Ph.D.-Economics and Commerce

Course 201AA (2013)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2013.

Year and Campus: 2013
CRICOS Code: 056955G
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Research Higher Degree
Duration & Credit Points: Students are expected to complete this research in 3.00 years full time, or equivalent part time.


The Melbourne School of Graduate Research


The Melbourne School of Graduate Research
Graduate Centre (1888 Building)
Grattan Street
The University of Melbourne 3010 Australia

Telephone: + 61 3 8344 8599

Fax number: +61 3 9349 2103


Future Student Questions:

Course Overview:

The Doctor of Philosophy is administered at The University of Melbourne by the Melbourne School of Graduate Research.

The degree of Doctor of Philosophy signifies that the holder has undertaken a substantial piece of original research, which has been conducted and reported by the holder under proper academic supervision and in a research environment for a prescribed period.

The PhD thesis demonstrates authority in the candidate's field and shows evidence of command of knowledge in relevant fields. It shows that the candidate has a thorough grasp of the appropriate methodological techniques and an awareness of their limitations. The thesis also makes a distinct contribution to knowledge. Its contribution to knowledge rests on originality of approach and / or interpretation of the findings and, in some cases, the discovery of new facts. The thesis demonstrates an ability to communicate research findings effectively in the professional arena and in an international context. It is a careful, rigorous and sustained piece of work demonstrating that a research 'apprenticeship' is complete and the holder is admitted to the community of scholars in the discipline.

In scope, the PhD thesis differs from a research Masters thesis chiefly by its deeper and more comprehensive treatment of the chosen subject. It is written succinctly, in English, unless approval has been given for the thesis to be written in a language other than English. The normal length of a PhD thesis is 80,000 words, exclusive of words in tables, maps, bibliographies and appendices. Footnotes are included as part of the word limit. The thesis should not exceed 100,000 words (or equivalent) without special approval from the Research Higher Degrees Committee.


See 'Graduate Attributes'

Course Structure & Available Subjects:

The Melbourne Institute offers a PhD degree that incorporates some coursework provided by the Department of Economics. All PhD students in the Melbourne Institute program are normally required to do at least 6 subjects. In special circumstances, the number of coursework may be reduced to at least 3.

The first year of coursework consists of six semester-length subjects normally comprising three core subjects and three elective subjects and a year long (double subject) Thesis Workshop.

Subject Options:

The first year of coursework consists of six semester-length subjects normally comprising three core subjects and three elective subjects and a year long (double subject) Thesis Workshop.

Core Subjects

The three core subjects:

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Not offered in 2013
Not offered in 2013
Not offered in 2013

Elective Subjects

Three elective subjects from:

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 2
Not offered in 2013
Not offered in 2013
Not offered in 2013
Not offered in 2013

Subjects may be selected from other six-hundred level subjects. The candidate's choice must be approved by the Academic Convenor of the PhD program in the Melbourne Institute and the Economics. Please note that subject offerings may vary over time.

Thesis proposal and workshop

Thesis proposal and workshop (double subject):

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Entry Requirements:

The criteria for assessing applicants' eligibility for PhD candidature are:

  1. Minimum qualifications
    Applicants are normally required to have completed at least a four-year honours degree at H2A standard from an Australian university, or a qualification or combination of qualifications considered by the RHD Committee to be equivalent. For particular disciplines applicants are also required to complete, at an appropriate level, a Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) or a Graduate Record Entry (GRE) test.
  2. Minimum level of academic achievement
    Applicants should have achieved an overall H1 (80-100%) or H2A (75-79%) grade in the relevant honours or Masters degree.
  3. Relevance of the degree
    The completed degree must be in an area that is relevant to the intended PhD, including sufficient specialisation such that the applicant will have already developed an understanding and appreciation of a body of knowledge relevant to the intended PhD.
  4. Evidence of research ability
    Applicants are normally required to have completed a research project/component that accounts for at least 25% of their year's work at 4th year or at Masters level. Graduates of certain professional degrees at the University of Melbourne, including MBBS, BVSc, LLB, BPhysio and BEng are deemed to have met this requirement.
  5. Currency of applicant's knowledge of the discipline
    The applicant's degree/s and/or professional experience must demonstrate that their knowledge of the discipline in which they plan to undertake their research higher degree is current.
  6. Assessment of level of commitment
    Based on interview or other communication, an assessment should be made of the level of understanding, motivation and time commitment of the student for the proposed program of study. For example, a full-time student would be expected to devote at least 40 hours a week and a part-time student about half of this.

