The University of Waikato undertakes research in a wide range of areas: from software engineering, Māori development and creative industries to business, social policy and environmental science, from law to children's learning and more.
Each Faculty or School of study in the University has individual students and teams of students working with academic staff on projects covering a multitude of topics, many of which are externally funded through government agencies, commercial organisations and other research funding institutions.
A higher research degree is awarded for research which requires a high level of scholarly acumen, independence and perseverance. The research is supervised by members of academic staff, but must be the candidate's original work. This must be presented as a written thesis that documents the research undertaken and its findings.
Doctoral research requires the candidate to make an original contribution to the field by empirical investigation, the formulation of theories or the innovative reinterpretation of known data and established ideas.
The University of Waikato offers a variety of higher research degrees: the supervised doctorate (PhD, DMA), the supervised professional doctorate (EdD, SJD), the Master of Philosophy (MPhil) and higher doctorates (DLit, DSc, LLD).
When you apply to undertake a higher research degree, your application will be assessed to check that you meet the admission criteria for Higher Research Degree study as well as meeting the specific entry criteria for the qualification in which you wish to enrol.
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
The degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is awarded by the University for research carried out under the supervision of at least two staff members. A PhD can also be presented as a PhD with Publication or a PhD with a Creative Practice Component.
The research, which must be the candidate's own work, is written up as a thesis, and may include papers published or intended to be published. The thesis is required to present the case for the research, outline the research undertaken and the findings and conclusions of that research.
There is no course work for this degree.
Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)
The degree of Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) is awarded by the University for research carried out under the immediate supervision of at least two staff members; one for performance work and one for work on the thesis. It comprises a programme of 5 research-based public performances, a seminar in the Music programme series and the completion of a supervised research thesis.
Doctor of Education (EdD) and Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD)
The Doctor of Education (EdD) and Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD) are designed for candidates who have had relevant professional experience in the fields of Education or Law and or who wish to combine doctoral studies with continuing employment in a professional setting.
Typically, candidates are senior practitioners, who wish to research and make a contribution to their area of expertise. Professional doctorates require an initial year of course work prior to undertaking two years of research and thesis writing.
Master of Philosophy (MPhil)
The Master of Philosophy (MPhil) is a one year research-based degree in which candidates undertake a programme of supervised research which critically investigates a topic of substance and significance.
This degree does not include a conditional enrolment period.
The thesis submitted for the degree demonstrates expertise in the methods of research; displays intellectual independence and makes a substantial original contribution to the subject area.
Higher Doctorates (DLit, DSc, LLD)
Higher doctorates of the University are the most advanced degrees offered by the University. They are awarded on the basis of highly original and meritorious published work, usually carried out over a number of years. Further information about the requirements for these degrees is available in the University Calendar.
Structure of a research degree
Duration of study period
The time commitment for the University's research degrees are detailed in the table below. All the degrees can be undertaken on a full-time or part-time basis, and this status can be varied during the study period.
|MPhil||1 year||2 years||2 years||4 years|
|PhD||3 years||4 years||6 years||8 years|
|DMA||3 years||4 years||6 years||8 years|
|EdD, SJD||3 years||4 years||6 years||8 years|
Start of enrolment and full-time or part-time status
Candidates may apply to enrol from the first day of the month between February and November each year.
Domestic candidates can apply for full-time or part-time enrolment and may apply to change this status at any stage during their enrolment in the degree.
International candidates are usually enrolled as full-time students as a condition of their student visa. International candidates studying full-time, are likely to qualify for domestic student fees, if they are residing in New Zealand during the period of their study. Those studying part-time may be required to pay international fees.
Full-time candidates should expect to devote the majority of their working time to their studies. The University defines full-time research study as a minimum of 30 hours per week on average over a period of 12 months that can be committed to study in reasonable 'blocks' of time. Part-time research study is defined as a minimum of 15 hours per week on average over a period of 12 months that can be committed to study in reasonable 'blocks' of time .