Ph.D.(Doctoral) Programme

The NCPGG Doctoral Programme is designed for those wishing to undertake a major research project, with the aim of developing specialist skills and knowledge in a chosen area of petroleum geology or geophysics. Candidates require a first or upper second class B.Sc.(Honours) degree or equivalent as a minimum qualification. Postgraduate studies and/or industry experience in the chosen field would be a significant advantage. The PhD programme should appeal both to students intending to enter or re-enter the industry in a specialist position, and to those wishing to pursue a research-oriented career in tertiary education. Students have the benefit of drawing on the very strong combination of industrial and academic experience of the Centre staff during their research project. The Centre is widely recognised for performing important and relevant research work for the petroleum exploration industry via postgraduate degree projects.

Students may enrol in either the University of Adelaide or the University of South Australia to undertake the programme.

The Doctoral Programme normally takes between three and four years of full-time work to complete. There is no formal coursework component, but students may be required to take some units of the NCPGG Postgraduate Curriculum to ensure that they have appropriate knowledge and skills to pursue their project. Such coursework may form a specific part of the "Structured Program" which is set up individually for each PhD student enrolled in the University of Adelaide. Coursework requirements will be determined after discussions between student and supervisor immediately upon commencement. Whilst there is no specific starting time, and students may begin at any time of the year, scholarship applications are normally invited around September/October each year, so that scholarships can commence early in the new year.

Click on the appropriate link below to obtain more information on aspects of the coursework.

 Research Project

A Doctoral student's candidature is essentially devoted to research. This work is documented in a bound thesis, which is submitted for examination. All projects should be relevant to petroleum exploration or development, and many thus be sponsored by exploration companies or Mines Departments. Sponsorship may range from simply allowing access to information, through to funding a scholarship. Students will have at least one academic supervisor (from the NCPGG) and, where appropriate, an industry supervisor (from their sponsor company), for their project.

During their research work, Doctoral students are expected to take part in the NCPGG's regular internal seminars and annual Postgraduate presentations to the Centre's Advisory Board and other industry personnel. They may also have opportunities to present papers and posters at national and international conferences. Progress is formally reviewed on a yearly basis.

Click on the appropriate link below to obtain more information on aspects of the thesis project.


The thesis is assessed by two external examiners (University of Adelaide) or three examiners, two of whom are external (University of SA), who may make recommendations ranging from immediate acceptance of the thesis, to acceptance subject to various levels of amendment, through to rejection. The thesis examination is conducted in accordance with normal University standards and procedures.

 Financial Support for Doctoral Students

PhD students can be supported from a number of different sources. All students are encouraged to apply for scholarships under a several programs at the University of Adelaide and the University of South Australia.  Information on postgraduate scholarships is given in the following links.

University of Adelaide
University of South Australia (Australian applicants)
University of South Australia (Overseas applicants)

PhD students can also be funded from APCRC research programs and industry supported projects. Potential PhD students are encouraged to contact NCPGG staff members working in their field of study to examine potential for project support. Once enrolled in the PhD programme students are eligible to apply for the NCPGG Scholarship.

 Course Cost

The NCPGG Doctoral Programme is currently (Feb 1998) HECS-exempt for Australian Citizens, Australian Permanent Residents, and New Zealand Citizens for the first four years of a full-time degree. The cost to students of other nationalities is $A20,000 per year. As these figures and conditions may change, intending students should make enquiries concerning fees to the student administration branch of the relevant university.

 Enrolment Information

Potential students should contact the NCPGG office (details below) so that arrangements can be made for discussions with the appropriate staff member. Students enrol in one of the following degrees:

 Further Information/Applications

If you would like further information on any aspect of the NCPGG Doctoral Programme, please click on this link to obtain contact details.