PhD study

A PhD is an advanced research qualification and is the highest degree offered by 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 PhD is examined by thesis after a minimum of two—but typically three—years of full-time supervised research. It can also be undertaken part-time. Supervision for PhD research is available in almost all subject areas offered by the Faculty—in either Nursing, Midwifery or Health.

Registering your interest and initial enquiries

The Faculty of Graduate Research (FGR) provides a first port of call for all students interested in enrolling in a PhD at Victoria. Its 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.

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 admission are considered three times a year: 1 March, 1 July and 1 November.

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.

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

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 (which can take up to five years part time), it will be examined by three examiners—usually one from Victoria University, one from another New Zealand university and one from an overseas university.