UniversityUniversity of Otago
This course is available
Level of Study
Next start date
Expected Jul 2023
The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is the highest degree offered by the University of Otago. It is awarded on the submission of a thesis which must meet rigorous standards. It requires highly developed academic ability, independence and perseverance. Most students take between 3-4 years of full-time study to complete their PhD.
Nature of the Degree
Candidates for the degree of the Doctor of Philosophy are required to pursue an approved programme of advanced study and research under supervision as enrolled students of the University. The degree of Doctor of Philosophy is awarded on the basis of the submission of a thesis. The thesis, which may include a nominated creative component, should give evidence of the candidate’s ability to carry out research, that the candidate has shown originality and independence, and that the candidate has made a significant contribution to the advancement of their particular field. The research should be of a kind which a diligent and competent student might reasonably be expected to complete within three years of full-time study.
Otago's Faculty of Law is a leader in legal research in New Zealand, with strong links to international research networks. Our research community consists of top-quality academics and postgraduate students from New Zealand and overseas, with a strong record of publications.
Our research interests engage with a wide range of areas, such as access to justice, animals in the law, bioethics and health law, environmental law, international human rights law, te Tiriti o Waitangi | Treaty of Waitangi, and workers' compensation/ACC.
This programme focuses mainly on Law.
Duration of the Programme
A candidate shall pursue a programme of study and research under supervision for a period normally equivalent to 3 full-time years.
The minimum period of study shall be equivalent to 3 full-time years and the maximum period shall be equivalent to 4 full-time years. Exceptions shall be permitted only with approval of the Senate.
No programme shall exceed the equivalent of six years of full-time study from the date of first admission.
A candidate shall be enrolled continuously for the entire period of the candidacy, up to the submission of the thesis, except that a candidate may apply to the Senate for permission to withdraw temporarily from study.
Location of Study and Research
Candidates are normally expected to be resident and studying in New Zealand while enrolled for the degree. Exceptions shall be permitted only with approval of the Senate.
Candidates proposing to study overseas may be approved to do so on a case-by-case basis by the Senate. Normally such study must be deemed necessary for the candidate's research. While overseas, the candidate must continue to be enrolled at the University.
Admission to the degree programme shall be subject to the approval of the Senate.
Every candidate must be a university graduate and produce evidence of ability to undertake research in the area of proposed study. Such evidence shall include:
English language requirements
Internet-based TOEFL of 102 or better with a minimum of 24 in each section; or Paper-based TOEFL of 600 or better with a TWE (Test of Written English) of 5.0 or better; or IELTS (Academic) of 7.5 overall with a minimum of 7 in each band.