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St Andrews and Macquarie joint PhDs

The University of St Andrews and Macquarie University have established an agreement to allow PhD candidates to undertake research leading to the award of a joint doctoral degree in subjects across the Faculties of Arts, Divinity and Science. 

Course type

Joint doctoral degree (PhD)

Course dates

We strongly encourage students to begin their studies in September, but the start date for research study can be flexible. Your start date will be decided between yourself and your supervisor, but you may indicate your preferred start date on the application. Start dates are 27 August, September, October, January or May.

Course duration

The PhD consists of three years of full-time study, with the possibility of a continuation period of 12 months. A further extension will only be allowed in exceptional circumstances.

Entry requirements

Applicants for direct entry to the PhD must have a good Masters degree which must be related to your research. A Masters degree (or equivalent) must have been completed and the final evaluation must be available at the time of application.

Applicants within the Faculty of Science require a good first degree with Honours at 2.1 (UK) or the overseas equivalent. See St Andrews' entry requirements for more information.

Applicants must also meet the English language requirements. If a student requires an English language certificate, this must be gained before the start of the PhD.

International students

Depending on your nationality, you may require a visa to study in the UK and Australia:

Tuition fees

While studying at Macquarie, students will pay Macquarie's fees and will be exempted from fees at St Andrews. See Macquarie's tuition fees.

While studying at St Andrews, students will pay St Andrews tuition fees unless otherwise outlined in the individual candidate agreement. Students will also pay local fees to Macquarie while at St Andrews.

No scholarships are provided for the joint PhD programme. Students may find scholarships from external funding bodies, the University of St Andrews or Macquarie University. Macquarie University PhD scholarships are included in its main application procedure. PhD applicants and students may apply for scholarships, funding and hardship funds as normal at the University of St Andrews. Both universities will apply the usual eligibility criteria to funding, but will consult with one another about the awards. Students who have accepted a place and an offer of full funding at St Andrews are not eligible to be considered for the joint programme.

Application deadline

Applications can be sent in any time throughout the academic year. However, it is important to remember that if you are applying for any scholarships or funding, then the deadline for these may be early in the year.

Application requirements

Students should contact a supervisor at St Andrews and a supervisor at Macquarie to discuss the opportunities available. Students should apply to both St Andrews and Macquarie:

Admission to the PhD must commence prior to matriculation at St Andrews. Students matriculated at St Andrews cannot transfer part way through their studies.

Course information

The University of St Andrews and Macquarie University are pleased to offer a joint programme leading to the award of a joint doctoral degree (PhD). The joint programme covers the Faculties of Arts, Divinity and Science at both universities. 

Programme structure

Candidates can elect to start the programme at either St Andrews or Macquarie. One institution will be identified as the lead, normally the one at which you will spend the most amount of time.

Students must spend at least 12 months in total as a resident student at both St Andrews and Macquarie in order for both universities to recognise the degree. Students will divide their time into study blocks in order to facilitate access to the resources that will maximise their research opportunities. Each study block should be at least six months in length where possible.

The agreement provides students with access to one supervisor at each institution throughout the duration of their degree. Students are expected to engage with both supervisors from start to finish and to meet regularly with all parties, either in person or using virtual methods such as video call.

Students are encouraged to take part in doctoral training, undergraduate teaching and research seminars at both universities.

St Andrews

St Andrews is the third-oldest university in the English-speaking world and renowned for the quality of its research. St Andrews was ranked top in Scotland and 14th in the UK for the quality of its publications in the UK Research Excellence Framework 2014.

Research takes place within the Schools and within world-class, often cross-disciplinary or cross-institutional, research centres and institutes. Each School, research centre and institute has a busy programme of conferences, workshops, guest lectures and postgraduate events.

From astrophysics and Athenian theatre to tuberculosis diagnosis and whale conservation, research produced at the University of St Andrews has a global impact.


Macquarie University opened in Sydney in 1967 and has become one of Australia’s best universities. The Excellence in Research for Australia 2015 initiative placed Macquarie among the top Australian institutions.

Over the past decade, Macquarie has established itself as the Australian leader in research training and joint PhD supervision. Uniquely located in a green campus in the heart of a high-tech district, Macquarie has strong connections to industry and innovative technologies.

Macquarie University is engaged in pioneering research across disciplines to address some of the biggest challenges facing the world today.

Supervision and examinations


Both universities will ensure that the supervisors for students carry out the duties normally expected of them in their own institution. Both supervisors will hold an actual or virtual meeting with you at least once per year.

The progression of research candidates will follow normal procedures as per the local rules of the institution in which the student is registered at the time.

Thesis and examinations

There will be one doctoral examination conducted according to the regulations of the lead institution. Each university will nominate at least one external examiner. If St Andrews is the lead institution, a viva voce (viva) examination will be held at St Andrews. If Macquarie is the lead institution, candidates will not be required to undertake a viva voce examination. Full details will be provided in the individual candidate agreement.

Summaries of the thesis will be written and distributed according to the regulations of each institution.


Visit St Andrews

If you are interested in studying at St Andrews, join us at a visiting day to explore the town, find out about our courses and meet current students.

Find out more

Virtual events

Join our Admissions team for one of our upcoming virtual events. During these events, you can find out more about studying at St Andrews and what it will do for your future.



At St Andrews, St Leonard’s Doctoral and Postgraduate College supports all postgraduates and provides social and intellectual opportunities.

Accommodation at both St Andrews and Macquarie is available provided all necessary application deadlines are met:


St Andrews and Macquarie will award a joint degree with the title of Doctor of Philosophy if the appropriate standards are met in the thesis presented and in the examination. 

Students can choose to graduate at one ceremony at either St Andrews or Macquarie and will be awarded a single joint certificate. The certificate will clearly state that the degree was jointly supervised and will carry the crest of both institutions. 


Students shall be entitled to the same rights and privileges as other students enrolled at the host institution. 

At St Andrews these include:

At Macquarie these include:

Contact information

Collaborations and Study Abroad
University of St Andrews
St Katharine's West
The Scores
St Andrews
KY16 9AX

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 2119

Please contact the School or Department for your research area at St Andrews or Macquarie:

You can also contact the higher degree research team at Macquarie


Admission to the University of St Andrews is governed by our Admissions policy.

The student will be registered at both institutions according to the terms and regulations specific to each of them. Personal details of the student will be shared between both institutions to facilitate registration but shall otherwise be maintained confidential in accordance with data protection laws. 

For day-to-day functions, the local rules of the institution in which the student is resident at the time will apply. 

Curriculum development

As a research intensive institution, the University ensures that its teaching references the research interests of its staff, which may change from time to time. As a result, programmes are regularly reviewed with the aim of enhancing students' learning experience. Our approach to course revision is described online. (PDF, 72 KB).

Tuition fees

The University will clarify compulsory fees and charges it requires any student to pay at the time of offer. The offer will also clarify conditions for any variation of fees. The University’s approach to fee setting is described online. (PDF, 84 KB).