Primary Landing Page

ANU College of Asia and the Pacific (CAP) offers two research degrees: the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and the Master of Philosophy (MPhil). The PhD, in which almost 400 students are currently enrolled, is a three to four year research degree requiring the production of an 80-100,000 word thesis. Most students are required to undertake some preparatory course work in their first year. All research students work closely with an academic supervisor and a panel of advisors. The College offers PhD and MPhil research supervision in a wide range of disciplines from the humanities and social sciences.


Read more

Access world-class experts who will inspire your research in social and cultural anthropology. Our diverse faculty maintains a program focus on theoretically informed, ethnographic fieldwork in the Asia-Pacific region.

Archaeology and natural history 

Read more

Engage with the cultural complexity and environmental diversity of the Asia Pacific region with archaeology and natural history. Your research will develop your understanding of the origins and trajectories of cultural and environmental change through time. 

Asia Pacific Security 

Read more

Our research expertise and reputation in Asia-Pacific security spans across the vital strategic relations between the United States, China, India and Japan; the four regional flashpoints including the Korean peninsula, Taiwan, and the East and South China Seas; global strategic challenges including nuclear proliferation and maritime security; transnational security challenges and cooperation; and the nexus between economic and security issues. Our research in these areas informs our understanding of key strategic challenges and defence priorities in the Asia-Pacific region, and Australia’s place in the region. 

Asian studies 

Read more

Examine the rich and complex history of Asia, and its growing global importance, through a broad range of disciplines and geographical expertise, giving you the most comprehensive range of research options on Asia in Australia, and arguably, the world.

Democracy and Elections 

Read more

Our researchers have expertise on the political and social dynamics of all major states in Asia and the Pacific, including China, India, Indonesia, Myanmar, and Papua New Guinea. Our scholarship includes award-winning contributions in the areas of electoral systems, political party development, clientelism, populism, religious and environmental politics, women’s leadership, political economy, corruption, regime change, and conflict and conflict resolution. 


Read more

Deal with the key global trends of our time, with a focus on economic development in China, India, Japan, Indonesia, Thailand and other Asia Pacific economies.

Environment and Resource Management 

Read more

Investigate a wide range of environmental and resource management issues that affect the Asia and Pacific region, including climate change adaptation and mitigation, natural hazards and disasters, the social and environmental impacts of development and more. 

Geopolitics and Diplomacy

Read more

The geostrategic environment in the Asia-Pacific has grown increasingly more complex. New organisations, with regional and sub-regional groupings are becoming more active and external players such as China and Indonesia are much more visible in regional affairs. Our research on geopolitics and regionalism addresses the drivers of, and trends in, regional politics and diplomacy covering themes such as soft power and public diplomacy, political economy, Pacific diplomacy, and non-state actor diplomacy. Researchers also investigate some of the most pressing development issues in Pacific Island countries including relationships between state structures and capabilities, society and societal transformations, and governance in the Pacific. 

Gender, Cultural and Media Studies

Read more

Your research will connect insights on the transformations of gender and sexuality in Asia and the Pacific from a range of disciplines including anthropology, history, language, literature and media studies. 


Read more

Examine deep processes of change in Asian and Pacific societies, covering ancient civilisations, the turbulent encounter of these societies with the West and the promises and threats of the recent past. 

Human Security

Read more

In recent years, human security problems and issues have gained increasing attention on global and regional security agendas as well as in Australia’s foreign policy. The research profile of our academics cuts across global and regional affairs in the areas of urbanisation, global migration and forced displacement, child rights and protection, gender-based and domestic violence, women’s economic empowerment, health security, and artificial intelligence. 

International Relations

Read more

Explore nuclear disarmament, the role of global institutions or world peace. We offer you a keen insight into the realm of global politics with a unique focus on the Asia Pacific region.

Law and Society

Read more

Draw on pragmatic and policy-oriented solutions to complex issues. Investigate a wide variety of topics related to justice, security, and more. 


Read more

With one of the largest concentrations of linguists anywhere in the world, and over 50 years of experience documenting little-known languages, we have the capacity to support your research on more than 2,000 languages of the Asia and Pacific region.

National Security Policy

Read more

Our program aims to develop internationally recognised security specialists with outstanding research skills. Choose from 19 multidisciplinary fields ranging across the security of regions and states, cyberspace, terrorism, potential futures and the challenges faced by policymakers. 

