. Your academic supervisors will be complemented by a professional mentor, who has expertise in the industry or profession relevant to your research area.

    Your supervisors and professional mentors will assist you with the preparation of your research proposal, continuing to mentor and direct you throughout the research phase and through the process of examination.

  • Mode of study and assessment

    You may undertake the program either in a full-time or part-time capacity. The standard time for completion (not including periods of approved leave of absence) will normally be three years for a full-time student and six years for a part-time student.

    The assessment of the coursework component consists of written assignments while the research component is assessed by examination of the thesis by three external reviewers.

  • Entry requirements

    The following criteria apply to students seeking admission to the Professional Doctorate program:

    • The Pro Vice Chancellor-Research, on the advice of the Dean of the School, determines admission to the Doctor of Health Sciences Award.
    • Applicants to the Doctor of Health Sciences Award are expected to satisfy the following criteria:
      • Possession of a research Masters degree by thesis or dissertation appropriate to the professional field of the applicant; or
      • Possession of a Masters degree by coursework appropriate to the professional field of the applicant completed at a superior standard; or
      • Possession of a Bachelor’s degree with Honours (typically 1st Class or Class 2A Honours level or equivalent); or
      • Possession of a Master of Philosophy; or
      • In exceptional circumstances, an equivalent academic or professional background that is considered by the Dean of the School to be an appropriate preparation for independent study and research work at Doctoral level.
    • In addition to the academic criteria listed above, applicants are normally expected to satisfy the following:
      • have a minimum of 3 years of relevant professional practice;
      • have the support of an industry or professional mentor.

    You may be required to demonstrate an ability to understand and communicate in both written and spoken English at a level adequate for the purpose of pursuing the program of study.

  • Fees and costs

    This Program has the following loan scheme(s) available for eligible students:

    The Research Training Program (RTP) provides block grants to support students who are undertaking a Higher Degree by Research such as a Research Doctorate or Research Masters degree. You will receive support for a maximum of two years for a Research Masters and a maximum of four years for a Research Doctorate degree. Your offer will specify for which purpose(s) your grant may be used. This may include offset of your tuition fees, as a stipend for general living costs or as an allowance related to the ancillary cost of research degrees.

    For further information, or for indicative fees for domestic or international students, please visit our Fees Page.

  • Scholarships

    Domestic Students

    In accordance with the Commonwealth Scholarships Guidelines (Research) 2017, domestic research students are eligible to have all Higher Degree by Research (HDR) course fees paid for by the Commonwealth Government through a Research Training Program (RTP) Fees Offset Scholarship for the length of their degree.

    Domestic students are also encouraged to apply for stipend scholarships. These scholarships are very competitive and are awarded to students of exceptional research potential. The scholarships are for the purpose of assisting with general living costs for the duration of the research degree.

    International Students

    The University is keen to support high calibre international students who are eligible to apply for Commonwealth Government Research Training Program (RTP) Scholarships (Fees Offset and/or Stipend), and the University International Fee Remission Research Scholarship (IFRRS). For more information, please refer to the International Prospectus or visit our Scholarships section. Unless in receipt of a scholarship, all international research students are required to pay full fees for the length of their research degree.

  • More information

    Before submitting an application, please contact our Research Office to check admissions deadlines and arrange a discussion with a suitably qualified member of staff via email on

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