What will I learn?

The Doctor of Philosophy (Arts and Social Sciences) is the highest Arts and Social Sciences degree offered by Southern Cross University.

Students will contribute to independent research that makes a significant and original contribution to knowledge in the arts, humanities or social sciences.

Research fields include social policy, social welfare, history, politics, communication, cultural studies, new media, visual arts, music and creative writing. PhD projects in the School of Arts and Social Sciences may produce a multi-modal output, combining creative work/s and academic thesis or exegesis.

Southern Cross University's School of Arts and Social Sciences contains distinguished researchers whose supervision will see you become part of a vibrant and multidisciplinary learning community.

Our researchers regularly publish in national and international journals, exhibit and perform in major artistic venues across Australia and internationally, and supervise postgraduate students in a wide range of areas.

Academic staff in the School of Arts and Social Sciences can provide supervision for various discipline areas.


Research degrees in the Faculty of Business, Law and Arts or the Faculty of Health generally do not involve coursework, though a coursework program may be defined for a candidate where warranted. The candidate and supervisor work together to decide on a field of research, plan methods of investigation, and where appropriate, data collection.

Research proposal

Students can explore research in a range of areas, such as:

Humanities, including creative writing, poetry, celebrity authors, mental health, social work, cultural and gender studies, international relations, racism studies
Media studies, including live audio-visual performance, machine relations, film and politics, media culture
Creative and Performing Arts, including contemporary singing and/or instrumental performance, composition, music education, music production, musicology, new media and computer music, visual arts
Social Sciences, including social policy, aged care, LGBTI studies, social inclusion, child protection, child abuse in sport, social policy, identity.

The Faculty of Business, Law and Arts is home to two research clusters that place strong focus on social and environmental issues. These are:

Diverse and inclusive communities
Environmental arts and humanities



Study options

Full Time (4 years)

Tuition fees
A$26,000.00 (US$ 18,553) per year
Start date

To suit the client/individual


Southern Cross University

Lismore Campus,

Military Road,


New South Wales,

2480, NORTH COAST, Australia

Full Time (4 years)

Tuition fees
A$26,000.00 (US$ 18,553) per year
Start date

To suit the client/individual


Coffs Harbour Campus

Hogbin Drive,


New South Wales,

2450, NORTH COAST, Australia

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Applicants must have completed a degree considered by the University to be equivalent to an Australian Bachelor degree with first class Honours or second class Honours, first division or a degree equivalent to an Australian Masters degree where at least 50% of the assessment was based on a thesis. Other English Language Requirements accepted: TOEFL score of 550 (no band less than 4.5 in TWE); or PTE Academic score of 50; or CAE score of 52 or comparable.

For international students

To qualify for admission to a PhD, applicants must:

Possess a degree equivalent to a Bachelor's degree from the University with first-class Honours or second class Honours, first division, or
Possess a degree equivalent to a Masters degree from the University, with a Relevant Research Component, or
Submit other evidence of relevant professional qualifications and experience, or research experience, to satisfy the Dean (Graduate Studies) that the applicant possesses a level of relevant research experience equivalent to an award in either clause (5)a or (5)b; and satisfy such additional requirements for admission to a PhD candidature, if any, as may be prescribed by the Dean (Graduate Studies).

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


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