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 MPhil 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 DMin provides a particular opportunity to investigate practical life situations through the lens of theological understanding. The PhD 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 and Tuition Fees

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.

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.

For further information see Admission, Enrolment, and Fees.


Please note that research degree candidates are enrolled directly in the SCD Graduate Research School, not via an individual Member Institution, but supervisors are usually based in Member Institutions or the Korean School of Theology and students use the libraries of these institutions: (link to Library); occasionally, a supervisor may be an external academic based in another theological college or university. All supervisors are required to have recognition as being research-active. For the policy regarding SCD faculty see Research Active in the SCD Policy.

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

Note on 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.

Forms for Research Students

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: