Doctoral study in Education
Why study with us?
- The University of Auckland is ranked first in New Zealand for the subject of Education and the only New Zealand university to feature in the world's top 50 universities for Education.1
- We are the top university in New Zealand for graduate employability, which means we are the leading provider of employable, high-quality graduates in New Zealand.2
- The faculty has the highest number of active Education researchers in New Zealand.3
- The faculty has the most researchers whose work has been rated as world-class and received national recognition.3
- The majority of our research is undertaken in partnership with practice communities.
- Doctoral candidates receive annual Postgraduate Research Student Support (PReSS) funding for research expenses.
When you join us for your doctoral study in Education, you will be able to help improve the educational and social wellbeing of society. Our research harnesses the vast potential that diversity brings to address education and social justice issues – nationally, regionally and globally.
Faculty researchers explore educational and social science research from a wide range of perspectives, many of which are aligned to the central theme of superdiversity and five key sub-themes:
- Leading learning:
- Teacher education, professional development and interventions in learning across ECE, primary, secondary and higher education
- Inclusive and responsive educational leadership at all learning levels
- Instructional and assessment practices that enhance learning and positively influence effective teaching and learning
- Ensuring equitable achievement outcomes
- The philosophy, nature and enactment of curricula
- Monitoring needs, trends and outcomes of learning
- Workforce professional learning and development/on-going capability
- Responding to government initiatives to enhance teaching and learning (eg, online learning, STEM)
- Advancing equity for all sectors of society:
- Equity of access and achievement for people who are first in their family to undertake tertiary-level degrees
- Advancing culturally-driven economies to enable educational outcomes
- The development of priority learners’ skills and literacies, towards greater empowerment and wellbeing
- Enhancing indigenous opportunities:
- Māori educational systems, structures and curricula
- The maintenance and development of te reo
- Bilingual development
- Conceptual exploration of tikanga Māori
- Kaupapa Māori methodologies
- Promoting lifelong wellbeing:
- Contributing to the reduction of child (0–18 years) poverty and the advancement of children’s right to a safe and violence-free environment
- Contributing to the promotion of health and wellbeing at all life stages
- Effective multicultural social support for people of all ages, gender, incomes, and (dis)abilities in urban environments (in both acute crisis and preventative modes)
- Promoting peaceful and inclusive societies
- "Anyone, anywhere, anytime" lifelong learning/older people’s wellbeing through lifelong learning opportunities that accommodate (dis)ability challenges
- Critical inquiry into global, regional, national and local dynamics in policy from the perspectives of political economy and critical pedagogy
- Environmental stewardship and sustainability
- Kanohi ki te kanohi technology-driven interpersonal relationships, and self-care
- Supporting intercultural inclusiveness:
- Superdiversity and civic participation
- Pasifika educational systems, structures and curricula
- The maintenance and development of Pasifika languages and bilingual development
- The experiences of people crossing borders, and identity development
- Multilingualism/acquisition of additional languages (including English as an additional language), and the place of international experiences, languages and cultures in a globalised world
We welcome research proposals on a wide range of topics, some of which contribute to projects being undertaken in our research centres/units and schools:
- The development of education and schooling success for diverse communities (Woolf Fisher Research Centre)
- Educational leadership
- Māori and indigenous language revitalisation (Te Puna Wānanga School of Māori and Indigenous Education)
- Pasifika education
- The impacts of socio-economic status on educational achievement (Starpath Project)
- Enabling staff and postgraduate students to succeed in their academic careers (Centre for Learning and Research in Higher Education)
- Promoting leadership, equity, achievement and diversity in early literacy (The Marie Clay Research Centre)
- Increasing research and evaluation capacity through targeted support and networking in collaboration with the social services sector (Centre for Community Research and Evaluation)
- Health, education and welfare (Centre for Child and Family Research)
- Applied theatre with an international focus (Critical Research Unit in Applied Theatre)
- Knowledge in education (Knowledge and Education Research Unit)
- Parenting and family intervention aimed at preventing behavioural and emotional problems in children and adolescents (Parenting Research Group)
- Critical studies in Health Education, Physical Education, and Sports Studies (The Richard Tinning Research Unit)
- Higher education (Higher Education Research Network)
The faculty has the highest number of active Education researchers in New Zealand and the most researchers whose work has been rated as world-class and received national recognition. (Latest Performance Based Research Fund Report, 2012) When you study with us you will be supervised by experienced researchers and have access to a range of resources to support you in your academic journey.
Find out more about out available supervisors and research projects you could join by clicking the link below.
Past and current research topics
- "Being the change: Disabled medical students navigating stigma through action" | Supervised by Professor Janet Gaffney and Associate Professor Jay Marlowe
- "Disruptive and decolonising? Subordinate youth practices in health education" | Supervised by Dr Katie Fitzpatrick and Dr Darren Powell
- "Collective leadership in the context of infant-toddler education and care" | Supervised by Dr Deidre Le Fevre and Professor Helen Hedges
- "Refining and enriching children’s working theories: A trialogical approach" | Supervised by Dr Rena Heap and Professor Helen Hedges
- "An exploration of attitudes towards success and their relation to subjective well-being among Korean high school and university students in New Zealand and the Republic of Korea" | Supervised by Professor Gavin Brown and Associate Professor Jason Stephens
Meet a graduate
"I chose to move to New Zealand to study at the University of Auckland because it’s a world-ranked university and offers high-quality programmes.
"What I’m particularly enjoying are the monthly roundtable discussions held by the Postgraduate Students' Association, where interesting topics are discussed and I get the opportunity to meet and chat with my fellow PhD students. The free workshops are also fantastic as they provide support to improve and excel in my studies.
"During the course of my study, I’ve had an opportunity to present at an Applied Linguistics Association Conference in Wellington, which has helped me make more connections with other researchers and to improve on my research.
"Pursuing my PhD allows me to explore more of my research area in linguistics and to upgrade my knowledge and skills as a professional. After completing my PhD, I look forward to returning to Malaysia as a lecturer in the polytechnic where I worked."
Scholarships and awards
James Bertram Scholarships
Kate Edger Educational Charitable Trust Dame Dorothy Winstone Final Year Doctoral Awards
Kate Edger Educational Charitable Trust Doctoral Completion
The Kate Edger Educational Charitable Trust First Year Doctoral Awards
Marie Clay Literacy Trust Research Scholarships
School of Learning, Development and Professional Practice Doctoral Scholarship
If you have any questions or queries, contact us using the details below.
Doctoral and Postgraduate Research Coordinator
Phone: +64 9 623 8812