Pacific Studies

Read more

Pacific Studies is an interdisciplinary field focusing on the islands of Oceania and the Pacific diaspora. Our scholars explore important historical and contemporary issues, and critically examine the ways in which the region has been framed, constructed and represented. 

Political Science

Read more

Engage in cutting edge research on Asia and Pacific politics with world-leading experts and understand the region’s political diversity — from durable one-party regimes such as China, to the sprawling democracies of India and Indonesia, or the tiny microstates of the Pacific. 

Public Policy

Read more

Develop your expertise in political science, public administration, economics, geography, anthropology or area studies, and become a leading practitioner who has real impact in today’s complex world of policy challenges. 


Read more

Undertake regulatory research by promoting the interests of social justice, fairness, human rights or economically sustainable development, grounded in a number of fields including anthropology, criminology, environmental studies, gender studies, law, psychology and more. 

Strategic Studies

Read more

Develop research that provides insight, imagination and judgement on understanding the history of conflict, the complexity of the global strategic environment, Australia’s place in it, and the utility and application of armed force in international affairs.

Self Assess

You need to have completed an undergraduate or master degree in a discipline relevant to your area of proposed research. For undergraduate degrees your result should be First Class Honours or Second Class Honours (First Division). If you have a master degree, rather than an honours degree, you will need to show that it had a research component. If you don't have a master or honours degree you may be able to apply on the basis of professional work experience. You will also need to have academic referees to support your application.

Most students who are successful in their application for admission to a research degree are in the top 5-10 per cent of their class in their previous degree.

Fees & scholarships


There are no tuition fees for students from Australia or New Zealand citizens enrolling in a higher degree by research for the first time. Their research training costs are met by the Australian government. You can apply for a Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) to cover your living expenses but there are only a limited number of scholarships available. The closing date for applications if you want to be considered for a scholarship is 31 October to commence by the following March. Occasionally, scholarships are available for mid-year entry by August.


International students are required to pay tuition fees. A very small number of scholarships is available to cover fees. There is also a very small number of scholarships to cover living expenses. Only the most outstanding international applicants will receive these scholarships. We strongly encourage you to investigate other funding options before submitting your application. The closing date for applications if you want to be considered for ANU scholarship is 31 August to commence by the following March.

Find a supervisor

One of the most important steps in making an application is to identify a potential supervisor. Your application will only be successful if there is an academic in the College who is willing to supervise your research project.

The best way to identify some potential supervisors is to search the ANU Researchers Database. You can search for researchers by name, discipline, country or other key word.

You can also find out about potential supervisors, and their research interests, by browsing the websites of the Schools located in the College of Asia and the Pacific.

The CAP Student Centre may also be able to help you identify a potential supervisor if you have difficulty finding one.

Make contact

Once you have identified a potential supervisor (or perhaps two or three) you should make contact with them, well in advance of making your application..

Potential supervisors will expect you to send a 2-3 page outline of your proposed research, along with a Curriculum Vitae that includes details of your academic performance.

The academic staff member will let you know if they are interested in discussing your proposal further and developing it into a full application. Normally there are several email exchanges, or telephone discussions, with a potential supervisor before a final application is submitted.

If the person you contact is not interested in your research they may be able to suggest other potential supervisors and will often forward your details to colleagues who may be closer to your area of research.

If you are having trouble making contact with your potential supervisor, please get in touch with the CAP Student Centre 

Submit application

Applications for research degrees at ANU are made online. To view the list of research degrees available you may navigate to the ANU Programs and Courses website and filter programs by 'Research' and 'College of Asia and the Pacific'.

If you need any additional advice on completing your application please contact the CAP Student Centre .

Applications can be submitted at any time during the year, but if you want to be considered for a scholarship the closing dates are (31 August for international students or 31 October for domestic students). Scholarship recipients must commence by 31 March of the following year.

Here are a couple of important pieces of information that will help you in filling the application form.

  • For Academic Group select “College of Asia and the Pacific”
  • For Program Code select the code which relates to the relevant School (see table below)

Crawford School of Public Policy
- 9540 PhD
- 8540 MPhil
- NSC code: 9850 PhD

School of Culture, History & Language (CHL)
- 9050 PhD
- 8050 MPhil

Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs
- 9510 PhD
- 8510 MPhil

School of Regulation, Global Governance (RegNet)
- 9560 PhD
- 8560 MPhil


    P 1800 620 032 (within Australia)

    P +61 2 6125 7257 (outside Australia)