Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Information about the Doctor of Philosophy

Supervision for research for a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is offered in almost all areas of the Faculty.

The PhD is examined by thesis after a period of a minimum of two years of full-time supervised research (or three years for part-time students). However, full-time PhD theses normally require at least three years.

The PhD thesis is a major piece of original research. Word length varies according to the nature of each project, but it should not exceed 100,000 words. According to the PhD Statute, a PhD thesis 'demonstrates the candidate's ability to carry out independent research and constitutes a significant and original contribution to knowledge or understanding' of a field of study. As well as intelligence and research aptitude, the degree requires considerable dedication and tenacity.

On completion, the thesis is assessed by three examiners, usually one from Victoria, one from another New Zealand university and one from an overseas university. An oral examination is compulsory for all PhD candidates at Victoria.

You will need a first-class or high second-class Honours or Master's degree to apply to enrol for a PhD. Enrolment will be subject to the availability of supervisors and approval of the Associate Dean.

Initial enrolment will be provisional, with confirmation of registration required within 15 months of first enrolment.

In certain circumstances it is possible for a candidate to begin a Master's degree and upgrade to a PhD before submission.

The Faculty of Graduate Research (FGR) provides a first port of call for all students interested in enrolling in a PhD at Victoria. The Faculty website provides application forms, details of available funding, application dates, and answers to a host of questions. The FGR continues to provide support to PhD students throughout their studies at Victoria.

There are three deadlines for all PhD applications to be considered. The dates are 1 March, 1 July and 1 November. Students may complete an online application and speak with prospective supervisors prior to the deadline, but formal acceptance into the programme will be made after the deadline.