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University of Auckland
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Doctor of Fine Arts

This course is available


Level of Study

Doctoral Degree


3 years

Next start date

Expected Jul 2023


University of Auckland


The Doctor of Fine Arts (DocFA) is an advanced studio-based research degree, encompassing research and practice. DocFA study is an opportunity to make a significant contribution to the field of contemporary art and/or design.

The DocFA is the highest-level university qualification in Fine Arts at the University of Auckland that is predominantly founded on studio-based practice. Like the PhD, it is expected to be a contribution to knowledge in your chosen field. Candidates work on advanced-level research in a manner relevant to medium-based or post-medium practices throughout the course of the degree.

Programme structure

The University of Auckland DocFA is a three-to-four year full-time advanced creative practice and research degree.

On possible to the DocFA programme, you will be provisionally enrolled.
By the end of your first year, you must meet a number of goals to be confirmed into the DocFA programme, including developing a full research proposal for both the creative work and thesis.
After confirmation, you will continue to work on your research before submitting your thesis and creative work for examination after three years and within four years of your start date (full-time study). The creative work may be an exhibition, or other approved work. The examination process will include an oral exam.

As part of your DocFA study, you can take part in our doctoral skills programme, designed to help you achieve success in your research and develop skills for your future. We have a dedicated postgraduate careers advisor, and our library service includes specialist subject librarians to help you in your research. The central School of Graduate Studies provides dedicated support and advice for the doctoral community.

Where could this programme take you?

The DocFA is an opportunity for both experienced and emerging artists to undertake advanced-level research and practice to further their development within their chosen creative field.

Entry criteria

Masters-level qualification in fine arts
Level of training and ability necessary to undertake advanced doctoral study in fine arts creative practice and research

Further programme requirements:

Meeting our academic requirements does not guarantee entry.

You must demonstrate an ability to research independently, and possess a high level of theoretical understanding. Acceptance is subject to staff availability for supervision, and appropriate resources and facilities.

You must write an initial statement of research intent to demonstrate your research capability and experience.

IELTS (Academic): Overall score of 6.5 and no bands less than 6.0; Internet-based TOEFL (iBT): Overall score of 90 and written score of 21; Paper-based TOEFL: Overall score of 68 and a writing score of 21; Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) or Cambridge English Proficiency (CPE): Overall score of 176 and no bands below 169; Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic: Overall score of 58 and no PTE Communicative score below 50; Foundation Certificate in English for Academic Purposes (FCertEAP): Grade of B-; Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB): 85.

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