Introduction to PhD Study
Welcome and thank-you for considering completing a PhD or DMA at the University of Canterbury, Te Whare Wananga o Waitaha.
Please take a look at the PhD Programme Document
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
At the University of Canterbury you can complete a research-intensive PhD in over 80 disciplines, working under the guidance of expert supervisors.
A Doctor of Philosophy involves extensive, sustained and original research and study in a subject of your choice, with the results being presented in a thesis which will contribute to intellectual knowledge of the field. It is normally the highest academic qualification available and is a mark of intellectual ability, self-discipline and commitment. A PhD prepares you for an academic career in your chosen subject, and also for many other career paths.
The thesis must meet recognised international standards and presents the outcome of the research, placing it in the broader framework of the discipline or field of study. Carried out under qualified supervision, study towards a PhD promotes intellectual independence and the capacity to embark on further research at an advanced level.
Candidates may begin a PhD on the first day of any month of the year and should regard their research as a full-time occupation throughout the calendar year. The minimum period of enrolment for a full-time candidate is two years and they should normally complete their thesis within four years.
Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)
The Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) is aimed at students undertaking advanced research in music composition or performance. It comprises scholarly research in the form of a supervised research thesis and performance practice in the form of public music performance or the presentation of compositions.
Students make a significant contribution both intellectually and in practice to either the interpretative and/or technical practice of musical performance, or the technical and creative practice of musical composition.
The application process normally requires an audition, interview and/or submission of previous academic work and recommendation from the School of Music.
In addition to providing world-class research supervision and facilities, the University of Canterbury is committed to providing PhD students with a range of opportunities to engage in a broader research-based experience, equipping students with research skills, introductions to professional networks and enhanced career opportunities (within and outwith the academy). That is, the UC doctoral graduate will not only be recognized for the quality of their research thesis but also will also have additional research skills and experiences.
While doing a PhD at the University of Canterbury students have the opportunity to participate in:
- Transferable Skills Workshops
- Research design and statistical analysis workshops for PhD students, including sessions on:
- Surviving your Thesis seminars, including seminars on:
- Networking opportunities, within and outside the university:
- Presentation experience
- Social events
Further details of these events can be found on the main postgraduate studies webpage
Many doctoral students also have the opportunity to undertake teaching assistance work. A number of scholarships and awards are available for PhD students.
UC’s Postgraduate Student Association (PGSA) – postgraduates for postgraduates – who work closely with the Dean of Postgraduate Research to enhance the UC PhD student experience.
The Postgraduate Office has a small number of laptops available for PhD students to borrow on a short-term basis. The loan period would not normally exceed 3 months. These loans are intended to provide an opportunity for students who are not able to use their personal computer for a short term (e.g., it is being repaired) or need a laptop for a specific purpose (e.g., data collection offsite). These laptops are not intended to replace computer facilities provided to PhD students by their Departments/Schools.
If you wish to borrow a laptop then please complete this form Laptop Loans Form. The Postgraduate Office will then contact you to arrange collection of the laptop.
It is the responsibility of the student to take appropriate care of the loan laptop and return it in the condition it was received.