Before you Apply

Degrees by research are offered each year by the School of Art, Architecture and Design (AAD) to a limited number of suitably qualified applicants on a case-by-case basis.

Applications for research degrees follow the Research degrees application process, but applicants for degrees in the School of Art, Architecture and Design also need to follow a parallel School-based process when preparing an application, and this may include submitting a portfolio of work.

Are you eligible to do a Research Degree?

Visit the Research degrees website for everything you need to know about becoming a higher degree by research student at the University of South Australia. Here you will find the seven-step guide on how to apply which will step you through the process of preparing your application. View information about key dates, eligibility and entry requirements, scholarships and fees, supervision requirements, referees, documentation required for both domestic and international applicants, and more.

Applicants for research degrees in AAD are expected to hold a good honours degree or equivalent in a visual art or design-related discipline.

Do you have a suitable research project?

Suitable candidates will be looking to enhance and improve their creative and conceptual skills through investigation of a specific research topic. The intended focus or area of your research project should be something you know enough about to determine whether it is really a viable, 'researchable' topic. See Defining your research topic (DOCX file 35kb).

Successful applications usually outline a well-defined research problem or area of focus linked to a body of literature that discusses some of the issues relevant to the proposed topic. If you are uncertain of your proposed topic, try to define what you want to do or find out.

Find a research degree supervisor

A research degree supervisor in the School of Art, Architecture and Design or elsewhere in the University of South Australia with an interest in your area must be available and willing to supervise the proposed project over the two – four years required to complete it.

See the Find a supervisor page for more information or search the Directory of Research Expertise for a University-wide search of principal supervisors. 

Arrange a consultation to discuss your research topic

It is advised that prospective applicants attend a consultation to discuss their proposed research project with the Associate Head of School: Research prior to 23 September each year. Telephone consultations can be arranged for interstate and international applicants. Contact the AAD Research Support Team to arrange a consultation.

Submit a portfolio 

Visual Arts by Major Studio Project applicants only are required to submit a portfolio. Go to How to apply for more information.

Check important dates

Applications for a place may be made at any time during the year; however, applications for Uni-wide scholarships close on 31 October so the School only accepts occasional applications for places outside this date.

Prospective AAD applicants need to ensure they have attended a consultation prior to 23 September each year to arrange an interview to discuss the proposed research project. Telephone consultation can be arranged for interstate and international applicants.

Portfolio submission dates: while applications are formally required to be submitted via Apply Online prior to the closing dates each year, the School may require a portfolio to make a preliminary assessment. 

Australian Applicants
Apply Online closing date for Uni-wide scholarships: 31 October
Portfolio required by: 24 September

International Applicants
Apply Online closing date for Uni-wide scholarships: 31 August
Portfolio required by: 15 June