Course summary

The Doctor of Indigenous Philosophies is a program of study by coursework and research that comprises 24 units which include a research thesis. The course is designed to provide high-level research skills for Indigenous people and for those interested in careers in the Indigenous sector.

The qualification is aimed at providing important and specific opportunities at both national and international levels for Indigenous peoples, those working within Indigenous communities, the private and public sector, for the progression of in-depth studies on issues relevant to Indigenous communal futures.

Public and private sector organisations are encouraged to sponsor their staff to undertake the Doctorate, with the aim of conducting essential ethical and engaged research deemed critical to the health and human services sector and for policy development.

The focus of the candidate’s research will be negotiated and agreed to by the candidate, their supervisor, and the Director of Gnibi College of Indigenous Australian Peoples. The candidates will be encouraged to restrict their investigations to issues that are relevant and provide benefit to Indigenous peoples.

Note: Students are required to take units in all 3 sessions.

Graduate AttributeCourse Learning Outcome
Intellectual rigour

apply critical analysis to Indigenous social and cultural situations and problems.


develop innovative and creative responses to contemporary Indigenous and historical social and cultural issues.

Ethical practice

investigate and evaluate issues with references to principles of social justice and equity in relation to Indigenous people.

Knowledge of a discipline

demonstrate higher order thinking in a major area of study.

Lifelong learning

demonstrate a developed capacity to be reflective in practice and self-managed in ongoing professional development.

Communication and social skills

access and interpret and evaluate sources of information relevant to Indigenous research paradigms.

Cultural competence

demonstrate the knowledge and skills necessary to interact in a culturally competent way with Indigenous communities and other diverse populations.

Course overview

Course code


Course abbreviation


Credit points


Equivalent units


Domestic duration

3 years full-time; 6 years part-time

International duration

3 years full-time

Availability details


Location Session UAC code QTAC code
Lismore 1 N/A N/A
Online 1 N/A N/A

Domestic fees

Fee paying


Location Session Annual Fees CRICOS
Lismore 1 $27,600 ($3,450 per unit) 088054C

Course requirements

See the University’s Rules Relating to Awards, in conjunction with the Specific Award Rules listed below.

  1. To be eligible for the award of a professional Doctorate, a candidate shall successfully complete twenty-four (24) units (288 credit points) of study and research. At least two-thirds of these units shall require completion of a thesis. 
  2. These units shall be comprised of those in the schedule of units attached to these rules. 
  3. A professional Doctorate shall be in a field approved by the Higher Degrees Research Committee and listed in the Schedule of Professional Doctorates attached to these rules.
  4. All Doctor of Indigenous Philosophies candidates will serve a confirmation period, no longer than six (6) months full-time equivalent.
  5. The process of assessment of the confirmation period will be developed within a general framework approved by the Higher Degrees Research Committee, to be used in the respective School
  6. The assessment of the completion of the confirmation period shall result in one of five outcomes:
    1. Satisfactory: Candidate to be offered full candidature (i.e. confirmation of candidature).
    2. Unsatisfactory: Candidate to revise submission to the satisfaction of the Principal Supervisor and the relevant Director of Research and Research Training.
    3. Unsatisfactory: Candidate to resubmit to confirmation period assessment process.
    4. Remedial action: Where a resubmission results in a further unsatisfactory outcome, a course of remedial action shall be put in place. This may require a review of the Supervisor-Candidate Agreement.
    5. Termination of candidature.

Course progressions

Students should use course progression information to select units specific to their course and enrol in these units using My Enrolment

Title Level of learning Note

Year 1, Session 1

CMM03189 - Indigenous Research Theory and Practice Advanced Note 1, Note 3
Advanced Academic Skills for Postgraduates

Year 1, Session 2

HUM10315 - Knowing with Community Advanced Note 5
HUM10310 - Learning from Country Advanced Note 1, Note 4

Year 1, Session 3

SOC03402 - Doctor of Indigenous Philosophies Research Proposal Advanced Note 1, Note 3

Year 2, Session 1

SOC89022 - Doctor of Indigenous Philosophies Thesis Advanced Note 2


Note 1: Double-weighted unit
Note 2: 16-unit equivalent
Note 3: Compulsory 4 Day Residential School
Note 4: Compulsory 10 day Residential school
Note 5: Compulsory 5 day Residential school