Research Degrees

Work with our world-renowned experts to find answers in science. Make an impact in your chosen field of research with your fresh ideas and insights.

We invite you to choose a PhD, masters or honours degree in science.

We offer a unique opportunity for you to gain practical and theoretical knowledge through dynamic national and international research projects. Link with experts in industry and government via co-located industry partners, affiliated researchers and research institutes of international significance.

Complete a research degree with us and graduate with advanced skills and experience to tackle a range of rewarding careers.

We provide a stimulating environment for research students. Be part of a thriving research culture which promotes excellence, fosters creativity and catalyses success.

Graduate stories

Bonnie Henderson - Earth sciences

"My time at the University of Adelaide has been extraordinary, challenging and life-changing. I love the social interaction and field-work component of studying earth sciences. During my undergraduate and PhD studies I have travelled around Australia and the world. I am now a part of a global community of geoscientists." - Bonnie Henderson - PhD in earth sciences

Andre Scaffidi - Physics

"After completing by Bachelor of Science (Advanced) majoring in theoretical and experimental physics, I went straight into a Master of Philosophy in the field of dark matter phenomenology. I appreciated the social network I have been able to build, not only in my field but with people from a wide variety of backgrounds." - Andre Scaffidi - Master of Philosophy in particle physics

Study options

  • Higher degrees by research (HDR)

    Join our Master of Philosophy or Doctor of Philosophy research programs and experience specialised and research-intensive study.

    Study and career areas

    Agriculture food and wine
    Agriculture, food and wine
    • Farming systems
    • Food and nutrition
    • Horticulture
    • Plant breeding and genetics
    • Plant physiology
    • Plant protection
    • Viticulture
    • Wine science

    Agriculture, food and wine

    Animal and veterinary science
    Animal and veterinary sciences
    • Animal anatomy and physiology
    • Animal reproduction and genetics
    • Equine health
    • Pathobiology, infectious diseases and public health
    • Production animal health
    • Professional skills in animal and veterinary practice

    Animal and veterinary sciences

    Biology, biomedical science and biotechnology
    Biology, biomedical science and biotechnology
    • Animal protection
    • Ecology and environment
    • Evolutionary biology
    • Genetics and evolution
    • Genomics and bioinformatics
    • Infectious diseases
    • Molecular mechanisms of disease
    • Synthetic biology and biotechnology

    Biology, biomed and biotechnology

    Chemistry, physics and earth science
    Chemistry, physics and earth sciences
    • Energy, materials and environmental chemistry
    • Environmental geochemistry
    • Environmental luminescence
    • High energy astrophysics
    • High energy particle physics
    • Medical physics
    • Medicinal and biological chemistry
    • Mineral and energy systems
    • Optics and photonics
    • Palaeoclimatology, palaeontology and palaeoenvironments
    • Space and atmospheric physics
    • Tectonics and solid earth processes
    • Theoretical physics
    • Underpinning capabilities of chemistry

    Chemistry, physics and earth sciences

    Maximise your chance of success

    Research degrees in laboratories and groups at the University are highly competitive.

    In most instances, you will need to have established research experience in the specific research areas that interest you. Demonstrated competence in the experimental methodologies used in these areas may also be essential.

    In order to pursue a PhD or MPhil degree, you will need to identify a potential supervisor who will agree to supervise your degree.

    Carefully peruse the research interests of our schools and research centres. Your highest chance of success will likely come from identifying areas that are a good ‘fit’ to your own research interests and your previous research experience.

    If you find a lab or group that matches these criteria, contact them directly by email to introduce yourself. At this point, you should provide evidence of your academic achievements and, most importantly, details and evidence of your previous research training, such as scientific publications.

    For advice and application help, contact the Adelaide Graduate Centre.

    How to apply

  • Other pathways to a PhD

    Alternatives pathways

    In addition to pursuing a PhD or MPhil, we offer two-year masters by coursework with major research components. The following degree may provide a pathway into PhD study:

    Study biomed / biotech

  • Honours research

    Honours in science

    Delve deeper into your area of interest and gain a competitive edge in the employment market by undertaking an honours year in a science field.

    Explore honours in science

  • Undergraduate research

    Undergraduate research with the Bachelor of Science (Advanced)

    The Bachelor of Science (Advanced) gives you experience in the academic and research culture of the scientific areas you are most interested in. Our program offers lab attachments and a semester-long research placement, to give you a real breadth of experience.

    You'll take part in structured research activities and seminars normally only available to honours and postgraduate students.

    Linking to academic staff in major research areas will give you early access to research laboratories and projects that can be further developed for honours, masters or PhD studies.

    Available majors BSc (Advanced)