Am I eligible?

We are keen to hear from prospective PhD scholars. All inquiries must be directed to Please do not contact individual scholars directly. Before you contact the HDR convenor, please review the information on this page and, if you meet the following requirements, prepare an ‘Expression of Interest’.

Academic eligibility

To gain admission to the PhD program you will need to have at least an upper second class honours degree (in the Australian system) or its equivalent if you are an international applicant. In the US system this equates to a Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.5/4. We have a strong preference for this degree being in Strategic Studies, International Relations, History or a cognate field.

To maintain quality, SDSC only accepts a few PhD students each year. Given this is a very competitive process, we rarely accept applications from students who do not possess a first class honours degree or a GPA of 3.75/4.

Note that admission does not automatically mean you receive a scholarship. The two are handled separately. More information is available on the fees and scholarships page of this site.

Further note that meeting these requirements does not automatically ensure you will be offered a place. Final decisions are based on available suitable supervisory support among other factors.

English language requirements

The University requires international students whose first language is not English, to provide evidence of English language competence. For this purpose, it uses the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and requires an overall band score of 6.5, with no individual scores below 6. The test needs to be dated within the last two years. Full information is available at Policy: English Language Admission Requirements for Students.  

Updated:  26 March 2023/Responsible Officer:  Bell School Marketing Team/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team