Higher Degrees by Research

UQ Higher Degree by Research (HDR) programs within the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences are governed by the UQ Graduate School in accordance with UQs Research and Research Training policy, and include the: 

A PhD is one of the highest degrees that can be awarded. It is an advanced academic qualification seen as a requirement for the majority of academic and research positions in a wide range of fields and industries. The aim of the PhD is to foster the development of independent research skills. These skills include the capacity to formulate a significant problem, to develop mastery of appropriate conceptual and methodological skills, and to relate the research topic to a broader framework of knowledge in a relevant disciplinary area.

An MPhil is an internationally recognised postgraduate research degree that involves undertaking a significant research project. The MPhil program provides students with an opportunity to develop and enhance analytical and research skills through independent investigation in a specific field. Many MPhil students choose to continue with their research in order to obtain a PhD. Likewise, some PhD students elect to finish early with an MPhil. 

Within the School of Health and Rehabilitations Sciences (SHRS), HDR programs are generally based in the disciplinary areas of the school, being physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech pathology, and audiology.


Learn more about the HDR student experience

HDR Progression

HDR programs consist of progress reviews that play an important role in:

  • The academic development and progress of the candidate;
  • Resources allocation (including advisory commitments) for the enrolling unit; and,
  • Quality assurance for UQ.

These progress reviews take place at certain full-time equivalent time points (based on study load/tuition consumed):

Progress review



Early Candidature Checkpoint (ECC)

3 months (full-time equivalent) after commencement3-6 months (full-time equivalent) after commencement

Confirmation of Candidature (R1)

6 months (full-time equivalent)after commencement12 months (full-time equivalent) after commencement
Review 2 (R2)12 months (full-time equivalent) after commencement24 months (full-time equivalent) after commencement
Review 3 (R3)18 months (full-time equivalent )after commencement36 months (full-time equivalent) after commencement
Submission for Examination*by 21 months (full-time equivalent) after commencement*by 42 months (full-time equivalent) after commencement
Note. RQs = Research Quarters

*Tuition no longer consumed upon submission (or oral examination where applicable).

HDR procedures and guidance

SHRS HDR students and advisors can find guidance on the school’s HDR process by logging into Learn.UQ’s SHRS Research Community - For HDR Students.

Login for SHRS HDR Procedures

This online space contains information and procedures on:

  • Commencement and induction
  • Candidature progress reviews and thesis examination
  • Changing your HDR candidature or program;
  • HDR resources and support
  • HDR events and professional development; and,
  • Important contacts.

For general academic advice about HDR programs within the School of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences, please contact the Director of Higher Degree by Research (DHDR).

For policy and procedural advice about HDRs, please contact the Graduate School’s HDR Liaison Officer (HLO) assigned to the School of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences.