Why do a PhD?
Learn more about the range of benefits our doctoral study programme has to offer.
Doctoral study enables you to explore your interests, refine your research skills, and become an expert in your field. It not only opens doors to increasingly diverse range of rewarding careers, it also offers a personally fulfilling journey of making knowledge contributions to your chosen area of study.
A PhD degree allows you to become a subject-matter expert on a particular topic area, and enables you to develop the skills, knowledge and confidence to participate in current debates on topics of social, political, and economic importance.
The degree also allows you to develop a critical and practical understanding of how research is conducted and how knowledge is constructed.
Our PhD graduates typically go on to pursue successful careers in a range of domains (including academia) in New Zealand and abroad.
Be part of an inspiring community of diverse students and internationally respected academic staff, as you advance your knowledge. Our PhD programme provides an opportunity to maximise your research impact by contributing to a more informed and equitable world.
Graduate from a world-ranked arts faculty
In the 2021 QS World University Rankings by subject we have three subjects placed in the world’s top 50: Archaeology, Anthropology and English Language and Literature.
Collaborate with academic staff who are award-winning international leaders, passionate about making a difference. Our community of researchers have interests ranging from cybercrime and disaster recovery to Indigenous mental health and political marketing. For the more creatively inclined we also offer a PhD with Creative Practice.
We are also home to a range of specialist and cross-disciplinary research centres.
Further your specialist knowledge in an area you are passionate about, with over 30 subjects available for doctoral study in the Faculty of Arts.
To view the full range of subject options, please visit the PhD subjects page.
Scholarships and funding
We offer generous guaranteed scholarships for applicants who meet Grade Point Average (GPA) thresholds from their qualifying programme, as well as Faculty of Arts Doctoral Scholarships and a range of discipline-specific scholarships to fund your doctoral study with us.
As a PhD student in Arts you can apply to the Doctoral Research Fund for expenses related to your research. You will also receive funding through PReSS accounts and an additional stipend.
Become a Graduate Teaching Assistant
Our Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) positions offer a paid opportunity to work in an academic environment and gain teaching and leadership experience while you study. GTAs provide assistance in the delivery of courses to undergraduate students.
Find out more about becoming a Graduate Teaching Assistant.
PhD writing retreat
The Faculty offers a fully-funded PhD Writing Retreat each year. This residential retreat provides a supportive environment for PhD students to focus on a specific writing project.
The Retreat also provides a valuable opportunity for doctoral students from a variety of Faculty disciplines to interact with others at a similar stage in their writing processes and to build a sense of shared identity and intellectual endeavour.
All PhD students in the faculty are guaranteed a study space, usually located within your school. This means access to a desk and computer.
Enjoy being part of a community
A PhD is more than just research, it allows you to build strong networks with fellow students and academic staff as well as engaging with other bright minds from across the University. We run regular social events for PhD students that provide opportunities to mix with your peers and make connections.
We offer workshops run in collaboration with the University’s CDES careers service specifically for Arts PhD students to help you fast track your career in roles outside academia.
For more information please contact
Phone: +64 9 923 6518