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Study for a PhD in New Zealand

If you’re ready to pursue doctoral research, New Zealand can give you a high-quality education and an extraordinary living experience.

You won’t pay extra for being an international student, and New Zealand makes it easy to bring your family along with you.

Learn more about PhD programmes in New Zealand

Study for your PhD in New Zealand and you’ll be learning in a university that is rated among the top 3% in the world, according to the QS World University Rankings.

All eight of New Zealand’s universities are government-funded and internationally respected for their academic and research performance. Your degree can be taken in any of the wide range of arts and humanities, business, science or specialist subjects offered by our universities, which are located throughout New Zealand.

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To be accepted to study for a PhD, you will have to show that your academic qualifications prove you have sufficient knowledge of your chosen subject area. While academic requirements differ, you might, for example, be required to have a Masters’ degree with first-class or second class honours, or the equivalent qualification.

You’ll also have to show that you have the skills and ability to carry out independent research. Your work will be expected to make a significant contribution to understanding in the field of study.

PhD tuition fees range from $6500 to $9000 per year for most subjects.

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PhD programmes in New Zealand are similar to programmes in other countries. You’ll work under supervision to carry out your own original, in-depth work into an approved subject, and will present your findings in a thesis.

The research for a PhD usually takes three or four years of fulltime study. Your thesis will be marked by a panel of external examiners, and there may also be an oral examination to test your knowledge of your subject area.

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A PhD gained in New Zealand will be recognised around the world, identifying you as an expert in your speciality. You’ll develop valuable transferable skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving and independence, and will gain a competitive advantage in a global job market that is becoming increasingly knowledge-based.

Having a PhD will give you a wider range of jobs to apply for, from academic roles to careers in government or industry. There may also be opportunities to stay in New Zealand to work after you finish your PhD.

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With New Zealand’s PhD Package for international students, you can enjoy the following benefits:

For more information on working during or after studying, visit

How to apply

Some New Zealand universities require you to gain the support of a research supervisor before applying to enrol for a PhD. Universities may provide a search function on their website to help you find a potential supervisor among their academic staff. To find out more, students should contact their preferred university directly. If you're from the UK, you can apply through the applications support service Study Options.

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