Research in the arts, humanities and social sciences encourages us to think creatively. It teaches us to ask questions about the world and society, helps us to learn from the past, and builds valuable knowledge that helps inform future decision making.
The University of Melbourne has taught subjects in the arts and humanities since its foundation in 1853 and was the Bachelor of Arts was the first degree offered by the University. In 1947, the Faculty of Arts awarded the first Australian PhD.
Today, the Faculty is home to more than 10,000 students, including around 650 graduate researchers, and more than 300 academic staff members with expertise and experience across almost 40 disciplines.
As a graduate researcher in the Faculty of Arts, you’ll receive expert supervision from our academics to support you to produce the highest quality research in your field. We encourage critical inquiry, creativity and the questioning of ideas and theories.
Explore our research
Our academics undertake research in areas including:
- Asian Studies
- Creative Writing
- History and Philosophy
- Indigenous Studies
- Gender Studies
- Language and Linguistics
- Media Studies, Communication and Journalism
- Political Science
- Sociology, Social Policy and Social Theory
Research centres and institutes
Our Faculty hosts, or is involved in, more than 20 research centres, networks and groups, including:
- ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language
- ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions
- Australian Centre
- Comparative Network on Refugee Externalisation Policies
- Grimwade Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation
- Language Testing Research Centre
- Research Unit on Enlightenment Romanticism Contemporary Culture
- Research Unit for Indigenous Language
- Research Unit on the Indigenous Settler Relations Collaboration
- Research Unit in Public Cultures
Learn how we're making a difference
Our research projects have an impact in Australia and internationally. We are creating knowledge that deepens our understanding of what it means to be human, leading to better, fairer and more sustainable societies.
Some of our projects include:
Collaborate with other disciplines
Working with colleagues from other disciplines can help you reflect on the world in different ways. Depending on the topic, you might work with experts from areas including science or business.
Initiatives and institutes that relate to arts, humanities and social sciences include:
- Creativity and Wellbeing Hallmark Research Initiative
- Economic and Social Participation Hallmark Research Initiative
- Future Food Hallmark Research Initiative
- Indonesia Democracy Hallmark Research Initiative
- Statelessness Hallmark Research Initiative
- Indigenous Knowledge Institute
- Melbourne Disability Institute
- Melbourne Social Equity Institute
Partner with an overseas institution
Our international joint PhD opportunities allow you to access expertise, training and resources from two institutions, and spend a minimum of 12 months studying overseas. Explore these fully-funded joint PhD projects.
Work in a stimulating environment
Our Faculty is home to five academic schools, each with their own research priorities:
Engage with industry
Many graduate researchers gain valuable industry experience with business, not-for-profit and government partners. Through our work integrated learning program, you can access internships, community volunteering and industry projects. These experiences allow you to use your expertise to solve key business questions.
- Learn more about graduate research in the Faculty of Arts
- Check your eligibility
- Search for a supervisor in your field of research
- Develop a 2500-word research proposal
- Find out more about how to apply. The PhD-Arts program commences in February each year. Eligible full applications must be lodged by the due date to be considered for admission.