Master of Philosophy

Course Code5002
CRICOS Code094236B
Course duration /
Study mode

Course duration: One to two years full-time (or part time equivalent)
Study mode: On-campus or distance education available

LocationAvondale Campus - Lake Macquarie
Fee Support


*for eligible students, see


The Master of Philosophy (MPhil) is a complete, stand-alone degree that is an internationally recognised masters (by research) degree. It is designed for students to develop advanced skills in carrying out independent and sustained research. The thesis should demonstrate a critical application of specialist knowledge and make an independent contribution to existing scholarship in the area of research.

The course is uniquely delivered within Avondale’s Christian education framework. Students of the MPhil degree will develop critical thinking skills, ethical scholarship, and attitudes that are conducive to personal and collective involvement. These values are applied in the context of Avondale’s values of Excellence, Spirituality, Nurture, Service and Balance. Avondale introduces students to research and supports the development of their research skills.

The MPhil provides students with the opportunity to develop a systematic and critical understanding of a complex field of learning and specialised research skills for the advancement of learning and/or for professional practice. 

Research specialisations can be in the areas of Education, Arts, Nursing, Ministry and Theology. 


The aim of the MPhil degree is to facilitate students' independent learning and prepare them for continuing professional development. Students will develop and enhance their transferable skills, research techniques and application through various activities which will:

  • enable appropriate evidence of advanced knowledge about a specialist body of theoretical and/or applied topics;
  • encourage a high order of skill in analysis, and critical evaluation through the planning and execution of a piece of scholarship or research; and
  • assist creativity and flexibility in the application of knowledge and skills to new situations, to solve complex problems and to think rigorously and independently.


You will be guided by your supervisor/s and will benefit from online support for specific methodological approaches. In addition, the development unit provides research support for students for specific issues such as writing or statistics. 


Career Opportunities

Graduates from this program are eligible to apply for entry to the PhD provided they meet the entry requirements. Please note also that graduates of an undergraduate Honours degree may already be eligible for doctoral studies, subject to the same entry and achievement requirements. A student may also be able to upgrade to a PhD course pending evaluation by a confirmation panel that the quality of the student’s work is of high enough standard and the research project has the capacity to be developed into a PhD study.

Admission Criteria


The MPhil requires the student to have attained from a university or accredited higher education provider at least an AQF Level 7 (Bachelor degree) course completion with a WAM of 65 or GPA of 5.0, for the same disciplinary field as the undergraduate degree.

Where applicants have not attained at least a prior AQF Level 7 qualification, they may be required to complete appropriate Masters by Coursework units prior to enrolment in the MPhil degree. The units required to meet the entry requirements would be determined at time of application and appropriate to the student’s prior qualifications and proposed research specialisation.

A formal interview conducted by the Assistant Dean (Research), and in consultation with the relevant Head of Discipline if needed, prior to acceptance for the purposes of establishing areas of interest for the proposed study and identifying a suitable supervisory team.


No compulsory security or health clearances are required for admission purposes; however a student may need to obtain clearances in industries where they are conducting research further into their candidature for example:

  • Students are required to obtain a Criminal Record Check and Working with Children Check if they are to be researching and/or working with children and have not previously obtained this.
  • NSW Health Department vaccinations where the area the student will be researching, and/or working requires vaccinations.

Prospective students must make application to study in the MPhil through the Research Office - email: [email protected]. The application is to include:

  1. Completed application form
  2. Copy of transcripts from relevant previous qualifications
  3. A brief outline (1,000 words) of the research topic the applicant is interested in pursuing for the degree.

The application is received and reviewed by the Research Services Office for completeness. The relevant Faculty Research Committee review all applications and accept or reject applications based on the applicant’s ability to meet the admission criteria stated above and the capacity of the faculty to supervise the student. Associate supervisors or co-supervisors may be appointed to supplement expertise, see the Selection of Supervisors Policy [AR.02].The Faculty Research Committee makes a recommendation to the Avondale Research Committee to accept the application and endorse the supervisors appointed.


Overseas applicants will have their entry qualifications assessed in accordance with the Admission to Higher Education Undergraduate Courses Policy as well as the International Students Policy


Australia is one of the leading tertiary education providers for international students by virtue of the quality of research degrees.


Courses at Avondale are delivered in the English language. In order to complete the MPhil successfully students from a country where English is not the first language must provide documentary evidence that an IELTS score of 7.0 has been achieved, with no band score less than 7. If the applicant has completed a degree of at least 2 years full time equivalent (AQF level 7 equivalent or higher) where English was the language of instruction and assessment, English language proficiency evidence is not required.

Course Structure

Course Duration: One to two years full time

Study Mode: Distance (online)

Maximum time to complete: Full time - 3 years, Part time - 4 years

The MPhil course is typically offered by distance (online) with some opportunities to meet with supervisors on-campus (depending on the supervisors' availability). Candidates may enrol on a part-time or full-time basis.

MPhil candidates may begin their studies at the beginning of Research Semester 1 (mid January) or the beginning of Research Semester 2 (early July) within any given academic calendar year. Application for each semester closes a number of months before the beginning of each semester.

Core structure of the MPhil course:

An MPhil candidate, whether studying by full-time or part-time study, will normally enrol in two units across the course of their degree:
  1. MPHL61000 Master of Philosophy Thesis
  2. MPHL62000 Master of Philosophy Thesis – Under Examination

Nature of learning

This unit is an entirely independent and sustained research unit leading to a thesis or combination of a written thesis and creative/performance practice. There are no timetabled classes or compulsory on campus attendance required. The candidate and appointed supervisor/s will negotiate the necessary workload commitments required by the candidate to complete the requirements within the stated timeframes. Candidates typically meet with their supervisors online but may attend on-campus meetings with their supervisors from time to time, depending on the candidate and supervisors' availability and location.

However, on average, a full-time study load would require 28-40 hours of study per week, whereas a part-time study load would require 14-20 hours of study per week.

MPhil Thesis

In the final semester of the degree, the candidate submits a thesis (or equivalent exegesis, or publications) of 50,000-60,000 words.

To find out more about any of the units listed here, copy the unit code and then search for that unit here.

Practical Experience


The MPhil degree is accredited under Avondale’s self-accrediting authority, within the terms of the Level 9: Masters Degree (Research) in the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF), and is nationally registered with the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA). In 2021 Avondale was granted university status by TEQSA. 

Registration and Self-Disclosure


Prior to enrolment, applicants are required to disclose any conditions or history that may impact their capacity to successfully complete the MPhil degree.

Where to get further information

Course Enquiries

Student Administration Services

Phone: +61 2 4980 2377
Email: [email protected]
Monday-Thursday, 9.00am-5pm
Friday, 9.00am-12.00noon


FEE-HELP is available for eligible students, see

View current information on tuition fees


Scholarships are available for Avondale students. View all scholarship information.


"The beauty of Avondale is the relationships you can form due to the smaller environment and the nurturing lecturers... it's not just about the study. It's about the way you study."
Paul Rankin, Avondale PhD Graduate