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Doctor of Philosophy in Biomedical Science

This course is available


Level of Study

Doctoral Degree


3 years

Next start date

Expected Jul 2023


Grafton Campus


The PhD is a globally recognised postgraduate research degree and the highest level of degree you can achieve. PhD students are critical, curious, creative thinkers who undertake original research over at least 3 years.

This course is also offered at overseas locations.

Biomedical Science

Biomedical Science deals with the scientific basis of health and disease in humans and animals, and is currently the most rapidly developing area in biological science.

Research-led training in biomedical science is seen as an important part of New Zealand’s development as a knowledge-based economy. Dealing with health and disease in humans and animals, this rapidly developing area in basic biological science also attracts a lot of public interest. It has stimulated growth in a wide range of industries including medical research, pharmaceuticals, veterinary science and agriculture.

Biomedical Science offers a strong foundation for a number of professional careers, including medicine, pharmacy, optometry and medical imaging. You can specialise in areas such as:

  • Anatomical Imaging Science
  • Cancer Biology and Therapeutics
  • Cardiovascular Biology
  • Cellular and Molecular Biomedicine
  • Genetics
  • Infection and immunity
  • Neuroscience
  • Nutrition and Metabolism
  • Reproduction

If you are interested in emerging areas of basic medical science, such as genomics, microbiology and neuroscience, and their applications to improve human and animal health, then this programme could be for you.

Where can Biomedical Science take you?

Biomedical Science equips students for a wide range of opportunities in scientific industries or the health sector. You could find work in a biomedical or biotechnology company as a scientific officer or technician, or alternatively work as a science teacher, science writer or a biomedical researcher in a university or government agency such as a Crown Research Institute. Many honours graduates in Biomedical Science will move on to careers as research leaders after further graduate training.

Programme structure

The University of Auckland PhD is a three-to-four year full-time advanced research degree.

On possible to the PhD programme, you will be enrolled provisionally. By the end of your first year, you must meet a number of goals to be confirmed into the PhD programme, including developing a full thesis proposal. After confirmation, you will continue to work on your research before submitting your thesis for examination after three years and within four years of your start date. The examination process includes an oral exam.

As part of your PhD 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.

Entry criteria

Masters-level qualification or the equivalent of a bachelor's degree with honours

Evidence of significant research, usually undertaken as part of prior study

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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