There are two ways to apply for a research degree:

  1. Expression of Interest (EOI)

Before you make a formal application, you can submit an EOI to the Law Faculty providing information about your academic, professional or other qualifications, a draft research proposal outlining your intended research, information about your previous research experience and publications, and any other relevant information.

Complete the online EOI form.

  1. Formal application

You can submit a formal application for a research degree through the UNSW Graduate Research School (GRS).

Check the key dates for scholarship applications. If the closing date for scholarship applications is approaching, submit a formal application through the GRS.


To find out more about our research degrees, the research interests of our staff, entry requirements, scholarships or how to apply, contact: 

Faculty Higher Degree Research Officer Jenny Jarrett
j.jarrett@unsw.edu.au
+61 2 466 716 527

Scholarships

If you intend to apply for a scholarship, we recommend visiting Graduate Research Scholarships. Make sure you find out the closing dates for postgraduate research scholarship applications before you submit an EOI.  

The University will not consider a scholarship application from a potential candidate unless they have also submitted a formal application. If the closing date for a scholarship is less than six weeks away from the time you are considering applying for admission, we recommend you directly lodge a formal application with the Graduate Research School (GRS) instead of submitting an EOI with the Faculty to ensure you are considered.

Submitting an Expression of Interest

If you choose to submit an EOI please ensure you gather and send the following items to the Faculty Higher Degree Research Officer: 

Jenny Jarrett
Higher Degree Research Officer, UNSW Law 
E: j.jarrett@unsw.edu.au  
P: +61 2 9385 3821 

  1. Download and complete an EOI form
  2. Copies of academic transcripts for all previous degrees (at this stage certified or original copies aren’t needed) and copies of grading systems for each institution and degree 
  3. A research proposal – see below for information to be included in a research proposal. For information on the research interests of the academic staff at UNSW Law please visit the Research section of our website.  

    The UNSW Learning Centre provides information on preparing a research proposal:  
    Thesis proposal  
    Literature review
  4. Resume/Curriculum Vitae including details of publications and previous research experience 
  5. If appropriate, any evidence of your English ability, such as a recent IELTS or TOEFL result, or evidence of previous study in English or of Australian residency. Find out more about UNSW’s English language requirements.  

After receiving your EOI, UNSW Law will send you an email. Please allow at least 4 weeks for your EOI to be considered. You will be informed by email whether you should make a formal application for admission to one of our research programs.  

Contact the Faculty Higher Degree Research Officer for more information: 

Jenny Jarrett
Higher Degree Research Officer, UNSW Law 
E: j.jarrett@unsw.edu.au  
P: +61 2 9385 3821 

Before submitting an EOI, candidates should also work through these steps: 

Step 1:  Check you meet the academic entry requirements 

PhD – the minimum academic entry requirement is: 

  • An undergraduate law degree to an acceptable level to the Faculty Higher Degree Committee (generally honours 2(1) or equivalent) 
  • A postgraduate law degree to an acceptable level to the Faculty Higher Degree Committee (generally a distinction average is required, plus proof of successful research) 
  • In exceptional circumstances, candidates with qualifications in disciplines other than law will be considered 

 LLM by Research – the minimum entry requirement is: 

  • An undergraduate law degree to an acceptable level to the Faculty Higher Degree Committee (generally LLB Hons 2(1) 
  • A Master of Laws by coursework with a minimum of a distinction average 

Step 2: Prepare a research proposal  

PhD applicants 

At UNSW, and other Australian universities, it is standard practice to ask applicants to submit a research proposal. This is to determine whether the Faculty can provide adequate supervision and resources to support your research. The proposal should be about 5–6 pages long and include: 

  • Proposed title of research thesis 
  • Aims of the research thesis 
  • Background of the research, including literature survey, a statement of the expected significance of your research, and an outline of your research methodology 

The UNSW Learning Centre provides information on preparing a research proposal and a literature review.

This information will assist us in considering your eligibility for the research program of your choice. 

If you are accepted into the program, the topic may be reviewed or refined during the course of your enrolment. The proposal is also used to assess your capacity to undertake research. Your proposal should demonstrate: 

  • Your research question and whether it is capable, in principle, of driving a research project of the required standard, i.e. one that will result in a significant and original contribution to knowledge 
  • The methodology or methodologies that will be used to explore your research question 
  • Whether the research question is clear and sufficiently narrow in scope in the sense that it is capable of being answered within the confines of a PhD research project 
  • Whether the proposed research engages with the existing literature on the subject or practices in the field in a thoughtful way 
  • A good command of the English language 

Master of Laws by Research applicants 

Master of Laws by Research applicants are required to submit a brief research proposal so we can ascertain whether or not we have appropriate supervision available for the candidate’s research topic. The research proposal should cover: 

  • Proposed title of research thesis 
  • Aims of the research thesis 
  • Background of the research including literature survey, a statement of the expected significance of your research, and an outline of your research methodology. 

The UNSW Learning Centre provides information on preparing a research proposal and a literature review

The above information will assist us in considering your eligibility for the research program of your choice. 

Step 3:  Provide a copy of your CV/resumé 

This document should include information on your education and work experience and, if applicable, information on any previous research experience or details of publications. 

Step 4:  Be aware of the UNSW English language requirements 

For admission to any UNSW program, all applicants – whether local or international – who do not have an assessable qualification undertaken and assessed in English must provide evidence prior to enrolment that their English language ability meets the minimum requirements for admission. 

Applicants will be deemed to have satisfied the English language requirements if they can provide evidence that they meet one or more of the following criteria: 

  1. Prior study in the medium of English 
  2. Residency 
  3. English language tests: 
    • IELTS: 7.0 overall (min. 7.0 in writing, 6.5 in other subtests) 
    • TOEFL – Internet-based: 96 overall (min. 27 in writing, 23 in reading, listening and speaking) 
    • TOEFL – Paper-based: 589 overall (min. 5.5 in TWE) 

Find out more about UNSW’s English Language requirements

EOIs can be lodged any time throughout the year. Once the EOI assessment is completed, we will advise you whether to submit a formal application with the GRS. If we advise you to submit a formal application, you can apply online via the Graduate Research School

Research student scholarships 

Local and international postgraduate research scholarships are offered by the University and other organisations.