PhD and MPhil

PhD and MPhil


HDR Convenor
Dr Bernard Baffour
T: +61 2 6125 9030

HDR Administrator

Overview | How to apply | First Year Program | Later Year Program | Research Funding | Office space                              


The ANU School of Demography is a world-class demographic centre for research and training in the Asia Pacific region. Our research strengths include:

Asian Demography

Fertility, family formation and change

Mortality, ageing and health


Degrees offered

Collectively, these two degrees at ANU are referred to as the 'Higher Degree by Research' (HDR) program.

PhD candidates are normally required to submit a thesis of no more than 100,000 words and the thesis for an MPhil is normally limited to 60,000 words. An HDR thesis must meet the standard internationally recognised for the degree in the relevant discipline. Your research must make a substantial contribution to the relevant scholarly literature.

These research degrees enable students to undertake an in-depth research project at postgraduate level under the close supervision of academic experts. Through its supportive environment and programs the School encourages new modes of research while it also supports traditional scholarly methods of inquiry. These programs, based on clear requirements and transparent principles, are designed to maximise the quality and impact of student research.

The HDR program at the School of Demography offers:

  • A vigorous cohort of current HDR students, all of whom are examining some of the most important demographic issues facing the world today
  • The opportunity to work with academic experts, adjunct faculty, post-doctoral fellows and visiting academics – all with international reputations in a range of disciplines
  • Office space with computing facilities and access statistical software and datasets
  • Opportunities to present work-in-progress in a number of fora, including conferences, seminar series, and workshops
  • Involvement in a structured program of education in social science research
  • Participation in occasional visiting scholars programs and master classes
  • Funding for conference travel, fieldwork, data collection and necessary external coursework

How to apply

Prior to preparing an application for admission, prospective students should consult the Postgraduate Research Students page on the ANU website. This provides information for both Australian and international students and includes advice on the University, degrees, fees, scholarships, procedures, rules, etc. 

Further information about studying a higher degree by research in the ANU College of Arts & Social Sciences is available here.  

Finding a supervisor

Identifying a potential primary supervisor is an important part of your graduate research application. Visit the People or Research sections of our website to find and then contact a potential supervisor to support your application. Alternatively, you may choose to directly contact our HDR Convenor, Dr Bernard Baffour, for assistance in identifying a potential supervisor. Please note, any offer of supervision will be subject to you being formally offered admission to the program and meeting any conditions (if applicable).

First Year Program


The graduate program begins with an “Induction” process. This is meant to welcome students to the School and to the University, as well as to familiarise them with their opportunities and responsibilities. It also includes social events that allow new students to meet the other students, faculty and support staff who comprise the School community.

Thesis Proposal Review (TPR)

In accordance with university rules students must complete a thesis proposal, to be reviewed and approved by their supervisory panel, before the end of the first year of full-time study.


The ANU College of Arts & Social Sciences requires research students to complete coursework as part of their degree. This will include training on research methods, ethics and other topics as deemed appropriate by your supervisory panel and will normally be completed in your first year.

Later Year Program

Workshops and other training

From time to time, students in the School may participate in visiting scholars program, master classes and other workshops and symposia. Many of these opportunities arise in conjunction with conferences and faculty visits. The School website provides an up-to-date list of events.

Final year thesis seminar

In the final year (normally between 3 and 6 months before the thesis submission date) students must present a final seminar on their research. Students may present an overview of the research and discuss its significance and outcomes. Members of the supervisory panel are expected to meet with students after their presentations and to provide comments and advice.

Research Funding

The School is committed to providing its HDR students with the best possible support for their research and skills development within appropriate budgetary bounds. The objective of this support is to assist each research student to complete their thesis by funding expenses such as conference travel, fieldwork, data collection and necessary external coursework. Applications should be developed in consultation with the principal supervisor and approved by the principal supervisor and the Head of School of Demography (A/Prof Edith Gray).

Procedures for Applying for Research Funding

HDR students must complete a School of Demography - HDR Funding Application in accordance with our HDR Support Guidelines for travel with or without funding. This must be completed by a HDR student before completing the ANU Travel e-form.  Please contact Susan Cowan, HDR Administrator, if you have any queries in relation to this process.

Office Space

Office spaces are available to research students within our School. Please note that all workspaces are assigned on a case-by-case basis and may be within spaces shared with other research students or academic visitors.

Updated:  16 September 2021/Responsible Officer:  Head of School/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications