PhD - Domestic Tuition Fees Policy and Procedures


PhD candidates who are paying domestic fees at the University.


This document outlines the requirements for eligibility for domestic tuition fees during PhD candidature. It is supported by PhD – Domestic Tuition Fees Guidelines.


1.    Candidates who are New Zealand citizens pay domestic fees

2.    Candidates who are not New Zealand citizens may pay domestic fees if they:

  • are resident in New Zealand for the duration of their PhD; and
  • spend no more than 12 months in total overseas during their candidature; and
  • conform with TEC funding rules ENR002, ENR006, ENR007

3.    Time spent overseas by non-New Zealand citizens during candidature must only be for research purposes (with the exception of 4 weeks’ annual leave permitted)

4.    Candidates must submit a DOC6 and have it approved before every research trip of one month or longer during their PhD candidature

5.    The criteria for eligibility for domestic fees is set by the New Zealand Government, is non-negotiable, and may be subject to change

Related procedures

The 12 month rule

6.    Time overseas must be for the purposes of doctoral research that cannot be conducted in New Zealand at an equivalent level

7.    Candidates who wish to return home to write up their results must pay full international fees, even if they have not spent 12 months in total overseas during their doctoral candidature

8.    Time overseas to attend a conference does not require a DOC6 if the sole purpose of the trip is to attend the conference, but the time is part of the 12 month total

9.    The 12 month rule does not include time taken on annual leave

10.   During annual leave a candidate must not undertake research or other work on their thesis

11.    The 12 month rule does not include any time when the candidate is suspended

12.    While on suspension candidates must not undertake research or other work on their doctoral projects

13.    Candidates who do not/no longer meet the eligibility criteria for domestic fees will be charged full international tuition fees. International fees will continue to be charged for the remainder of the registration, even if the candidate returns to New Zealand

14.    The time between submission and the oral examination is not part of the 12 month rule



15.    If a candidate other than a New Zealand citizen believes that they are able to enrol part-time and remain eligible for domestic tuition fees, they must provide the School of Graduate Studies with evidence that they have been granted a student visa that allows them to undertake part-time PhD study


US Financial Aid

16.    The US Financial Aid regulation  requires that Approved Leaves of Absence (LOA) together with any additional leaves of absence must not exceed a total of 180 days in any 12 month period


After submission

17.    A candidate who wishes to remain in New Zealand on a student visa in the period between submission and oral examination and whose visa is due to expire must enrol in the 7 month course ‘Thesis under Submission’

18.    The candidate is required to pay insurance for the period of their enrolment in Thesis under Submission

19.    The candidate is not required to pay tuition fees during enrolment in Thesis under Submission


The following definitions apply to these guidelines:

Domestic fees are the tuition fees payable by New Zealand citizens for study at the University

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

Suspensions are periods of time during which a candidate’s registration is put on hold (suspended) when they are unable to continue with their research programme because of circumstances beyond their control (see PhD Statute Regulation 7g and Guideline 38). A DOC6 must be completed and approved

University means the University of Auckland and includes all subsidiaries

Document management and control

Content manager: School of Graduate Studies

Owner: Dean of Graduate Studies

Approved by: Board of Graduate Studies

Date approved
: March 2018 

Review date: March 2021