Doctor of Philosophy

A PhD degree is the highest qualification offered by the School. It is completed by thesis and restricted to topics where appropriate supervision is available.

Research in the School of Government reflects its distinctive mission to build public sector capability by advancing and disseminating knowledge in the broad fields of public policy, public management and governance.

Our relationships with the New Zealand government and public service (and other entities) foster our emphasis on building linkages between theory and practice, and promoting the exchange of ideas on key policy and management issues with local, regional, national and international bodies, often with a comparative focus (especially trans-Tasman and Asia–Pacific).

The School of Government welcomes enquiries from exceptionally able scholars to conduct research in our doctoral programme. Applications are made centrally via the Wellington Faculty of Graduate Research; see additional information below about PhD study at the School.

The key benefits of the PhD

We believe the PhD, both as a process of learning, and as an internationally recognized degree, offers numerous intrinsic and extrinsic benefits, including:

  • the opportunity to make a significant contribution to both scholarship and practice;
  • the rewards of pursuing a topic of deep personal interest to you, building on your prior education and experience through an individualised course of study;
  • the development of skills in research, analysis, theorising, methodology and communication;
  • the opportunity to develop close networks with the School’s interdisciplinary academic members and the other PhD candidates;
  • inclusion in the academic life of a vibrant School, which includes the Institute for Governance and Policy Studies, and teaching and research programmes in Public Policy, Public Management, e-Government and Public Administration.

Who is the PhD for?

Our current PhD cohort is around 35 students, many of whom combine half-time PhD study with work and family obligations.

We look for candidates who:

  • Have an excellent preparation for advanced study through prior academic training at Master's level and significant, relevant work experience, often at senior levels;
  • Appreciate the challenges of, and gains to be achieved from, intensive scholarship, and can commit to striving for excellence in their work;
  • Have developed a feasible and well-scoped plan for the doctoral thesis;
  • Have an interest in undertaking doctoral research in an area of the School’s expertise.

Want more information?

For more information about research topics, or to discuss your idea, please contact:

Director Doctoral Programmes
School of Government