Doctoral study in Geography

Why study with us?

New Zealand’s leading and largest Faculty of Science* brings together 10 diverse schools and departments to provide outstanding quality teaching and research opportunities. Our doctoral students work with some of the nation’s leading researchers and benefit from the faculty’s connections with international universities and industry. You will also have access to high-quality laboratory and field research facilities.


Research opportunities

We welcome PhD proposals in areas including:

  • Emerging Economic Spaces
  • Land, Place and Culture
  • Population, Mobilities and Wellbeing
  • Development and New Regional Geographies
  • Contemporary Issues in Human Geography
  • Urban Worlds
  • Geographies of Housing and Urban Change
  • People, Participation and Development
  • Climate Change: Past, Present, and Future
  • Policy and Expertise
  • Future Food and Biological Economies
  • Research Topics in Geography
  • Applied Fluvial Geomorphology
  • Applied Coastal Geomorphology
  • Current Issues in Coastal Management
  • Climate and Society
  • GIS and Spatial Data Handling
  • Spatial Analysis and Geocomputation
  • Advanced Raster Data Analysis
  • Visualisation and Cartography
  • Advanced Spatial Data Handling
  • Programming, GIS Customisation and Web-mapping

Our people

Many of our knowledgeable scientists are major contributors in their field.

(and search for relevant topics)

Research topics

See a selection of past and present research topics:

  • Investigating the controlling dynamics within social-ecological coastal systems: a computational modelling approach | supervised by Mark Dickson, Karen Fisher and Simon Thrush
  • Naturalness, diversity and river health: what is river management for? Supervised by Gary Brierley and Jay Gao
  • The role of artist's creative spatial practices in urban regeneration after disasters | supervised by Robin Kearns and JC Gaillard
  • Variability and trend of atmospheric water vapour flux over New Zealand and possible implications for inter-annual rainfall variability |  supervised by Gilles Bellon and Melissa Bowen
  • Auckland's animal urban citizens - non-human identity construction and animal place in Auckland | supervised by Robin Kearns and Ward Friesen
  • Investigation into discourses 'Western' women create when living in South Korea; to determine how globalisation/immigration influences cultural/location specific gender roles | supervised by Ann Bartos
  • Auckland's community markets: spaces of ethical consumption and retailing | supervised by Emma Sharp
  • Exploring children's geographies of poverty and privilege; understanding the differentiated lifeworlds, experiences and identities of children in Auckland | supervised by Robin Kearns
  • Applications of remote sensing related to impacts of global climate change on urban areas or natural resources | supervised by Jay Gao and Luitgard Schwendenmann

For more information about PhD theses and topics you may be interested in, or supervisors and their past research, please use the search function on the Libraries and Learning Services catalogue.

Scholarships and awards

See our University of Auckland Doctoral Scholarship page for scholarship opportunities. Or search our database for scholarships that may be available.

Help and advice

Please see our Doctoral students section for further information, advice and contact information.

Apply for doctoral study