PhD in New Zealand: Universities, Fees & Requirements

Over the years, the number of Ph.D. candidates in New Zealand has been on a steady increase, with the recent months witnessing the major surge.  From the year 2011, the number of students aspiring for a Ph.D. has skyrocketed by more than three times and this is projected to continue growing exponentially. 

Before we go into the details of Ph.D. in New Zealand to include the universities offering the advanced degree, fees and eligibility requirements, let’s get to some basic definition and the benefits of the said program. 

What is a Ph.D.?

A Ph.D. is the highest degree in one’s academic life. It is a doctoral degree earned in a particular field of study in the academia. In order to earn a Ph.D. a student must meet the requirements necessary for the completion of a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree program from an accredited university of college. 

Benefits of Studying Ph.D. in New Zealand

There are many benefits on enrolling and subsequently earning a Ph.D. in New Zealand. Let’s discuss some of the important ones below. 

Excellent Research Facilities and Resources

In terms of education research facilities, New Zealand has one of the best in the world. This makes new Zealand an ideal place to earn a Ph.D. Also, the country has built a strong reputation for its medical research which also reflects in the doctoral programs in the same area. Other additional resources you will enjoy include fully equipped libraries, museums and laboratories. 

Low Cost of Living

As an ideal place to go for your Ph.D., you need to consider the cost of living in the country. New Zealand is one of the most affordable countries to live. You will enjoy a low-key life while at the same time working on your Ph.D. in New Zealand. 

When compared to other European countries, the cost of living in New Zealand is relatively low. The case is almost the same when you compare New Zealand with countries in North America as well. 

Strong International Links and Networks

In terms and geography and culture, New Zealand is well connected. As a result, you will be able to get access to international networks and resources easily. As a great place for research, you will enjoy the networking benefits New Zealand has for you while you are studying. 

Quality Teaching

New Zealand’s institutions have the best and highly respected faculty and renowned experts in their fields. While studying for your Ph.D. in New Zealand, you will have access to world-class faculty and teaching opportunities which will help you develop your skills as a researcher. 

Strong Job Prospects for Graduates

There are high prospect for Ph.D. holder in New Zealand among employers. This is made possible because of the fact that the country’s economy is strong but lacks enough skilled manpower. As a Ph.D. holder in New Zealand, you can easily go on to become a professor or researcher in the academia, while taking up strong positions in industry or government agencies.  

Rising Demand for New Zealand Ph.D.

According to reports, there is a rising demand for holders of doctoral degree in New Zealand. What might have caused this increase may likely be linked to the strong economy which the country has as well as the country’s ability in the provision of high-quality education. 

Because of the ever rising demand for Ph.D. holders, students are presented with great opportunities to gain useful experience in new field. To make it easy for students who may be unable to travel to attend classes, many of the Ph.D. programs offered in New Zealand are available online. 

In addition, may universities have made their programs very flexible in terms of scheduling in order to allow students to work on their degrees, while they are gainfully employed full-time. 

Requirements for Studying Ph.D. in New Zealand

In order to study for a Ph.D. in New Zealand, you will need to meet the following eligibility requirements. 

  • You must have obtained a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university. 
  • Must have obtained a pass grade for the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).
  • Have at least three years of post-secondary experience in a relevant field.
  • Be a fluent English speaker and be able to sit and take classes in English language 
  • You must demonstrate strong writing and research skills.
  • Be prepared to dedicate at least four years to full-time study.

List of Schools Offering Ph.D. Programs

Some of the schools that offer Ph.D. programs in New Zealand are:

University of Auckland

This is one of the largest universities in New Zeeland and offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs alike. The University of Auckland offers Ph.D. program in Creative Writing and Literature. 

Massey University

Massey University is another large university in the county with over 34,000 students and 1,200 staff members. In addition to a Ph.D. program in Creative Writing and Literature, the university also offers a variety of undergraduate and postgraduate programs. 

National University of New Zealand

This is one of the newest universities in New Zealand and is offering a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate programs. The National University of New Zealand offers a doctoral degree in Creative Writing and Literature. 

University of Waikato

The University of Waikato has over 37,000 students, making it one of the largest in the country. They offer a good number of Ph.D. programs which include environmental studies, health sciences, and law.

Major Fields of Study in Ph.D. in New Zealand

A number of fields are available for you to choose to research while studying for your Ph.D. in New Zealand. Some of the well-known fields of study include the following: 

  • Creative Writing 
  • Education
  • Linguistics
  • Art History and Criticism
  • Psychology
  • Neuroscience
  • Musicology
  • Philosophy

How to Get a Ph.D. in New Zealand

The first step in your prospective Ph.D. journey is to firs research which universities in the country offer Ph.D. programs. This won’t be so difficult because there is quite a good number of reputable and prestigious universities in New Zealand that offer a wide range of Ph.D. programs. Select the university that suits you. 

Once you have made your selection, the next step is to research on the Ph.D. program you intend to study. Make sure you check the eligibility criteria and see whether you meet the requirements. Each institution has its unique set of requirements for admission, which may include having a high degree or having some level of research experience. 

Next, apply for the program of your choice. Upon acceptance into a Ph.D. program in New Zealand, you will need to start making preparations for your studies by completing all required course work as well as research projects. 

Finally, be diligent to your doctoral studies and make sure you prepare and defend your thesis proposal by the end of your doctoral program. If everything goes well, you will be decorated with a Ph.D. from one of New Zealand’s most prestigious universities. 

Average Tuition Fee for Ph.D. in New Zealand

It is not worth talking about how to get a Ph.D. in New Zealand without looking at the cost implication. 

On average, you are expected to spend a tuition fee of about is NZ$54,000 (around $41,500 USD) for a Ph.D. in New Zealand. Some five years back or so, the tuition was around $38,000. However, this cost is still relatively affordable when compared to fees for Ph.D. programs charged by institutions in other countries in the world.


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