PhD in New Zealand

PhD in New Zealand

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PhD in New Zealand

A PhD is the highest degree you can take in any subject and is thus worth pursuing. Additionally, pursuing this prestigious degree at a top-ranked university is all the more rewarding. New Zealand is one of the top destinations for higher education among international students, especially because of its affordability compared to other countries like the USA, the UK and Australia. New Zealand is home to some revered universities like the University of Otago, University of Canterbury, University of Auckland etc.

Do you know you can pursue a PhD at a cost ranging from NZD 7000 to NZD 45,000? 
Are you aware of the fact that you can earn around NZD 1,15,000 per year after completing a Doctoral program in New Zealand?

A PhD in New Zealand is a three-to-four-year program. As such, it is essential that you pursue the course at a well-reputed university under the best faculty so that the quality of your thesis, project or dissertation is top-notch. After completing your Doctoral degree, you are sure to get a well-paid job not only in New Zealand but also in the rest of the world. If you wish to pursue this course in the country, you can read the blog further and get every detail.

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Why Study PhD in New Zealand?

As mentioned above, a PhD is one of the top degrees you can take in any subject. The reasons why it is a great idea to pursue the course are endless, and we have mentioned a few of them below for you to understand that you have made the right choice.
  • Better research opportunities: The universities in New Zealand offer better research opportunities for their students, which is why the country is increasingly becoming popular among international students.
  • Affordability: The cost of studying and living in New Zealand is cheaper, especially when compared to other countries like the UK, the USA or Australia.
  • Top-ranked universities: New Zealand has several top-ranked universities that constantly come in top positions in several national and international rankings.
  • Scholarships: There are several scholarships funded by the government, universities and other private institutions, which can help international students finance their studies.
  • Accreditation: All the top eight universities in New Zealand are public-funded, regulated and accredited by the government. Thus, all of them have the power to award Doctoral degrees.

PhD in New Zealand Highlights

Course duration

3-5 years

Average annual tuition fees

NZD 7000 - NZD 45,000

Average annual salary

NZD 1,15,000

Entry requirements


Top programs

Arts, Business, Health, Humanities, Social Science

No. of international students


Popular PhD Courses in New Zealand

We have tabulated below the top PhD courses and have divided them based on their streams. It will be helpful for you to choose the best course from the streams. You can use the table for future reference.



Business Studies


Business and Economics

International Business



Engineering Science



Civil Engineering

Chemical and Process Engineering

Fire Engineering

Health and Medicine Sciences


Health Sciences


Health Psychology

General Practice



Political and Social Science


Social Work

Public Policy

Human Services

Behavioural Science

Top Universities in New Zealand for PhD

New Zealand is one of the best countries you can choose to pursue your Doctoral program. The average annual tuition fee for the program ranges from NZD 7000 to NZD 45,000. The eligibility criteria will vary from one program to the other, and it is essential that you check the official website of the university to get all the recent information. We have tabulated a few details below for your reference.

Name of University

Name of Course

QS Ranking 2023



Average Annual Tuition Fees (in NZD)

University of Auckland

PhD in Clinical Psychology


4 years

IELTS - 6.5/PTE - 58

NZD 48,000

University of Canterbury

PhD in Accounting 


4-5 years

IELTS - 6.5/PTE - 58

NZD 33,000 - NZD 45,000

Victoria University of Wellington

PhD in Engineering 


3 years

TOEFL - 90/PTE - 58

NZD 4,08,000

Lincoln University

PhD in Finance 


3 years

IELTS - 6.5/PTE - 58

NZD 27,000

University of Otago

PhD in Education 


3-4 years

IELTS - 6.5/PTE - 58

Auckland University of Technology

PhD in Health Sciences


3-6 years

IELTS - 6.5/PTE - 58

NZD 7000

University of Waikato

PhD in Environmental Planning


4 years

IELTS - 6.5/PTE - 58

NZD 36,000

Massey University

PhD in English, Writing and Theatre


3 years

IELTS - 6.5/PTE - 58

NZD 19,000 - NZD 33,000

PhD in New Zealand: Requirements

The eligibility to pursue PhD in New Zealand varies depending on the university you choose. There can also be minor variations based on the course you plan to pursue. We have given below a few criteria that most universities ask for.
  1. A good score in your Bachelor’s program.
  2. An acceptable score in your Master’s.
  3. You may need good scores in English proficiency tests like IELTS/TOEFL/PTE.
  4. If you plan to pursue your Doctoral program in Business or Management Studies, you may need a good GMAT/GRE score as well.
  5. Research proposal and project.
  6. Sustainability of the project you plan to choose.

