Starting your professional doctorate

Find out when your course starts, how to complete your enrolment in time, and what to do if your plans change.

Start dates

Most professional doctorates

Doctor of Education, Doctor of Health, Doctor of Midwifery, and Doctor of Nursing candidates start their studies as a cohort in Trimester 1 of the year following the application deadline.

You need to have accepted your Offer of Place and enrolled well in advance, so that you are ready to start studying on the first day of your courses.

Doctor of Musical Arts

Doctor of Musical Arts candidates can start their studies in Trimester 1 or Trimester 2. In special circumstances you may be able to begin in Trimester 3—contact the programme director or administrator to discuss your options.

You need to have accepted your Offer of Place and enrolled well in advance of the start of your chosen trimester, so that you are ready to start studying on the first day of courses.

International students

Most of our professional doctorates are not suitable for international students as their content is highly specific to the New Zealand context.

International students who have been offered a place in the Doctor of Musical Arts degree are expected to arrive at the University in person to formally enrol and begin your studies within nine months of the offer. You should start your application for a visa as soon as you have received an unconditional Offer of Place.

Enrolment and deferrals

Enrolment in person

You need to enrol in person before you start your doctorate. Arrange your enrolment appointment with one of our Graduate Research Administrators by emailing Be aware that at busy times—such as before the start of Trimester 1 in February—there is a lot of demand for appointments.

Your appointment will take place in the Wellington Faculty of Graduate Research Office at 10 Kelburn Parade, on the University’s Kelburn campus.

Deferring your start date

If your circumstances change and you wish to start your professional doctorate later than the date you’d agreed, you must contact the Doctoral Admissions Office, your supervisor, and the Head of School. Your school will need to agree to defer your start date.

Scholarship deferral

If you have been awarded a scholarship and wish to defer your start date, please contact the Doctoral Admissions Office to discuss your options.

Induction programme

All doctoral students must attend the Wellington Faculty of Graduate Research’s induction programme for new doctoral candidates. The series of workshops is run three or four times every year, and helps you to get your studies off to the best possible start.

For students enrolling in a professional doctorate, we recommend that you attend the induction programme after you have competed your coursework and are starting Part 2 of your doctorate.

More about the induction programme