MPhil Programs in Research School of Management

The Research School of Management (RSM) has internationally recognised researchers who can supervise MPhil candidates on a diverse range of topics. To complete the MPhil program, candidates have to complete the coursework, be successful in the thesis proposal review process and write a thesis that is passed by appointed examiners.

RSM staff have diverse research interests and can provide supervision across a range of topics in disciplines such as:

  • Business Information Systems
  • Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Human Resource Management
  • Innovation
  • International Business
  • Leadership
  • Marketing
  • Organisational Behaviour
  • Project Management
  • Strategic Management
  • Tourism

Read more about RSM research areas and researchers.

CRICOS #: 048350D

Duration: 1 to 2 years full time (2 to 4 years part time)

Before applying

Before you submit an application for entry to the program, you should:

  • ensure you meet the admission requirements outlined below
  • identify potential supervisors – that is, one or two academics in RSM who conduct research in your area of interest.

You can find information on researchers and their research areas in the ANU researchers database and on the RSM research clusters page.

You may contact the potential supervisor(s) directly and ask if they are available to work with you. You’ll need to list on your application form the name(s) of potential supervisors. Please note that applications will only be assessed when a supervisor is nominated and has agreed to supervise your proposed research.

Potential supervisors cannot guarantee entry into RSM’s MPhil program. Admission will depend on the strength of your application relative to others in the pool.

After you’ve completed the steps above, you can proceed with an online application.

Application deadlines

The first semester of the ANU academic year starts in February, and the second semester starts in July. While all applications for first semester entry must be submitted before 31 October, international applicants wishing to be considered for an ANU scholarship should submit their applications before 31 August.

To be considered for a scholarship, your application must be accompanied by all the supporting documents listed below, including the referee reports. Request for referee reports are triggered and sent to your nominated referees at the time of submission of program application. It is thus important that you submit your application in advance (2-3 weeks) to allow time for your referees to provide their reports prior to the scholarship deadline.

If you’re currently completing an academic degree and haven’t yet received your final results and transcript, you should still submit all available documents before the deadline, and forward remaining results once you receive them. We won’t make a final decision on your application until we’ve received all the required documents.

Admission requirements

The admission requirements for an MPhil program in RSM reflect the knowledge that candidates will need to undertake the coursework component of the degree, and the research experience and skills needed to successfully undertake and complete the research thesis.

The minimum qualification requirement for admission to the MPhil program in RSM is:

  1. a Bachelor degree, with an overall grade of distinction or higher, from an Australian university, or
  2. another qualification that the Delegated Authority is satisfied is equivalent or superior to a degree mentioned in (a), or
  3. a combination of qualifications and professional experience that the Delegated Authority is satisfied is equivalent or superior to a degree mentioned in (a).

Admission to RSM’s MPhil program is competitive and we can only admit a limited number of applicants each year. Meeting the minimum entry requirements does not guarantee you a place in the program.

English language requirements

All applicants must satisfy the University’s English language admission requirements. An international applicant who is not a native English speaker may satisfy these requirements by submitting evidence of an IELTS overall score of at least 6.5, and with no component less than 6.0, or a paper-based TOEFL score of at least 570, with at least 4.5 in the essay component.

Application and supporting documentation

You must submit your application online via the ANU Application Manager.

In addition to the standard information required in the online application, you must submit the following supporting documents as part of your application:

  • a completed RSM PhD/MPhil application questionnaire
  • academic transcripts (scanned colour copies) and grading systems for all previously completed degrees
  • a research proposal (a maximum of three pages, single-spaced, including a list of key references) that outlines your proposed area of research, the questions you plan to address, a research model and the major research methods you intend to use as part of your MPhil thesis—see these guidelines on how to prepare a persuasive research proposal. Please note that if your research proposal exceeds three pages, you will be asked to revise it to meet the three-page requirement before your application can be assessed
  • an email confirmation from the nominated supervisor as evidence of their consent to supervise
  • an up-to-date CV or resume
  • copies of the research publications (if available), e.g. research articles that you’ve published in recognised international journals or have presented at respected international conferences
  • official TOEFL or IELTS results (where applicable) to demonstrate that you satisfy the University’s English language requirements
  • a one-page statement outlining your motivation to undertake an MPhil in RSM, describing your strengths, weaknesses, career goals and anything else you feel is relevant
  • nomination of three referees. A referee report form will automatically be sent to the referees you list in your online application. Your application will be complete and ready for assessment once we receive all documents, including referee reports
  • GRE General Test or GMAT scores (if taken)
  • additional relevant supporting documents (if available – five-page limit).

Offers of admission

The HDR (higher degree by research) convenor will review all complete applications submitted by the relevant deadline.

If your application is short-listed, you may be required to attend an interview (face to face or online).

We may send you an offer of admission if you satisfy the eligibility criteria and your area of interest matches those of RSM academics with supervisory capacity. However, since admission is competitive and supervisory capacity is limited, we won’t send any offers of admission until after the relevant application deadline, irrespective of the date when you submit your application.

Program structure

The MPhil program in RSM consists of two components – coursework and research.

Candidates undertake the research component concurrently with the required coursework.

MPhil coursework component

MPhil students have to take two compulsory courses and one elective course from the list below.  

We strongly recommend that the MPhil student considers MGMT8006 Management Research Methods as their first mandatory course. They may then choose between MGMT8019 Quantitative Research Methods in Management and MGMT8018 Qualitative Research Methods depending on their methodological approach to their research as the other mandatory course.

Alternatively, the student may consider either of these two methods courses (MGMT8018 and MGMT8019) as their elective course OR opt for a special research topic (MMIB8003) with the approval of their primary supervisor and supervisory panel. The outcome of the MMIB8003 must be in line with the typical outcome for that course and its related learning outcomes.

Courses available for MPhil

  • MGMT8006 Management Research Methods (Mandatory)
  • MGMT8019 Quantitative Research Methods in Management (either mandatory or elective)
  • MGMT8018 Qualitative Research Methods (either mandatory or elective)
  • MMIB8008 Theory in Management (elective)
  • MMIB8003 Special Research Topic 1  (elective)

Students without sufficient background in statistics may be required to take an additional prerequisite course before enrolling in MGMT8019

Elective courses

MPhil candidates can select one course, with approval from their supervisors, from the following list:

  • MGMT8003 Organisational Behaviour (Semester 1 and 2)
  • MGMT8022 Strategic Management (Semester 1 and 2)
  • MKTG7001 Marketing for Leaders (Semester 1)
  • INFS8202 Industry Research Project (Semester 1 and 2)
  • INFS8205 Digital Strategy, Executive and Operations (Semester 1 and 2)
  • MGMT7107 Managing Across Cultures (Semester 2)
  • MMIB8004 Special Research Topic 2 (Semester 1 and 2)
  • other courses approved by the supervisor and RSM HDR convenor.

MPhil research component

Upon successfully completing the compulsory courses and electives, and with the approval of the MPhil supervisory panel and HDR convenor, MPhil candidates proceed to the research component of their program, which normally takes 12 months of full-time research.

The essential element of the MPhil degree is a thesis of up to 60,000 words on an approved topic. The thesis must make an original and important contribution to knowledge, research and development in the candidate’s chosen area of study.

Research supervisory panel

When a candidate is admitted to the program, a primary supervisor is appointed. The primary supervisor has the responsibility of overseeing the candidate’s progress until a supervisory panel is chosen. During the first year of the program, it is important that candidates start developing their research topic ideas by consulting with their primary supervisor and other academic staff at RSM. In this year, a supervisory panel will also be chosen (typically comprising two academics). Based on the nomination of the panel chair, the HDR convenor will determine the composition of the supervisory panel in consultation with the candidate.

The primary supervisor, who may or may not be the panel chair, will provide close supervision on the research. Other panel members will assist when needed. At the very least, the panel members are required to read the final drafts of the thesis proposal and the dissertation before examiners formally assess these documents. The panel is also consulted during the annual review of the candidate’s progress.

RSM seminar program

RSM runs a weekly seminar program, featuring internationally renowned speakers presenting their work. To provide networking opportunities that assist in the development of research skills, all research candidates are required to attend and actively participate in the seminar series.

Research integrity training

Within three to six months of enrolment, all MPhil candidates must complete the Research Integrity Training and pass the exam. Completion of this course and exam is a compulsory milestone for all MPhil candidates.

Thesis proposal review

MPhil candidates must submit a thesis proposal for review by the supervisory panel. The purpose of the review is to assess the originality, significance, adequacy and achievability of the candidate’s thesis plan.

The candidate generally submits their thesis proposal in conjunction with their seminar presentation. The proposal includes a description of the research to be undertaken in the thesis, and a summary of the thesis structure and time plan. Successful completion of the review is required to continue in the program.

Transfer to PhD program

Some candidates undertake the MPhil as a pathway to PhD studies. Under some circumstances, candidates may apply to transfer to the PhD program part way through the MPhil program. For information about pathways to PhD studies, contact the RSM HDR convenor.

Annual progress review

It is University policy that each candidate’s progress be reviewed periodically. In each year of their program, MPhil candidates are required to submit an annual plan and report as a basis for periodic progress review. This document provides details on work completed by the candidate since the previous review, current progress, and any problems that may impact their research. It also outlines the coursework and research the candidate intends to undertake in the following 12 months.

During their program, MPhil candidates are expected to present their research yearly (when studying full-time) at opportunities provided by RSM, such as seminars, conferences and doctoral colloquiums.

Oral presentation

In their final year, candidates are required to give a final oral presentation on their research, usually three months before submitting their thesis.

Read more about research candidate milestones.

Thesis submission and examination

The culmination of an MPhil program in RSM is a written thesis which, upon completion, is submitted for examination. The thesis is examined by experts in the relevant field.

For more information on the process, visit our page on submitting a thesis.


For information about scholarships available to HDR candidates, visit our page on scholarships and fees.

Current MPhil candidates

A list of current MPhil candidates in the School is available on the RSM staff directory.