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Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) - Education

University of Auckland
3 - 4 years
Doctorate / PhD
On campus
Contact school for start dates

Program description

The PhD is a globally recognised postgraduate research degree, the highest level of degree you can achieve. PhD students are critical, curious, creative thinkers who undertake original research over at least 3 years. As well as your supervised original research, through your doctoral programme you will have opportunities to expand and develop your personal and professional skills. Doctoral candidates present their work at local and international conferences, and are encouraged to network and collaborate with a wide range of experts in their research field.

This course is also offered at overseas and Manukau location.


Education focuses on teaching methodology based on the theory and practice of how people learn. It can be studied as part of a teaching qualification or within an Arts degree.

Education is broadly the study of learning and teaching at all stages of people's lives. It includes the history, sociology, philosophy, politics and psychology of education and teacher preparation.

Studying Education as a teaching qualification equips you with the knowledge and skills to be an excellent teacher. It covers a wide range of topics, including the theory and context of education, philosophy and ethics, the New Zealand curriculum, teaching specific subjects, and assessment. It looks at how people learn, how to work with whānau and communities, how to engage children in meaningful learning, the history and philosophy of education in New Zealand, te reo and tikanga Māori, and the importance of the Treaty of Waitangi. The programme also involves in-depth study of the NZ Curriculum and Te Whāriki.

You can specialise in Early Childhood Education, Primary or Secondary teaching, Huarahi Māori (Māori-medium teaching), teaching Sport, Health and Physical Education, or Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages in schools.

Programme structure

The University of Auckland PhD is a three-to-four year full-time advanced research degree.

On entry to the PhD programme, you will be enrolled provisionally. By the end of your first year, you must meet a number of goals to be confirmed into the PhD programme, including developing a full thesis proposal. After confirmation, you will continue to work on your research before submitting your thesis for examination after three years and within four years of your start date. The examination process includes an oral exam.

As part of your PhD study, you can take part in our doctoral skills programme, designed to help you achieve success in your research and develop skills for your future. We have a dedicated postgraduate careers advisor, and our library service includes specialist subject librarians to help you in your research. The central School of Graduate Studies provides dedicated support and advice for the doctoral community.

Where could this programme take you?

Our PhD graduates are successful in a wide range of fields and careers, as well as the traditional academic research career path. The PhD gives you extensive specialist and transferable skills, which are sought after in many sectors, including industry and government, and can even help you to develop entrepreneurship skills to run your own startup.

Admission requirements

For more information about this program, please contact the school directly.

Does this course require proof of English proficiency?

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About this institute

University of Auckland

University of Auckland

Established in 1883, the University of Auckland is New Zealand's leading, research-led university. In the QS Stars rating, the University of Auckland is rated as a Five Stars Plus institution for excellence in the categories: Research, Employability, Teaching, Facilities, Internationalisation,...

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