The National Security College PhD program develops experts in security policy with strong research skills.
As a PhD student you’ll work with increased independence, under the direction of a supervisory panel of experts in the field. Your research will make an original and important contribution to human knowledge, research and development.Each PhD student is supervised by an academic with relevant expertise.
To gain admission to the NSC PhD program, applicants need to have at minimum an upper second class (H2A) honours degree (or its equivalent) in security studies, international relations, political science or another cognate discipline. Admission is also dependent on the availability of an appropriate academic supervisor.
A PhD degree normally requires the completion of a thesis (around 100,000 words) over a period of three to four years (full-time). The thesis must make an original and substantial contribution to the academic literature, and it must demonstrate the student’s capacity to situate their research in the discipline of security studies.
Candidates interested in undertaking PhD study at the NSC should:
Send an Expression of Interest to the academic staff member who you have identified as a possible supervisor for your PhD project.
Information in your Expression of Interest should include:
- A proposed thesis topic (be as specific as you can) of relevance to national security policy
- A preliminary thesis proposal of no more than three (3) pages (see below)
- The name of a potential supervisor from among the NSC academic staff
- A copy of your academic transcript(s)
- A CV including evidence of any work experience
- A sample of your academic writing (published or unpublished)
- A statement on whether your ability to undertake PhD study is dependent on being awarded a scholarship
- The timeframe you envisage for commencing and completing your PhD study at ANU
Your preliminary thesis proposal should address the following questions:
- What is the central research question you want to answer?
- What is your argument or hypothesis?
- What are the competing explanations (brief summary of other views on these issues)?
- How would you conduct your research?
- What do you anticipate would be your contribution to the academic literature on the topic?
- Why would your contribution be important?
After the potential academic supervisor at NSC receives your Expression of Interest, he or she may invite you to a meeting to discuss your proposal.
- If it is established that an appropriate academic supervisor is available, lodge a formal application through ANU. You can apply on an admission-only basis or for admission and scholarship.
More information on applying to undertake PhD study in the ANU College of Asia & the Pacific is available on the Graduate research page of their website.
English language admission requirements for student’s policy
Unless an applicant:
- is a citizen of Australia; or
- a citizen of one of the countries listed in the English Language Admission Requirements for Students policy and whose studies were conducted entirely in English; or
- successfully completed prior full-time study in the medium of English for a minimum of two (2) years in one of the countries listed in the relevant ANU policy, no more than two (2) years prior to the date of the application to ANU
Applicants for this PhD program will normally require either:
- an IELTS overall band score 6.5 with a score of at least 6.0 in all components; or
- a minimum TOEFL score of 570 and a Test of Written English (TWE) score of 4.5 (paper-based test); or 230 and an Essay Test score of 4.5 (computer-based test); or a score of 80, with a minimum of 20 in Reading and Writing and 18 in Speaking and Listening_ _(internet-based test).
English language tests must have been taken no more than two (2) years before the date of application.
Scholarships and fees
National Security College HDR Travel Grant
The National Security College HDR Travel Grant provides additional research funding for new or existing domestic higher degree by research students from the College to undertake fieldwork or attend conferences.
ANU offers a wide range of scholarships to students to assist with the cost of their studies.
Eligibility to apply for ANU scholarships varies depending on the specifics of the scholarship and can be categorised by the type of student you are.
Specific scholarship application process information is included in the relevant scholarship listing.