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Doctor of Philosophy

Key facts

  • Available at Auckland
  • Available at Manawatū
  • Available at Wellington

What is it like?

Find out more about entry requirements, fees and courses in the planning section.

Massey’s Doctor of Philosophy is a prestigious research qualification essential for a rewarding academic career in any research institution or university. It’s the highest supervised degree Massey University offers.

To do a PhD you need to have a passion for your subject, and pursue it to the limit.

The degree is awarded for a thesis that demonstrates the candidate's ability to carry out independent and original research that provides a significant contribution to the knowledge and understanding of a field of study.

Candidates can complete a thesis with publications or a monograph, depending on the supervisor’s advice. The programme is expected to be completed within three to four years full-time or six years part-time.

Opportunities for research and career development

Massey doctoral candidates can access the UK Vitae platform. Vitae is a world leader in supporting the professional development of researchers and Massey is the only New Zealand university that subscribes to Vitae. It includes a framework that enables researchers to articulate their research skills and identify and prioritise areas for further development. These areas are then supported through our Research Training Programme.

Our doctoral candidates are also supported to apply for the Higher Education Association Associate Fellow, an internationally recognised teaching qualification.

Developing effective communication skills are prioritised at Massey and we support candidates with research communications events such as the 3MT (Three-Minute Thesis) competition. 

We also place great importance on personal effectiveness and offer our candidates the opportunity to do the Strengths@Massey programme. This innovative approach to researcher development identifies and connects inner strengths with researchers' outer goals. It supports the building of good relationships with supervisors and peers and informs effective ways of achieving research outputs. It can also inform career choices.

We are really keen to see our candidates complete within 4 years (full-time) or 6 years (part-time) and so provide opportunities for intensive writing through our 3-day thesis writing bootcamps during which candidates are provided with the support and infrastructure that allows them to entirely dedicate their time to intensive writing without any distractions

Research Training

A whole suite of workshops are offered to candidates through support services such as the library, the Centre for Teaching & Learning, Career Hub and the Graduate Research School. These include:

  • Highly tailored writing sessions
  • Training on using databases and data management
  • Project management
  • Understanding research funding
  • Applying for a grant through to Intercultural communications
  • Entrepreneurship and innovation.

Accessible lecturers and supervisors

Massey University academic staff provide quality and caring supervision and are easily accessible. We limit our PhD enrolments to high-achieving candidates, so you’ll receive close attention and regular interaction with staff. You’ll have at least two supervisors, allowing you to benefit from a range of expertise.

Great connections and facilities

Massey has close relationships with leading research organisations worldwide, and we regularly host visiting researchers and experts in many fields.

You’ll have access to excellent research facilities and equipment, and benefit from Massey’s connections with industry.

Regular feedback and support

Start your research journey as part of the Massey researcher community. We place a strong emphasis on pastoral care and creating social networks.

Graduate Research School

The Graduate Research School provides administrative support for doctoral degrees as well as advice about all doctoral-related matters.

Information for prospective doctoral students.

A good fit if you:

  • Want a research career in industry or academia
  • Have a passion for your subject
  • Want to be treated as a research colleague, not a student
  • Are keen to take ownership of a research project
  • Wish to become an expert in your field
Dr Parussaya Kiatkheeree
Doctor of Philosophy in Education
Lecturer in English / Director of ASEAN Studies and Development Centre, Suratthani Rajabhat University, Thailand

“Massey has a friendly environment and the best professors…”

I came to Massey University because it is a well-known university with a high number of professional teaching staff. I discovered that Massey has a friendly environment and the best professors.

I loved all the things at Massey. I loved working in the Institute of Education, reading in the quiet library, and discussing my thesis with professors and friends. I was very impressed with the learning facilities at this large University and I enjoyed spending time on the beautiful campus.

Studying at Massey gave me the advantage of working with many units inside and outside the University. I also had many great opportunities to attend workshops organised by international organisations.

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