PhD programs

PhD programs


Further information

Program Coordinator

What doctoral studies can I undertake at Crawford?

Crawford School has a vibrant community of PhD scholars from Australia, across the Asia Pacific region, and around the world. PhD scholars work on a diverse range of topics and across different disciplines, with a shared interest in understanding and addressing global policy challenges. PhD scholars play an essential role in the intellectual life of the School.

Within Crawford School students typically choose to work within one of the following research programs: economics; environmental studies and resource management; public policy or political science; and international relations.

Please note at present, Crawford School and NSC are not accepting applications for the Master of Philosophy (MPhil) program.

PhD Admission application due dates for 2020:

In line with global practices of top public policy schools, Crawford applications are assessed by the Crawford HDR Admissions Committee at meetings during the year. If applications are not received complete in time for one of the below dates, the application will then be assessed at the next HDR Admissions committee meeting.

Applications must be complete with all required documentation and including all referee reports, on or before the below dates in order to be assessed for admission.

The due dates in 2020, for commencement in semester 2 2020, are:

  • 11 March

  • 13 May

The due dates in 2020, for commencement in semester 1 2021, are:

  • 15 July

  • 09 September

  • 11 November

More dates will be added for semester 2, 2021 admission.

Please note that successful applicants must commence at the beginning of semester 1 (before 31 January) or Semester 2 (before 14 July) due to compulsory coursework requirements. Commencement after these dates will not be permitted.

Please note that it is a Crawford School requirement that you have confirmation from two proposed supervisors from the same research field and preferably from the same program, confirming that they will supervise you for the duration of your candidature.

Admission to PhD Programs

Recommendations for course admission and PhD scholarships will be based on evaluation across multiple criteria, including the following:

• Ability (e.g. past and potential academic performance)

• Quality (e.g. proposal)

• Capacity (e.g. fit with supervisors, program and school)

More information about the admissions criteria into each programs are available through the links below.


Students studying a PhD program in Economics undertake part-time of full-time study that is comprised of Coursework (Part A) and Research (Part B). All PhD candidates must complete both parts of the doctoral program. Part A normally consists of two consecutive semesters of coursework; part B consists of research, participation in seminars and workshops, and submission of a thesis. Students wishing to undertake a PhD in Economics whose first language is not English are required to have an overall IELTS score of 6.5 with a score of no less than 6.0 in each individual band.

» more information about the PhD program in Economics

Environmental Studies and Resource Management

Students studying a PhD program in the Environmental and Resource Management field will be required to undertake 12 units of coursework. Students wishing to undertake a PhD in Environmental and Resource Management whose first language is not English are required to have an overall IELTS score of 6.5 with a score of no less than 6.0 in each individual band.

» more information about Environmental Studies and Resource Management

Public Policy or Political Science and International Relations

Students studying a PhD program in the Public Policy or Political Science and International Relations fields are required to complete the Postgraduate Training in Politics and Policy Program, which is jointly organised by the Crawford School and the School of Politics and International Relations in the College of Arts and Social Sciences. Required coursework: Research Design POGO9096 (12 units, Semester 1, offered by Crawford. Students may also be asked to undertake additional courses if their supervisor considers it necessary.

Students must achieve an average grade of Distinction in order to commence dissertation research. The coursework requirements may be fulfilled through a set of equivalent ANU-wide courses.

Students wishing to undertake a PhD whose first language is not English are required to have an overall IELTS score of 6.5 with a score of no less than 6.0 in each individual band.

» more information about Public Policy or Political Science and International Relations

Degree structure

Further information

Program Coordinator

Crawford School Admission requirements

You must have completed an undergraduate or master’s degree in a discipline relevant to your area of proposed research. For undergraduate degrees, your result should be First Class Honours or Second Class Honours (First Division). If you have a master’s degree, rather than an honours degree, you will need to show that it had a research component. If you don’t have a master’s or honours degree you may be able to apply on the basis of professional work experience. You will also need to have academic referees to support your application.

All applicants must meet the University’s English Language Admission Requirements for Students.

One of the most important steps in making an expression of interest and before being approved to submit an online application, is to identify two potential supervisors at Crawford School. Your expression of interest or application will only be successful if there is at least two academics willing to supervise your research project.

Candidates interested in undertaking PhD study should:

Send an Expression of Interest to two academic staff members at Crawford School who you have identified as a possible supervisors for your PhD project.

Information in your Expression of Interest should include:

  • A proposed thesis topic (be as specific as you can) of relevance to your study topic;
  • A preliminary thesis proposal of 7 to 8 pages in length (see below);
  • The name of two potential supervisors at Crawford School in the same program and research field;
    - A copy of your academic transcript(s);
  • A CV including evidence of any work experience;
  • A sample of your academic writing (published or unpublished);
  • A statement on whether your ability to undertake PhD study is dependent on being awarded a scholarship; and
  • The time frame you envisage for commencing and completing your PhD study at ANU

Your preliminary thesis proposal should address the following questions:

  • What is your broad area of research?
  • What are your preliminary research questions?
  • What is the relevant literature? (provide a brief review)
  • What analytical framework or approach will you take?
  • What methods will you use?
  • What do you anticipate will be the contribution of your research?

After the potential academic supervisor receives your Expression of Interest, he or she may invite you to a meeting to discuss your proposal.

Once a supervisor has interviewed you and signed off on your proposal, you may then submit an online application. Your application will be sent to the Crawford HDR Admissions Committee for assessment at the next Crawford HDR Admissions meeting. Please contact the Crawford HDR Coordinator for more information and see PhD programs for application due dates.


Dividing up the Timor Sea

Ensuring stability in contested oceans.

History favours those who write it

Political leaders are bringing new meaning to ‘publish or perish’.

The Trump Presidency and Australia's security

'Don't panic, don't relax', says new policy paper.

A postcard from a post-truth world

Goodbye to the global annus horribilis

How Trump will test international relations theory

Will the realists or the constructivists be proved right?

The US votes: Deplorables, Expendables and other ‘Nasties’

What does Trump's win mean for Trump voters?

The next great transformation

Will the world’s leaders rise to the challenge?

Put yourself in the heart of US policy action

Apply for the Congressional Research Fellowship Program.

Eyes on the prize

ANU team sets sights on $1m prize in Chicago.

Tapping in

Shifting the base of the global supply chain with trade facilitation efforts.

Scholarships and fees

Further information

Program Coordinator

Costs associated with your study at ANU will depend on a number of things, including your study program and whether you’re a domestic or international student. Find out more about costs and fees associated with studying at ANU.

Updated:  24 February 2020/Responsible Officer:  Crawford Engagement/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team