Doctoral study in Law

Why study with us?

  • The University of Auckland and Auckland Law School is the highest-ranking university in New Zealand (QS World University Ranking by subject 2021).
  • The Davis Law Library is the largest law library in New Zealand.
  • Auckland Law School is home to a number of renound research centres. 
  • Stimulating and rewarding, a PhD at the Auckland Law School requires a high level of self-motivation and discipline, providing an exciting opportunity to engage in independent, cutting-edge research.
  • The University of Auckland offers a range of scholarships and opportunities for incoming doctoral candidates.

PhD Thesis

The PhD is a thesis-only research degree programme, usually requiring full-time study for three to four years or part-time study for six to eight years. The degree is undertaken under supervision and candidates must complete a sustained course of advanced legal research resulting in the production of a substantial original thesis.

If you have New Zealand postgraduate qualifications, you will need to have completed an LLB(Hons), a postgraduate bachelors (honours) degree in law or a Master of Laws with first class or second class (division 1) honours.

Research opportunities

Auckland Law School has New Zealand’s largest community of legal academics, with leaders in Corporate and Commercial Law, Public Law and International Law. With these and all other major areas of the law, we attract research students from around the world.

The University of Auckland Law School is an active and vibrant research institution. Its members regularly publish articles and books in New Zealand and around the world, and also serve as editors of a range of publications. The faculty hosts a number of research centres, and maintains close cooperation with the Legal Research Foundation. The faculty’s work is supported by the Davis Law Library’s extensive collection of legal materials.

The faculty welcomes enquiries from prospective research students. The faculty’s core subject areas include: 

  • Constitutional, Administrative and Public Law
  • Contract, Torts, Equity and Private Law
  • Corporate and Commercial Law
  • Criminal Law and Justice
  • Human Rights Law
  • Indigenous Peoples and the Law
  • International and Comparative Law
  • Land and Environmental Law
  • Legal History and Theory
  • Litigation, Dispute Resolution, Family and Relationships Law

Our people

Past research topics

Scholarships and awards

There are several scholarships you may be eligible for when you decide to pursue your doctoral studies in Law.

University of Auckland Doctoral Scholarships

University of Auckland Law School’s Dean’s Doctoral Scholarships

New Zealand Law Foundation Doctoral Scholarship

Contact us

If you want to chat further about your studies, either email lawphd@auckland.ac.nz or click below to get in contact.

Apply for doctoral study