Doctor of Philosophy

School of Philosophy & Theology, Fremantle Campus

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) from The University of Notre Dame Australia is a thesis-based research degree. The degree is individually designed and built around the methodological requirements of the research and the nature of the topic to be investigated, taking into consideration the background of the candidate. PhD students can choose to specialise in either Philosophy or Theology. Candidates may be asked to undertake further coursework to extend their knowledge and skills as a basis for the research component.

  • Why study this degree?

    Candidates in the degrees of Doctor of Philosophy (Philosophy) and Doctor of Philosophy (Theology) become formed, through their research projects, in the methods of their chosen discipline. Within the context of contemporary society and scholarship, students develop robust knowledge about areas of research that are key to inquiry within a Catholic university. Key areas of research are oriented by the conviction that “Without in any way neglecting the acquisition of useful knowledge, a Catholic university is distinguished by its free search for the whole truth about nature, man and God”. (Ex Corde Ecclesiae, 4)

    All research students are assigned supervisors who are part-guide and part-adviser in the journey towards the completion of the degree. Before submitting an application please contact the University’s Research Office to arrange a discussion with a suitably qualified member of the academic staff.  The maximum time for completion of the Doctor of Philosophy (not including periods of approved leave of absence) will normally be three calendar years for a full time student and six years for a part time student. The minimum time for completion will normally be two years.

  • Program summary

    The Doctor of Philosophy is a thesis-based research degree, normally comprised exclusively of supervised research, but which can include research training coursework if appropriate.

    Full details of the program requirements are contained in the Program Regulations.

  • Entry requirements

    The following criteria are required for a student to be admitted to the PhD program:

    • Completion of a research Master's degree (by research or coursework and thesis), appropriate to the professional field of the applicant (or equivalent) at a high level of achievement; or
    • A Bachelor’s degree with Honours (Class 1 or Class 2A Honours level or equivalent); or
    • In exceptional circumstance, an equivalent academic or professional background that is considered by the Dean of the School and the PVC-R to be an appropriate preparation for independent study and research at a doctoral level.

    An applicant 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 or as deemed appropriate by the Dean of the School.

  • Fees

    More information can be found at the Fees page.

  • More information

    For more information on the Doctor of Philosophy, please call our Prospective Students Office on +61 8 9433 0533 or email

    All international enquiries should contact the International Students Office on

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