PhDs with Creative Practice Procedures (2011/2016 PhD Statutes only)


PhD candidates governed by a PhD Statute other than that which came into effect on 1 October 2020, whose degree includes a corpus of creative work for examination, their academic units and their supervisors.


To outline the procedures which must be followed in order for a corpus of creative work to be included in a PhD.


The 2011/2016 PhD Statutes allow a corpus of creative work to be integrated with a doctoral thesis to produce a PhD with creative practice.

The presentation of a corpus of creative work allows for a particular theme to be investigated through one or more creative output alongside a written thesis.

The creative work and the written thesis are expected to be distinct yet interdependent, presenting an integrated and reflective approach to the research topic that meets the requirements for a PhD.

Incorporating creative work may have significant resource implications above and beyond the standard funding provided for a PhD; any additional resources must be arranged by the host academic unit.



Expression of intent

1. PhD applicants must indicate their wish to present creative components for examination within their application for admission or initial research proposal prior to admission into the PhD programme.

Note: Only in exceptional circumstances would creative practice components be introduced into a research project following admission.

2. The application must include:

  • a brief description of the expected creative outputs for examination (e.g. performance, exhibition, design)
  • expected resources required by the research and an indication of how the corpus of creative work will be funded
  • an indication of how thesis and creative work components will be integrated
  • PhD applicants must complete the PhD with Creative Practice: Statement of Research Intent

Prior training and experience

3. PhD applicants seeking to present a corpus of creative work for examination must have advanced training and/or professional experience in the field of research.

Supervisor selection

4. The main supervisor or at least one of the joint supervisors must have a PhD or equivalent academic status.

5. At least one of the supervisors must have extensive professional experience as a practitioner in the field of research.

Provisional year review

Confirmation of creative practice components

6. The candidate must confirm their wish to present creative components for final examination during their provisional year review

7. The creative practice components may include (but are not limited to) written fiction or creative nonfiction, performance, exhibitions and/or artefacts (such as images, music, designs, models, structures, digital media)

8. The candidate must fulfill all standard requirements of provisional goals and:

  • clarify the intended examinable format of the creative component within their completed research proposal
  • address how the thesis and creative work will be integrated in process and presentation

Note - the substantial piece of work presented as a provisional year goal must be scholarly, such as a draft literature review or methodology chapter.

9. Inclusion of the creative practice component must be supported by the provisional year review panel, the academic head, and approved by the Board of Graduate Studies.

Note - at this point the academic unit must confirm their capacity to provide resources for the required research, supervision and examination.

Criteria for progression

10. Approval of a PhD candidate’s inclusion of creative practice components at the provisional year review is to be informed by:

  • the candidate’s eligibility to engage in creative practice research within a PhD
  • the candidate’s progress within their provisional year

Submission and examination

Submission formats

11. Candidates must present their creative component in one or more of the following formats:

  • as material integrated into the thesis
  • as a digital recording in a portable format that can accompany the thesis
  • as a live performance, exhibition or artefact

Examination of live performance/exhibition

12. The in person or virtual attendance of the doctoral examiners and the academic head’s nominee must only be required at one live performance/exhibition, irrespective of the number of creative practice components included in the thesis.

13. The academic unit must bear the costs associated with bringing examiners and the academic head’s nominee to the live performance/exhibition if the parties attend in person.

14. Examiners attending any such event must not confer on the candidate’s work.

15. Normal schedules and protocols for PhD examinations must not be guided by the timing of the live performance/exhibition examination. This precludes the possibility of combining the oral examination with the live performance/exhibition examination.

16. Candidates may elect to submit either their thesis or creative work for examination first, but both will normally be presented for examination within a six-month period. The candidate's enrolment in the PhD programme concludes when the second component is submitted, and all components must be submitted by the candidate’s maximum submission date.


17. The candidate must correctly attribute the contributions of collaborators to creative work by:

  • completing co-production form/s with all collaborators on the creative work
  • providing an articulation of the distinct contributions of such collaborators within the written thesis


18. The candidate must obtain third party permission on copyright for:

  • any subsequent public dissemination of such recording
  • presentation on ResearchSpace and other publicly-accessible digital archive


19. The candidate must arrange for all performances or exhibitions being presented for examination to be recorded.

20. If a live performance or exhibition is presented for examination as a digital recording, the candidate must articulate their role in the digital recording and editing process within their written thesis.

21. The candidate must gain the permission of any co-producers of the digital recording of the work through the use of co-production form/s.


The following definitions apply to this document:

Academic head is the head of the academic unit.

Academic unit refers to the faculty, school, department, discipline or institute in which the PhD candidate is registered.

Advanced training may be understood as a postgraduate degree or diploma.

Application for admission refers to the online application (“AfA”) which must be completed and submitted in order to be considered for entry into a doctoral programme at the University.

PhD candidates are students enrolled in a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) at the University.

PhD with creative practice is an original enquiry that is examined through a written thesis accompanied by creative work.

Professional experience may be understood as at least two years of employment and/or professional productivity in the relevant field(s).

ResearchSpace is the digital repository or online archive for the University, and contains full-text theses and other research outputs.

University means the University of Auckland and includes all subsidiaries.

Key relevant documents

Document management and control

Owner: Dean of Graduate Studies
Content manager: School of Graduate Studies
Approved by: Board of Graduate Studies, Senate and Council
Approval date: May 2022
Review date: May 2027