Doctor of Philosophy

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Code: AK3518
Level of Study: 10
Points: 360
Duration: 3 to 6 years
Venue: City Campus
Start Date: Any time


A thesis-based research degree that leads to advanced academic and theoretical knowledge in a specialist area.  The programme enables you to make an original contribution to knowledge or understanding in the field of study and meets recognised international standards for such work.

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is awarded after the successful completion of three to four years fulltime, or six years part-time, concentrated research constituting an original and substantial contribution to knowledge.

Students work closely with their supervisor to prepare a thesis, which is examined by independent experts who apply contemporary international standards.


Step One
Students admitted provisionally in the first year full-time (up to 2 years part-time) where they will refine their preliminary proposal into a fully fledged PhD proposal (the D9 document).  This document critically reviews the significant work done in the area of research.  The D9 proposal should also contain a suitable research methodology and methods along with a timeframe for completion of the degree that highlights important milestones to be achieved in the next couple of years.  Once their D9 proposal is completed and approved through the Faculty processes it is submitted to the University Postgraduate Board for full admission approval.

Step Two
Once the student has completed their research proposal they typically refine their design, collecting data and conducting their research as appropriate.  Results are analysed and may be published through international conferences, journal publications and peer review as this lends further credibility to the research.

Step Three
The first stage of the final part of the PhD is spent finalising the data analysis.  Thereafter, the PhD thesis should be written and submitted to the supervisors for feedback.  It should be noted that the process of finalising the thesis is time consuming as typically two or even three draft versions need to be produced before the thesis is in a form that is ready for submission and examination.


  • Research
  • Teaching

Last updated: 13-Dec-2017 3.44pm

The information on this page was correct at time of publication. For a comprehensive overview of AUT qualifications, please refer to the Academic Calendar.