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University of Canterbury
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PhD - Doctor of Philosophy in Science

This course is available


Level of Study

Doctoral Degree


3 years

Next start date

Expected Jun 2024


University of Canterbury


The UC Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is a research-only degree, carried out under expert supervision and using world-class facilities. At UC you can complete a PhD in over 70 subjects, joining over 1,000 students from more than 60 nations.

A PhD involves extensive, sustained, and original research in your chosen subject, with the results being presented in a thesis that will contribute to intellectual knowledge of the field. It is a mark of intellectual ability, self-discipline, and commitment. A PhD prepares you for a number of careers, including as an academic.

What will my study involve:

In addition to expert supervision, UC provides all doctoral students with opportunities to gain transferable skills in areas including communication of research, networking, career planning, databases, statistical analysis, ethics, professional practice, and cultural awareness.
UC has a number of unique research facilities, collections, resources, and field stations; many of which are renowned globally. See more about our Research impact.
The University has a thriving postgraduate research community which includes clubs and associations for social interaction and support. See the UC Postgraduate Students' Association for information.
To find out more about the research interests of staff, start by searching the database in the UC Research Profile. UC Research Profile provides information about individual researchers, the projects they are working on, the research groups they belong to, the specialist equipment that they use for research, and their affiliations.
There are many benefits for international students studying towards a PhD in Aotearoa New Zealand, such as the possibility to work while studying, apply for a work visa once graduated, pay domestic student fees, and school and work benefits for your partner and children.

For full requirements see the Regulations for the Doctor of Philosophy.

Entry criteria

Enrolment in a PhD requires completion of a research-focused honours or master’s degree, at First or Second Class (Division I) Honours or Distinction level (or equivalent qualifications).

Applicants with qualifications from outside Aotearoa New Zealand must have been granted admission to the University. Our admissions team, in consultation with the host department, look at your qualifications and transcripts to ensure that you have the background required to complete a PhD. It is possible that you may be required to complete preparatory courses prior to or after admission into a PhD programme.

Applicants must also satisfy our English language entry requirements:

IELTS (Academic): An average score of 6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 in reading, writing, listening and speaking.
TOEFL (IBT): Total minimum score of 90, minimum score of 19 in reading, writing and listening.
PTE (Pearson Test of English - Academic): PTE with an overall score of 58 and no PTE communicative skills score below 50.

This qualification can be started in: First day of any month.

Applications after the deadline date (8 December) will be considered if places are available.

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