PhD studies in biosciences

Start your research career in BioSciences here! Become an expert in your field by taking a deep dive into a biological science research project.

What is a PhD?

Over 3 years (or longer if part time), you’ll complete a research project that adds key knowledge to your chosen field. You’ll write up your findings in an 80,000-word thesis.

Throughout your PhD you’ll be guided by a supervisor who’s an expert in their field.

Your research work will be supported by state-of-the-art facilities and infrastructure at the School of BioSciences.

Be sure to read all the general information on the Doctor of Philosophy – Science, in addition to this page.

What can I study?

Some of the areas you can specialise in when you study a PhD with us are:

  • Biotechnology
  • Genetics
  • Computational biology
  • Plant science
  • Ecology
  • Evolutionary biology
  • Zoology
  • Animal behaviour
  • Reproductive biology
  • Marine biology
  • Environmental science.

Read more about research in the School of BioSciences

Where will this take me?

A PhD is an essential qualification for a research career in the biological sciences. It’s also a ticket to international research opportunities.

Our PhD graduates go on to work as academic researchers, biotechnologists, ecologists, environmental scientists, geneticists, marine biologists, medical researchers, plant breeders, policy analysts, science teachers, and zoologists.

They find rewarding careers in:

  • Research and teaching in universities
  • Public research organisations such as the CSIRO
  • Consulting and professional services firms
  • Commercial sectors including the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and resource industries
  • Governmental organisations such as the EPA and Museums Victoria.

Meet our PhD alumni


Beginning your PhD studies

Pathways to a PhD

Our PhD students come to us after undertaking research training either:

  • as part of an undergraduate degree – for example via an honours year in the Bachelor of Science, or
  • as part of a graduate degree – for example the Master of Science (BioSciences) or one of our other Master of Science degrees.

Read more about the PhD entry requirements

How to apply

All the details about how to apply can be found with the general information for the Doctor of Philosophy – Science.

We offer both the Doctor of Philosophy - Science (PhD) and the Master of Philosophy - Science, but most applicants apply directly for a PhD.

How do I find a supervisor?

The University's Graduate Research Opportunity Tool is a directory of PhD and Masters by Research projects – search by course, field of research or location to find a research project that you're excited to join.

Explore research opportunities

Four scenes of scientific research: a horse, an abalone floating in the ocean, a petri dish full of fungal growths, and a visualisation of light bending

Scholarships and fees

Most domestic and international students who are offered a PhD place with us will also be offered a Graduate Research Scholarship. Receiving this scholarship means you’ll pay no tuition fees. You’ll also receive a living allowance and relocation grant (if relocating to Melbourne).

When you apply for a PhD with us, you’ll be automatically considered for a Graduate Research Scholarship. There’s no need to apply separately.

A huge variety of other scholarships are also available. Search our scholarships to find the ones you’re eligible for.

Need help?

Before getting in touch, please read this page carefully, plus all the information available for the Doctor of Philosophy (Science). If you still have questions, we’ll be happy to help.

Email the Graduate research team