Doctoral study in Software Engineering

Why study with us?

Research opportunities

Pursuing a PhD at our University gives you access to a high-calibre research community – you may have the opportunity to publish papers, attend international conferences, and develop your network in academia and industry.

We welcome research proposals in topics relating to our key areas, including:

  • Human and social aspects of software engineering, with emphasis on the people involved in software development processes, including studying ways to improve coordination on software teams, improving comprehension of software programs, and devising novel techniques to help software developers understand what users want from the software. 
  • Software testing, which involves studying the ways to improve the verification of software systems, such as non-determinism in testing (test flakiness), test oracle generation/improvement, automated software testing, and testing of concurrent software programs.
  • Machine Learning for software engineering, focusing on best practices in designing and developing software solutions with machine learning algorithms at the core.
    Applied Machine Learning, including designing systems for autonomous vehicles, intelligent and automated health care systems, automatic speech recognition for the speech impaired, and speaker identification and verification.
  • Parallel and reconfigurable computing, including task scheduling for parallel systems, reconfigurable computing with FPGAs, reliability in scheduling, and design of novel scheduling algorithms. 
  • Software security, including examining novel approaches for the mitigation of attacks in Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS), such as medical devices and smart grids.
    Digital educational engineering to improve student learning by applying the software engineering process with the latest technologies, including machine learning, virtual reality, augmented reality, and more. 
  • Software engineering for robotics, including improving software tools and processes for robotic drivers and speech systems.

Our people

Dr Kelly Blincoe is an expert in the human aspects of software engineering. Her research focus is on collaborative software development. She studies software dependencies and the resulting coordination needs between software developers. She was awarded a Marsden Fast Start grant to investigate new techniques to automate software dependency updates, which can enable more secure software products. She also does research in software requirements engineering and diversity and inclusion on software teams. Kelly is a leader in the International Software Engineering research community. She is an Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, the Empirical Software Engineering Journal, and the Journal of Systems and Software. She serves on the executive committee of Software Innovation New Zealand and is the Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging co-chair for the ACM’s Special Interest Group on Software Engineering.

More experts in Software Engineering:

Past research topics

Scholarships and awards

There are several scholarships you may be eligible for when you decide to pursue your PhD in Operations Research, including the University of Auckland Doctoral Scholarships.

Help and advice

For general student enquiries, please contact the Engineering Student Centre.

If you would like to find out more about studying Civil Engineering, you can contact a Postgraduate Adviser.

Apply for doctoral study