Doctor of Philosophy, Regulation and Governance

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Further information
Enquiries to:

Ashley Schram
Ashley Schram

The Doctor of Philosophy, Regulation and Governance is a unique doctoral program that applys regulation and governance insights to solve critical problems that enhance the world’s social justice, sustainability and wellbeing. In the RegNet PhD, you are not just a student – you are a colleague.

What sets us apart from other PhD programs internationally?

An interdisciplinary outlook

Whether your background is in anthropology, criminology, development studies, history, international relations, law, political science, psychology, public health, sociology or another social science, this degree gives you the critical theory, research and communications skills you need to bridge different fields of knowledge. You will choose the the disciplinary mix that works for you and we will support you with the necessary skills and training.

An Asia-Pacific orientation

RegNet draws on the expertise at the Australian National University, which is the world leader in research focused on Asia and the Pacific.


RegNet is renowned as a place where you will find supportive peers, friendly staff and world-class faculty committed to your success. Together, we work to make every student’s experience a rich and fulfilling one.

Educational excellence

We offer a demanding curriculum that fulfills your intellectual curiosity. Our formal coursework, hands-on workshops, peer-learning modules, fieldwork and independent study are guided by experienced supervisors. We develop your theoretical and methodological sophistication and expand your understanding of regulation and governance in a globalized world.

World-class supervisors

RegNet academics are renowned for the quality of their supervision. View the ‘supervisors’ tab to see who is currently available to work with incoming students.

Global Networks:

Our adjunct faculty and visitor programs draw renowned scholars from the world’s leading universities and think tanks. Our global network opens doors for our graduates in Australia and overseas.

Multiple career pathways

You will study with a cohort of Australian and international peers who are seeking to make a policy impact with their work in universities, the public sector, regulatory agencies and non-governmental organizations. We produce highly trained scholars who go on to be leaders in their fields.

In Australia, the PhD is also called a Higher Degree by Research (HDR). Learn more by looking at the following pages and by contacting us. For information on CAP HDR programs, please see the CAP HDR Student Guide.

Apply now
Further information
Enquiries to:

Ashley Schram
Ashley Schram

A PhD normally takes between three to four years full-time or up to eight years part-time. Students are required to submit a thesis of up to 100,000 words that makes a substantial contribution to the relevant scholarly literature and demonstrates how their research relates to their discipline. PhDs by publication are also possible, but require consultation and approval by your primary supervisor.

PhD students are also required to take 18 units of formal coursework. In semester 1, students complete Regulation and Governance (REGN 9052) and Governance and Social Theory (REGN 9053). In semester 2, students complete Methods in Regulation and Governance (REGN 9076). In addition, students can participate in a suite of workshops to facilitate their research.


At RegNet, PhD students have a primary supervisor and a panel of supporting supervisors. The primary supervisor chairs the panel. RegNet supervisory panels for PhD students are typically made up of experienced professors, mid- and early-career researchers working in the student’s field of interest from the ANU and may include one or more colleagues from disciplinary or professional areas that relate to the student’s topic.

Not sure who might be the supervisor for you? Under the ‘supervisors’ tab you can view available supervisors and their interests and get in touch.

If you are interested in working with a supervisor not on this list, please contact RegNet directly ( in advance of the application deadline.

Apply now
Further information
Enquiries to:

Ashley Schram
Ashley Schram

Admission criteria

Admission to the PhD Program requires that the candidate already hold, or be about to complete, an Australian Bachelor Degree with at least Second Class Honours - Upper (though First Class Honours is often required for a scholarship) or its international equivalent, or, a Postgraduate Degree with a significant research thesis component.

All applicants must meet the University’s English Language Admission Requirements for Students.

Application deadlines

PhD applications are accepted on an ongoing basis. However, please keep in mind that: (a) there are deadlines for scholarships; and (b) there are significant advantages to commencing study at the beginning of the Australian academic year (February).

To meet ANU scholarship application deadlines, prospective students should express their interest in the RegNet HDR Program (see ‘How to apply’ tab) at least one to two months in advance of the scholarship deadline 31 August (international students) or 31 October (domestic students). For all other scholarships, prospective students should express their interest in the RegNet HDR Program at least two months in advance of the scholarship deadline (if formal acceptance to a university is a scholarship eligibility requirement).


Domestic students

Domestic research students are not required to pay tuition fees as they are enrolled under the Research Training Scheme. The RTS provides funding for the research program up to a maximum of two years (full-time) for a Masters program.

International students

Annual indicative fees for international students for 2020 are A$45,864.


Domestic (i.e. citizens of Australia and New Zealand and permanent residents of Australia) and International students are eligible for an Australian Government Research Training Program (AGRTP) Stipend Scholarship. The AGRTP is funded by the Commonwealth government and provides support to students completing a research degree program.

All other students (whether domestic or international) are required to pay International Student Fees (ISF) unless these are covered by a scholarship.

Most RegNet students are successful in obtaining scholarships to fully or partially fund their study in Canberra. AGRTP Scholarship applicants are very competitive. Thus, international students should consider applying to other eligible schemes, such as the Australia Awards Scholarships.

If you enrol in additional subjects/courses during your enrolment you may incur tuition fees.

Apply now
Further information
Enquiries to:

Ashley Schram
Ashley Schram

Step 1: Check your eligibility

See the ‘Scholarships and admissions’ tab on this page.

Step 2: Explore your options

Please look through the RegNet website to see what types of projects are currently being pursued by students and supervisors, and view the ‘supervisors’ tab on this page.

Note: Please do not contact potential supervisors at this stage of the process.

Step 3: Express your interest

To express your interest in pursuing a research degree at RegNet, email electronic copies of the following documents to RegNet directly (
1. Completed expression of interest form (PDF, 904KB)
2. Curriculum vitae (CV)
3. Academic transcripts
4. International English Language Testing System (IELTS)/ Test Of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) results (if applicable)
5. Thesis proposal (5-10 pages)

Please note that your expression of interest form & accompanying documentation should be submitted 1-2 months prior to any formal application process directly to the School.

All applicants should include a section in their application detailing the viability of their project in the context of COVID restrictions. This section should either (a) explain how the project is not dependent on travel and/or fieldwork and therefore feasible regardless of restrictions in these domains; or (b) provide a 12-month plan outlining how the project will proceed if the current restrictions on fieldwork and travel continue. Applicants should discuss the viability of their research project under COVID restrictions with their proposed supervisors prior to submitting the application.

International students are required to have a valid visa at all times. Applying for a visa can be a long process, so please take a look at the information on visas on the ANU website as early as possible.

Step 4: Meet potential supervisors

The Director of Education will inform you within three weeks of receiving your expression of interest whether there is a supervisor available to supervise your proposed topic. If there is, you will be asked to attend an interview (this can be done over phone/Skype if you are not based in Canberra).

Step 5: Make a formal application to the ANU

Once a supervisor has interviewed you and signed off on your proposal, the Director of Education will advise you to apply through the ANU online application process. The RegNet PhD program code is 9560XPHD.

Step 6: Get ready!

You may find it useful to look at our recommended introductory readings on regulatory theory.

Updated:  10 August 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director, RegNet/Page Contact:  Director, RegNet