Information for Research Students

Research Degrees

The SCD currently offers four accredited postgraduate research awards, one at master’s level and three at doctoral level:

While all the research degrees require an equally high level of performance, they are each designed to meet different student needs and prior qualifications. The Master of Philosophy may suit those wishing to pursue a more contained research project and is available for subject areas ranging widely from a specialist theological interest to an interest in relating theology to other disciplines. The Doctor of Ministry provides a particular opportunity to investigate practical life situations through the lens of theological understanding. The Doctor of Philosophy is open to those wishing to pursue either specialist theological research or wider research with theological implications. The ThD is open to those with appropriate prior theological study wishing to continue in a theological specialisation.

All research degrees are available either full-time or part-time. The Doctor of Ministry program consists of two coursework units (20%) followed by research and thesis (80%). The other research degree programs proceed by research and thesis alone. All theses and presentations are written in English. For full information regarding individual degrees and their various requirements, see the SCD Handbook.

Enrolment & Tuition Fees

Candidates enrol through the Office of the Dean following an interview with the Research Director. To enrol, candidates need to complete an Application and a Summary of Research Intentions. The Research Director forwards these to the Research Committee, which determines acceptance into the program. Candidature for all research degrees is provisional until the acceptance of the Thesis Proposal by the Research Committee.

Australian citizens and permanent residents are eligible to apply for Fee-Help, a Government loan that covers the fee for the chosen course. Overseas students and others not using Fee-Help are asked to pay the tuition fee at the beginning of each semester. SCD fees are the same for both domestic and overseas students.

For further information see Admission, Enrolment, and Fees.


Research students are enrolled directly in the SCD Graduate Research School, which is a Teaching Body of the SCD. Supervisors are usually based in our other Teaching Bodies and research students may use any branch of the SCD Library at any of these Teaching Bodies. Supervisors may also be external academics based in another theological college or university. All supervisors are required to have recognition as being research-active. The Research Active in the SCD Policy explains what this means.

Inclusion in SCD’s research community is provided collectively through the Research Seminars held approximately eight times a year at evening times, as well as ‘how-to’ Research Degree Workshops. Sydney-based students are expected to attend the Research Seminars regularly in person. Students living beyond Sydney are asked to attend in person at least once a year and otherwise to attend the seminars by electronic means. As well as contributing to the development of each person’s research capacity and skills, these seminars allow students who may be carrying out their work alone to experience membership of a community of scholars and make friends with other people in a similar position.

Inquiries should be directed to the Research Director, Professor James Harrison, in the Office of the Dean:

  • Email: [email protected]
  • Phone: +61 2 9889 1969
  • Mail: PO Box 1882, Macquarie Centre, NSW 2113

Research Training in Coursework Degrees

As well as the program of research degrees, the SCD offers research opportunities for students in other graduate programs, who may occasionally participate in relevant research degree activities and meet current research degree candidates.

The BTh (Hons) and BMin (Hons) require production of a short thesis under the direction of a supervisor. The Master’s coursework degrees and their nested components provide for research projects (equivalent to one course unit) and research essays (equivalent to either two or four course units), as well as a Research Methodology unit. Such experience provides a sound basis for proceeding to a research degree. For research elements in these awards see the SCD Handbook.


Research degree candidates can access the following forms by selecting and opening the links below:

Master’s Degree Students undertaking a Research Essay can access the following form by selecting and opening the link below:

Research Students, Master’s Degree Students undertaking a Research Essay, and Faculty can access the following forms relating to Research Ethics by selecting and opening the links below: