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Why research at UC

26 October 2023

Graduate study at UC could be your ticket to a more influential and interesting career. Whatever your life and career goals, UC has over 120 graduate and postgraduate qualifications on offer and support services to help you achieve. Why research at UC? Read on to find out.


Graduate research study provides you with specialist skills and applied experience. It can also open up a new career direction.

Do you have an intellectual curiosity about a specialist topic? Maybe you wish to boost your employment or develop your career, or change direction completely?

Whatever your life and career goals, UC has over 120 graduate and postgraduate qualifications on offer and support services to help you achieve them.

Advantages of further study

Graduate research study could be the ticket to a more influential and interesting career, whether it be in research or leadership roles, or lead to you having the knowledge and practice to effect positive change. UC students gain more than just intellectual skills and professional knowledge; our graduates are work-ready, culturally aware, willing to play an active role in the community, and globally connected.

Graduate research study can provide you with:

  • specialist skills and applied experience.
  • enhanced knowledge in topics you care about.
  • entry into specific occupations.
  • the opportunity to conduct original research that contributes to knowledge in that field.
  • smaller classes and closer links with staff.
  • evidence of high academic attainment and self-discipline.
  • a mark of independent research capability and original thought.
  • a marketable qualification that could make you more employable and in many cases more financially secure. Research shows that studying at the graduate level (master’s and doctoral) could give students a salary advantage.
Compare study options

The Compare Study Options tool on the website shows that a starting salary for a graduate with a bachelor’s degree is $49,000, ranging to $64,000 after five years. In comparison, a graduate with a master’s degree is $60,000 to $76,000.


1 year

2 years

5 years




  • 82% employment rate two years after study
  • 61.2% working in New Zealand
  • 30.6% in further study


1 year

2 years

5 years




  • 84% employment rate two years after study
  • 73% working in New Zealand
  • 20% in further study

Check out these links for information on salaries, careers, and future employment outlook. salary guide

PayScale Salary Data & Career Research Center

A qualification that suits your circumstances

Graduate research students come from a variety of backgrounds, with different personal commitments, academic competencies, life aspirations, and career goals. From career changers to graduates straight out of their first degree, UC has a range of study options.

Find out more about changing direction or browse through our graduate research qualifications

UC was the first university in Aotearoa New Zealand to receive a five-star rating from QS.(QS World University Rankings)

For a full list of current rankings visit our University Ranking page.

“A typical five stars university is generally world class in a broad range of areas, enjoys a high reputation and has cutting edge facilities and internationally renowned research and teaching faculty."
(Source: QS Stars Ratings Explained)


A history of academic excellence

Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha | University of Canterbury was established in 1873 and is Aotearoa New Zealand’s second oldest university. Since its establishment, UC has produced graduates who have gone on to become world leaders in their fields. UC is committed to continuing this tradition of excellence and to developing tomorrow’s leaders.

You will find our graduates in top jobs all around the world. Hear direct from our students about how UC helped them on their path to excellence with our student stories.

UC has a raft of cutting-edge research facilities, including:


The University operates field stations in Cass, Kawatiri Westport, Harihari, the sub-Antarctic Snares Islands and Antarctica, as well as Aotearoa New Zealand’s premier astronomical research facility at Ōtehīwai Mount John, Takapō Tekapo, famous for its clear southern skies.

These facilities mean that UC offers research opportunities in the field that no other Aotearoa New Zealand university can match.

Research-led teaching

Academic staff at UC are always pushing the boundaries by asking "What if?" They put inquiry and discovery at the centre of the educational process as all UC teaching programmes are research-based.

UC's academic staff include business, government, and community leaders who are at the forefront of knowledge in their fields. They are actively involved in research and publishing in their areas of expertise. 

Come see UC's academics in action by attending the free Tauhere | UC Connect public lecture series, either in person or via YouTube.


Outstanding international academics

UC has a number of field-leading academics on staff including a number of outstanding international professors, lecturers, and researchers who visit each year on our staff exchange programmes. You may be taught by academic staff from the Universities of Oxford or Cambridge as well as other top universities.

UC's Erskine Fellows | Ngā Manuhiri o Erskine programme attracts up to 70 distinguished, international academic visitors each year to give lectures in their specialist areas. Previous Erskine Fellows have included two Nobel Prize winners – Emeritus Professor Clive Granger and Professor Bob Grubbs.


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UC offers a diverse range of scholarships to support students for study towards any graduate research programme at Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha | University of Canterbury. 


Find a scholarship

Support for postgraduates

Life after UC: Graduate Destinations

Ever thought about where UC grads work? How many students take up further study? Do clubs and volunteering experience matter?

Each year, we ask UC grads these questions in the Graduate Destinations Survey. As a prospective student, current student, or soon-to-be graduate, the information on the Graduate Destinations page will give you an idea of where your degree can take you.

Thinking of becoming a research student at UC?

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