PhD study

Conduct advanced original research and earn a PhD with the Faculty of Health.

The PhD thesis is a major piece of original research that 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 an aptitude for research, the degree requires considerable dedication and tenacity.

The minimum period of registration before a PhD thesis can be submitted for examination is 36 months full-time (or equivalent).

Registering your interest and initial enquiries

The Faculty of Graduate Research (FGR) is the best place to start if you are interested in doctoral study at Victoria. Its website will link you to the online application process, provide you with details of available funding, application dates, and answers to questions you may have about what is involved in undertaking a PhD.

Your acceptance will depend on a number of factors, including your previous qualifications and experience, the suitability of your topic for PhD studies and our capacity to supervise you and your topic.

PhD applications

Applications for PhD study can be made at any time, but are considered three times a year: 1 March, 1 July and 1 November.

You will need a Bachelor’s degree with Honours or a Master’s degree at a New Zealand university, with an overall GPA or no less than 6 (letter grade B+) to apply to enrol for a PhD. Enrolment will be subject to the availability of supervisors and approval of the Associate Dean.

In certain circumstances, it is possible for a candidate to begin a Victoria University of Wellington Master's thesis degree and upgrade to a PhD. Conditions apply.

Find out how to apply here. If you have any questions about the application process please email the Doctoral Admissions staff

Help with writing your thesis

The Graduate School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health offers all PhD students the opportunity to attend twice-yearly research school weeks in Wellington. This is a valuable opportunity to discuss research issues and work with your peers and academic staff, as well as national and international visiting academics.

When you complete your thesis, it will be examined by three examiners—usually one from Victoria University, one from another New Zealand university and one from an overseas university. You will also be required to defend your thesis in an oral examination