Applicants must also meet the University’s English Language requirements .

Additional criterion: your area of interest, see .

Please note that prospective students wishing to undertake the PhD with Coursework (Accounting and Business Information Systems) are also required to complete a Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) and obtain a score of at least 600.

Core Participation Requirements:

For the purpose of considering requests for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this course are articulated in the Course Description, Course Objectives and Generic Skills of this entry.

The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:

Graduate Attributes:

Doctoral degrees at the University of Melbourne seek to develop graduates who demonstrate academic leadership, increasing independence, creativity and innovation in their research work.

The University expects its doctoral graduates to have the following qualities and skills:

  • an advanced ability to initiate research and to formulate viable research questions;
  • a demonstrated capacity to design, conduct and report sustained and original research;
  • the capacity to contextualise research within an international corpus of specialist knowledge;
  • an advanced ability to evaluate and synthesize research-based and scholarly literature;
  • an advanced understanding of key disciplinary and multi-disciplinary norms and perspectives relevant to the field;
  • highly developed problem-solving abilities and flexibility of approach;
  • the ability to analyse critically within and across a changing disciplinary environment;
  • the capacity to disseminate the results of research and scholarship by oral and written communication to a variety of audiences;
  • a capacity to cooperate with and respect the contributions of fellow researchers and scholars;
  • a profound respect for truth and intellectual integrity, and for the ethics of research and scholarship;
  • an advanced facility in the management of information, including the application of computer systems and software where appropriate to the student's field of study;
  • an understanding of the relevance and value of their research to national and international communities of scholars and collaborators;
  • an awareness where appropriate of issues related to intellectual property management and the commercialisation of innovation; and
  • an ability to formulate applications to relevant agencies, such as funding bodies and ethics committees.

The University provides a variety of opportunities in addition to the supervised research program, to facilitate a students' acquisition of these attributes.

Links to further information:

Application Procedure
Detailed information for prospective PhD students regarding the application process, including the application form is available on the MSGR website at

It is important to note that there is a separate application form for local and international students.

PhD applicants should discuss their research interests with a potential supervisor at the department in which they would like to enrol prior to submitting an application.

The Find an Expert website may assist you to find an appropriate supervisor. Prospective PhD candidates should also investigate department websites for information on current research and contact details. Department websites are easily accessed from faculty homepages.

Applications are accepted year-round but a number of programs only offer Semester One commencement. Please check the relevant program details in the current Graduate Prospectus of the Melbourne Business School.

Which scholarship can I apply for?
Students can find information about graduate research scholarships offered by the University of Melbourne at the Melbourne Scholarships Office.

Facilities and Supports:
MSGR makes available a broad range of Programs & Services available to research and graduate research students.

Normally, PhD candidates are first admitted as 'probationary' candidates. The move from probationary candidature to confirmed candidature is decided on the recommendation of a Confirmation Committee, comprising three academics including the Convenor of the PhD program in the Melbourne Institute and the student's supervisor. For confirmation, which usually occurs 12 to 15 months after enrolment in the PhD program, students are required to obtain an average of at least 75% in their PhD coursework subjects, to have prepared a written proposal that outlines the research program and which should also show substantive progress and to have made an oral presentation based on their thesis proposal. The presentation is open to all members of the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research. The Committee will recommend confirmation if it believes there is a reasonable expectation that the student will complete the PhD thesis by the due date. Students are required to maintain satisfactory progress throughout their candidature. In addition to the regular meetings with supervisor(s), progress is monitored through the confirmation process and annual progress reports. The award of the PhD is based solely on the examination of the thesis.

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