Doctoral study

Find out about pursuing an advanced research degree at our world-class University.

A doctorate is the highest level of degree that you can achieve. From the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) to our four named doctorates, our doctoral degrees give you the freedom to follow your passion and undertake advanced research in your area of interest. You can develop highly transferable skills and specialised research skills relevant to a wide range of careers.

Programme structure

A doctorate is normally carried out over a minimum of 3 years full-time. Our doctoral candidates work closely with at least one appointed supervisor and many work in a team of researchers.

For the PhD, you will prepare a substantial thesis of original research that contributes significantly to knowledge and understanding in your discipline, followed by an oral examination.

Your PhD thesis may include publications you have written under supervision for this degree or, for those in a creative arts or design discipline, you may present a body of scholarly creative work for assessment with your thesis. This is known as a PhD with scholarly creative work.

You can submit an application for a doctoral programme (excluding DClinPsy and EdD) at any time of the year.

Find out more: Doctoral applications

Entry requirements

Acceptance to our doctoral programmes is based on academic merit. You must demonstrate an ability to research independently, and possess a high level of theoretical understanding. Acceptance is subject to staff availability for supervision, and appropriate resources and facilities.

Check entry requirements by programme, here: Doctoral study options

Research opportunities

The PhD is available in 100 different subjects and is offered in all faculties and large-scale research institutes. We offer a wealth of research opportunities across the University, including cross-disciplinary projects.

We encourage you to look at supervisor profiles, explore faculty or institute research and browse research opportunities.

Doctoral scholarships

Guaranteed scholarships

There are exciting changes coming to the University of Auckland Doctoral Scholarship scheme. Students will still only be considered for a doctoral scholarship at the time of application for a place in the programme, but:

  • any student who is offered a place in a doctoral programme will be eligible for scholarship consideration
  • more scholarships will be offered
  • Māori applicants with a New Zealand university qualifying programme GPA of 7.0 or above who are offered a place in a doctoral programme are guaranteed a scholarship
  • Pacific applicants with a New Zealand university qualifying programme GPA of 7.0 or above who are offered a place in a doctoral programme are guaranteed a scholarship
  • scholarship recipients will be able to undertake up to 750 hours of paid work per 12 month period (up from 500 hours at present)

Find out more: University of Auckland Doctoral Scholarships

Domestic fees for international PhD candidates

If you are a new international PhD student, you will pay the same annual tuition fee as New Zealand PhD students. To be eligible for the domestic PhD fee, you must reside in New Zealand for the duration of your doctoral programme.* 

Find out more: Doctoral fees

*You may undertake research activities overseas during your doctoral programme for a cumulative total of no more than 12 months.