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University

University of Otago
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PhD - Doctor of Philosophy in Surveying

This course is available

On-Campus

Level of Study

Doctoral Degree

Duration

3 years

Next start date

Expected Feb 2024

Campus

Christchurch Campus

Summary

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.

What is Surveying?

Employment as a surveyor allows you to work indoors and outside, has substantial variety, provides opportunity for overseas travel, and is well paid. It is a career that crosses the boundaries between science and the arts, and can involve work as diverse as:

Designing the land parcel layout for a new subdivision.

Preparing consent applications for land use and subdivisions

Advising about land law and property rights

Creating visualizations of built features in three dimensions.

Doing road and highway alignment and leveling.

Surveying underground mining transportation tunnels.

Helping to resolve land boundary and ownership disputes from individual land parcels to international frontiers.

Working with aerial and hydrographic surveys.

Accurately measuring displacement and uplift as a result of geological processes.

Appearing before planning bodies as an expert witness.

Surveying is a varied and exciting career that requires students to learn and use design skills, scientific measurement skills, and interpersonal and management skills as well as the ability to transform data collected in the field into information that can be used in land management and planning. It is a profession that is in constant demand both in New Zealand and abroad.

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.

Entry criteria

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:

  • a Bachelor’s degree with first or upper second class Honours (with an average grade in Honours papers at or equivalent to at least B+ at the University of Otago) or equivalent (including a research component) with an average grade at or equivalent to at least B+ at the University of Otago;) or
  • a Master’s degree (with an average grade at or equivalent to at least B+ at the University of Otago) (including an appropriate research component worth at least a quarter of a year's workload (0.25 EFTS), with a grade at or equivalent to at least B+ at the University of Otago); or
  • appropriate research experience; and
  • for candidates including a nominated creative component for assessment, demonstrated advanced training or experience in a relevant creative practice.
  • IELTS (Academic module) (including IELTS Online) - Overall score of 6.5, no individual band below 6.0.
  • TOEFL iBT - Overall score of 90 and a writing score of 21.
  • C1 Advanced (previously Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE)) & (previously Cambridge English Proficiency (CPE)) - Overall score of 176 (with no individual band below 169).
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic - Overall score of 58 with no communicative skills score below 50.
  • Language Cert - International ESOL: C1 Expert (LRWS) with a high pass overall and no less than a pass in each skill OR C2 Mastery (LRWS) with a pass overall and no less than a pass in each skill.
  • NZCEL - NZCEL 5 Academic endorsement
  • English New Zealand's Accredited Pathway Assessment - Assessment Level 3 (with no skill lower than Level 2).
  • APIEL Advanced Placement International English Language Examination - Grade 4 or higher.

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