View Victoria University of Wellington’s glossary of postgraduate research terms.

Administrative supervisor

Normally the Head of School/Programme, the administrative supervisor is the person in the school with responsibility for administering a student’s candidacy. The administrative supervisor must ensure that the candidate and the supervisors follow the regulations for the PhD degree.


Acceptance as a candidate for a degree at Victoria University of Wellington.

Associate Dean

Responsible for postgraduate research within their faculty. Associate Deans (PGR) represent their faculty on the Wellington Faculty of Graduate Research Board.

Board of the Wellington Faculty of Graduate Research

The governing authority of the Wellington Faculty of Graduate Research.


A student who has been accepted into a degree programme following formal application and who is studying towards the degree in accordance with University regulations.

Certified copy

A document that has been formally certified by an appropriate authority as an identical copy of the original. The certifying authority must have sighted the original and be satisfied that it is genuine.

Dean of the Wellington Faculty of Graduate Research

The head of the Wellington Faculty of Graduate Research and chair of the Board of the Wellington Faculty of Graduate Research. Also known as the Dean of Graduate Research or the Dean (WFGR).


The formal process through which a person becomes a student at the University. PhD enrolment is completed once a candidate has accepted an Offer of Study, reported to the Student Academic Services Office in their faculty, and paid their fees.


PhD examination involves a critical reading of the thesis by three examiners followed by an oral defence of the thesis.


An additional period granted after the candidate’s maximum period of enrolment has expired to allow for completion of the thesis. The candidate must re-enrol and pay additional fees.


Academic and administrative body. There are eight teaching faculties at Victoria University of Wellington: Architecture and Design, Health, Humanities and Social Sciences, Law, Science, Engineering, Education, and Commerce and Administration. In addition, Toihuarewa is a forum for Māori academic issues at the University. One of its primary roles is to ensure there is appropriate Māori content in the University's teaching and research programmes.

Wellington Faculty of Graduate Research

The body charged with general responsibility for and oversight of the University’s postgraduate research degree programmes.

Faculty office

See Student Academic Services Office.

Full registration

Status granted after submission of a full research proposal allowing the candidate to prepare and submit the thesis for examination.

Full research proposal

The full proposal provides the basis for your PhD research. It is also the principal indicator of progress prior to full registration.

Full-time PhD student

Students are deemed to be full-time when they are able to devote a minimum of 30 hours per week to the thesis, on average, over the year. This workload excludes statutory holiday periods.

Half-time PhD student

Students who cannot work on the thesis for the amount of time specified above are registered as half-time students. Students are either full-time or half-time and pay fees accordingly (there is no category of ‘part-time’ study at Victoria University of Wellington). Note that the time allowed for completion of the PhD is not double that allowed full-time students.

Head of School

Responsible for overseeing administrative and academic matters within the school.

Higher Doctorate

The University’s highest qualification. Awarded in Commerce, Literature, Music, Laws or Science.

Home Faculty

The academic faculty in which a student undertakes their study (as distinct from the Wellington Faculty of Graduate Research).


Failure to pay fees, attend the University and continue with research will result in a lapse of enrolment. The candidate will receive notification that their enrolment will be canceled.

Resource Agreement for Thesis Students

Agreement between Victoria University of Wellington and the Postgraduate Students’ Association Executive on resources that all postgraduate students can expect.

Minor amendments

Small corrections to the thesis which can normally be completed within two weeks’ full-time work. See Revisions.

Offer of place

A letter emailed to successful applicants offering them a place as a student at Victoria University of Wellington. The offer may have conditions attached and remains open for one month from the date on the letter.

Offer of Study

Document signed upon enrolment in person at Victoria University of Wellington. Once the Offer of Study has been signed, the person becomes a student and is liable for fees (if not already paid).


Doctor of Philosophy. The highest research degree at Victoria University of Wellington that is conducted under supervision.

PhD Statute

Degree of Doctor of Philosophy Statute. This sets out the regulations governing the admission, enrolment, registration, supervision and examination procedures for the PhD degree.

Postgraduate Committee

See School Research Committee.

Postgraduate Coordinator

A person within a school or programme to whom the Head of School has delegated authority for postgraduate matters. Responsible for providing academic and administrative advice to prospective students, current students and supervisors.


Academic unit/subject area within a school.

Provisional registration

Period after initial enrolment during which the student must demonstrate satisfactory progress and submit a full research proposal before being granted full registration.


Formal acceptance as a student at Victoria University of Wellington. Registration may be ‘provisional’ or ‘full’.


If required by the examiners, the candidate must make changes to the thesis and re-submit it for a second examination. Re-submission requires re-enrolment and additional supervision.


In a formal sense, revisions are amendments to the thesis required by the examiners which may require up to six months additional work but will not require re-examination of the thesis. See also Minor amendments.


An academic and administrative unit, normally made up of several programmes, which organises teaching and research.

School Research Committee

A committee established in each school with responsibility for advising the Head of School on research and postgraduate matters. In some schools, the SRC may be known as the Postgraduate Committee.

Six-monthly report

A report on the candidate’s progress completed by the candidate and by supervisors. A chance to raise any issues or problems.

Student Academic Services Office

The central processing and service centre for all administrative details related to PhD candidature in each faculty. Also known as the faculty office.


Person appointed to provide academic and administrative guidance to the candidate during their enrolment.


Formal permission for a candidate to interrupt their study for a period of not less than one month, during which time the candidate will not pay fees, receive supervision or have access to University resources.

Victoria supervisor

The Victoria supervisor is responsible for overseeing the academic development of the candidate.


Formal cancellation of enrolment by the candidate. Written application must be made through the Student Academic Services Office in the candidate's faculty.