Doctoral study in Pacific Studies

Why study with us?

Pacific Studies is a home for Pacific students at the University of Auckland. We offer mentoring programmes for all Pacific students and our traditional Fale is a space for discussion and support as well as teaching and learning.

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

You will be supervised by our researchers and have access to a range of resources to assist you in your academic and professional development.

We welcome PhD research proposals in areas such as:

  • Anthropology and Pacific Studies
  • Gender
  • Indigenous/Pacific politics and US empire
  • Migration, transnationalism and Pacific diaspora
  • Pacific cultural competencies
  • Pacific cultures, Indigenous knowledge and globalisation
  • Health, wellbeing and injury prevention
  • Pacific history
  • Pacific Island societies, politics and economics
  • Pacific languages: Teaching and learning; language maintenance, shift and death; Polynesian linguistics; dictionary-making; translation
  • Pacific peoples’ educational achievement
  • Pacific research methodologies and relational ethics
  • Pacific Studies and decolonisation
  • Race, ethnicity and identity
  • Sport
  • Suicide prevention and postvention
  • Youth development

Our people

We are a global leader in Pacific research with an outstanding record of publishing and research dissemination and a remarkable record of securing research funding. Our researchers are active in traditional academic research and publication, independent consulting, working with and for Pacific communities, and advising and informing government and non-governmental organisations.

As well as housing leading Pacific researchers, Pacific Studies is home to a number of major Pacific research projects, and most of these involve staff, students and national and international partners.

Past research topics

  • "Maui's sons: A genealogy of return" | Supervised by Dr Melani Anae
  • "Connecting identities and relationships through indigenous epistemology: The Solomoni of Fiji" | Supervised by Professor Tracey McIntosh and Professor Steven Ratuva
  • "An analytical perspective on moana research and the case of Tongan faiva" | Supervised by Dr Melenaite Taumoefolau and Professor Greg Booth
  • "The changing roles of the Polynesian paramount chief" | Supervised by Dr Melani Anae and Professor Steven Ratuva
  • "I yau Vakaviti: Fijian treasures in international museums – A study of repatriation, ownership and cultural rights" | Supervised by Professor Steven Ratuva and Dr Melani Anae

Scholarships and awards

There are several scholarships you may be eligible for when you decide to pursue your PhD in Pacific Studies:

Help and advice

For help with enrolling in your PhD you can contact the Arts Students' Centre.

If you would like to discuss your plans for your doctoral research you can contact our PhD Adviser.

Apply for doctoral study