Program Structure

Doctoral study

This is an overview of doctoral study at the University, from the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) to the six named doctorates we offer.

A doctorate is the highest level of degree that you can achieve. 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, as well as specialised research skills relevant to a wide range of careers.

Program 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. This is known as a PhD with creative practice.

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 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 program from a New Zealand university.

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

Find out more: University of Auckland Doctoral Scholarships

Other doctoral scholarships

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

You can search for doctoral-level scholarships by filtering by program type on the scholarships search tool, here: Find a scholarship.  

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.

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 workshops
Libraries and Learning Services offer a range of workshops to support our doctoral candidates to develop the skills they need to successfully complete their studies.

Postgraduate events
The University hosts a range of events for our postgraduate community, including doctoral-specific events like the monthly Doctoral Morning Tea.