Doctor of Philosophy in Design

A PhD is an advanced research qualification carried out under academic supervision and is the highest degree offered by the Wellington Faculty of Architecture and Design Innovation.

The PhD thesis is a major piece of original research that demonstrates the candidate’s ability to carry out independent research and constitutes a significant and original contribution to knowledge or understanding in a field of study as well as intelligence and an aptitude for research, the degree requires considerable dedication and tenacity.

The minimum period of registration before a PhD thesis can be submitted for examination is 36 months full-time (or equivalent).

Faculty of Graduate Research

The Faculty of Graduate Research (FGR) is the best place to start if you are interested in doctoral study at Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington. Its website will link you to the online application process, provide you with details of available funding, application dates, and answers to questions you may have about what is involved in undertaking a PhD.

Your acceptance will depend on a number of factors, including your previous qualifications and experience, the suitability of your topic for PhD studies and our capacity to supervise you and your topic.


Each PhD candidate will have at least two academic supervisors. You are advised to contact prospective supervisors prior to applying. Please be aware that the final allocation of supervisors is made by the School.

Members of the Wellington Faculty of Architecture and Design Innovation have a wide variety of research interests that may align with your area of interest for PhD study.

Staff research areas and publications are listed at the bottom of each staff member’s website profile.

Portfolio requirement

A portfolio of work is required as part of the PhD application process for students wanting to complete design-based research at the Wellington Faculty of Architecture and Design Innovation.

A portfolio should showcase work that indicates your skill level, interests and strengths in design or related creative discipline. Up to 10 pieces of work is sufficient. If you are sending work you have completed for an employer, please clearly state what your role in the project was—design, drawing, project management.

More information

If you are interested in applying for a PhD in the School of Design Innovation, please submit an expression of interest and contact the Director of Postgraduate Programmes with any queries.

Lecturer in Media Design, Interaction Design
School of Design Innovation

Contact us

The Wellington Faculty of Architecture and Design Innovation Student Administration is located at:

Te Aro Campus 
139 Vivian Street 

Phone: 04 463 6200 
Email: or