Graduate research areas

Faculties, Centres and Institutes

Graduate research degrees are offered through our Faculties, Graduate Schools and Centres. You can discover more about the research areas and specialisations offered through the Graduate Research Opportunities website or below. This will assist you in finding out which Faculty or Graduate School can help you with your research interest.

The University has 10 Faculties, Graduate Schools and Centres conducting Indigenous related research. Find an area of research that interests you!

  • Arts and Humanities

    The Faculty of Arts has several Indigenous research programs and Centres conducting research in Indigenous studies integrated across its Schools and Departments including;

    • Australian Indigenous Studies Program in the School of Culture and Communication conducts research into a wide range of history and cultural and social practices, cultural policy and most forms of cultural production of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. For more information and a current list of projects please see their website.
    • Research Unit for Indigenous Language at the School of Languages and Linguistics, is the first of its kind in Australia and has an overarching focus to undertake research to understanding the nature of Indigenous language in Australia in all of its forms, across generations and communities, and identify and address the needs of Indigenous people and their languages into the future. For more information and a current list of projects please visit the website or contact them.
    • The Grimwade Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation at the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies is the only centre of its kind in Australia, combining both the theory and practice of cultural material conservation. The Centre has a strong research track record and active research programs, with national and international collaborations. In addition, the Centre seeks to develop graduate research opportunities, relating to the broader issues of cultural preservation, particularly for communities and cultures within the Asian-Pacific region.

    For further information, see Indigenous programs across the University

  • Architecture, Building and Planning

    There are a variety of research projects and programs in architecture, building and design.

    • Bower Studio is a highly successful design studio with a focus on community engagement and Aboriginal housing.
    • Melbourne School of Design offers two graduate research programs: the Master of Philosophy (MPhil) and the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and have an exciting range of projects and research initiatives that aim to re-think our approach to collaborative-led design and building with Aboriginal communities, and alternative ways that Indigenous landscapes can be thoughtfully experienced and managed.

    You can also find further information on the Faculty's research strengths or contact the Faculty Research Office.

  • Education

    The Melbourne Graduate School of Education is home to several Research Centres

    The Graduate School is also host to the Melbourne Social Equity Institute (MSEI) which supports interdisciplinary research on social equity issues across the full spectrum of social life, including health, law, education, housing, work and transport. The Institute brings together researchers from across the University of Melbourne to identify unjust or unfair practices that lead to social inequity, and work towards finding ways to ameliorate disadvantage. For further information, please email MSEI or visit their website.

  • Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences

    The Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences has a strong research base in Indigenous Health research, especially within the School of Population and Global Health.

    • The Melbourne School of Population and Global Health Centre Centre for Health and Society has several programs focused on Indigenous Health;
    • The Melbourne Poche Centre for Indigenous Health, established in 2014, seeks to become Australia’s preeminent training and development Centre for emerging and established Indigenous leaders. The Centre will work towards providing support and opportunities to Indigenous PhD and early career Indigenous academics to become established, occupy positions of leadership and attract external grant funding at a critical time in their health careers.
    • The Onemda VicHealth Koori Health Unit within the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health has a research program that addresses priorities identified by Aboriginal people, communities and others with an interest in Aboriginal health policy and practice. It primarily focuses on issues important to the Koori community of Victoria; investigating and evaluating health programs, services and policies to produce evidence on the most effective way to improve Aboriginal health in the long term. For more information, please refer to their website.
    • The Lowitja Institute is Australia’s National Institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Research is the only research organisation in Australia with a sole focus on the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The Institute conducts research on various topics with the aim to enhance positive health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

    If you are an Indigenous applicant looking to start a research career in the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, do contact the Faculty's academic advisor, Dr Richard Chenhall, or visit this link.

    If you are non-Indigenous looking for an Indigenous related research project, please find contact details at this site.

  • Law

    Melbourne Law School's Institute for International Law and the Humanities has an Indigenous Nation Building Project and Indigenous Peoples in International and Comparative Law Research Program. The programs encourage interdisciplinary research on Indigenous nations' role in international law, governance and justice. For more information; please find contact details at this site.

    The newly established Melbourne School of Government has a cross disciplinary research cluster for “Indigenous Nation Building”. This project explores Indigenous Australians’ movement toward self-governing, and involves four Aboriginal nations and researchers at six Australian and International Universities. For more information, please visit this link.

  • Performing Arts and Music

    The Faculty of Fine Arts and Music is a stimulating destination for professional graduate study and research training within the creative arts. These programs are scholarly as well as studio and performance-based, providing opportunities for in-depth study in your chosen discipline and/or interdisciplinary and collaborative practice. For further information, please visit their website.

  • Business and Economics

    The Faculty of Business and Economics is highly regarded internationally for its research achievements as it strives for excellence with a strategy of 'quality over quantity'. The Faculty has several Graduate Research Degrees and Research Centres conducting research in Accounting, Actuarial Studies, Economics, Finance, Intellectual Property and Management and Marketing. Examples of projects on Indigenous topics include research on Indigenous employment outcomes and mining expansion and research on examining job-related determinants of life satisfaction.

    The Melbourne Institute is Australia's leading and longest standing research institute in the field of economics, undertaking cutting-edge research into key issues relevant to contemporary economic and social policy. The Institute undertakes research across four key areas – socio-economic disadvantage, public sector performance, productivity and living standards, and fostering health and wellbeing.

    The Melbourne Business School is also home to leading researchers conducting research and initiatives on various Indigenous related issues, particularly through the Asia Pacific Social Impact Leadership Centre. The Centre, established in 2008 through a partnership between Melbourne Business School and the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust works on four strategic areas, one of which is Indigenous Business Development. It is based on the theory of social change that by enhancing the business acumen of Indigenous business leaders, they will be more successful at recognising and exploiting opportunities for their businesses.  This will lead to greater business growth, which in turn supports job creation, community stability and increases in the overall wealth of the Indigenous community.

  • Science

    The Faculty of Science conducts research around different themes: Biotechnology; Environment Earth and Climate Science; Evolutionary Biology; Fundamental Physical and Mathematical Sciences; Molecular, Cellular and Biomedical Sciences; Nanoscience and Materials; and Forests, Fires and Landscapes.

    There are several projects ongoing on topics of Indigenous interest such as a Kimberley rock art project in the School of Earth Sciences, Indigenous land and water management, and the Tiwi Island project. For further information on research projects, please visit their website.

  • Engineering

    The Melbourne School of Engineering is an international leader in Engineering and IT research. It is home to large scale research consortia such as Bionic Vision Australia. The School has close, ongoing partnerships with IBM, Bell Labs/Alcatel Lucent and Ford and work at project level with many more private and public sector organisations within Australia and internationally. Research projects range across four interdisciplinary research themes of Biomedical Engineering, Information and Communication Systems, Structured Matter and Sustainable Systems and Energy.

    Projects range from preserving Indigenous languages using digital technologies to encouraging more Indigenous students to think about a Science/Engineering career from an early age.

    An interview on ABC's RN Drive describes A/Professor Steven Bird’s project of preserving Indigenous languages using a mobile phone app for recording spoken language along with spoken translations.

  • Veterinary and Agriculture Sciences

    The Faculty of Veterinary and Agriculture Sciences has a wealth of graduate research opportunities in many areas of research including microbiology, animal immunology and biotechnology, dairy cattle medicine and reproduction, equine studies, parasitology, pathology, veterinary epidemiology and public health, among others.