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Alphacrucis University College offers four Higher Degree Research awards: Doctor of Philosophy, Doctor of Ministry, Master of Philosophy and Bachelor of Advanced Studies (Honours). These postgraduate research endeavours provide an opportunity for deeper engagement within your area of interest, to develop your research capabilities, and equip you with highly desired workplace skills such as writing and critical reasoning.


The completion of an HDR course at AC will provide you with the skills and experience to undertake a range of rewarding career opportunities. Employers recognise that the research ability and broad range of transferable skills required for HDR courses will equip graduates well for challenging and diverse roles in industry, government and business, as well as in research and academic organisations. Choosing the right degree for you is an important decision and one that will be influenced by your career plans, personal circumstances and prior qualifications. We recommend that you discuss the options with the relevant Dean of Faculty or HDR Program Director.

Of course, plans and circumstances can change over time and AC provides you with the flexibility to adapt your study pattern accordingly; this may involve converting to part-time or external candidature, taking a short leave of absence from study or perhaps transferring to a more appropriate program.

Bachelor of Advanced Studies (Honours) (BAH)

The Bachelor of Advanced Studies (Honours) is designed to provide graduates specialised knowledge within a systematic and coherent body of knowledge that builds on the acquisition and application of knowledge and skills from the graduates’ existing discipline or professional area. Candidates who successfully complete this course may be eligible to apply for a doctoral program (PhD).

Master of Philosophy (MPhil)

The Master of Philosophy (MPhil) is a highly esteemed research course that can also function as bridging courses to the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). The MPhil is a combination of coursework and a 30,000 word thesis. Candidates also participate in skills training programs. Candidates who demonstrate excellence and originality in their thesis progress may have the opportunity to upgrade into a doctorate where applicable. The MPhil course learning outcomes can be found on the AC website here.

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)

AC offers a professional doctorate in the disciplines of ministry and leadership. Professional doctorates combine a 50,000 word thesis and advanced coursework in a single program specifically aimed at practitioners in the field. To qualify for a DMin, a candidate is required to pass each component of the program individually and to complete any coursework or project requirements before submitting their thesis or portfolio for examination. The DMin course learning outcomes are found on the AC website here.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

The PhD is the qualification for a research career or academic position and is a stepping stone to a range of employment opportunities. The PhD involves a three years full-time equivalent candidature, together with participation in various training skills programs, culminating in an 80,000 word doctoral thesis. Through this course, you will develop the capacity to conduct research independently at a high level of originality and quality and make a significant original contribution to knowledge in your chosen discipline. The PhD course learning outcomes are found on the AC website here.


The admission requirements for Higher Degrees by Research (HDR) are set out in the relevant set of academic program rules, as published on the Alphacrucis University College website. The current admission requirements are available under each course: Bachelor of Advanced Studies (Honours), Master of Philosophy, Doctor of Ministry and Doctor of Philosophy.

If you are seeking entry based on alternative qualifications, the key consideration will be that you have undertaken significant research training, leading to the production of a substantial written report such as a thesis or publication(s).

The first step for both domestic and international prospective HDR candidates is to complete an Expression of Interest form. In addition to satisfying the academic requirement for admission, international applicants are required to satisfy the English language proficiency requirements.

Following receipt of advice from the HDR Program Director about your suitability as an applicant and the availability of supervision and resources to support your candidature, a letter of offer (or refusal) will be forwarded to you. Generally, the time taken from application to the issue of a letter of offer (or refusal) is around four weeks for applicants seeking admission without a scholarship, if the application is complete, eligible and there are no complicating factors. For further information, please see the Admissions Policy.

It is possible to apply for an HDR course at any time of the year. For Honours, MPhil and DMin coursework subjects, the semester runs concurrent with the wider HE calendar. For those enrolled in thesis subjects, the semester runs from January-June and July-December. It is recommended that you commence application at least three months prior to the semester start.

When you apply to undertake a doctorate, MPhil or Honours course, you will be asked to nominate your ‘attendance status’; in other words, whether you will be enrolled as a full-time or a part-time candidate. The pursuit of an HDR course is an engrossing, challenging and time-consuming occupation and can be made more demanding where work and family commitments must also be juggled.

Anyone carrying out research must, to a certain extent, ‘live with’ their research questions and problems until they are solved. The advantage of full-time candidature is that you can fully engage with the research culture of AC and maintain currency in your chosen field.

AC has comprehensive support systems in place to assist you in your study journey regardless of location. Most of our HDR courses and seminars are run online, to facilitate candidates located around Australia and the globe. Communication with your supervisors and access to AC resources are available across the university college campuses. However, it is beneficial to attend any seminars or gatherings in person if possible.

If you are an HDR candidate at another institution and you wish to transfer your candidature to AC, you will need to submit a formal application for admission and cross-credit. If your transfer to AC is approved, you may be required to complete a minimum of one year of full-time study for PhD and DMin or six months for MPhil before submitting your thesis for examination.

In general, AC does not advise HDR candidates to enrol in another academic program at the same time, considering your research should be your sole focus for the period of your candidature. However, if there are language requirements (e.g. Biblical Hebrew or Greek) that would assist in your studies, this may be possible.


Ready to take the next step? Click below to find out what the next steps are.

The first step in your Higher Degree Research journey with Alphacrucis University College is to complete an Expression of Interest form.

HDR applicants may be requested to seek confidential Referee Reports from two (2) people who can comment on your writing skills and research potential.

In such cases, HDR applicants will be required to send the HDR Confidential Referee Form to two referees. Applicants will be notified after the initial interview if this requirement applies to their application.

After assessing the Expression of Interest, applicants may be invited to attend an interview to discuss a suitable research topic and potential supervisors. Working with your supervision team is an essential part of higher degree research. A list of AC Faculty can be found here.

An interview typically takes twenty to thirty minutes and is conducted face-to-face, online, or over the phone.

After the interview the next step is the formal application process. You will be sent a Next Steps email from HDR Registry with information about how to apply.

The Cost of Study

AC offers limited scholarships and fee subsidy for eligible candidates. To apply, please complete the Scholarship Application form.

For more information please see our Scholarship for Tuition Policy.

Complete Fee Schedules and FEE-HELP information (where appropriate) for all Alphacrucis courses can be found in our Documents section, under the Fees and FEE-HELP Information page.

Note: Alphacrucis University College maintains compliance with the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) sanctions regimes and Australian autonomous sanctions regimes. Applications to Alphacrucis’ Higher Degree Research programs are reviewed against the sanctions regimes currently implemented under Australian sanction laws (refer to DFAT website for further information).