COVID-19 update: This course will start online and continue on campus later. Read more

What will I learn?

What to expect

Designed for high performing university graduates, the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is a postgraduate research degree with a supervised project of original research at its core. Develop high level independent research skills while making an original contribution of knowledge to a specific discipline or area of practice.

As a JCU PhD candidate, you’ll have the opportunity to undertake focused research in the tropics. You’ll explore and generate new knowledge to meet the social, environmental and sustainability challenges facing tropical communities.

Create new knowledge, transform your future.

Work closely with experienced advisors to identify a research question, design and implement a project, analyse the results and document the research as a thesis. The PhD generally has no required coursework, although some can be taken as an option.

Manage your project challenges and timeline pressures with structured milestones built into the program. Benefit from professional development activities, participate in international conferences and publish your work along the way.

Career Opportunities

JCU Doctor of Philosophy graduates are internationally recognised as experts who discover valuable new knowledge in their fields.

The future for PhD graduates is diverse. The skills you develop during your PhD allow you to gain a toolkit for theoretical and practical approaches to problems and innovation with social and commercial impact. This will allow you to take on leadership roles across industry, government and academic sectors in a range of roles and contexts including researcher, practitioner, and research manager.

Course learning outcomes

Graduates of a Doctoral Degree will have:

Knowledge

  • A substantial body of knowledge at the frontier of a field of work or learning, including knowledge that constitutes an original contribution
  • Substantial knowledge of research principles and methods applicable to the field of work or learning.

Skills

  • Cognitive skills to demonstrate expert understanding of theoretical knowledge and to reflect critically on that theory and practice
  • Cognitive skills and use of intellectual independence to think critically, evaluate existing knowledge and ideas, undertake systematic investigation and reflect on theory and practice to generate original knowledge
  • Expert technical and creative skills applicable to the field of work or learning
  • Communication skills to explain and critique theoretical propositions, methodologies and conclusions
  • Communication skills to present cogently a complex investigation of originality or original research for external examination against international standards and to communicate results to peers and the community
  • Expert skills to design, implement, analyse, theorise and communicate research that makes a significant and original contribution to knowledge and/or professional practice.

Graduates of a Doctoral Degree will demonstrate the application of knowledge and skills:

  • With intellectual independence
  • With initiative and creativity in new situations and/or for further learning
  • With full responsibility and accountability for personal outputs
  • To plan and execute original research
  • With the ongoing capacity to generate new knowledge, including in the context of professional practice.

Which department am I in?

Division of Tropical Environments and Societies

CRICOS

081388D

Study options

Full Time (4 years)

Tuition fees
A$40,280.00 (21,56,317) per year

*Price shown is for indicative purposes, please check with institution

Start date

Scheduled dates throughout the year

Venue

Townsville City Campus

City Arcade, 383 Flinders Street,

TOWNSVILLE CITY,

Queensland,

4810, TOWNSVILLE, Australia

Full Time (4 years)

Tuition fees
A$40,280.00 (21,56,317) per year

*Price shown is for indicative purposes, please check with institution

Start date

Scheduled dates throughout the year

Venue

Cairns City campus

36 Shields Street,

CAIRNS CITY,

Queensland,

4870, CAIRNS, Australia

Entry requirements

For students from United States

To be eligible to apply for entry to a Doctoral program, an applicant must demonstrate the capacity to undertake research at the Doctoral level by the attainment of at least one of the following: A Bachelor’s degree with at least Second Class, Division A (Honours) in a degree program that included a total of at least a semester of supervised project work, the results of which contributed to the Honours grade; A postgraduate qualification which included: (a) supervised research component(s) of at least one semester or equivalent and resulted in the production of output(s) graded at the equivalent of Distinction or better, and (b) at least one research methods subject; A Research Masters degree, where at least two thirds of the degree consisted of a supervised research component and resulted in the production of a thesis or equivalent. IELTS - 6.5 (no component lower than 6.0); TOEFL (internet based) - 86 (no component less than 21); Pearson (PTE Academic) - 58 (no component less than 54); C1 Advanced / C2 Proficiency: 176 (no component less than 169).

For international students

To be eligible to apply for entry to a Doctoral program, an applicant must demonstrate the capacity to undertake research at the Doctoral level by the attainment of at least one of the following:

  • A Bachelor’s degree with at least Second Class, Division A (Honours) in a degree program that included a total of at least a semester of supervised project work, the results of which contributed to the Honours grade;
  • A postgraduate qualification which included: (a) supervised research component(s) of at least one semester or equivalent and resulted in the production of output(s) graded at the equivalent of Distinction or better, and (b) at least one research methods subject;
  • A Research Masters degree, where at least two thirds of the degree consisted of a supervised research component and resulted in the production of a thesis or equivalent;
  • Enrolment at this or another Australian university in a higher degree by research for the equivalent of at least 0.5 EFTSL with demonstrated satisfactory performance in the supervised research component(s);
  • A combination of qualifications, research training and experience, considered equivalent to the above by the Responsible Academic Officer in the Enrolling Organisational Unit, e.g., senior authorship of at least one peer-reviewed publication plus completion of an appropriate research methods subject.

IELTS - 6.5 (no component lower than 6.0); TOEFL (internet based) - 86 (no component less than 21); Pearson (PTE Academic) - 58 (no component less than 54); C1 Advanced / C2 Proficiency: 176 (no component less than 169).

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.

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About James Cook University

James Cook University (JCU) is ranked among the top 2% of universities in the world by the Academic Ranking of World Universities, 2020.

  • Ranked in the top 250 of universities in the world
  • Rated as “world-class or better” in 83% areas of research
  • Top 100 universities in the world for UN SDG
  • Rated 5 stars for employment, student support and skills