Doctoral study in European Languages and Cultures

Pursue doctoral study in European Studies, French, German, Italian or Spanish.

Why study with us?

Our experts approach European study from a variety of perspectives and concentrations. This programme offers you the opportunity to develop a multi-disciplinary approach through European Studies or specialise in a particular culture and language (French, German, Italian or Spanish).

As a doctoral candidate, you'll benefit from financial support for research expenses through PReSS funding; high-calibre supervision practices; and the networks and expertise of our world-class academic researchers.

Research opportunities

We welcome PhD research proposals in a range of areas, including:

European Studies

  • European cinema and drama
  • European integration
  • Language, memory and the history of public speech
  • The body, gender and visual culture


  • French cinema
  • French literature (including contemporary; medieval; North African and Pacific literature in French; and feminist, post-colonial, poststructuralist and comparative approaches)
  • Translation, including audiovisual translation (subtitling)


  • German connection with New Zealand and the Pacific
  • German drama and modern German literature
  • Learner autonomy
  • Teaching and learning of German as a foreign language (including digital media in language learning)
  • The influence of psychoactive substances on literary creativity


  • Cultural, postcolonial and migration studies
  • Feminism and gender studies
  • Italian literary and technical translation, and film subtitling
  • Italian literature and theatre: Middle Ages, Renaissance, modern, contemporary
  • Italian popular culture: romance, crime, adventure stories, science fiction, comic books and graphic novels


  • 19th/20th-century Spanish culture and politics
  • Cultural-literacy studies: Mexican, Caribbean, and colonial/post-colonial criticism
  • General Hispanic linguistics, Spanish phonetics, phonology, morphology and dialectology
  • Spanish and Latin American popular culture: Music and social change, detective fiction, film studies
  • Spanish and Latin America women writers and gender studies
  • Subaltern studies, indigenous and Amerindian cultures

Our people

We bring a variety of different perspectives to our research on Europe and specialise in a range of countries, cultures and languages.

Find a supervisor

Past research topics include

  • "Culture, politics, religion and language in the letters of French Roman Catholic missionaries in 1840 New Zealand: An analysis and translation" | Supervised by Dr Trudy Agar and Dr Vanessa Enriquez Raido
  • "Sauerkraut and salt water: The German-Tongan diaspora since 1932" | Supervised by Emeritus Professor James Bade and Associate Professor Damon Salesa
  • "Italo Calvino and the Pygmalion paradigm: Fashioning the feminine in I nostri antenati and Gli amori difficili" | Supervised by Professor Bernadette Luciano and Dr Hilary Chung
  • "Ibero-American intersections: constructing (trans)national imaginaries in Spain and Latin America, 1898-1938" | Supervised by Professor Christine Arkinstall and Associate Professor Walescka Pino-Ojeda

Scholarships and awards

There are several scholarships you may be eligible for when you decide to pursue your doctoral studies in European Languages and Cultures.

Help and advice

If you would like to find out more about doctoral study in European Studies, French, German, Italian or Spanish, contact our PhD Adviser:

Dr Rumi Sakamoto
Phone: +64 9 923 4600

Apply for doctoral study