Research Higher Degrees

Postgraduate research degrees at UQ are known as Research Higher Degrees, in which you can study the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and Master of Philosophy (MPhil).

The School of Pharmacy welcomes graduates from diverse backgrounds to its Research Higher Degree programs, providing opportunities to develop a variety of skill sets for their future careers.

Activities provide students with attributes sought after in careers related to the pharmaceutical industry, biomedical research, government agencies, clinical pharmacy, and academia.  Research higher degree student events provide the opportunity to hear from past graduates about career opportunities after graduation and to further develop professional networks.

Potential RHD students can select from available projects listed on our web site or work with an appropriate advisor on developing a project tailored to their research passion.


    PhD students are required to have obtained a bachelor's degree with honours, class IIA or better.

    MPhil students are required to have obtained a bachelor's degree with honours, class IIB or better.

    Postgraduate Honours admission is assessed on completion of a bachelor degree, GPA and availability of supervisors.

    The University of Queensland accepts other qualifications as equivalent to the above. For a full description, please visit the UQ Graduate School website.

    Students must demonstrate that their current level of English language proficiency meets the University's English proficiency policy

    Students wishing to improve their English language skills can undertake intensive English language and communication training prior to commencing their RHD program at UQ’s Institute of Continuing & TESOL Education (ICTE-UQ). For more information, see English language studies.

    Important information and forms

    Students should familiarise themselves with the Graduate School website.  The following information is essential for all research and higher degree students:


    Ethics (Human) approval procedures

    Induction checklist (candidate)

    Induction checklist (advisor)

    Confirmation of candidature

    Paid employment and RHD candidates

    Support for conference attendance


    Joint Academic Scholarship Online Network

    RHD seminar schedule

    About RHD Confirmation Seminars

    All Research Higher Degree Candidates begin their degree as provisional candidates. During the first half of their candidature (6-8 months for MPhil and 11-15 months for PhD), candidates are expected to present the background to their project, their work to date, and their aims and hypothesis for consideration by their Advisory team and the Postgraduate Coordinator within the School.

    This presentation consists of three components – a written submission, an oral presentation and an interview – after which, if successful, candidature is confirmed. This is a necessary step in the RHD process and it allows the School, the advisors and the candidates themselves to discuss the project, its progress and any difficulties that need to be resolved to make sure that studies can be completed within the allotted timeframe.

    About RHD Final Seminars

    Research Higher Degree Students reaching the end of their candidature (18 months for MPhil and 3 years for PhD) are expected to give a seminar on their PhD work. Seminars should be approx 30 to 40 minutes in length and cover the background to the research work, research results and conclusions.

    Travel opportunities

    The School of Pharmacy offers international conference support upon application for final year Research Higher Degree candidates, up to a maximum of $2,500. This funding has allowed many students to attend conferences all over the world, where they present their research to an audience of their peers.

    Ms Nan Xie (2017)

    International Narcotics Research Conference (INRC) 2017

    Chicago, Illinois, USA July 9-14, 2017

    The International Narcotics Research Conference (INRC) is one of the most significant meetings for researchers and clinicians working in the field of opioid pharmacology, physiology, biochemistry, medicinal chemistry, and clinical studies. The first official meeting of the INRC was held in July 1969 in Basel, Switzerland as a satellite of the IUPHAR meeting. Since then, the INRC has been held annually for the last 47 years, and its membership has expanded significantly. This is a unique opportunity to bring together researchers from different specialties to identify novel mechanisms and therapeutic strategies for the treatment of addiction, chronic pain, and mood disorders.

    The INRC2017 program included more than seven symposia on diverse topics, and a fundamental philosophy of the INRC community is to engage trainees and highlight their contribution as young scientists. Within the meeting agenda, the organizing committee makes a concerted effort to include talks from postdoctoral fellows and graduate students and provides ample opportunity for engaging discussions between senior scientists and trainees. I presented my work as a poster with the title “Potential of Circulating Mu-opioid Receptor and Toll-like Receptor-4 Activation in Morphine-administered Mice” in the INRC2017.

    I had an opportunity to meet internationally-renowned scientists who regularly present ground breaking research in the conference, received a lot of positive feedback from experts in the field, and expand my insight into real-world problems in my specialization major by learning from others research.

    I would like to express my gratitude and appreciation to my supervisor A/Prof Marie-Odile Parat and the School of Pharmacy for supporting my research and providing funding to attend as well as present my work at this conference. I believe that network at seminars, workshops and conferences, and trying to get as many contacts as possible would help me to win the challenge of working cross-functionally to translate scientific ideas into things may really benefit people’s life,  and provide me the opportunity that would benefit my career development in the future.

    How to apply

    Australian students (including Australian citizens or permanent residents and New Zealand citizens) are currently exempt from paying tuition fees for Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and Master of Philosophy (MPhil) studies.

    Entry requirements:

    Detailed entry requirements are can be viewed here

    Application Process

    1. Find a potential advisorCheck out the list of potential research projects, as well as the academic staff available for supervision. 
    2. Email potential advisor directly OR email the Postgrad Admin Officer (PGAO) seeking assistance to find a potential advisor, and PGAO will send admission information to find potential advisor.
    3. If supervision and project are available, PGAO will request candidate to complete Application for Admission, and Referees Reports. 
    4. School completes School Recommendation form and sends complete application with originally certified documents to the Graduate School.
    5. Assessment of application by UQ Graduate School for candidature and/or Scholarship Support – if the student is made a conditional offer, he/she must provide additional information before the commencement of the scholarship round.
    6. If successful in obtaining a place as a Research Higher Degree Candidate and/or Scholarship, an offer letter will be sent to you by UQ
    7. Commence Studies