university of canterbury phd civil engineering

Last Updated on August 12, 2023 by Oluwajuwon Alvina

University of Canterbury (est.1873) is one of the oldest universities in New Zealand, with a legacy of over 100 years offering its wide range of services to its 14,000 students from 80 countries worldwide to study in New Zealand. The university has been ranked top 250 in the world by best-ranking agencies like QS, THE, and others. With an acceptance rate of 50%, the University of Canterbury is moderately selective in its admissions. Programs extended by the university are through its five colleges namely, College of Arts, College of Education, Health and Human Development, College of Engineering, College of Science, College of Business and Law.

University of Canterbury is ranked in the top 1% for its teaching and research and holds a 5- star rating from QS. It is home to nearly 14,000 students from 100 countries around the world, UC enrolled in over 150 study areas. The top 150 ranking subjects of UC as per QS 2022, include Civil and Structural Engineering, Linguistics, Geology, Geophysics, Earth, and Marine Sciences. Recognized for its MBA programs in New Zealand, candidates interested candidates need to have a bachelor’s degree, or postgraduate diploma in Business Administration with good grades, along with five years of professional experience.

The University has two intake seasons for February and July. Indian candidates need to have 75% with 60% in English in AISSC, or 80% with a minimum of 65% in English from State Boards or a one-year UG degree. As proof of English language proficiency, an IELTS score of 6.0 and 6.5 is mandatory for UG and PG, respectively. Students who do not meet the specified academic and ELP requirements can enroll through pathway courses or EAP programs. The University also does not ask for any standardized test scores like GMAT/ GRE for admission.


Application PortalOnline Application
Application FeeN/A
Mode of PaymentOnline transaction via credit card
Academic CalendarSemester-based
Intake SeasonFebruary and July
Accepted Language Proficiency Test ScoresIELTS, TOEFL, PTE, CCEL EAP, CAE, NZCEL, FluentIQ, Language CERT
Work ExperienceRequired for some graduate program
InterviewDepends on the program
Financial AidScholarships and loans

University of Canterbury Admission Deadlines

Admissions at University of Canterbury is invited for two intake seasons in February and July. The common New Zealand University application deadlines for courses starting in February are in October, November or December of the preceding academic year, whereas the deadlines for second semester starting in July are during March, April or May.

The exact deadlines for few limited entry courses at University of Canterbury are given below:

Course NameApplication Deadline
Bachelor of EngineeringDecember 1
Master of EngineeringJanuary 10 (Semester 1, 2021) June 15 (Semester 2, 2021)
Master of Engineering in fire engineeringJune 1(Semester 1) December 1 (Semester 2)
Master of Antarctic StudiesApril 9
Master of Disaster Risk and ResilienceJanuary 12
Master of Applied Psychology Parts I and IINovember 30
Master of Geographic Information Science Part IFebruary 1
Post Graduate diploma in child and family psychologyOctober 1
Master of CounsellingOctober 1
Graduate Diploma in JournalismOctober 31
Master of Social WorkSpecial Application required by September 30 (Semester 1) Special Application required by May 31 (Semester 2)


  • Applications received after the mentioned deadline will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis only.
  • Some of the above-mentioned courses may require a special application. Students can check the official website to know more about the same.

University of Canterbury International Student Admissions

University of Canterbury accepts applications from international students for its undergraduate and graduate programs. For admission, international students are required to fulfill academic qualifications depending on their home country to meet the equivalent of New Zealand’s qualifications.

Application Portal: myUC Portal
Application Fee: There is no application fee to apply to any undergraduate and postgraduate programs.
Basic Admission Requirements: International students must fulfill the following requirements to secure admission at University of Canterbury:

  • Completed application form
  • Official transcripts with a copy of high school diploma or degree
  • English language proficiency exams to study in New Zealand
  • Copy of passport
  • Financial statements
  • Identification proof including details of residency and citizenship
  • Completed declaration form
  • Admission qualifications equivalent to New Zealand’s qualification depending on the applicant’s country.

Country-Specific Requirements

CountryAdmission Requirements
IndiaAn overall grade of 75% with a minimum of 60% in English in All-India Senior School Certificate; or An overall grade of 80% with a minimum of 65% in English from State Boards or a one-year undergraduate degree program at a recognized university in India
PakistanStudied a one-year undergraduate degree program at a recognized university in Pakistan.
SingaporeSingapore GCE A levels or NUS High School Diploma; or A minimum of three H2 passes at C grade.
NepalStudied a one-year undergraduate degree program at a recognized university in Nepal.
JapanStudied a one-year undergraduate degree program at a recognized university in Japan; or Completed a junior college diploma.

Some programs have additional study requirements, applicants must check the eligibility requirement of the program you are applying to.

English Proficiency Test Score for International Students

International students whose primary language is not English must submit one of the following test scores to fulfill English language proficiency requirements for admission:

TestMinimum Requirements for Undergraduate ApplicantsMinimum Requirements for Graduate Applicants
IELTSAn overall score of 6.0 with a minimum score of 5.5 in listening, speaking, reading and writingAn overall score of 6.5 with a minimum score of 6.0 in listening, speaking, reading and writing
TOEFL iBTA minimum score of 80 with at least 19 in listening, reading and writingA minimum score of 90 with at least 19 in listening, reading and writing
TOEFL PBTA minimum score of 550 and TWE with a minimum score of 4.5A minimum score of 575 and TWE with a minimum score of 4.5
CCEL EAPLevel 2 with a minimum grade of C+Level 2 with a minimum grade of B+
CAE or CPEA minimum score of 169 with at least 162 in listening, speaking, reading and writingA minimum score of 176 with at least 169 in listening, speaking, reading and writing
PTEAn overall score of 50An overall score of 58
NZCELLevel 4 – Academic endorsementLevel 5
FluentIQAn overall score of 8/10 with no score less than 7An overall score of 8/10 with no score less than 7
Language CERTB2 communicator high pass, with no individual score below passC1 Expert with high pass and no less than Pass in each skill or C2 Mastery IESOL below pass

Visa Process for International Students

International applicants accepted at the University of Canterbury must apply for a student visa once they enroll for a full-time program. Applicants are required to pay an application fee of 330 NZD + Rs. 747 via credit card.

The documents required to apply for a visa to study in New Zealand are:

  • Valid passport
  • Complete student application form INZ 1012
  • Letter of acceptance from the University of Canterbury
  • Medical certificate
  • Character certificate/SOP for Visa in new Zealand
  • 2 passport size photograph
  • Transcripts, degree or diploma from all previously attended institutions.
  • IELTS/TOEFL score for proof of English language proficiency
  • Financial statements to show sufficient funds for studying in New Zealand.
  • Receipt of health insurance

Immigration New Zealand recommends international students scan and submits their documents online in a PDF format as soon as they receive the required completed documents. The processing time for an online application is 4 weeks and can increase up to 3 months during busy periods. Therefore, students are advised to submit their applications on time.

University of Canterbury Undergraduate Admissions

Undergraduate programs at University of Canterbury covers a vast range of study areas such as business, Engineering, law, data science, environmental science and others. Students have the choice of combining two bachelor’s degrees and graduating at the same time. Admission to undergraduate programs depends on the education system in the applicant’s home country.

Where to Apply: myUC Portal

Application Fee: No application fee.

Admission Requirements: The following documents must be submitted for admission to undergraduate programs at the University of Canterbury:

  • Official high school/ college transcripts
  • Proof of English language proficiency
  • Financial statement
  • Proof of citizenship and residency
  • Intended qualification of study and date
  • Statement of Purpose discussing reason for admission

University of Canterbury Graduate Admissions

University of Canterbury offers postgraduate diplomas, master’s degree and PhD degrees in disciplines such as engineering, arts, fine arts, education, law, commerce etc. Applicants for all graduate programs must possess a completed bachelor’s degree in a relevant field with competitive grades to secure admission.

Where to Apply: myUC Portal
Application Fee: No application fee
Admission Requirements: The following documents must be submitted along with an application for admission to graduate programs:

  • Official transcripts of the bachelor’s degree
  • TOEFL/IELTS score as proof English language proficiency
  • Work experience
  • Copy of passport as proof of residency
  • Financial statements
  • Complete application form with a declaration
  • Identification proof

Details for some popular postgraduate programs at University of Canterbury are given in the table below:

RequirementsMaster of EducationMaster of CommerceMaster of Fine ArtsMaster of Business AdministrationMaster of Civil Engineering
Entry SemesterFebruary, July or NovemberFebruary or JulyAnytime during the yearFebruary (only for undergraduate students), May or SeptemberFebruary or July
Academic QualificationsMinimum B+ GPA in either a Bachelor of Teaching and Learning with Honours, a Postgraduate Diploma in Education, or equivalent degree.Completed bachelor’s degree and graduate diploma in relevant fields preferably Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor Arts, Bachelor of Science in Economics, Finance or Computer Science.Completed bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts with Honours, or an equivalent degree with good grades in relevant subjects; or professional teaching experienceCompleted bachelor’s degree, or postgraduate diploma in Business Administration with good grades,Completed a Bachelor’s of Engineering with Honours or a Bachelor of Science with Honours in a relevant subject or the Postgraduate Certificate in Civil Engineering with good grades.
Work ExperienceNot requiredNot requiredRecommendedRequired, 5 years of work experienceNot required

Established in 1873, UC is among the top 400 Universities of the World as per rankings published by US News and QS Global World Ranking 2021. its Engineering and Science programs are top programs and popular worldwide. The University of Canterbury considers academic excellence as an important criterion while reviewing applications and has a specific entry for requirements for applicants who do not meet the eligibility criteria for direct entry to undergraduate programs. Students accepted at the university will receive their offer of place via Email which will also contain details regarding payment of tuition fees.

Candidates planning to study abroad need to confirm their offer of a place either by paying a deposit fee of 1,500 NZD or the tuition fees in full at University of Canterbury. However, all international students have to enrol for their courses in person on campus which takes place one week before the lectures begin. Therefore, they must plan their arrival to New Zealand accordingly.

university of canterbury application

Admissions at the university take place through the myUC admission portal which is entirely online. University of Canterbury has two intake sessions, Semester 1 and Semester 2. Applicants can now apply for Semester 1 till October 31. The tuition fee of the top programs of the University of Canterbury ranges from 21,000 NZD – 61,600 NZD. There is a wide range of scholarships offering up to 15,000 NZD that students can apply namely Eamon Molloy Memorial Scholarship, University of Canterbury Alumni Scholarship, Alison MacGibbon Fund, and others.

University Of Canterbury Phd 


Doctor of Philosophy


3–4 years full-time

Entry times

First day of any month


The UC Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is a research-only degree, carried out under expert supervision and using world-class facilities. At UC you can complete a PhD in over 70 subjects, joining over 1,000 students from more than 60 nations.

A PhD involves extensive, sustained, and original research in your chosen subject, with the results being presented in a thesis that will contribute to intellectual knowledge of the field. It is a mark of intellectual ability, self-discipline, and commitment. A PhD prepares you for a number of careers, including as an academic.

University Of Canterbury Phd Fees

2021120Annual fee based on 120 points per year$7,099 – $8,552
2022120Annual fee based on 120 points per year$7,220 – $8,697

University Of Canterbury Phd Application Deadline

The deadline for applications closes October 31, but late applications may be considered.

University Of Canterbury Phd Civil Engineering

The Department of Civil and Natural Resources Engineering strives to attain the highest possible standards in both teaching and research at graduate level. Students and staff work closely together to extend and challenge their talents and abilities. 

The Department has extensive laboratory and office space, in-house computing, and access to an engineering library. Students from throughout the world are welcomed in the Department. 

UC graduates obtain employment internationally. Excellence in research has been recognised with distinguished awards from Aotearoa New Zealand and international institutions won by our staff. The Department takes pride in providing a comprehensive, practical, and stimulating educational learning experience.

The Department offers a variety of block courses for working engineers to increase their skill levels while still in employment.

Research areas

The Department of Civil and Natural Resources Engineering hosts many active research groups and has an international reputation.

Our research groups include:

  • Fire Engineering
  • Geotechnical Engineering
  • Fluid Mechanics
  • Hydrological and Ecological Engineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Timber Engineering
  • Bridge Engineering
  • Earthquake Engineering
  • Steel and Concrete Engineering
  • Transportation Engineering
  • Construction Management
  • Renewable Energy

university of canterbury civil engineering faculty

Enjoy cover

We are ranked 9th in the world for Civil Engineering (by the Academic Ranking of World Universities), 54th by the QS ranking, and 24th world-wide based on QS’ reputation amongst employers. 

University Of Canterbury Phd Scholarships

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

postgrads at the lab

Whakamāramatanga | Key Information

The UC Doctoral Scholarship, and other related scholarships, are now considered as part of the application to enrol process. Therefore an application to study a doctoral degree programme at UC will now be regarded as an application for our Doctoral scholarships. Meeting the requirements for enrolment in a doctoral degree is one of the requirements for receiving a UC Doctoral Scholarship and preparing the application will also ensure you have provided all the required information for a scholarship application.

Along with the UC Doctoral Scholarship, applicants are also considered for all the other scholarships listed in the regulations of the UC Doctoral Scholarship. These scholarships are a mix of awards which recognise success within certain demographics (first ranked candidate, female, Māori, Pasifika/Pacific students etc.). 

The scholarships have been grouped into 3 categories to give a better understanding of what they signify. These are:

  • Core – Not co-tenable with any other Core scholarship.
  • Prestige – Co-tenable with a Core scholarship and includes additional monetary value.
  • Recognition – Co-tenable with a Core scholarship and does not include additional monetary value.

To be eligible for the Prestige and Recognition scholarships, applicants must have already been awarded a Core scholarship. Because of this, Prestige and Recognition scholarships are awarded at the end of each academic year. If an applicant is awarded a Prestige scholarship, the additional value is added on to the overall total of the scholarship i.e. a Core scholarship stipend of $28,000 per annum is increased to $33,000 per annum.

UC Doctoral Scholarship ($28,000 stipend + fees from 1 Jan 2022)Brownlie Scholarship ($5,000 stipend top-up to Core Scholarship)Ngata Centenary Scholarship (Name only)
UC Doctoral Scholarship for Students with Disabilities ($28,000 stipend + fees from 1 Jan 2022)Roper Scholarship in Science ($5,000 stipend top-up to Core Scholarship)Canterbury Scholarship (Name only)
UC Aho Hīnātore | Accelerator Scholarship ($28,000 stipend + fees)William and Ina Cartwright Scholarship ($5,000 stipend top-up to Core Scholarship) 
Doctoral Graduate Women Canterbury (Inc.) Trust Board Scholarship ($24,500 stipend only)  
UC Matariki Doctoral Scholarship ($28,000 stipend + fees from 1 Jan 2022)  
UC Pasifika Doctoral Scholarship ($28,000 stipend + fees from 1 Jan 2022)  
Rātā Foundation Scholarship ($24,500 stipend only)  
Research Cluster Scholarships   
UC Connect Doctoral Scholarship ($28,000 stipend + fees from 1 Jan 2022)  
Food Transitions 2050 PhD Scholarship ($28,000 stipend + fees)  

To start your application for enrolment (and subsequently your UC Doctoral scholarship application) please click here.

Discover other scholarships that may assist in funding your PhD below.

Please note – these scholarships are subject to funding and are reviewed each year. The UC Scholarships Office administer most of these scholarships and the tables do not reflect the departmental scholarships available (please enquire about these with your relevant department). Please search our scholarships database for all scholarships currently available.