Why do a Research Higher Degree?

Why at UQ, and Why in Geotechnical Engineering?

Postgraduate research students generally have a high personal motivation that stems from their natural curiosity and love of intellectual pursuits. A Research Higher Degree is a valuable asset that increases the chances of earning higher salaries in more satisfying jobs. It is an investment in social standing, and a fulfilment of personal and family ambitions.

The University of Queensland is among the top 100 universities worldwide, a truly global research powerhouse, a leading source of expertise, and a pacesetter in the commercial application of research.

Geotechnical Engineering is a specialisation in the Civil, Mining and Environmental Engineering, and Geosciences fields. It is assuming greater importance as society demands that buildings and water supply dams rise ever-higher, bridges span ever-longer and ever-higher spans, tunnels reach new depths and lengths, and open pit and underground mines reach ever-deeper in search of ever-lower grade mineral ores.  Set against this backdrop, the demand for advanced Geotechnical Engineering expertise will continue to foster demand for Research Higher Degrees in the field.

Research Higher Degrees

  • Master of Philosophy (MPhil) – 1 to 2 years equivalent full-time
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) – 3 to 4 years equivalent full-time
  • Thesis and/or Publication:
    • MPhil and PhD Research follows:
      • Hypothesis or Research Question
      • Methodology – laboratory, and/or field, and/or analytical, and/or numerical
      • Results
      • Analysis and Interpretation
      • Conclusions, including whether or not the Research Question was answered
    • Conventionally, MPhil and PhD research is written-up as a comprehensive Thesis
    • Alternatively, MPhil and PhD research can be written-up in a number of International Journal and Conference papers, linked by a summary document
    • Research outcomes may be separately reported to Industry Sponsors, by UQ researchers and/or student/employee

Tuition Fees

  • Domestic and Permanent Residents (including NZ citizens) – No Tuition Fees
  • International – $8,250/Quarter

Scholarships (through UQ)

  • Domestic and Permanent Residents (including NZ citizens):
    • Australian Postgraduate Award (APA):
      • Eligibility – Bachelor’s degree with Honours Class I, or equivalent
      • Three rounds/year (14 January, 20 May and 7 October 2015)
      • $25,849/year (2015 rate, tax free), indexed annually
    • APA Industry (APAI):
      • Offered by ARC Linkage Grant recipients, generally advertised
      • $31,298/year (2015 rate, tax free), indexed annually
    • UQ and Industry top-up Scholarships may be available
  • International:
    • International Postgraduate Research Scholarship (IPRS):
      • $25,849/year (2015 rate, tax free), indexed annually, plus Tuition fees, plus Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)
    • UQ Fee Waiver Scholarships may be available
    • UQ and Industry top-up Scholarships may be available
  • Industry full-time and part-time salary may be negotiated with employers

Full-Time Studies

  • Generally based at UQ, St Lucia
  • Able to work part-time (taxable beyond any Scholarships paid)

Part-Time and Remote Studies

  • Best where the employed student works on a long-term industry problem or project, which is also their research project
  • Part-time is taken by UQ to represent half-time, although many part-time employed students devote an average of 2 days/week to their studies, including 1 weekend day (their own time)
  • Generally based on site/at workplace, with periods at UQ St Lucia, as required (no mandatory period at UQ)

Postgraduate Coursework

  • Generally involves contact at UQ St Lucia
  • Postgraduate Certificate – 8 Units/1 semester equivalent full-time
  • Postgraduate Diploma – 16 Units, can include Certificate
  • MEngSc – 24 Units, including a minimum 4 Units Thesis, can include Diploma
  • $1,000/Unit for all students
  • Ad-hoc Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Courses:
    • Costing ~$1,000/day
    • Possibly transferable for credit towards a Postgraduate degree