victoria university of wellington phd law

Last Updated on August 12, 2023 by Oluwajuwon Alvina

Victoria University of Wellington is a public university that consistently ranks among the top 225 universities globally. Comprising of 10 multi-disciplinary faculties, the university has more than 100 undergraduate, graduate, post-graduate, doctoral and online programs that are ranked among the top 50 subjects globally by reputed agencies for tertiary education in Australia. With more than 3600 international students from over 116 countries across the globe, Victoria University of Wellington is a popular choice among international students to study in Australia. 

Aspirants can take admission at Victoria University of Wellington till September 1 for the third semester of UG courses. For PG admissions there are program-specific deadlines that are open till December 2021. International candidates need to pay a tuition cost of about 26,149 AUD to 39,039 AUD. The university also offers need and merit-based scholarships of up to 20,000 AUD annually. Master in Finance is the highest-paying degree at Victoria University of Wellington, with an annual average income of 186,600 AUD. When it comes to salaries, the Executive Management and Change section earn a generous average annual pay of 2,52,688 AUD. Notable alumni of Victoria University of Wellington include Bill Smith, Conrad Smith, Geoffrey Palmer, and John Campbell.


College TypePublic University
LocationWellington, New Zealand
Campus SettingUrban
No. of Campus03
Enrollment21,547 UG: 16,000 approx. PG: 5,547
Mode of ProgramFull-time, Online
Student: Faculty16: 1
Academic PatternSemester- based
Admission IntakeTrimester- wise
Financial AidScholarships, Loans
HelpdeskTel: 0800-04-04-04 Email: [email protected]

victoria university of wellington ranking

Among 2% of universities of the world and ranked consistently among the top 225 universities, Victoria University of Wellington is also one of the 14 universities in the world to hold a maximum QS five stars.

A quick glance at the ranking of Victoria University of Wellington:

2022 Rankings

  • #=236 in QS Global World Rankings
  • #25 in Library & Information Management
  • #65 in Law & Legal Studies
  • #70 in English Language & Literature
  • #71 in Psychology
  • #72 in Arts & Humanities
  • #251-300 for Graduate Employability Rate

2021 Rankings

  • #225 in QS World University Ranking by QS
  • #65 in QS World Ranking by Subject by QS 
  • #101- #201 in Impact Ranking by THE
  • #29 Best Global Universities in Australia/ New Zealand by US News 
  • #5 in Best Global Universities in New Zealand by US News 

victoria university of wellington world ranking

Institution NameVictoria University of Wellington
LocationNew Zealand
World Rank691
National Rank5
Quality of Education Rank367
Alumni Employment Rank710
Quality of Faculty Rank
Research Performance Rank656
Overall Score72.4

Victoria University of Wellington Campus

Victoria University of Wellington has three expansive campus areas across Wellington and also one premise in Auckland. It is easily accessible and has an extensive public transportation system. The prime campus of Victoria University of Wellington is located in Kelburn housing five major faculties- Humanities and Social Sciences, Science, Engineering, Education and Health, the university central library and main administrative offices along with a range of amenities.

  • The Te- Aro campus holds the Wellington Faculty of Architecture and Design Innovation along with its library.
  • The Pipitea campus holds the Wellington School of Business and Government including commerce and law libraries.
  • The Victoria University Coastal Ecology Laboratory facilitates marine biology and coastal ecology research on Wellington’s rough south coast.
  • Selected courses are available at the School of Business and Government’s Auckland campus, which is based in the Auckland CBD.

Victoria University of Wellington Accommodations

At Victoria University of Wellington, candidates have extensive accommodation choices from a residence hall at university, private residence to homestay accommodation depending on their preferences. The university has 14 catered and self-catered residence halls.

  • Each residential hall has all the basic amenities including gym area, laundry, kitchen, lounge, wifi connection, electricity, bathrooms, spacious living rooms, music rooms, project workrooms which are often mentioned in student reviews of Victoria University of Wellington.
  • Students can opt for single or twin beds, apartments or flats and studio type living space depending on their requirement.
  • International students applying for accommodation before the deadlines are guaranteed a spot and on a space-available basis if applied after the deadline.
  • The accommodation fee of self-catered and the catered residential hall is given below:
Accommodation TypeAnnual Rent (in AUD) 
Everton Hall (Self-catered)9,120- 13, 490
Stafford House (Self-catered)10,830
University Halls (Self-catered)7,220- 11, 172
Willis Street Hall (Self-catered)13,148
Boulcott Hall (Catered)16,492
Capital Hall (Catered)17,100
Helen- Lowry Hall (Catered)9,880- 13,680
Joan Stevens Hall (Catered)16,492
Katherine Jeremy Hall (Catered)17,252
Victoria House (Catered)11,979- 16,771

Apart from this, students can also opt wide range of other off-campus accommodation facilities in Australia to explore the country more.

