Applying for a place as a doctoral student

Prospective students apply directly to the Pilgrim for admission into a PhD program. Every applicant is considered on an individual basis.

Enrolment Schedule

Applications are considered by the University four times each year (mid-Feb, May, August and October).

Application Process

Step one: Contact the research coordinator, Katharine Massam, to arrange an appointment

Phone: (03) 9340 8822

Step two: prepare for the interview

  1. Develop an outline of your broad research topic
    To best evaluate the suitability of the topic of research and to match this with a supervisor, it is important to develop a statement of what you are seeking to research and your own background in relation to this question. Write 300-500 words aiming to be as specific as possible about your research question and methodology. What broad area do you want to investigate? And within that, what specific question do you hope to answer? Why is it important (to you and to others)? Spend some time setting out your thoughts and interests in as clear fashion as possible. Include an initial bibliography.For the application itself a document of about 2000 words is what’s required. There are steps outlined here.  But that’s to jump ahead a bit. For the interview, aim to have a page or so that explains your focus.
  2. Proof of Citizenship (g., Birth Certificate or Passport)
  3. Academic/VCE transcripts
  4. Evidence of any Change of Name (if applicable)
  5. IELTS results (International students only)
  6. Visa information (International students only)
  7. Sponsor Statement (if a third party is paying your tuition fees

Step three: interview

  1. Discuss your outline with the research coordinator
  2. Identify likely supervisors
  3. Funding and scholarships:

Step four: the application

  1. In consultation with your prospective supervisor, complete the relevant “application for admission” form: domestic students, international studentsPLEASE NOTE: This application form includes the development of a thesis proposal. Though concise, a thesis proposal is an extended piece of research which may itself take up to three months of concentrated effort and is part of the submission for entrance into the program. It is a foundational document which develops a particular question and associated methodology.Many resources exist to assist with the development of the proposal, but a good beginning point is: Wayne C. Booth, Gregory G. Colomb, and Joseph M. Williams, The Craft of Research (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2016).
  2. The application must include two confidential “academic referee reports.”
  3. Submit the completed application to the research coordinator, who will sign it and forward it to the research office of the University of Divinity.
  4. All documentation is then submitted to the research committee of the University of Divinity which evaluates the application. According to the judgement of this committee, the application might be successful, it might be invited for resubmission with corrections, or it might be rejected. Notification of the application’s status, with an indication of further steps, will come from the research office of the University of Divinity.


Fees are due semester by semester at the time of enrolment.