Doctor of Philosophy (Industry)

Duration4 years full-time, 8 years part-time
Adelaide and
Next start termFirst Half of Year, 2024
Study modeOn Campus
Course codeCM33
Civil Engineering student stands in engineering work shop with building materials on bench behind him.


The PhD (Industry) is specifically designed to cater for professionals with existing industry experience and who wish to undertake a research degree. The course will prepare you to bring high-level research analysis and critical thinking skills to bear on your existing or future leadership and/or management roles.

Over a standard duration of four years, the course offers a supportive entry into research, enabling you to become familiar with the language, techniques and expectations of research before embarking on your own PhD-level project. The course structure includes high-quality coursework, research coursework and research dissertation (project and thesis) elements, in a unique and flexible combination that can be tailored to you.

Your first year will commence with research foundation studies, enabling you to rapidly acquire a working knowledge and understanding of the language and expectations of research. You will tailor your learning to suit your current employment context or area of research interest while working with a supervisor to begin shaping your research topic into a research project. To ensure that supervision resources are available for you to complete your research project, candidates are encouraged to view CQU's research strengths and research projects to provide you with an understanding of the University's research focus. 

Upon completion of your preparatory research coursework, you will enrol in RSCH20001 and begin to build a detailed research design of your proposed research project. You will be guided through the steps required in the construction of a research proposal. Four assessments will scaffold you through the process of writing Section A of the Confirmation of Candidature portfolio submission. 

Upon final approval of the Confirmation of Candidature milestone, you will have the flexibility to complete either advanced coursework units or an industry placement, as well as research and thesis/dissertation activities. Coursework units can be selected from an approved list of postgraduate units from across the University, offering a valuable opportunity to gain knowledge to support your research project or to expand your skill set and enhance your career. Alternatively, you may wish to complete an industry placement experience to apply your transferable research skills, add value to the organisation and strengthen your professional networks.  

The PhD (Industry) also offers a strong model of student support, including cohort-style supervisory teams, guidance and instruction from academic staff in research coursework; the provision of generous access to resources to directly support your research project and conference activity; and study support, training, events and research culture through the School of Graduate Research.

The Graduate Certificate in Research will be used as an exit award for candidates who do not reach the required level of academic performance to continue with doctoral-level study (Distinction Level GPA).

  • Nepal_PhD_ROK_Tej Shahi.jpg
    I have gained research and communication skills, and attended two RHD intensive trainings where I presented my research and got the chance to meet experts in related fields who provided valuable feedback. CQU is truly a university where 'you can be what you want to be'.

    Tej Shahi

    Doctor of Philosophy I Nepal

Career Opportunities

Graduates of the PhD (Industry) are expected to access senior/management level positions in their current industry sector, or promotions pathways within the academic or public policy setting. They may also explore opportunities in entrepreneurship, consultancy or professional practice areas. 

Structure & Availability

The PhD (Industry) provides candidates a flexible combination of preparatory research coursework, research coursework, the Confirmation of Candidature milestone, thesis dissertation activities, advanced coursework or approved industry placement. You will complete two core units and either four elective units or an industry placement.


  • RSCH20004 Preparatory research coursework
  • RSCH20001 Prepare for Confirmation

Upon successful Confirmation of Candidature, candidates will complete:

  • RSCH30133 Research and Thesis (or equivalent unit that aligns to research discipline)
  • Choice of advanced coursework (4 units) or approved industry placement (3 months or more)

Candidates choosing to undertake four advanced coursework units will select these from an approved list of CQU postgraduate units. The approved list will ensure the units meet key criteria such as being available online with no residential school or pre- or co-requisite requirements.

On-Campus Availability

First Half of Year, 2024Adelaide, Brisbane, Bundaberg, Cairns, Emerald, Gladstone, Mackay, Melbourne, Rockhampton, Sydney, Townsville
Second Half of Year, 2024Adelaide, Brisbane, Bundaberg, Cairns, Emerald, Gladstone, Mackay, Melbourne, Rockhampton, Sydney

Majors and minors are not applicable to this course.


Recommended study

In the first six months, candidates will complete foundational research coursework to become familiar with the language and expectations of research, and to shape their research topic. This part of the curriculum mirrors the Graduate Certificate in Research. Candidates will then follow the same pathway as for a traditional PhD, stepping through the RSCH20001 Prepare for Confirmation coursework unit and the Confirmation milestone itself. Following approval of the Confirmation of Candidature milestone, candidates will progress to research and thesis/dissertation activities. At this stage, they will also have the flexibility to choose between either four advanced coursework units or an industry placement alongside their research project.

IELTS Academic: 6.5 with no individual band score of less than 6.0

TOEFL Internet-based: Overall score of 79 with no score less than 21

Pearson Test of English Academic: Overall score of 62 with no score less than 54

The first twelve months of study will involve four online advanced coursework units drawn from the CQU postgraduate unit catalogue, studied in combination with the Graduate Certificate in Research (paced for part-time mode over 12 months). The GCR will be offered as an on-course component, enabling candidates to rapidly acquire a working knowledge and understanding of the language and expectations of research. In years 2-4, candidates will complete research coursework, as well as research and thesis/dissertation activities, as per the preexisting model used for current RHD candidates.

The qualifications for admission as a candidate will be set out in the PhD (Industry) Course Rules Policy and Procedure.

Entry to the PhD (Industry) will require a coursework masters degree combined with a three or four-year bachelor-level qualification or equivalent in a field relevant to the proposed research study topic, plus a minimum of three years experience in a relevant professional setting.

In considering the admissions criteria, the University will have regard to the recency of the applicant’s formal qualifications and/or professional experience.

The University may also seek additional information from applicants regarding relevant workplace experience, research publications, or other items that can clearly demonstrate research and content-based expertise.

International applicants are also required to meet the University’s English language requirements.

Not applicable

Not applicable, excepting Defence Export Trade Controls which may apply to specific research project topics.

You will have to meet this course's inherent requirements by demonstrating essential skills and attributes.

Fees & Scholarships

2023 Indicative Fees

Fee TypeFees
International Indicative First Term FeeA$18,150
International Indicative First Year FeeA$36,300

Please refer to our international course fees page.

Pursuing your research higher degree at CQUniversity is more affordable than you think. You can benefit from a range of stipends and scholarships, as well as access to training and other study resources. Visit our research for international students for more information.

We offer a range of scholarships to support international students and encourage you to apply for one that's right for you.

How to apply

Our easy to use online application system for international students will guide you through the process of applying for a course at CQUniversity Australia.