Choosing your topic

A graduate research degree is a unique opportunity to explore a topic that interests you, so it is important to think carefully about the topic you wish to study.

Discussing possible topics with a prospective supervisor is one of the first things you should do when contemplating research studies.

It is important that you choose:

  • an area about which you are sufficiently interested and curious to maintain your enthusiasm for three to four years
  • an area that is interesting to your prospective supervisor
  • a topic in which you can identify questions to be answered or gaps to be filled in current knowledge
  • a project that is realistic for you to complete within the time allocated

Your proposed field of study must be approved by both the relevant Head of School and the Graduate Research School. They each must be satisfied that:

  • the area of research is specifically suitable and can be completed within the allocated time
  • the research topic can be adequately supervised in this University and is appropriate to the degree program selected
  • technical and other facilities are available if required

You may, with the approval of the Graduate Research School, change your field of study before enrolment or after you start, although this is not encouraged.

To change your field of study, you must submit an application in writing through your current school (or, if not already enrolled, the school in which you have been made an offer of a place) to the Board of the Graduate Research School for approval. Approval from the proposed new school is also required.

A change of field may take place only if the new field is appropriate to the degree program selected. If it is not appropriate to the degree program selected, it will require a new application for admission because, in essence, it is a new program.