Higher Degree by Research

Make an impact while networking and learning at an international level  

We are a global centre of law research, consistently ranked above the world standard by Excellence in Research Australia .  Our dynamic and diverse research community leads progress in law across a diverse range of areas. Our candidates use doctrinal and empirical methods to tackle challenges as varied as family violence, human trafficking, food security, weapons technologies, corporate governance, legal pluralism, genetics and more.  

Discover our research areas and centres, our extensive program of research events, or be inspired by stories about the impact of our research, and awards won by our HDR students during their theses.

Potential projects

A wide range of potential research projects have been identified in the school. 

Is there a project in the list that matches your interest?

View potential HDR projects and advisors

Your research proposal

To be considered for a Master or Doctor of Philosophy, your application must meet the University's minimum entry requirements.  To be competitive, you will need to provide a research proposal for the school to review.  

Prepare your research proposal

Meet an exceptional cohort

Let us introduce our current research higher degree students, their topics and advisors. We have 42 Higher Degree by Research students including full-time, part-time, local and remote, domestic and international candidates. 39 are working on PhDs and 3 on MPhil theses. 

View our current HDR students

What our past and present students say


Andrew Fell

Studying at UQ, I had great supervisors, both leading experts in their field. During my degree I was able to publish my research in Australian and international journals, and also get valuable teaching experience, which both assisted me to obtain a full-time academic position at UQ. With such a supportive HDR community, the Law School was a really enjoyable place to complete my degree.

Dr Andrew Fell,  completed his doctorate in 2019 and is now a lecturer with us. His PhD research evaluated the High Court's reliance on the principle of 'coherence' in private law adjudication. Parts of this research have been published in leading journals, such as the Melbourne University Law Review and the University of Toronto Law Journal.

Yvonne Breitwieser-Faria

Undertaking a PhD in international law has enabled me to pursue my passion and work alongside internationally recognised experts in their field and accomplished academics.  

Throughout my candidature, UQ has provided me with brilliant supervision, and opportunities to excel both nationally and internationally. I am confident that this has empowered me to develop my international professional profile, expand my networks and to make a difference on a global scale. 

Yvonne Breitwieser-Faria is a PhD Candidate at the Law School in affiliation with the Asia-Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect. She holds a Law Degree and LL.M. in International Legal Studies from the University of Vienna, and has previously worked as a research consultant in several projects.

Apply for a Higher Degree by Research

For details on entry requirements, scholarships, and how to apply for a higher degree by research.

How to apply

Short-term research experience

What is it like working as a researcher? You can get a taste with a short-term paid research experience over the summer or winter holidays. Find out more about summer and winter research projects.

Register to be a Research Assistant

Our academic staff refer to this register when they are seeking someone to assist with their research. Read more about Research Assistant Register and see if you are eligible to participate.