The application process for entry into Higher Degree Research (HDR) in the School of Social Science involves a number of important steps. Becoming an HDR student in the School requires you to meet the entry requirements of the UQ Graduate School and also to gain the support of the School.

The School of Social Science (SoSS) only supports applications from candidates who clearly demonstrate the ability to complete a high-quality Higher Degree by Research. Obtaining School support is not an automatic process and requires that the applicant do more than simply meet minimum entry requirements. We recommend that applicants start the SoSS process 2-3 months before the UQ Graduate School’s deadlines for online applications. This will allow the applicant sufficient time to gather the relevant documentation and to prepare a research proposal, and the School sufficient time to review your application.

There are four steps to gaining support from the School of Social Science. Throughout this application process the applicant must send application materials only to the School’s HDR Liaison Officer (HLO) who will be your primary point of contact ( The HLO will liaise with, and assist, the applicant throughout the process.

3. Writing the Research Proposal

Your detailed research proposal must be 2000 words in length, excluding the bibliography. It must cover the following points:

Research Question and Significance: What is the major problem or issue that your thesis will attempt to solve? What major question will it try to answer?

Relevant Scholarship: What does current scholarship say about your major question? How does your thesis relate to what has already been written on your topic?

Method and Evidence: What methods will you use to conduct your research? Will you use particular theories and/or schools of thought? What evidence, sources of data, or texts will you be using?

Advisory Team: How does the expertise of your proposed advisors match your project?

Preliminary Bibliography: This needs to include at least 20 relevant items and to demonstrate some familiarity with the major scholarly works in your proposed area of research.

You will want to upload your final research proposal to your application, as it is important to the scholarship decision-making process.