A Higher Degree by Research involves a level of commitment in-depth study which provides students with an opportunity to think independently, critically and develop a strong research network. Students produce knowledge and expertise that is relevant, innovative and progressive.

Academic staff in the School provide advisory support to PhD and Masters students to enrich the student’s experience as a beginning scholar and to ensure the success of each Higher Degree by Research project undertaken in the School.

In the School of Languages and Cultures, Higher Degree by Research can be taken in the following programs:

Research areas and environment

There are over 50 PhD and MPhil candidates currently engaged in higher degree research projects in our School. Thesis projects conducted within the School focus on international languages and cultures, and in particular literary studies, applied linguistics and language studies, and cultural studies in addition to a broad range of disciplines including culture gender and society, screen and media culture, and translation and interpreting studies.

Explore our research areas to find a potential supervisor

Our research

Learn more about our current candidates.

View candidates

How to Apply

Preliminary enquiries regarding PhD or MPhil study with the School can be directed to the School's Postgraduate Coordinator or the Higher Research Degree Officer by emailing hdr@languages-cultures.uq.edu.au.

If you wish to apply to undertake a PhD or MPhil degree with the School, you should consult the information on the Graduate School website and complete the online application form.

Applications will be assessed by the School and include the following criteria:

  • The quality of the proposed project and the applicant's proven strength in the area;
  • The academic excellence of the applicant;
  • The project's strategic fit within the research areas of the School;
  • The availability of staff with the appropriate expertise to enable the School to provide a supervisory team;
  • The availability of resources required to support the proposed project;
  • The applicant's English language proficiency - the School's admission requirements must be met;
  • Scholarship eligibility and competitiveness for the University of Queensland based scholarships if this is to be funding source for candidature.  Note: the School of Languages and Cultures does not offer co-funded scholarships at this time. 

 A research proposal or copy of recent academic writing or publications may be requested to assist with this assessment.

PLEASE NOTE: All applicants, whether international or domestic, whose first language is not English must pass the IELTS or TOEFL test to the required standard at the University of Queensland before an unconditional offer of a place at the School of Languages and Cultures will be made. No alternative proof of English language competency will be accepted.

Postdoctoral Research

Expressions of interest in Post-doctoral fellowships with the School should be directed, by email, to the School’s Director of Research.


The UQ Graduate School facilitates placements within industry to allow you to experience current practice and develop networks while demonstrating and strengthening your Transferable Skills, Professional Skills & Research Skills.

Work placement opportunities for HDR candidates: 30-90 days of unpaid work, which may be able to be taken in a block, or more flexibly (Full-time or part-time).
For scholarship holders, there is no problem with continuing to draw your scholarship.

More information

Our student profiles and projects

View a list of projects currently being conducted by our HDR students.

View details


Information for current HDR students

We have a range of resources available to current School of Languages and Cultures HDR students including canditure and milestone information. Explore our current student resources.