The University of Queensland has a strong history of supervising Higher Degree by Research (HDR) students in ground breaking theoretical and translational research. 

Research students in the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work have access to a wide range of multi-disciplinary advisory teams that are drawn from experts in the School and from across other University of Queensland Schools, Faculties and Research Centres and in our partner organisations. 

Why choose UQ NMSW for your HDR?

The University belongs to the Group of Eight (Go8) and Universitias 21 (U21) and this provides access to highest quality national and international collaborative research opportunities, as well as a means to benchmark our performance. Go8 is a collaboration of leading research intensive Australian Universities and U21 is a global network of research intensive universities.

Research students have access to supervision across a wide variety of quantitative, qualitative, clinical, epidemiological, critical health and social science methodological approaches. We have collaborative research and supervision relationships with UQ Research Centres such as the UQ Mater Research Institute, Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) and the Australasian Centre for Ageing (ACA). UQ also has seven standalone research centres and institutes focused on finding solutions to major health problems.

Undertaking a HDR in the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work provides strong disciplinary research leadership, a supportive research culture, an engaged student group and access to experienced advisory teams. Current students come from varied backgrounds with diverse interests and include a growing representation of international and Indigenous students.  

Our lively, productive student group seek to make a contribution to building or challenging current knowledge within their fields of interest. As a research student you have the opportunity for academic and professional development opportunities throughout your research training for example presenting at national and international conferences and publishing your work. 

The admission requirements for Master of Philosophy (MPhil) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) programs can be found on the UQ Research Degrees page.

The minimum IELTS score (for international students only) required for admission to postgraduate research within the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work are:

TestMinimum Overall ScoreMinimum Additional Scores
IELTS (International English Language Testing Service)6.5*6.0* in every sub-band (academic module)
TOEFL (Paper-based Test of English as a Foreign Language)5705.0 in TWE (written), and 54 in reading & listening
TOEFL (Internet-based Test of English as a Foreign Language) 8721 in written, 19 in reading, listening & speaking

* Research Higher Degree in the Health Sciences where research is undertaken in a clinical placement setting: IELTS only with overall band score of 7, with a score of 7 in each sub-band of listening, reading, writing and speaking.

Test results are valid for two years from the date of the test, and must be valid upon commencement at UQ. Institutional test results are unacceptable for entry.

Students who do not meet these entry requirements may undertake intensive English language studies at UQ College and pass the IELTS test on completion of these studies to qualify for admission to a HDR.

Thank you for your interest in pursuing a Higher Degree by Research (HDR) at the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work.

The first step before applying for a Higher Degree by Research is to check the entry requirements, how to apply, and explore potential scholarship opportunities on our Study page. Please refer to the video at the bottom for advice on how to approach an academic to seek supervision.

When contacting an academic in your field of interest for supervision, it is recommended to include your research proposal and academic CV. When an advisor has confirmed interest in supervising your project, please upload a copy of your research proposal along with the standard application documents to your online application.

Your research proposal should follow the below format, and be no longer than 4 pages.

  1. Proposed Aims and Objectives
  2. Literature review and research question(s)
    • Identify gaps in main research literature
    • List research questions
  3. Methods
    3.1. Sampling -
  • What will be your sources of data, for example, people, documents, observations? How much data will you need? How many people will be involved? How will they be selected and recruited?

3.2. Data collection

  • How will you collect data? (Interviews, focus groups, questionnaires, surveys etc.)
  1. Data Analysis
    • How will you analyse your data? (Thematic analysis, descriptive statistics, inferential statistics etc.)
  2. Ethical considerations
    • What are the ethical considerations in your research? Does it present a risk of harm to any participants? Might any safeguards be required to prevent harm? What about informed consent?
  3. References:
    • Include a list of references you have cited in your proposal (not included in four page limit).

Our HDR students undertake a diverse range of research projects, many of which are supported by UQ research scholarships, prestigious industry scholarships and Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work Scholarships.

Specialised knowledge and skills as an independent researcher are a significant advantage in the employment market. Nurse, midwife and social work researchers have employment opportunities in industry, government, research and academia, and UQ graduates are highly sought after within Australia and overseas.

Study at this level enables you to upgrade your qualifications, obtain in-depth and specialised knowledge and develop skills as an independent researcher.
As a researcher in the discipline of nursing, midwifery or social work you can make a unique and significant contribution to the health and wellbeing and individuals, families and communities.

A higher degree by research in nursing, midwifery or social work will assist you in developing and demonstrating:

  • Superior communication skills in a range of modalities across diverse contexts
  • Critical analytical skills in information processing and research
  • Expert integrated knowledge relating to nursing, midwifery, social and behavioural sciences
  • Independence, innovation, project management expertise and leadership
  • Critical social analysis, engagement and commentary
  • Professional and ethical responsibility
  • Indepth and advanced understanding of knowledge and perspectives at the forefront of your field
  • Capacity to communicate knowledge and ideas effectively, and  to work collaboratively
  • Critical judgement and engagement  with the discipliine
  • A substantive contribution to knowledge in the discipline through the conduct independent and original research and scholarship
  • Capacity to demonstrate ethical and professional responsibiility in the conduct of research 

Further information can be accessed via the links below: