Preparing your application

Assuming you have read Steps 1 to 4 on the Future students page, you are now ready to put together the components required for a higher degree by research application.

In the application for admission, all applicants must:

Complete the Application Form

For appointment of Thesis Chair and supervisors, please consult the Faculty’s Associate Dean of R&D.

Submit together with the following supported documents:

Curriculum Vitae (CV) using the provided template
Academic Certificates and Transcripts
Valid Official English Language Test
Reference Letters from Two Referees
Copy of Identity Card/Passport Page

to Online HDR Application for Admission System. Applications for Curtin Malaysia Postgraduate Research Scholarship (CMPRS) should be submitted here.

Other Information

You may undertake a higher degree either as a full-time or part-time candidate. Your type of enrolment will determine the period of time in which you must complete your degree.

Enrolment in the MPhil shall be for a minimum period of one (1) year and a maximum period of two (2) years for full-time study, or a minimum of two (2) years and a maximum period of four (4) years for part-time study. However, international candidates must enroll as a full-time student.

Enrolment in the PhD shall be for a minimum period of two (2) years and a maximum period of four (4) years for full-time study, or a minimum of four (4) years and a maximum period of eight (8) years for part-time study. However, international candidates must enroll as a full-time student.

You may also apply for admission to the University if you wish to transfer your higher degree enrolment. To do so you will be required to formally withdraw from enrolment at the other University. Each application is assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Applicant may contact Faculty’s Associate Dean, R&D (AD, R&D)/R&D Coordinator, and/or Curtin Malaysia Graduate School to  have preliminary discussions on the programme and identify the potential supervisor(s). The applicant should then develop a research proposal and complete HDR application for admission together with the agreed interim supervisor.

Afterward, completed application form and all the supporting documentations application can be forwarded by the applicant or the interim principal supervisor to AD, R&D/R&D Coordinator  for review.

AD, R&D/ R&D Coordinator will review your application to ensure that:

  • You meet the eligibility criteria of the University;
  • You meet the English language proficiency;
  • You have adequate training and the ability to pursue the proposed program of study to the required standard;
  • There is adequate supervision, infrastructure and other resources and facilities available to you; and
  • The Associate Dean of R&D will form an interim thesis committee if all criteria are met.

This committee must include a Thesis Chair, a principal supervisor and co-supervisor(s). It may also comprise one or more associate supervisors if necessary.  AD, R&D/R&D Coordinator may consult with you before nominating the Interim Thesis Committee. Members of this committee will play an important role in helping you to complete your program of study. Therefore, it is essential that you also play an active role in ensuring the appropriate appointment of your Interim Thesis Committee.

The principal supervisor must be a member of the University Academic staff because, in addition to providing academic support and guidance, the role has administrative responsibilities to the University.

A Co-supervisor may be a member of University academic staff, an Adjunct Fellow, or an Emeritus Professor of the University who makes a substantial contribution to the candidate’s academic support and guidance.

Associate supervisors may be internal or external to the University.  If the associate supervisor is external he/she must provide:

  • A letter to the University indicating their willingness to be involved in your program of study; and
  • A completed form, including the Confidentiality and Compliance Agreement attached within.

If the application is approved by AD, R&D/R&D Coordinator, this application and its supporting documentations should be submitted to Curtin Malaysia Graduate School (CMGS) by the applicant/principal supervisor/AD, R&D/R&D Coordinator. This application will then undergo a preliminary review by CMGS Office  and a final review by CMGS Committee. The applicant may be requested to amend the research proposal and/or submit additional documentations to assist the decision making in CMGS Committee.

Once your application has been approved, you are deemed to have “Provisional Candidature”, which remains until your application for candidacy has been approved.

All applications who submit a complete application are notified of the outcome of assessment.

Successful Applicants

Letters of Offer are issued to the successful applicants along with any information needed to complete the enrolment.

Unsuccessful applicants

If your application is unsuccessful, you will be advised by Graduate School. Please note that your application may have been unsuccessful because the enrolling area does not have either facilities or staff currently available to provide appropriate supervision for the proposed research. This does not necessarily reflect adversely upon your qualifications or ability to undertake the proposed program of study.

Each research student joins one of the vibrant research communities based on the chosen research area. You can find more information regarding research areas by visiting the relevant academic area:


Faculty of Engineering and Science

Associate Professor Dr. John Lau Sie Yon
Associate Dean, Research & Development


Faculty of Business

Dr Tiong Ying Ying
Associate Dean, Research & Development


Faculty of Humanities & Health Sciences

Professor Dr. Roy Rillera Marzo
Dean, Faculty of Humanities & Health Sciences