The residential hall application deadlines are:

  • Trimester 1: Open on August 1- Till October 1
  • Trimester 2: Opens on April 1- Till May 1
  • Trimester 3: Opens on October 1- Till November 1

Victoria University of Wellington Programs

Globally known for its wide research-based study, the programs of Victoria University of Wellington is among the top 1% world universities in 19 subject areas and ranked in the top 100 universities in the world for another 12 subjects. The university offers undergraduate, post-graduate, doctoral, PhD, conjoint and dual degree programs along with various diplomas and certificate courses.

  • The university is also among the highly reputed and acclaimed universities with commerce faculties to hold triple crown accreditation i.e. EQUIS, AACSB (Business), and AMBA.
  • Offering 100+ undergraduate and more than 200 graduate programs, the academic expertise comprises of ten major faculties including humanities and social sciences, law, education, sciences, engineering, architecture and design, business and government, health and graduate research.
  • As per QS 2022, the top five ranking subjects are Library & Information, Legal & Law Studies, English Language & Literature, Psychology and others.
  • In addition to this, students can also opt for various short courses and non-degree programs offered by the university to develop their professional skills and interest.
  • There are also introductory courses and programs available to help students prepare for university-level studies who do not meet the program-specific requirements.

victoria university of wellington fees

Some popular programs along offered by Victoria University of Wellington is listed below:

ProgramsTuition Fees (in AUD)
Executive MBA (4 Trimesters)47,874
Master of Public Management (3 Trimester)25,259
Master of Education (3 Trimesters)12,861
Master of Computer Science (3 Trimesters)14,588
Master of Health  Care (3 Trimester)9,631
Master of Political Science (3 Trimester)12,861
Master of Indigenous Studies (3 Trimester)12,861
Masters of Law (2- 3 Trimester)9,631 – 10,659
Masters of Science by Coursework and Thesis (4 Trimesters)10,052

Victoria University of Wellington Admission Process

Candidates submitting the documents along with the application form must ensure that all the certificates and documents are certified by the authority. Graduate students can apply via an online portal but some programs need a paper application for enrollment. The application along with other documents is emailed to [email protected] and the paper application must be mailed to the university’s admission office.

Candidates are also recommended to submit all the applications prior to the deadline as applications received after will be considered on a case- basis or space availability. The general application requirement while applying for programs at Victoria University of Wellington is as follows:

Application Portal: Victoria University of Wellington or paper application by mail.

Application Fee: NA

Application Requirements:

  • Complete the application form.
  • Certified copies of official transcripts, academic records (must be in English and university does not accept provisional results)
  • Proof of identity, citizenship or residency.
  • English Proficiency Test Scores
TestsUG PG 
TOEFL iBT80 – above90 – above
IELTS6.0 with no band below 5.56.5 with no band below 6.0
DET100- above110- above
PTE50- above58- above
CAE169- above176- above

Candidates may also be asked for additional documents depending on their country of education and academic level.

victoria university of wellington application deadline

International applicants applying for admission at Victoria University of Wellington are recommended to start as early as possible as will ensure them enough time to get sorted with study visa and accommodation as well. Application submitted after the deadlines of universities in New Zealand will be considered on a case basis and availability of space.

Here are the applications deadlines for UG courses at Victoria University of Wellington:

Trimester 1 (March)January 15, 2021
Trimester 2 (July)May 1, 2021
Trimester 3 (November)September 1, 2021

Postgraduate early application deadlines of Victoria University of Wellington:

Postgraduate / Master of Museum and Heritage PracticeDecember 1, 2021
Master of Fine Arts (Creative Practice)December 1, 2021
Master of Conservation Biology, Master of Marine ConservationOctober 15, 2021
Master of Arts in Creative WritingNovember 15, 2021
Graduate Diploma of Teaching (Primary or SecondaryNovember 15

Note: The above-mentioned dates are subjected to change. Candidates are recommended to keep in touch with their advisor for frequent updates.

Victoria University of Wellington Cost of Attendance

The university charges a program fee depending on the point per course and hence the charge may vary for each course. However, the annual tuition fee for UG and PG courses that international students have to incur is about 26,149 AUD to 39,039 AUD. 

The living cost and personal expenses in Australia depend on the accommodation type and the standard of living. Below are the estimated costs of staying and other miscellaneous expenses based on which one can arrange their finances accordingly.

