Thesis length

Research theses have a word limit that you must comply with.

A PhD thesis should not exceed a total of 100,000 words in length (or 70,000 for most professional doctorates), including scholarly apparatus such as footnotes or endnotes, essential appendices and bibliography. A doctoral thesis should however, be concise. Examiners often criticise excessive length, which frequently indicates poor judgement.

When you submit, you will be asked to certify that your thesis falls within the relevant word limit.

In exceptional circumstances, the Dean—Wellington Faculty of Graduate Research may grant permission for you to submit a longer thesis. You will need to apply for permission to exceed the word limit well in advance of submission.

Word limits

  • Doctor of Philosophy—100,000 words
  • Doctor of Government—70,000 words
  • Doctor of Health—70,000 words
  • Doctor of Nursing—70,000 words
  • Doctor of Midwifery—70,000 words
  • Doctor of Education—70,000 words
  • Doctor of Musical Arts—40,000 words