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Doctor of Philosophy (MSDI)

The Monash Doctoral Program is our primary research degree offered at Monash Sustainable Development Institute. Our PhD program draws on interdisciplinary research on topics associated with environmental, social and economic sustainability and climate change.

You will be expected to approach the research from the perspective of two or more disciplines and produce a thesis including published works. A thesis including published works is not a different degree; rather, it is a thesis format that includes three to five papers that have been submitted, or accepted, for publication, during the course of the student's enrolment at Monash. You will be supported by at least two academic supervisors whose expertise complements your research.

To develop a combination of professional skills required for success during your PhD and prepare you for a career beyond your degree, you will complete 120 hours of professional development training.

Why choose MSDI?

Monash Sustainable Development Institute is one of the world’s leading research and education Institutes in sustainable development. From pioneering new ways to manage water in our cities, to plotting pathways to net zero emissions, we’re creating solutions to some of the most significant challenges facing society today.

We’re harnessing the strength of Australia’s largest and most international university to address the interconnected challenges of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

As the host to the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (Australia, New Zealand and Pacific), we’re leading the regional conversation on the UN SDGs and how to implement them. So in Australia, no one is better placed to connect you to the global network of change-agents working to achieve Agenda 2030.

How to apply

If you are interested in our PhD program please follow the steps listed below.

Step 1 Review course requirements

Review MSDI’s research degree and check your eligibility.

Entry requirements
The minimum qualifications for admission to PhD enrolment are:

  • a bachelor's degree requiring at least four years of full-time study in a relevant field, and which normally includes a research component in the fourth year, leading to an honours 1 or 2A; or
  • a master's degree that entails work, normally including a significant research component, including at least 25% of one full time equivalent year of work, including a thesis. It is normally expected that a grade of honours 2A has been obtained for the research thesis or project. Where ungraded, examiners' reports will be taken into account; or
  • have qualifications which in the opinion of Graduate Research Committee are deemed equivalent.

English Language
Successful completion of a course of tertiary studies, of at least two years' duration, and entirely taught and formally assessed in English, and in any of the following Monash University approved English language countries.*

English Language Test requirements



Pearson test of academic English (PTE)

Cambridge English

7.0 overall, no bands less than 6.5

Overall 94 and above
Reading 19
Listening 20
Speaking 20
Writing 24

65 overall, communicative score 58 or greater

185 overall, no less than 185 in Writing and no less than 169 in each other skills.

*Click here for full English language requirements

Step 2 Submit your Expression of Interest (EOI)

The expression of interest is where you will need to submit supporting documents of your educational background, experience and research proposal.

Expression of Interest Form

We will assess your eligibility and determine if we can offer you a primary supervisor in your area of research.

Step 3 Await an Invitation to Apply

Applicants who are successful will then receive an ‘Invitation to Apply’ to make a formal application for admission. Please allow six to eight weeks for this to take place.

Please note, the ‘Invitation to Apply’ does not guarantee admission into the degree and will be subject to individual assessment.

Step 4 Lodge a formal application

As part of the invitation to apply, you’ll be advised on how to submit a formal application using Monash’s online application system. If you would like to apply for admission and scholarship, please ensure you apply during the scholarship rounds.


Application type

Applications open

Applications close

Enrolment period



1 September

31 March




1 November

31 May




1 April

31 August




1 June

31 October


Step 5 Wait for your offer

Applications can take up to six weeks to be processed. Please note that places in graduate research are highly competitive and offers are only made when all the admissions criteria have been met and supervisory capacity is available to support your research.

Current opportunities and scholarships

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