Doctoral study in the School of Architecture and Planning

The School of Architecture and Planning offers advanced research qualifications in architecture, planning and urban design. The School has particular strengths in the following areas:

  • Design and fabrication
  • Pedagogy
  • Urban design, spatial planning and place making
  • Māori and Pacific research
  • Theory and history
  • Resilience and sustainability

Types of doctoral study

In our school, you are able to choose one of two ways to complete your doctoral study, depending on your research preferences.

1. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

The traditional PhD thesis is a formal piece of advanced research, with a final examined thesis of up to 100,000 words. Your thesis serves as a contribution to the field on both a local and international level. To find out more about the programme structure, entry requirements and start dates, visit Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).

2. PhD with a creative practice component

You can also consider completing your PhD with a creative practice component. This allows you to submit a design output as examinable work alongside a thesis of up to 60,000 words. There are some specific guidelines around the admission requirements and timing of the examination for creative works. To find out more about this option, visit PhD with a creative practice component.  

To see how your creative practice can become research, read Sarosh Mulla’s experience, our first graduate with a PhD in Architecture with Creative Practice Component.

Doctoral supervisors

We understand that supervisor quality and a strong candidate-supervisor relationship are very important when you decide where to undertake your doctoral study.

You can browse the profiles and research interests of our available doctoral supervisors below:

Statement of Research Intent

As part of your application, you need to submit an Architecture and Planning Statement of Research Intent. The purpose of preparing the documents is to obtain sufficient information for the school to assess your application and allocate supervisors best able to support your research.

If you intend to undertake the PhD with a creative practice component, you’ll need to submit a Statement of Research Intent for PhD with Practice Component.


We encourage contacting our PhD Advisers before you submit your Application for Admission (AfA) for more specific information and advice about doctoral study in our School.


Dr Ferdinand Oswald

Urban Planning

Dr Mohsen Mohammadzadeh

Urban Design

Dr Lee Beattie

Contact us

You may need to contact our Student Centre or the School of Graduate Studies at different points of your planning and application process.

Creative Arts and Industries Student Centre
Level 2, Building 421
(Architecture and Planning Building)
26 Symonds St

School of Graduate Studies

Contact School of Graduate Studies