UQ has a strong history of supervising and supporting Higher Degree by Research (HDR) students in producing innovative, relevant, and progressive theoretical and translational research.

HDR students at UQ join a culture of research excellence which provides strong disciplinary research leadership, an extensive network of support including opportunities for academic and professional development, and committed and experienced advisory teams.

The University belongs to the Group of Eight (Go8) and Universitas 21 (U21). Go8 is a collaboration of leading research intensive Australian universities and U21 is a global network of research intensive universities. As a member of these groups, UQ has access to the highest quality national and international collaborative research opportunities

UQ offers two HDR programs suitable for Psychology students: the Master of Philosophy (MPhil) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). Visit the UQ Graduate School website for information on each program.


Why choose UQ Psychology for your HDR?

The UQ School of Psychology is recognised internationally for its research strengths across the breadth of the discipline and profession of psychology, with particular strengths in cognitive neuroscience, basic perceptual and cognitive processes, higher cognitive processes (such as decision-making), human development, social psychology, organisational behaviour, health psychology, and clinical psychology. The School’s profile is enhanced by its research centres, each of which provides a focus for the work of academics, research staff and students, and a clinic that provides advanced training in practice and research in psychology in addition to a valuable community support.

PhD or MPhil students in the School of Psychology join a community of more than 140 HDR students pursuing a variety of research projects that build on and/or challenge current knowledge within their fields of interest.

Our HDR students play a crucial role in creating and maintaining our reputation for research excellence, and in the broader academic and social life of the School. There is a strong culture of engagement amongst our HDR students: many co-author papers with their advisors, we celebrate their achievements through the School’s newsletter and social media channels, and acknowledge their efforts via awards for research excellence.

Our students can also access a variety of research supports and resources, including:

  • funding to support project costs and/or research development activities
  • domestic and international conference funding
  • opportunities for advanced statistical training
  • excellent laboratory and computer facilities
  • an annual HDR day that provides an opportunity to present their work to the wider School community.


Research + practice

Students who wish to undertake both research and professional training in Psychology may be able to apply for concurrent enrolment in one of our accredited Masters level coursework programs: students who pursue this option typically enrol in a PhD full-time and complete their Masters courses on a part-time basis until their PhD thesis is submitted for examination.

How to apply

Entry to an HDR program involves selection on the basis of several criteria, and is different to gaining entry to an undergraduate or postgraduate coursework program.

To apply for admission through the School of Psychology you must secure the support of a member of our academic staff who has agreed to be your Principal Advisor. As such, your first step is to make contact with staff members to discuss your research interests and the possibility of supervision: find out more about our researchers and their areas of expertise at UQ Researchers. You may wish to read through our guide for tips on finding an advisor and developing a research topic.

Once you have agreement from your Principal Advisor you can proceed with an application. A full overview of the application process for admission and scholarship is on the UQ Graduate School website.

Please note: the School of Psychology requires applicants to submit a research proposal as part of their application.

Contact us

For information on concurrent enrolment, or for more details about the research proposal that must be submitted as part of your application, please email rhd.psychology@enquire.uq.edu.au.

What our students say

Graduated with a Bachelor of Psychological Science (Honours), then completed the combined Masters and PhD program, with a Masters in Organisational Psychology, and a PhD in Organisational and Social Psychology

Jasmine Rijnbout"I thought I would be a researcher, as I was focused on social psychology almost from the beginning of undergrad. But doing the combined Masters/PhD allowed me to experience consulting for the first time and I loved it. So, that’s where I’ve ended up.

UQ gave me the opportunity to study under world-class researchers and to conduct my own innovative research. I received a grounding in critical thinking and encouragement to form my own ideas and find my own path. Together with exceptional lecturers I was prepared for the real world and future success."