ExpensesAmount (in AUD)
Accommodation9,120 – 18, 978 (per annum)
Health Insurance310 (one trimester)
Activity Fee110 
Administration Fee150 
Bond Fee for Residence Hall400 

Victoria University of Wellington Scholarships

The Victoria University of Wellington offers plenty of scholarships and loans for international students in Australia to fund their education without any financial burden. Candidates can also opt for private or government student loans for their study period at the university. The university also has an option of work while you study where students can get feasible jobs on campus as per their schedule.

A list of scholarships for international students awarded by the university include:

ScholarshipsEligibilityAwards (in AUD)
Automatic Masters ScholarshipInternational students meeting general entry requirements10,000 (1 – 1.5 years)
Tongarewa ScholarshipIncoming International Students paying full fee5,000- 10,000 (one year)
Wellington International Excellence ScholarshipInternational Students on academic-basis20,000 per year towards tuition fee

Besides these, there are also multiple masters scholarships that are awarded for entry into specific masters programs to international students meeting the entry requirements and the awards range up to 10,000 AUD per year.

victoria university of wellington international students

Students walking up Kelburn library stairs with view of Wellington behind.

If you’re an international student, Wellington University International is here to help. We aim to support you at Victoria University of Wellington from orientation and enrolment through to graduation.International offshore studentsStaff at Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington are here to ensure you are well supported while studying overseas.Health and wellbeingA new life in a different culture can be the opportunity of a lifetime—but along with the excitement may come stress, loneliness or anxiety.Summer supportFind out about support for international students over the summer, our summer photo competition, and what’s on in Wellington.Making an insurance claimMake a claim on your Studentsafe Inbound University policy.Safety and securityWellington is a safe place to live, and Victoria University of Wellington has safe campuses—but you still need to take precautions.Academic help and mentoringSign up for free courses to help you improve your study, public speaking or conversational English skills, or get support if you fall behind.The Code of Practice for international studentsWe follow the Education (Pastoral Care for International Students) Code of Practice 2016 published by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA).Contact Wellington University InternationalStaff at Wellington University International are here to help with all international students’ needs.Re-enrollingThere are different ways for returning international students to re-enrol—it depends on the type of study you’ve been doing, and what you’re enrolling for.

victoria university of wellington scholarships for international students

New Zealand International Student Grant 2021/2022

The New Zealand International Student Grant supports new international students currently onshore in New Zealand to study at Victoria University of Wellington. This grant is available for all eligible students beginning their undergraduate or postgraduate studies in 2021 or 2022, and offers undergraduate students $10,000 NZD (equally distributed over the first two years), and postgraduate students $5,000 NZD (for the first year of study).

Tongarewa Scholarship

The Tongarewa Scholarship celebrates the University’s commitment to our international student community. Each year we award a range of these scholarships, worth $5,000 or $10,000, to international students entering their first year of an undergraduate degree or a postgraduate degree at Victoria University of Wellington.

Global Alumni Graduate Fees Waiver

The Global Alumni Graduate Fees Waiver is available to Victoria University of Wellington international alumni transferring to a full-time undergraduate degree or postgraduate programme, including study abroad students and those returning for a full duration postgraduate programme. Eligible students receive a 15–20% reduction on their first year tuition fees.

Latin American Academic Achievement Scholarship

The Latin American Academic Achievement Scholarship awards $5,000 for fees to Latin American students who want to pursue undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at our university.

Study Abroad Scholarship

The Victoria University of Wellington Study Abroad Scholarship is open to international students who plan to experience New Zealand culture through the Study Abroad programme at Victoria University of Wellington. The scholarship awards NZ$1,000 to each successful applicant as a one off payment towards the student’s Study Abroad tuition fee.

Scholarships for graduating New Zealand high school students

There are several scholarships available for students who are graduating from New Zealand high schools:

Wellington International Excellence Scholarship

The Wellington International Excellence Scholarship awards $20,000 over three years to high-achieving undergraduate international students currently studying in New Zealand and continuing their study at Victoria University of Wellington.

New Zealand International School Leaver Grant

The New Zealand International School Leaver Grant awards $2,000 to cover fees, and is intended for undergraduate international students currently studying at a secondary school in New Zealand who are continuing their study at Victoria University of Wellington.

Wellington Tangiwai Scholarship

The Wellington Tangiwai Scholarship is for graduating high school students in New Zealand who are continuing their studies at Victoria University of Wellington. The scholarship awards up to 600 students who meet academic and leadership criteria $5,000 to help cover accommodation and living costs.

