Doctor of Philosophy (Industry) - CM33

We see real people creating real results and our Doctor of Philosophy (Industry) will arm you with the practical expertise to make a real difference in your industry and career. CQUni's PhD (Industry) is a professional-practice doctorate, combining preparatory research coursework, research coursework and dissertation to prepare you to bring high-level research analysis and critical thinking to your profession. Designed to build on your industry experience, you will have the choice of completing an industry placement or advanced coursework to align with your research project and enhance your professional expertise.

The PhD Industry is available across the full range of research disciplinary areas in which CQUni holds supervision expertise. The degree offers research coursework in the initial stages of candidature, to enable candidates to rapidly acquire a working knowledge and understanding of the language and expectations of research. These foundation studies replace the usual requirement to demonstrate research experience in order to gain entry into the doctoral degree, meaning more industry professionals can access a research doctorate.


On Campus




4 years full-time, 8 years part-time


Adelaide, Brisbane, Bundaberg, Cairns, Emerald, Gladstone, Mackay, Melbourne, Rockhampton, Sydney, Townsville


The Doctor of Philosophy (Industry) is a course of supervised research and study leading to the submission of a thesis which makes a contribution to knowledge. This course is governed by the Doctor of Philosophy (Industry) Course Rules Policy and Procedure which provide details regarding all aspects of admission, progression, submission and examination of the thesis.



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 CQUni'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 skillset 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).

Core Units 8 Major Units None
Electives None Minor Units None

The PhD (Industry) provides candidates with 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.


  • RSCH20003 Research Portfolio (preparatory 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 CQUni 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.

CQUniversity's research focus and engaged research agenda are already making positive impacts on individuals, communities and industries across the world. In coming years, this impact will continue to grow, expanding into new focus areas and transforming the way we think about current challenges. The University's research impact is apparent in improved industry processes, regional and economic development, business improvement, productivity and innovation, social advancement and equity and healthier communities.

CQUniversity's research agenda is built around deep engagement with communities, industries and government. The focus is firmly placed on the delivery of research that is especially relevant to the Northern Australia region. To deliver great research that is meaningful and relevant, researchers work directly with stakeholders to identify challenges and deliver solutions. End users are involved throughout our research projects. This approach ensures CQUniversity's research delivers direct benefit and long-lasting impact.

CQUniversity has two research institutes – The Appleton Institute and the Institute for Future Farming Systems – and seven research centres including The Centre of Indigenous Health Equity Research, Centre for Intelligent

Systems, Centre for Railway Engineering, Centre for Research in Equity and Advancement of Teaching and Education, Centre for Regional Economies and Supply Chains, Queensland Centre for Domestic and Family Violence Research and the Coastal Marine Ecosystems Research Centre.


Our focus has been to emphasise research with relevance to the region, involving aspects of regional development, growth in resource industries, environmental management, issues associated with quality health care in rural and regional communities, and education delivery specifically through use of modern technology.

Discover our research strengths at CQUni.

On-Campus Availability

Research First Half Year - 2023Adelaide, Brisbane, Bundaberg, Cairns, Emerald, Gladstone, Mackay, Melbourne, Rockhampton, Sydney, Townsville
Research First Half Year - 2024Adelaide, Brisbane, Bundaberg, Cairns, Emerald, Gladstone, Mackay, Melbourne, Rockhampton, Sydney, Townsville
Research Second Half Year - 2023Adelaide, Brisbane, Bundaberg, Cairns, Emerald, Gladstone, Mackay, Melbourne, Rockhampton, Sydney, Townsville
Research Second Half Year - 2024Adelaide, Brisbane, Bundaberg, Cairns, Emerald, Gladstone, Mackay, Melbourne, Rockhampton, Sydney, Townsville

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.

Security Requirements

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

Health Requirements

Not applicable

Assumed Knowledge

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.

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. 

Research Stipends and Scholarships

Pursuing your research higher degree at CQU is more affordable than you think. You may be eligible for stipends and scholarships to reduce costs, plus you can access project and conference financial support. For more information, visit the research higher degree fee page.

Other study costs

Part of your course costs includes Student Services and Amenities Fees (SSAF). Explore other study costs.

CQUniversity offers a strong sense of research community, as well as generous project funding, training and support so that you can thrive as a researcher.

CQUniversity is committed to supporting you academically throughout your research journey, providing a range of benefits including multiple supervisors, mentorship, access to RHD Academies and more.

As a Research Higher Degree student at CQUniversity, you may benefit from our scholarship opportunities which include living stipends, allowance scholarships, and tuition waivers. A research scholarship or stipend could help you pay for some or all of your tuition fees, or even contribute towards your living and study expenses.

Browse Research Scholarships

Submit your application for this course directly to CQUniversity using the Apply Now button below.

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