Step 1. Check you meet the entry requirements

Guide to Enrolment

The Guide to Enrolment offers you information on how to enrol at UC for study, including application dates and course details. 

Gain admission to UC

Applications for Doctor of PhilosophyDoctor of Education or Doctor of Musical Arts study can be received at any time. If you have completed prior qualifications at a New Zealand university, the minimum entry requirements are either:

  • Completion of a relevant Honours degree with first class or second class, division one Honours
  • Successful completion of a Master's degree or equivalent degree

You should see the relevant qualification for more information or use the Admission to Graduate and Postgraduate qualification requirements checker.

In special circumstances, the Dean of Postgraduate Research may admit a candidate who does not meet the above criteria but can demonstrate the ability to pursue a doctoral degree. If you want to be considered for admission under such circumstances, please contact the Dean of Postgraduate Research.

Students who have completed prior qualifications overseas

If you completed your prior qualifications overseas, the Admissions Team, in consultation with your proposed Department or School, will need to assess your qualifications and transcripts. They will determine on a case-by-case basis if you have the academic background required to complete a doctoral level degree.

Transfer from a master's to a PhD

You can apply to transfer your enrolment from a master’s degree to a PhD after a minimum of six months work on your master’s thesis. There are different steps you need to take to apply for this, see Transfer from a master's to a PhD

English language entry requirements

You must be competent in the use and understanding of written and spoken English. Check you also meet the minimum English language requirements.

Research based qualifications

If you undertake a research-based qualification, it is important not only that you work in an area of interest to you, but also that you identify and meet your supervisor prior to any commitment to the qualification.

Your supervisor is an individual who will work closely with you for the period of your research (two to four years), so it is worthwhile finding out if you will feel comfortable working with them.

Identify supervisors share your research interests

The research interests of UC’s academic staff are listed on the web pages of the relevant academic programmes and departments. A good place to start your search subjects. You can also search the UC SPARK Research Profiles for current research projects at UC. Senior supervisors are usually a continuing academic staff and must have appropriate doctorial qualification or research experience to support you.

Look into their record of completing students

One of the questions that you might like to ask your potential supervisor is how many students have they had in the past? How long did those students take to complete? Were there any problems in completion? While this may not be relevant for all supervisors, it is worth getting a feel for their previous experience and success rate.

Find out what their current students say about them

Current students are a great benchmark to get some real information about your potential supervisor. Make a point of meeting with them if possible.

Find out about your potential supervisor’s expectations

It’s important to clarify your potential supervisors expectations are of you as a student. What workload are they expecting from you? What important milestones do they expect you to be meeting and how do they expect the supervisor-student relationship to work? A clear understanding on both sides at the start of the relationship can help it work more smoothly, rather than unclear expectations which have a potential for someone to be let down.

Consider what you need from a supervisor

Once you have gathered some of the information above, it is important that you consider what is important and necessary to you. Do you want to be left to work primarily independently, or do you require someone who will meet with you regularly to keep you on track? How do you like to be managed?

Meet your supervisor if possible

It’s important to get a sense of how well you and your proposed supervisor will be able to work together. The supervisory relationship is a important determinant of a successful and enjoyable research experience, and so it is important that both parties feel they will be able to have a productive relationship. If possible, it’s recommend that you meet with your proposed supervisor. If there are any concerns about the ability to work together, these should be addressed before you start your research, or consider alternative supervisory arrangements.

If you are an international student living outside of New Zealand you might want to get some assistance with your application from an overseas representative in your country. 

More information

Admissions and Enrolment
Freephone in New Zealand 0800 VARSITY (827 748)
Phone +64 3 369 4999

Level 2, Matariki