Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
The regulations below set down the requirements for the award of the the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).
Formal policies and procedures related to enrolment and examination for the degree, along with information about administration matters, are available from Te Mata Kairangi School of Graduate Research and on the University of Waikato website.
These regulations, policies and procedures are administered by the Dean of Te Mata Kairangi School of Graduate Research and the University's Postgraduate Research Committee.
Regulations for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Date of effect
- These regulations are effective from 28 July 2021
- The degree of Doctor of Philosohpy (PhD) is awarded to candidates who have successfully completed approved and supervised research, and presented the results lucidly in a thesis which
- critically investigates an approved topic of substance and significance, and
- demonstrates expertise in the methods of research and scholarship, and
- displays intellectual independence, and
- makes a substantial original contribution to the research area.
- To qualify to enrol for the PhD, an applicant must
- have qualified for the award of a New Zealand bachelors degree with honours or master's degree,1 in a field relevant to the proposed research with at least second class honours (first division) or distinction, or for a qualification considered by the Academic Board to be equivalent, or
- have qualified for the degree of Master of Philosophy (MPhil) in a field relevant to the proposed reseach, or
- have enrolled for the degree of Master of Philosophy (MPhil) in a field relevant to the proposed research and demonstrated that they are able to transfer to the PhD, or
- have passed qualifying papers at a satisfactory level in a field relevant to the proposed research,
- have demonstrated research ability, normally at least 30 points of research in an honours or master's degree, or significant professional research experience, or equivalent, or
- in exceptional circumstances have produced other evidence to the satisfaction of the Postgraduate Research Committee that they have adequate skills and knowledge to proceed with the proposed research.
- Applicants whose first language is not English are required to meet the English Language Requirements for Admission.
- Applicants must apply through the online Application to Enrol.
- Applications to enrol and the conditions of enrolment are subject to approval by the Dean of Te Mata Kairangi School of Graduate Research under delegated authority of the Academic Board.
- As one of the preconditions for the approval of an application to enrol, the Dean of Te Mata Kairangi School of Graduate Research will establish that the necessary supervision and resources can be provided for the proposed research topic.
- The Dean of Te Mata Kairangi School of Graduate Research will appoint a supervisory panel for each candidate; each candidate must have a minimum of two supervisors, one of whom is normally a continuing staff member of the University and the chief supervisor.
- If at any time subsequent to the approval of an application the University encounters changes to its staffing or resources, it will make all reasonable efforts to ensure that these do not disadvantage the candidate. However, changes to staffing and resources can mean that a candidate's conditions of enrolment are subject to change or that their enrolment may be terminated.
- Pursuant to the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Vaccinations) Order 2021 or any University COVID-19 vaccination requirement, a student may not be approved to enrol, or remain enrolled, if:
- the student has not provided and maintained a valid and current Ministry of Health My Vaccine Pass as evidence of COVID-19 vaccination or exemption, and
- the student does not have an agreed study plan, approved by the Dean of Te Mata Kairangi School of Graduate Research, that confirms there are no required activities that would breach the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Vaccinations) Order 2021 or any University COVID-19 vaccination requirement.
- Changes to a candidate's conditions of enrolment are subject to approval by the Dean of Te Mata Kairangi School of Graduate Research under delegated authority of the Academic Board.
- The termination of a candidate's enrolment is subject to approval by the Postgraduate Research Committee.
- Candidates whose applications are approved by the Dean of Te Mata Kairangi School of Graduate Research must enrol in the relevant Division or the Faculty of Māori and Indigenous Studies and, subject to progress which meets expectations, pursue their research for
- normally a minimum of three years and a maximum of four years if they are enrolled on a full-time (1.0 FTE) basis, or
- normally a minimum of six years and a maximum of eight years if they are enrolled on a part-time (0.5 FTE) basis, or
- a term approved by the Dean of Te Mata Kairangi School of Graduate Research which represents a combination of full-time and part-time study.
- In exceptional circumstances a candidate may apply to the Postgraduate Research Committee for an extension of enrolment.
- Candidates must not be concurrently enrolled in a research qualification at any other university without written permission from both universities.
- Candidates are required to maintain continuous enrolment throughout the entire period of the PhD.
- Enrolment of all new candidates for the PhD approved by the Dean of Te Mata Kairangi School of Graduate Research is conditional for an initial period of six months if they are enrolled on a full-time basis or twelve months if they are enrolled on a part-time basis.
- Confirmation of enrolment by the Dean of Te Mata Kairangi School of Graduate Research after the initial enrolment period is subject to the submission by the candidate of
- an acceptable research proposal, and
- a presentation of the proposed research to a confirmation of enrolment panel, and
- evidence of ethical approval or a statement confirming that it is not required, in accordance with the Ethical Conduct in Human Research and Related Activities Regulations 2008, and
- a recommendation from the candidate's supervisors, Head of School or equivalent and Associate Dean Postgraduate Research or equivalent that the candidate proceed into unconditional enrolment.
- If the candidate’s enrolment is not confirmed within nine months of initial enrolment if they are enrolled on a full-time basis or eighteen months if they are enrolled on a part-time basis it will be terminated.
- Candidates are required to maintain contact with their supervisory panel throughout the entire period of the enrolment in the PhD.
- Following enrolment, candidates must submit six-monthly reports on the progress of their research work.
- A candidate may apply to the Dean of Te Mata Kairangi School of Graduate Research for a suspension from enrolment for a maximum period of twelve months full-time equivalent.
- A candidate is not entitled to supervision or any University resources during a period of suspension and does not incur tuition fees.
- The Postgraduate Research Committee has authority to terminate the enrolment of a candidate at any time if the candidate fails to demonstrate progress which meets expectations and/or comply with any regulations or policies which relate to enrolment for the PhD.
- The thesis may consist of the candidate's published or unpublished material, or a combination of both; all such materials must have been produced within the term of enrolment.
- Where the thesis includes the candidate’s published or unpublished research papers, these must
- be the sole work of the candidate or, where a paper has been co-authored with a supervisor, the candidate will be the lead author, and
- represent original, supervised research undertaken within the term of the candidate’s PhD enrolment.
- Where a thesis primarily consists of a series of published or unpublished research papers, these must be accompanied by introductory chapter/s providing a contextual framework for the thesis, and a concluding chapter providing a synthesising discussion.
- Candidates must indicate in the thesis any material that has been used or presented for any other degree.
- Candidates who intend to integrate a creative practice component with their PhD thesis must comply with the Requirements for PhD with a Creative Practice Component.
- Where the thesis contains co-authored research papers and/or any other co-produced work, published or unpublished, Co-Authorship forms must be completed by the candidate and all other joint authors or producers. These forms must be included as an appendix to the thesis when it is submitted for examination.
- Candidates must comply with the Dissertations and Theses Regulations 2020 which set out the University's requirements with respect to the submission and presentation of theses.
- The Dean of Te Mata Kairangi School of Graduate Research will appoint at least two examiners for the PhD thesis who are external to the University and not directly connected with the candidate or the candidate's research; at least one of the examiners must be from outside New Zealand.
- In the case of divergent examination outcomes, the Dean of Te Mata Kairangi School of Graduate Research may appoint a further examiner.
- The Dean of Te Mata Kairangi School of Graduate Research will make a decision whether or not to proceed to oral examination based on the recommendations and reports of the examiners following the examination of the thesis and will resolve
- that the thesis should proceed to oral examination, the work does not require significant revisions, or
- that the thesis should proceed to oral examination, revisions anticipated, or
- that the thesis should not proceed to oral examination and the candidate should be asked to re-enrol for a minimum of six months to undertake the major revisions indicated in the examiners reports and in due course to re-submit the thesis for re-examination, or
- that the thesis should not proceed to oral examination and should not be accepted for the PhD but is acceptable as fulfilling the requirements for the degree of Master of Philosophy (subject to amendments of a minor nature), or
- that the thesis should not proceed to oral examination and should not be accepted for the award of a doctoral degree.
- On the basis of the final reports of the examiners following the oral examination, the Dean of Te Mata Kairangi School of Graduate Research will resolve
- that the thesis be accepted in its present form as fulfilling the requirements of the PhD, or
- that the thesis be accepted as fulfilling the requirements for the degree of PhD, subject to the candidate undertaking minor amendments and/or correcting typographical errors as required by the examiners, to the satisfaction of the chief supervisor, or
- that the thesis be accepted subject to the candidate completing amendments to the satisfaction of the examiners or chief supervisor, provided that these amendments are not so substantial as to necessitate re-submission and are completed within ten weeks of the oral examination, or
- that the thesis is not acceptable in its present form and that to the candidate may revise it and re-submit it for examination after a re-enrolment for a minimum period of six months, or
- that the thesis not be accepted for the degree of PhD, but be accepted as fulfilling the requirements for the degree of Master of Philosophy (MPhil), or
- that the candidate has failed to meet the required standard and that no degree be awarded.
- A candidate will be permitted to revise and re-submit a thesis only once and only one oral examination will be held.
- A candidate who fails to undertake the oral examination or who fails to complete amendments to the thesis as required under subclauses 34(b), (c) or (d) will be deemed to have failed to meet the required standard and no degree will be awarded.
- A candidate may apply to the Dean of Te Mata Kairangi School of Graduate Research at any time between enrolment and submission of the thesis to transfer from a PhD to a Master of Philosophy (MPhil).
- A candidate who wishes to appeal a decision by the Dean of Te Mata Kairangi School of Graduate Research or the Postgraduate Research Committee made under these regulations, or who has a concern about supervision or any other aspect of their candidature may raise the matter under the Higher Degree Appeals and Complaints Regulations.
- The Dean of Te Mata Kairangi School of Graduate Research and the Postgraduate Research Committee are required to report any decisions they make with respect to PhD candidates which fall outside of these regulations to the Research Committee.
Requirements for the Degree
Admission and Enrolment
Complaints and Appeals
- Some professional master's degrees, such as the Master of Business Administration, are not intended to provide a pathway to doctoral study. Applications from those who have completed a professional master's degree will be considered on a case-by-case basis.