Doctor of Philosophy

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program is awarded on the basis of a thesis reporting an original piece of research. No formal coursework is normally involved, but candidates may have the opportunity to participate in seminars and special courses offered in psychology and other programs. The full-time course duration is three to four years.

Our PhD program offers supervision from experts in the following areas:

  • Social psychology
  • Clinical psychology
  • Health psychology
  • Applied social and organisational psychology
  • Cognitive psychology
  • Neuropsychology and neuroimaging
  • Perception
  • Developmental psychology
  • Decision science
  • Behavioural neuroscience.

Students considering entry into an PhD program should review the School's areas of research for more information on projects and people.

Admission Requirements

  • Australian Bachelor Degree with at least Second Class Honours – Upper (First class honours or equivalence is often required) or its international equivalent or, a post graduate degree with a significant research thesis component; and
  • A supervisor must be available at ANU and willing to supervise your research; and
  • All applicants must meet the University’s English Language Admission requirements for students

International and Domestics applications are open now. Please see below application information for how to apply.

*Please note the ANU Scholarship consideration closing dates:

  • 31 August each year            International applicants
  • 31 October each year          Domestic applicants

Application information

A complete application contains the following information: 

  Item Details
1 Application form (completed online) via the ‘APPLY’ button on the ANU website
2 Transcripts and Testamurs Scanned official academic transcripts and testamurs in colour
3 Curriculum Vitae Please ensure this is up to date
4 English Language Proficiency Evidence All applicants whether domestic or international, must provide evidence that their English language ability meets the minimum requirements for admission. The English Language Requirements for Students policy outlines approved methods for meeting the English requirements.
5 3 Referee forms

Please contact your referees well in advance to ensure that your application is complete by 31 October 2018.

When you apply online at ANU and provide the contact information for your referees, they will be sent a request to complete an online reference for you. This system is automated so that it will send reminder emails automatically to your referees until they complete the referee form. Alternatively you can opt to access the National referee system offered by Psychology Reference. The Reference Request System allows applicants for Australian post-graduate programs in Psychology to apply for a reference from academic and /or professional referees and for these references to be shared with the nominated institutions. For further information regarding this system please visit *Please note that if you provide your referee contact information on the ANU online application form that your referees will be automatically contacted. If you wish to use the national referee system then please do not include your referee contact information on the ANU online application form.

6 Research Proposal and Supervisor Confirmation (1 Page) PhD applicants are to submit details of proposed research study and secure a potential supervisor before submitting their applications.
7 H1/H2A equivalency If seeking equivalency of H1/H2A please provide evidence to support this (ie thesis which is approximately 6 months of work, around 10,000 words and of minimum H2A standard etc)

Please ensure that you have provided all the required documentation in your application. Incomplete applications will not be accepted.


ANU offers a wide range of scholarships to current and future students to assist with the cost of their studies. The University is committed to enabling all students, regardless of their background, to achieve their best at ANU and realise their potential. 

Eligibility for ANU scholarships varies depending on the specifics of the scholarship and can be categorised by the type of student you are.  Specific scholarship application process information is included in the relevant scholarship listing.

For further information see the Scholarships website.

ANU scholarship round due dates are:

  • 31 August each year              International applicants
  • 31 October each year            Domestic applicants

Environment & resources

Following are some of the benefits that the ANU Research School of Psychology can offer PhD students.

Resources & office space

Psychology research students normally share an office with an average of four other students during their first two years. In later years research students will normally share an office with one other student. All students have desktop computers and receive a high level of technical and administrative support. Students receive financial support for research needs and peak-conference attendance based on the submission of an annual budget.

Supervisory panels

Students work closely with their principal supervisor to identify supervisory panels within three months of enrolment. For information about the areas that have available supervision, please visit this link:

Excellent statistical & methodological support

ANU psychologists that carry out the advanced (ie fourth year) research methods training have published extensively on research methods and statistics.

Active research environment

Psychologists at ANU are actively involved in publishing research. They are at the forefront of international developments in their fields. ANU students have multiple opportunities to obtain publications.

Equipment & research space

The Research School of Psychology has large, dedicated psychology research laboratories, equipped for running most forms of research including computer-mediated communication. The School employs a full-time postdoctoral research officer whose duties include managing the laboratory.

Teaching opportunities

Casual employment as tutors is available during semester. Interested students have the opportunity to complete training in teaching through the Graduate Teaching Program.

Other local facilities

Unlike other Australian universities, ANU is primarily a research institution. The Research School of Psychology is part of the ANU College of Medicine, Biology & Environment. It hosts a variety of research schools and centres. Library facilities are excellent and the National Library is just across the lake.

Visitors & overseas contacts

Along with regular visitors by established scholars, the Research School of Psychology has hosted visiting students from the University of Munster, The University of Amsterdam, The Free University of Amsterdam, and the Catholic University of Louvain. A number of students from ANU have attended the summer school of the European Association for Experimental Social Psychology in recent years. These interchanges allow students to develop long-term contacts with overseas scholars.

Updated:  27 May 2018/Responsible Officer:  Director, RSP/Page Contact:  Web Admin, RSP