PHD in New Zealand

PHD in New Zealand

Your academic career really gets going with a doctorate in New Zealand. The graduates of the island state have far better career opportunities in many industries and companies thanks to their expertise and international experience . In a doctoral program, students make an independent and significant contribution to their field of research. In addition, they acquire specialized knowledge over a longer period of time.

A doctorate in New Zealand therefore not only offers interesting international contacts. Depending on the department, there is a suitable doctoral program with a clear structure and individual support. And best of all: Compared to a doctorate in Australia or the USA , a PhD in New Zealand is particularly cheap . The New Zealand university rates international students in the same way as local students in terms of fees.

Reasons for a PhD in New Zealand

A doctorate in New Zealand is a unique opportunity to combine excellent research conditions and experience abroad. There are numerous reasons for studying at a university on the other side of the world.

An important point of attraction for a doctorate in New Zealand is the extensive and individual support at the local universities. Students and supervisors discuss the planned doctorate in advance. During the course of the study program, various supervisors accompany the students and the working atmosphere is considered open and solution-oriented.

A doctorate in New Zealand is attractive for international PhD students due to reduced tuition fees and a work permit for the time during the doctorate. Those aiming for a PhD and living in New Zealand for the time will pay the same fees as local students .

Doctoral candidates also benefit from the excellent facilities at New Zealand’s universities. They regularly do well in various global university rankings. The latest research methods and modern equipment are a matter of course at the renowned universities in New Zealand.

Another reason for a doctorate in New Zealand is the shorter study time compared to Germany. The new international contacts are also very helpful for your later career.

Structure of the doctorate in New Zealand

There are various doctoral programs in New Zealand, depending on the focus of the content and the amount of practical work. In all cases, the core of the study program is independent and innovative research . The doctoral degree requires 360 credit points and corresponds to level 10 of the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF). In principle, only the universities in New Zealand are eligible to award a doctoral degree.

A doctorate in New Zealand usually takes two to four years full-time , as part-time models are rather uncommon. The beginning is usually flexible and independent of the academic year . After the complete online application, a committee decides on the admission. With the acceptance, students enroll by paying the tuition fees.

One of the first steps for a successful doctorate is choosing the right supervisor . The cooperation and the assistance that can be expected is an essential component for the success of the research work. For a doctorate in New Zealand, students need a primary supervisor and one or more co-supervisors. With the help of a student-supervisor agreement , everyone involved knows their role, expectations and goals of the research project. The work submitted later will be evaluated by an international lecturer, a lecturer from New Zealand and a lecturer from the university. In many cases, this includes an oral exam.

In the first six to twelve months , doctoral candidates document their progress for a research proposal with the help of the supervisor. Only then will the university give a firm commitment to the doctoral program.

The following doctoral degrees are possible in New Zealand:

Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD / DPhil)

The Doctor of Philosophy is the more general international counterpart to the German doctorate . For this study program, doctoral candidates submit a thesis . This not only includes a written report in which doctoral candidates present their results. Anyone who presents a creative work in the visual or performing arts also earns a Doctor of Philosophy . This doctoral candidate will only take additional courses if they are used to research the thesis .

The named Doctorate

In this doctoral program , students specialize in a certain field of research . Degrees are, for example, the Doctor of Education (EdD) or the Doctor of Musical Arts (DMus / DMA). The thesis or an equivalent creative work is also the focus here.

In addition, doctoral candidates take courses that are part of a coherent research program. They correspond to the scope of a master’s thesis and cover an academic year. Practical work is often part of it.

Doctoral candidates for a subject-specific doctorate submit the work after at least two academic years of research, whereby this comprises two thirds of the required credit points .

Higher doctorate

The universities award this doctorate to particularly outstanding and independent work that has already been completed before enrollment in the doctoral program. These include, for example, the Doctor of Science (DSc) or the Doctor of Letters (DLitt).

Candidates had worked independently for ten years and published their work in textbooks or well-known international magazines. The same applies to creative work, which is equally extraordinary.

Overview of requirements

There are correspondingly high requirements for the highest academic degree. First and foremost, the universities in New Zealand require professional training and experience in the relevant research field.

For a doctorate in New Zealand, applicants need a bachelor’s degree with first or upper second class honors or a master’s degree . It is important that the previous course included a research component. In addition, New Zealand universities usually require a grade point average of B + or better. Professional experience includes at least two years of work experience or research in a relevant subject area.

In rare exceptions, the selection committee will consider candidates without the required degree if they can demonstrate relevant research experience.

International applicants for a doctorate in New Zealand demonstrate the required language skills with a standardized language test. This includes, for example, the TOEFL or IELTS .

A detailed Proposed Area of ​​Research is essential for applying for a doctorate in New Zealand . In it, the applicants describe their research project. In this context, it makes sense to contact potential supervisors at the university before applying in order to work out a corresponding project together. It is important that the research project and the university fit together. On this basis, the selection committee decides whether the required resources are available for the future doctoral candidate.

Fund the doctorate

Financing a doctorate in New Zealand is one of the most important issues for aspiring doctoral candidates. A Doctorate of Philosophy costs around NZD 5,000 to NZD 7,080 per year . Other programs such as the Doctor of Musical Arts with a special research focus sometimes cost twice as much.

New Zealand universities, the state and numerous organizations support doctoral candidates with extensive scholarships in various fields . The DAAD is also an important point of contact for financial support for a doctorate. Most of the time, these grants completely cover the tuition fees. When applying for a doctorate in New Zealand, students often submit financial assistance information. Accordingly, the university takes them into account when awarding grants.

Those who cannot get hold of a scholarship have the option of taking out a student loan for studying abroad in New Zealand.


A suitable visa is required to enroll for a doctorate in New Zealand . This also applies to doctoral students of a Doctor of Philosophy , who are generally considered to be local students.

For a study visit of several years at a New Zealand tertiary educational institution, doctoral candidates apply for the Fee Paying Student Visa . Above all, they need proof of sufficient financial means to finance the study visit and a return flight. In addition, applicants undergo a medical examination and an examination of the personal suitability ( Good Character ).

PhD students are given a work permit so that they can earn a living in a full-time position alongside their doctorate in New Zealand. The partner can also work full-time and the doctoral student’s children can attend a New Zealand school.

After successfully completing their doctorate, graduates have the opportunity to find employment in New Zealand with a twelve-month post-study work visa . A two-year extension is possible with a job.

PHD in New Zealand