Doctoral study information

A doctorate is the highest level of degree that you can achieve. The University offers a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and six named doctorates.

Our doctoral degrees gives you the freedom to follow your passion and undertake advanced research in your area of interest.

You can develop highly transferable skills, as well as 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 creative work for assessment with your thesis (PhD with creative practice).

Doctoral applications (excluding DClinPsy and EdD) may be submitted at any time of the year.

How to apply

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.

Entry requirements for each doctorate

Research opportunities

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

We encourage you to look at supervisor profiles, faculty research webpages and doctoral opportunities on FindaThesis for your area of interest.

Doctoral scholarships

Guaranteed scholarships

The University offers guaranteed scholarships to new domestic doctoral and international PhD applicants who meet grade point average (GPA) thresholds in their qualifying programme from a New Zealand university.

High-achieving domestic and international students will also be considered for, but not guaranteed, a scholarship.

Guaranteed scholarships

Other doctoral scholarships

In addition to guaranteed scholarships, the University offers a range of doctoral scholarships.

Find a scholarship

No international fees for PhD students

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.* 

Doctoral fees

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

More information

Postgraduate prospectus
Find information about the University, our doctoral programmes and the support and services we offer.

PReSS accounts
All University of Auckland doctoral students are automatically entitled to research support funding through a PReSS account. The fund is there to help cover research costs such as attending conferences and research-related travel.

Doctoral Skills Programme
The Doctoral Skills Programme offers a range of workshops to support our doctoral students to develop the skills need to successfully complete your doctorate, and help with career planning and professional development.