Doctor of Philosophy

A Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is the internationally recognised degree for those who wish to pursue a career as a research scientist or as an academic, and involves a major piece of specialised original research. Supervision for PhD research is available in almost all subjects areas offered by the Faculty.


A minimum period of two years full time supervised research, however PhD theses normally require at least three years. A PhD may be undertaken part time.


A first class or high second class Honours or Master’s degree.


Enrolment is subject to the availability of supervisors and approval of the Associate Dean (Students).

It is possible to begin a Master’s degree and upgrade to a PhD in certain circumstances.


The thesis is assessed by three examiners—usually one from the University, one from another New Zealand university and one from an overseas university. An oral examination is standard in the Wellington Faculty of Science.


The Faculty of Graduate Research (FGR) provides a first contact point for all students enrolling in a PhD. The Faculty website provides application forms, details of available funding, application dates and answers to frequently asked questions. The FGR continues to support PhD students throughout their studies at Victoria University of Wellington.