PhD in New Zealand: Documents Required

You will be required to submit a few documents once you apply to any university in New Zealand. Though there can be slight changes in the documents asked for, most of them will be required in almost all cases. These documents are given below.
  • All academic documents.
  • English proficiency test scorecards.
  • Portfolio (for Arts, Design or Architecture students).
  • Certificates for achievements in extracurricular activities.
  • Statement Of Purpose (SOP).
  • Letters Of Recommendation (LORs).
  • CV/resume.
  • It will be good to have a dissertation or thesis that was published in any leading journal.

PhD in New Zealand: Admission Process

The admission process to apply to any university in New Zealand is not challenging, and you will be able to apply easily if you follow the given steps. It is also essential to visit the official websites of the universities you are applying to before you proceed with your application so that you do not miss out on any important information.
  1. Shortlist your preferred universities and decide on the specialisation you are choosing.
  2. Make a list of the application deadlines, documents required etc.
  3. Appear for all the tests like GMAT/GRE, IELTS/TOEFL/PTE etc.
  4. Have all the documents handy.
  5. Take the official website of the university, create an account, and apply by paying the application fee.
  6. Arrange all the documents for the student visa.
  7. Apply for a student visa.
  8. Wait for a few weeks to get the acceptance letter from the university.

Cost of Studying PhD in New Zealand

The cost of studying PhD in New Zealand is not too high, and students will find financial assistance in scholarships as well. We have given a table below that shows the costs you have to consider when you plan to study in New Zealand.

Type of Expense

Average Amount (in NZD)


NZD 420


NZD 410

Air ticket

NZD 600 - NZD 1200

Study visa

NZD 346

Annual tuition fee

NZD 7000 - NZD 45,000

Scholarships for PhD in New Zealand

There are several scholarships offered to international students who pursue their PhD in New Zealand, which are funded by the government, universities and other private institutions. These scholarships will have varying eligibility criteria and scholarship values, and it will be beneficial for you to get detailed information on a few popular scholarships.

Name of Scholarship

Name of University

Average Amount (in NZD)

University of Auckland Doctoral Scholarship

University of Auckland

NZD 28,500

University of Otago Doctoral Scholarship

University of Otago

NZD 27,000

UC Doctoral Scholarship

University of Canterbury

NZD 21,000 stipend + tuition fee cover

AUT Doctoral Scholarship

Auckland University of Technology

NZD 25,000

Doctoral Graduate Women Canterbury Trust Board Scholarship

University of Canterbury

NZD 27,000

University of Otago City of Literature PhD Scholarship

University of Otago

NZD 27,000

Jobs and Salary After PhD in New Zealand

Pursuing your PhD in New Zealand opens the door to a number of opportunities, and you can choose the one that best suits your interests. The chances of getting better salaries are also on the higher end. It is estimated that the salary of a PhD holder is 23% higher than that of a Master’s holder. You can also expect to earn an average annual salary of NZD 1,56,000. The table below shows some of the popular jobs you can get.

Job Roles

Average Annual Salaries (in NZD)

Chief Technology Officer

NZD 1,33,483

Product Development Manager

NZD 1,12,391


NZD 1,15,604

Senior Policy Advisor

NZD 94,335

Research & Development Manager

NZD 80,843

Senior Mechanical Engineer

NZD 93,402

Environmental Scientist

NZD 76,956


NZD 59,959

Food Scientist

NZD 75,872

Research Scientist

NZD 81,179

AECC has been assisting students in studying in top study-abroad destinations since 2008. You can contact us if you need expert guidance on any step of studying abroad. From university applications to visa guidance, we offer help on every step of your journey. Don’t hesitate to contact us!

Frequently Asked Questions to Study PhD in New Zealand

Is PhD free in New Zealand?

Ans. No, PhD is not free in New Zealand. However, the tuition fee for the course is much less compared to several other countries.

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