Information for international research applicants

Academic entry requirements for PhD

There are a number of ways to meet the eligibility requirements for entry into a PhD program at Federation University Australia:

  • Successful completion of an undergraduate degree and subsequent additional honours degree which is graded at first class or second class (upper division) and which includes a thesis or dissertation demonstrating the ability to undertake research at a PhD level; OR
  • Successful completion of a Masters by Research degree that included a dissertation, demonstrating the ability to undertake research at PhD level; OR
  • Current Federation University Australia Masters by Research candidate with sufficient research capability to demonstrate PhD capacity, assessed via a formal Confirmation of Candidature process; OR
  • Honours equivalence, for applicants who have completed a Master by coursework or have appropriate professional experience.

Note: An overseas bachelor degree with honours will generally not be equivalent to an Australian honours degree, which is an additional year of study, 75% of which is devoted to research. To be able to apply for honours equivalence, overseas applicants will need to have completed a Master by Research or a Master by Coursework which included a research dissertation.

Academic entry requirements for masters by research

  • Successful completion of an undergraduate degree and subsequent additional honours degree which is graded as at least second class and which includes a dissertation demonstrating the ability to undertake research at a masters level; OR
  • Honours equivalence, such as a combination of professional, qualifications and research experience, including masters by coursework

English proficiency entry requirements

Applicants from non-English speaking countries must demonstrate English language proficiency (ELP) by achieving at least the minimum score in one of the following formal test of English language proficiency within the last two years:

  • IELTS (International Language Testing System) minimum score of 6.5 with no band less than 6.0;
  • TOEFL (American test of English as a Foreign Language) minimum score of 580 plus a TWE (Test of Written English) a score of 5.0;
  • TOEFL computer-based minimum score of 237 plus a minimum score of 22 in writing;
  • TOEFL internet-based minimum score of 92-93 plus a minimum score of 22 in writing;

English language proficiency exemption request

IETLS or TOEFL tests are the preferred measure for English Language Proficiency (ELP) and applicants who can demonstrate ELP exemption are still expected to provide IELTS or TOEFL where possible. A request for exemption from the ELP requirements will only be considered under the following circumstances:

  • students who have completed at least five years’ study in one or more of the following countries: Australia, UK, USA, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, or the Republic of Ireland.
  • citizens and passport holders of one of the following English‑speaking countries: UK, USA, Canada, NZ or Republic of Ireland.

To apply for an exemption from the ELP requirements, the applicant will need to apply for an exemption in writing and provide evidence of their previous study or citizenship in the English-speaking countries listed above.

Source: Department of Home Affairs -Student visa

Note: Federation College offers a limited number of English and Academic Preparation (EAP) Advanced programs designed to help applicants meet the minimum English proficiency entry requirement of IELTS 6.5, with no band less than 6.0.& Tuition fees will be payable and you must have specified IELTS scores to be eligible for the program. Please see further information

Pre-visa screening - simplified student visa framework

The following information is provided to international students to understand the pre-student visa screening assessment conducted by International Admissions, Federation University Australia.

Under the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP)'s Simplified Student Visa Framework (SSVF), education providers are required to ensure that all prospective international students are genuine students who can meet genuine temporary entrant requirements and have the financial capacity to support their study in Australia.

The University requires each international applicant to submit a detailed personal statement of study purpose with their application. This document should include:

  • The reasons for choosing to undertake the course of study specified in your application
  • The reasons for choosing your education provider
  • The reason for choosing to study in Australia rather than in your home country
  • The relevance of the course of study to your academic and/or employment background
  • The relevance of the course to your future career/education plans

Questions regarding SSVF or personal statements should be directed to

Supervision of your proposed research topic

There is no need for applicants to find suitable supervision prior to submission of their application for admission.  This is done after the application has been assessed as eligible for admission. However, applicants must provide a research proposal of 250 words or more in order for FedUni to identify a suitable supervision for the proposed research topic.

Financial capacity information and requirements

The University, in line with the Australian Research Student Visa requirements, has a duty of care to ensure that full fee-paying higher degree by research students have adequate funding available to support their study in Australia. During the pre-visa screening process, applicants will be asked for documentary evidence of their financial capacity to support their tuition fees, living expenses and overseas student health cover e.g. bank statement/s or sponsorship letter.

Note: Applicants awarded a Stipend Living Allowance Scholarship from an external source may apply for a Federation University Tuition Fee Scholarship via the HDR Application form.

Tuition fees – International Student Tuition Fees for PhD and Master by Research programs range from $27,596 AUD to $31,900 AUD per annum (2019 rate), depending upon the program. Note: You will be required to pay for the first semester’s tuition fees plus your Overseas Student Health Cover before a Confirmation of Enrolment (COE) will be issued.

Living expenses – The DIBP requires International students to show evidence of their financial capacity to support their living expenses. The following amounts are considered adequate:

  • From 1 February 2018, the 12 month living cost is:
    student/guardian – AUD20,290
  • partner/spouse – AUD7,100
  • child – AUD3,040.

Source: Department of Home Affairs

Overseas student health cover – All student visa holders must have Overseas Student Health Cover (OHSC) which provides medical and hospital insurance in Australia. You must not arrive in Australia before your health insurance starts.

International students are required to have OHSC for two months before they commence their Higher Degree by Research (HDR) candidature and for nine months after their proposed HDR candidature end date. This is to allow students time to arrive in Australia and settle into their accommodation etc before their candidature commences and afterwards for a possible six months’ extension and examination of your thesis (three months).

  • For PhD candidature 47 months’ OHSC will be required - $2,766 AUD (Single), $9,467 AUD (Couple) or $14,037 AUD (Family). This is based on the BUPA 2018 rates.
  • For Master by Research candidature 29 months’ OHSC will be required - $1,509 AUD (Single), $4,766 (Couple) or $7,373 AUD (Family). This is based on the BUPA 2018 rates.

Confidential referee reports

Two confidential referee reports must be submitted in support of all PhD or Master by Research applications. The referee reports must be from referees who have direct knowledge of the applicant’s ability to conduct research. At least one of these reports should be from the applicant’s previous research thesis supervisor. The confidential referee report template is available from the ‘How to Apply’ web page.

Supporting documentation

Applicants are required to provide supporting documentation for their application. A full list of the supporting documentation is located on the ‘How to Apply’ web page and there is also a check list on page 4 of the application form.

It is preferable that the application form be typed rather than hand written. However, handwriting can be used if it is clear and legible.

How to apply

For the full eligibility requirements, how to apply (including application form and confidential referee report template) and frequently asked questions, please visit: Submit your application

For any questions during the application process, please contact Research Services via email: or telephone +61 3 5327 9508.