How to apply

Different application processes apply depending on the type of program and residency status of the applicant.

For information about the application processes for undergraduate and graduate coursework programs please visit the Applications & offers section of the ANU Student gateway.

For information about the application processes for honours program and higher degrees by research please refer to the following content.


Entry requirements

  • Completion of an undergraduate degree, with at least a Distinction average (based on ANU equivalency) in the equivalent of 36 units of advanced 2000 and 3000 level courses relevant to your proposed Honours research.  A waiver can be requested from the Honours Convener in exceptional circumstances, but unless you have achieved Distinction or High Distinction level marks in at least two relevant later year undergraduate courses, you will need to make a very strong case to be admitted to Honours.
  • The agreement of a prospective primary supervisor who is a member of the academic staff of the Fenner School.
  • Approval by the Fenner School Honours Convener. This is usually granted after applications are reviewed at the end of each semester by the School's Examiners' Committee.

Unless you have achieved distinction level marks in at least two relevant later year undergraduate units, you will need to make a very strong case to be admitted to Honours. 

We encourage prospective Honours students to complete at least one of our courses in Research Methods or a Research Project.  The relevant courses are:  ENVS 2002; 2011; 2014; 2015; 2018; 2025; 3010; 3014; 3016; 3021 and 3040.  Students who have not completed one of these courses will need to demonstrate that they have acquired the necessary research skills by other means. 

Important first steps

  1. Talk to a number of potential supervisors during your undergraduate degree to discuss projects that interest you.
  2. Discuss projects of interest in more detail, and obtain agreement from one or more potential primary supervisors.
  3. Apply to the Fenner Honours program by 31 October for Semester 1 entry, and 31 May for Semester 2 entry. 
  4. If you are applying for an Honours Scholarship, you should apply for admission by 31 October whether you intend to commence Honours from Semester 1 or Semester 2 of the following year.


When do you elect to take Honours

The Fenner School encourages eligible students to pursue Honours, and assists prospective students to structure their degree to facilitate entry to Honours.

Students contemplating Honours should contact the relevant Program convenor as early as possible in their degree, and at least a semester prior to their intended Honours commencement date. The Honours year starts either in the first week of February or, for mid-year entry, the middle of July.

Direct or delayed entry

Many students proceed directly to Honours on completion of their pass degree; others take time to build on their experience before undertaking the Honours year.

Either option is fine. Taking a break from study can be a good idea and can give you wider experience, perhaps exploring possible topics while, for example, working with a research team or in an environmental management job.

Application forms and procedures

All Applicants

All applicants must complete the Fenner School Honours application.


Current ANU domestic applicants

ANU Science Students must also complete the form found on the ANU College of Science website.

ANU CASS Students must also complete the form found on the ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences website.

ANU Students from all other Colleges should contact the Fenner Honours Convenor

All other applicants, including International applicants

Must apply through the Application Manager website.

Higher degrees by research

As a first step towards becoming a Fenner PhD or MPhil student, please visit, but do NOT apply on, the PhD program page or the MPhil program page and read the contained information regarding admission requirements (eg your existing degree and English language ability, key dates, etc).   Then return to this page; read the important information below about Finding a Supervisor and about Scholarships; and only then return to the PhD program page or the MPhil program page to apply online.

Finding a supervisor

The next step is to find and secure the support of a potential main supervisor, usually a member of Fenner’s academic staff. You may already know one from their publications or conference talks, but if not, look here for several ways to identify a potential supervisor, and then how best to approach them.  How well you do this is important in securing a supervisor's support, which you must get before formally applying.


Another key step is to find finance for your degree, usually with a scholarship.  You'll need to cover both your living expenses (with a "stipend") and the University's expenses (tuition fees).  Scholarships vary greatly in which expenses are covered (stipend and/or fees – you may need two scholarships, one for each), and which Schools, degrees or students are eligible, so check details carefully.  Common PhD scholarships are:

  • an Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) for Domestic students (Australian and New Zealand Citizens, and permanent residents of Australia).  This gives a stipend for living expenses, with tuition fees being paid separately to ANU.  The application deadline is 31 October each year.
  • an Australia Award from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for students from selected developing countries.  This covers living expenses and tuition fees.  The application deadline varies by country.  A special type of Australia Award is the Endeavour Scholarship.

For comprehensive information on scholarships and fees please visit the Higher Degrees by Research program pages on the College website.

International Postgraduate Research Scholarships are extremely competitive and hard to get.  Your potential supervisor may also know of special scholarships for your research topic.

Additional information on the list of current College scholarships is available on the ANU College of Medicine, Biology & Environment website.

Apply online

If you are now ready to apply, return to the PhD program page or the MPhil program page, click APPLY in the top right corner of either page, and follow the prompts.

For further information, contact Amy Chen, Fenner School's HDR Coordinator:

T +61 (0)2 6125 1634

Updated:  22 May 2018/Responsible Officer:  Director Fenner School/Page Contact:  Webmaster Fenner School