Higher Research Degrees Application Process
At the University of Waikato, you can apply at any time of the year to study towards Higher Research Degrees:
- Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
- Doctor of Education (EdD)
- Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD)
- Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) and
- Master of Philosophy (MPhil)
Once your online application is received, it will be considered on a competitive basis along with other applications, in February, June and October respectively. If your application is accepted you will be sent an Offer of Place, and you will then be able to choose a start date for your study, which can be the first day of any month between February and November.
When you apply to undertake a Higher Research Degree, your application is assessed to check that you meet our admission criteria, as well as meeting any specific entry requirements for the qualification in which you wish to enrol.
If you are also seeking funding for your PhD, DMA, EdD or SJD, a University of Waikato Doctoral Scholarship can be applied for at the same time you apply for your Higher Research Degree. This is also allocated on a competitive basis.
Higher Research Degree Application Process
It is important to read all the information below before you start the application to enrol
It is important to read all the information below before you start the application to enrol (ATE).
Preparing for your Application to EnrolPlease check your eligibility for Higher Research Degree study at the University of Waikato before submitting an application.
When you are ready to apply, complete your ATE, upload all of the required documents and submit your application. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have uploaded all of the required documents and used the correct templates. You will receive an email acknowledging your application within a week of submitting it.
We do not consider applications until after the closing date of each round.
Closing datesRound application closing dates are 31st Jan, 31st May and 30th Sept. If your application arrives after one of the closing dates, it will be considered in the following round. All incomplete applications or those with incorrect documentation will not be considered and you will be notified of this outcome by email after the closing date.
Applications under consideration
Your completed application is sent to the appropriate Faculty for evaluation. They will then assess your research topic and determine the availability of appropriate supervision. You will be notified by email of the outcome of your application, which could take up to seven weeks after the closing date of the round.
Higher Research Degree Application Requirements
For your application to enrol to be considered, you are required to provide the following
For your application to enrol (ATE) to be considered, you are required to provide the following:
Supplementary detailsWhen submitting your ATE, you will be asked to provide information on the following:
- Personal details
- Qualification being applied for
- Previous qualifications
- Funding and Scholarship information
A Sample of your Academic writingYou are required to provide a sample of academic writing which must be uploaded to the ATE.
- This must be a journal publication, research report or a chapter from your previous thesis or dissertation. This sample of academic writing must be in English or Te Reo Māori and no longer than 4000 words.
Copies of academic transcripts and certificates for qualifications heldIf you have completed your entry qualification at the University of Waikato, you do not need to provide copies of your academic transcripts or certificates.
All other applicants need to provide copies of academic transcripts and certificates for all tertiary qualifications held. You must include a copy of your grading scale with your transcripts or your application will be considered incomplete. If the grading scale is not included on your academic transcript, it should be available for you to retrieve online from the University where you completed that qualification.
All relevant qualifications gained overseas that are used to determine eligibility for enrolment in the degree, will need to be translated and authenticated in English by an approved agent, such as a Justice of the Peace, Notary Public or solicitor.
You are required to arrange for two academic referees to complete the University of Waikato Academic Referee Confidential Report. At least one of these academic reports must be from a Supervisor of the qualifying degree you are using for entry into higher degree study at the University of Waikato. These references must be sent directly by your referees to firstname.lastname@example.org - references not sent directly by your referees will not be accepted.
We do not contact referees on your behalf so it is your responsibility to ensure that we receive your references before the closing date of the round you are applying to.
A copy of your passport or birth certificate
Evidence of English Language competencyApplicants seeking admission for doctoral programmes for whom English is a second language need to satisfy the minimum English language proficiency requirements.
One of the following English proficiency tests is acceptable for admission to the University:
- IELTS (Academic)
- TOEFL (Internet Based)
- PTE Academic
- Certificate in Attainment in Academic English
- Foundation Certificate in English for Academic Purposes
If your previous qualification was undertaken in the medium of English, you may supply a letter from the University where you completed that qualification. Please note that the study must have been for a duration of at least two years and undertaken within the last three years.
Citizens of Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America do not have to provide evidence of English Language proficiency.
Further details on the exact English language proficiency requirements can be found in the University Calendar.
Eligibility, supervisors and more
- What makes me eligible for Higher Degree Study?
- What counts as a research component?
- Do I need to find a Supervisor?
- How do I apply for the University of Waikato Doctoral Scholarship?
- What happens after I get an Offer of Place?
- What happens if I get an Offer of Place but not a scholarship?
What makes me eligible for Higher Degree Study?
To be eligible for Higher Degree study you must have completed a Bachelor with Honours or a Masters degree, which has a significant research component worth at least 30 points of your entry qualification. Masters degrees that do not meet the research component requirements are not qualifying degrees for entry into Higher Research Degree study. You must also have achieved a minimum of Second Class, First Division, in your qualifying degree.
What counts as a research component?
A research component must be a thesis, dissertation, or research project which makes up at least 30 points of your entry qualification. Research methods papers are not counted as a research component.
Do I need to find a Supervisor?
You are not required to communicate with potential supervisors. It is important however, that you let us know if you have been communicating with someone. Please indicate this on your application to enrol. Please note that supervisors are not confirmed until you receive an Offer of Place from the School of Graduate Research, even though you may have identified or had correspondence with them.
What are the fees for a PhD?
The fees for higher degree study can be found here. In some cases, International students may qualify for domestic fees if they reside in New Zealand during their higher degree study.
How do I apply for the University of Waikato Doctoral Scholarship?
To apply for the University of Waikato Doctoral Scholarship, you will need to complete the online application to enrol, you will be asked if you wished to be considered for the Doctoral Scholarship.
What happens after I get an Offer of Place?
Once you receive your initial Offer of Place, you need to fill out the acceptance form and sign it before sending it back to the School of Graduate Research. Once the School of Graduate Research has received this form, they will process it and send you a second Offer that will be unconditional, provided you have met any conditions stated in your initial Offer.
When you arrive in New Zealand, you will be required to bring the originals or verified copies of all documents you provided in your application for Higher Research Degree study. Once these documents have been checked you will receive an enrolment agreement.
What happens if I get an Offer of Place but not a scholarship?
Once you have accepted your Offer, you are not eligible to reapply for the University of Waikato Doctoral Scholarship. If you wish to be reconsidered for the University of Waikato Doctoral Scholarship you will need to decline your Offer of Place and reapply for Higher Research Degree study AND the University of Waikato Doctoral Scholarship. If you do chose to decline your Offer of Place please be aware of the following:
- The University of Waikato Doctoral Scholarship is very competitive and there is no guarantee that you will be offered a scholarship if you do reapply.
- There is no guarantee that you will be made another formal offer for Higher Research Degree study. The Faculty may not have supervision in your chosen area and the quality of applicants may be higher in the next round of applications.
- The regulations for the University of Waikato Doctoral scholarships have recently been updated and there is now a second chance to apply for the Doctoral Scholarship. However, this opportunity to re-apply is only for those students who reach Confirmed Enrolment during Higher Research Degree study and have achieved a significant milestone, such as a publication in that 6 month period.
Te Mata Kairangi School of Graduate Research
The University of Waikato
Private Bag 3105
Te Mata Kairangi School of Graduate Research
University of Waikato
FMD Mail Centre
21 Ruakura Rd
To find out more about an area of research visit the Faculty/School websites.