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PhD: Fees, Requirements & How to apply

Learn all about the highest academic degree, PhD!

Find out about the possibility of obtaining a Doctorate at a top university abroad with the help of IDP. The PhD, or Doctor of Philosophy, is the highest postgraduate academic degree conferred by higher education institutions such as universities. Pursuing a PhD can result in significantly improved career prospects.

Students or professionals interested in leadership, academia, research, entrepreneurship, and much more sectors can depend on PhD as an advantageous qualification towards their ambitions. Regardless of your field, a student is required to have a bachelor’s or a master’s degree to obtain a PhD. A doctoral student who successfully completes the PhD program is automatically awarded with the academic title of “Doctor”.

Duration of PhD degrees

The period of time needed to obtain your doctorate degree depends on the field you study and it differs from a university to another as well as the education system of the country you’ll study at. Different PhD programs take various durations as follows for example:

  • PhD of Political Science: between 3 – 8 years.
  • PhD of Economics: between 5 – 7 years.
  • PhD of Medicine: between 3 – 8 years.
  • PhD of Computer Science: between 4 – 5 years.
  • PhD of Music: between 4 – 7 years.
  • PhD of Engineering: between 3 – 8 years.

PhD requirements

PhD admission requirements vary based on the university and the field of study. But generally, to apply for a PhD program at a leading university either in Australia, USA, the UK, New Zealand, Canada, or Ireland you’ll generally need the following requirements:

  • Application form
  • Resume
  • Accredited master’s degree in a related field with strong grades and proven research ability and potential
  • Transcripts for your university degree or courses
  • Statement of Purpose
  • GMAT or GRE scores
  • Recommendation letters
  • English language test, such as IELTS or TOEFL
  • Application fee

PhD in Australia

A PhD in Australia trains students to excel in their area of research, teaching and administration. The doctoral degree includes a review of the relevant literature, an original research project and a well-ordered thesis.

For students who wish to pursue a PhD in Australia, every year there are research scholarships such as the international postgraduate research scholarships (IPRS), university scholarships, alumni scholarships and governmental scholarships. Choose your PhD university wisely. There are several Australian university groups such as the Innovative Research Universities (IRU) which includes 7 research-based universities.

PhD in USA

PhD in USA is a series of 3 phases of course work. Depending upon the study field, to complete PhD in USA, it takes 4 to 8 years of study after the Bachelor's Degree; and a year or two less for those who complete PhD after master’s degree.

As a PhD student at a US university, the F-1 student visa permits you to work on-campus for up to 20 hours a week during term-time and full-time during the holidays. Moreover, your Curricular Practical Training (CPT) includes work placements and opportunities that are a compulsory part of your PhD program. 

PhD in the UK

PhD in the UK provides professional, self-motivated researchers with the freedom to explore their chosen subject. Pursuing your PhD involves 3 years of research supported by subject-specific and generic skills training. There are no formal written examinations; students produce an externally examined written thesis and are to be present for an oral examination.

To be successful in PhD in the UK, you need to have a strong interest in the subject and are required to demonstrate intellectual independence, time-management skills and self-discipline.

PhD in New Zealand

Universities in New Zealand offer education for PhD in a diverse array of subjects. PhD in New Zealand is a 3 to 4-year full-time course during which a student has to prepare a substantial thesis under supervision. Upon completion of the course, a student is tested on the basis of oral examination of the thesis, after which PhD degree is awarded.

PhD in Canada

PhD programs in the universities of Canada are mostly research thesis-based, and last for 4 to 6 years. Generally, Canadian doctorate programs have more in common with the UK than the neighbouring USA. Unlike the American programs which begin with 1 or 2 years of taught classes and examinations before defining a thesis topic, the Canadian PhD program is often more research focused. 

PhD in Ireland

A standard full-time PhD in Ireland is usually completed in 3 to 4 years. For more structured programs this is normally 4 years. The Irish academic year is similar to that of the UK and universities are free to set their own teaching and examination dates.

Students earning a PhD in Ireland experience coursework, seminars, and substantial research in a specialised area of study which results in a doctoral thesis.

Seeking to study abroad? Speak with IDP Education counsellor today to find the latest information about admission requirements for your program and secure your place at your dream global university in the UK, Australia, USA, Canada, New Zealand & Ireland!

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