Master of Philosophy (MPhil), Regulation and Governance

A Master of Philosophy (MPhil) can be a pathway to the RegNet PhD, or it can be an opportunity to apply regulation and governance insights to explore a problem that interests you in the fields of social justice, sustainability and wellbeing.

MPhil students share in the resources of the RegNet PhD program, which is distinguished by its interdisciplinary outlook, Asia-Pacific orientation, stimulating curriculum, world-class supervisors, collegiality, global networks and multiple career pathways.

In Australia, the MPhil is also called a Higher Degree by Research (HDR). Learn more by looking at the following pages and by contacting us.

The Master of Philosophy award will take between one and two years of full-time research to complete. It can also be completed as a part-time degree. This award is conducted in English and is delivered principally on the basis of a research thesis comprising of original written work, most typically limited to 60,000 words.

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, MPhil 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.

Admission requirements

Admission to the Master of Philosophy generally requires Bachelor degree with First Class Honours or Upper (though First Class Honours is often required for a scholarship) or its international equivalent. Admission may be granted if you can demonstrate that you have a background equivalent to these qualifications.

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

Indicative fees

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$46,080.


Domestic students (i.e. citizens of Australia and New Zealand and permanent residents of Australia) 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.

The AGRTP International Fee Offset Scholarship provides support for a research program up to a maximum of two years (full-time) for a Masters program, and up to four years for a PhD program (or part-time equivalent).

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 and AGRTP international Fee offset 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.

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

Application deadlines

HDR 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).

Key dates

The closing date for the Australian Government Research Training Program Stipend Scholarship is 31 August for international applications and 31 October for domestic applications.

International students should check the Australia Awards websites for latest information on application deadlines.

For further information and advice, see the College of Asia and Pacific website and ANU pages on Master of Philosophy (MPhil) study.

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 MPhil program code is 8560XMPHIL.

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