How to Study a PhD in New Zealand?

PhD in New Zealand

New Zealand is not just breathtaking scenery and giant sport’s venues. The country also stands out for hosting some of the major universities and research centers worldwide. It’s a destination that is very much worth considering for international students, those who are willing to travel towards the other side of the planet to get a PhD degree. This article covers all you need to know on the matter of PhD study in New Zealand. 

Reasons to study a PhD in New Zealand for international students

Here are some reasons which you may consider while thinking of getting your PhD in New Zealand this year:

First and foremost, all 8 major universities in New Zealand are among the current best rankings of university worldwide. Each of them offer a number of PhD opportunities in New Zealand. So whichever one you choose for your PhD study, you will be doing research in a globally recognized institution.

And these institutions offer unique research opportunities to international students. From ecology to anthropology, New Zealand universities deal with projects that simply are not available elsewhere. The country is also a home of leading scientific parks and financial and engineering centers.

Moreover, unlike the case in many other popular graduate destinations, you won’t pay any extra fee for your PhD abroad in New Zealand. In other words, you will pay the same fees as local New Zealand students as an international researcher to study your PhD. 

​​You can as well bring your spouse and children with you. According to Immigration New Zealand, they will be able to apply for an open work visa for the entire duration of your PhD.

What are the admission requirements in New Zealand universities?

There is no central application service for PhD students in New Zealand. Instead, you must apply directly to the university you chose. Each university has its own requirements for enrolling in different doctoral projects and programs, but all of them will require confirming two things.

At first, your university will need to ensure that you have the required knowledge and experience to complete a PhD in your subject. Also, they will decide it based on your qualifications. Besides, entry requirements for PhD must be supported at least a university degree 2.1 (or whatever).

A master’s degree may not be explicitly required for admission to a PhD, but additional knowledge of the subject may assist in submitting your application (especially if you have had some postgraduate research experience in this process). Another key criterion is the suitability of your research project, alongside your suitability for that project. 

You, then, need to write a strong research proposal, putting an emphasis on the originality, the practicality and the value of your research. You also need to demonstrate in your essay why you are the best candidate for that project, showing your clear understanding of the research subject, its context and purpose. 

Learn also how university application works in New Zealand 

How to apply to PhD programs in New Zealand?

The application process for a PhD starts by you sending an email to a prospective supervisor. This is the number one step that you should take, or else your application will not be considered. You may contact either a faculty member with research interests related to your chosen topic, or a lead investigator for an advertised project. 

Once you find the right supervisor, your next step is your university application for the PhD degree. The documentations usually contain your qualifications (a master or else) along with your research proposal. Other files include: 

  • Academic transcripts 
  • References
  • Personal statement 
  • Any other relevant document that the university will ask you to provide. 

Some universities may also require you undertake an interview, so make sure you get ready for that, either in person or virtually. 

Check also the requirements for a master study in New Zealand

How long do doctoral studies last in New Zealand Universities?

A PhD research usually takes between 3 and 4 years of full-time study. There might be options for part-time study, but international students are unlikely eligible. 

Moreover, the same goes for a PhD in New Zealand, where you will work on your research under supervision. Universities’ process may be different, but depending on the institution, you may need to complete some structure classes through your PhD. 

And at the end of your program, you will have to present your findings in a thesis. This will be subject to an oral examination and marked by a panel of external examiners. 

PhD fees and funding in New Zealand

New Zealand has 8 major universities, which are public university, funded, regulated and recognized by the government. Each one of them offer PhD research programs in all major academic areas of study. 

Moreover, universities in New Zealand charge their PhD programs between NZD $6,500 and NZD $9,000 per year for most subjects. For example, the University of Auckland applies an annual fee of NZ$7,454.40 and offers nearly 100 subjects of PhD study. 

Some of these institutions also provide PhD programs attached to a scholarship funding for international students. To benefit from these grants, you can apply directly through the university’s administration.

For additional resources on the subject, check our articles on the cost of studying and living in New Zealand.

Learn also the process for getting a study visa in New Zealand and the types of scholarships you can apply for in New Zealand.

About Herilalao

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