The Centre for Customs and Excise Studies and Charles Sturt University are committed to excellence in research and identify and support areas and projects that allow the University to undertake nationally and internationally competitive research and research training.

The University has a strong reputation for research and invests its resources in selected areas of proven and potential strength significant to the University’s mission. Charles Sturt University focuses its research effort in those areas where it has particular depth and strength of academic and research capability to offer higher quality research and research training opportunities. In recognising the complexity and multi-disciplinary nature of issues confronting society, and the fact that many occur at the boundaries and intersections of existing disciplines, the University shows its commitment to supporting collaborative, interdisciplinary research.

Why Higher Degree by Research (HDR)?

Through Higher Degree by Research study, you can improve your workplace practices, your career, as well as your future prospects and those of the community in which you live and work.

Many countries require university professors to have a PhD that reflects their depth of knowledge in their field of interest. Charles Sturt University gives you the opportunity to develop your research skills and be exposed to challenging concepts presented by highly regarded researchers and academics. Build on your experience or pursue your passions. As a Higher Degree by Research candidate, you are about to commence a course of study leading to the highest qualification typically offered by a university.

Professional research and HDR studies at Charles Sturt University include PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) and Professional Doctorate programs. These programs are an opportunity to consolidate your ideas and innovations across a broad range of fields through extensive and strategic research, working collaboratively with industry and the professions. HDR programs are the pinnacle of your personal and academic performance and highlight your contribution to knowledge on a global scale.

HDR study aims to conduct strategic and applied research of an international standard that creates new knowledge that can be applied for the benefit of local, national, and international communities. In line with Charles Sturt University’s commitment to supporting collaborative and interdisciplinary research, our research students and supervisors develop partnerships with professions, communities, and other researchers and, as a result, facilitate linkages with learning and teaching.

This is an opportunity to work with industry leaders and senior academics through a process that will challenge and nourish your understanding of your discipline area.

For more information, visit:

Why do Higher Degree by Research?

As well as the major research component, a Higher Degree by Research may include subjects to develop research and critical analysis skills with the majority of coursework research based. The final thesis is often a written piece, but can also be a creative work such as a portfolio or exhibition.
PhDs are pure research, with some offered as PhD by publication, recognising the candidate’s previous published research in a particular field and building on this to develop a body of work at the doctorate level.

Candidature and Milestones

Your HDR candidature is a major undertaking, and there is a range of Charles Sturt University systems and people that will support you through it, assisting you to achieve each required milestone in timely succession. Key people include your supervisory team, the Head of School or Research Centre Director, the faculty Sub-Dean or Associate Dean who oversees Higher Degree by Research, and liaison officers and others from Charles Sturt University’s Research Office. These people oversee your progress through your candidature. Other key people include those who provide critical training and support, including the staff from Charles Sturt University’s Library, staff of the various research methods advisory units and research facilities at Charles Sturt University, staff from Student Services, Student Central and the Academic learning skills unit , and staff who can assist with printing, travel arrangements, IT needs and more.

This list is by no means comprehensive, but gives you some indication of the wide range of support available to you during your candidature.

Further information can be found in the HDR Guides available at:

Getting Started

You will need to have a general idea of what you would like to explore in your research project before you commence your candidature. This idea can be refined once you get started, to focus on a specific area of interest.

Good starting points include thinking about aspects of your undergraduate or postgraduate degrees that particularly intrigued or interested you and that you would like to explore further.

You should talk to your lecturers about their areas of expertise or discuss research topics with past or current students.

Research in an area that interests you as you will spend a lot of time working on your research project so it should be something you are passionate about. The University can provide you with potential research topics to help point you in the right directions.

Your research should not be so broad you cannot cover it in enough detail, or so narrow you will struggle to find enough material for your final work. You need to choose a project you can complete in the permitted time.

Prospective Higher Degree by Research students are strongly encouraged to make contact with the appropriate faculty Sub-Dean before submitting an application.

Choose Where you Study

Research can be conducted from anywhere in the world as our online facilities allow you to access our libraries, submit assignments and progress reports, access materials, and use forums and chat rooms to connect with supervisors and other researchers whenever and wherever it suits you. In collaboration with your supervisory team, you set the pace that works for you, your work, and your life commitments.

Study by Distance

Charles Sturt University provides an excellent range of support tools for distance education students, allowing you to access library resources and research materials, connect with other researchers and access online support tools. Depending on supervisory capacity you can arrange to undertake your research almost anywhere in the world.

How to Apply

Applications for both distance education and on campus research at Charles Sturt University are made direct to the University by Online Admission, accessed through the online course brochure for your course (www.csu.edu/courses) or at www.csu.edu.au/apply-online

Further information is available by contacting info.csu:
Telephone: 1800 334 733 (Free call within Australia)
Telephone: +61 2 6338 6077 (Outside Australia)
Facsimile: +61 2 6338 6001
Web Enquiry: www.csu.edu.au/contacts/enquiry
Students are required to complete the additional information form at www.csu.edu.au/research-csu/how-to-apply which includes a research outline.
International applicants should apply direct to the University through the Charles Sturt University Admissions Office or a Charles Sturt University approved recruitment agent.

For a list of Charles Sturt University approved agents, visit:

Closing Dates

Applications for HDR are accepted all year round. Applicants are strongly encouraged to take advantage of this continuous assessment scheme by lodging their application as early as possible.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must generally hold a Master’s degree or an Honours Degree with Class 1 or Class 2 (Division 1), taken over a minimum of four years, from an approved tertiary institution, relevant to their chosen field of study. In addition, relevant professional experience may also be a requirement with some courses.

Doctor of Philosophy with CCES (CRICOS #011999A)

The Doctor of Philosophy through the Faculty of Business, Justice and Behavioural Science offers graduates who have an excellent academic record and proven research skills the opportunity to conduct research at a level that will contribute to the knowledge base of their discipline.

About the Course

Charles Sturt University offers a broad range of research categories in the Faculty of Business, Justice and Behavioural Science, enabling students to produce a doctoral thesis focusing on a specific area of interest in their field.

This program consists entirely of an individual research program, completed under supervision. Students are required to develop a research proposal, carry out the research and write a thesis. Students are also required to make presentations of their work at on campus colloquia.

Doctor of Law Enforcement with CCES (CRICOS #0707678G)

Charles Sturt University’s Doctor of Law Enforcement and Security provides a research professional doctorate designed to suit individual educational and professional development requirements of law enforcement and national security personnel.

About the Course

The degree aims to provide study of a professional area of practice at a level that will provide the graduate with a systematic and critical understanding of a complex field of learning as well as specialised research skills for professional practice. It also provides practitioners the opportunity to develop research in their own area of expertise and experience which will also add to the body of knowledge in the area of law enforcement and security.

Phone:        +61 2 6272 6300
Email:        customs@csu.edu.au
Web:        www.customscentre.com