Wellington Kahotea Scholarship

The Wellington Kahotea Scholarship is for graduating high school students in New Zealand who are continuing their studies at Victoria University of Wellington. The scholarship awards a select few students up to $35,000 over three years, to fully cover accommodation and provide a stipend.

Postgraduate scholarships

Master of Engineering Practice paid industry or research project

All international students in the Master of Engineering Practice programme undertake a paid industry or research project. International students will receive NZ$10,000 for this part of the programme, which is part of the final trimester of study. The project involves either working in an industry setting or conducting industry-focused research at the University.

Master of Engineering Practice
Duration: 12 months
Paid industry or research project: NZ$10,000 (only applied to final trimester of study).

Master of Drug Discovery and Development Scholarship

The Master of Drug Discovery and Development Scholarship is available to eligible international students pursuing the Master of Drug Discovery and Development, and offers $15,000 towards tuition fees.

Automatic Master’s scholarships

The below Master’s degrees provide NZ$10,000 towards tuition fees for all international students who meet the entry requirements. These are 180-point taught Master’s programmes with a duration of one to one and a half years.

Master of Conservation Biology
Fees scholarship: NZ$10,000

Master of International Trade
Fees scholarship: NZ$10,000

Master of Marine Conservation
Fees scholarship: NZ$10,000

Faculty of Law International Students LLM Fee Scholarship

The Faculty of Law International Students LLM Fee Scholarship is to assist with the high costs for international students associated with the Master of Laws (LLM) degree.

New Zealand Scholarships programme

Students from eligible countries, including Commonwealth countries, can apply for fully funded study at Victoria University of Wellington through the New Zealand Scholarships programme. This programme is open to students pursuing undergraduate and postgraduate degrees.

Victoria University Of Wellington Phd Application

You don’t need to find a supervisor before you apply, but we encourage you to learn about our researchers and approach them directly to discuss potential projects. The final allocation of supervisors is done by the School, according to research interests and available resourcing.

Step-by-step guide to applying

Step 1: Check that you meet the requirements

Before you begin your application, make sure you understand our requirements for admission, including prerequisite qualifications, and what is really involved in doing a doctoral degree.

Doctoral entry requirements

Step 2: Additional requirements

Check whether you’re applying for a programme—such as architecture, creative writing, design, health, or music—where the school requires additional application information. This might be a portfolio, audition, or prior registration of interest.

Programmes with additional application requirements

Step 3: Online application

Sign up for the online application system. The University uses a system called Communityforce to process applications for all doctoral degrees and for Wellington Doctoral Scholarships (PhD only).

You will enter information and upload documentation through this system, and use it to request reports from your referees. You must complete and submit your own application—you cannot use an agent to apply on your behalf.

Start your application

Your privacy is important, and we protect the personal information you submit to us. Find out more about the University’s privacy policy.

Step 4: Prepare your expression of interest

You don’t need to prepare a formal research proposal at this stage. You need to write an ‘expression of interest’, which should provide a clear overview of the nature of your intended study, discuss how you will research your topic, and explain why you are suited for doctoral research.

Writing an expression of interest

Step 5: Assemble and upload additional documentation

Upload your documentation through the online system. All applicants need to provide:

  • A 2,000-word sample of your academic writing in English.
  • Certified copies of your academic transcript/s and degree certificates.

International students need to upload further documentation, including:

  • Evidence of English language proficiency.
  • Translations of official documents—these must be certified by an accredited translator.
  • Applicants from EU countries also need to upload a certified copy of their Diploma Supplement.

If you are having trouble uploading documentation, please contact [email protected].

If you provide more information than has been requested, it will not be forwarded to the selection panels.

Step 6: Scholaro report for international qualifications

If your most recent qualification was not completed in New Zealand—and you are not a current student of this University—you are required to provide a Scholaro Grade Point Average (GPA) report.

You will need to pay a small fee directly to Scholaro. 

Generate a Scholaro GPA report

Step 7: Select your academic referees

Use the online application system to contact two referees and ask them to evaluate your academic ability and research potential.

Your referees’ reports (references) are a critical part of your application and must be received before we can consider your application. You should request your references at least two weeks before the deadline for your chosen round.

More about referees’ reports

Step 8: Check and submit your application

You can check the status of your application through the online system. The dashboard shows your progress, including whether we have received reports from your referees.

Your application must be 100% complete—with the dashboard showing all green—before you can submit it. We will send an email to the address you provided once we have received your application.

After you submit your application

Incomplete applications

If your application is incomplete by 4.30 pm (New Zealand time) on the day of the deadline, you will need to reapply in the following round. You will be able to transfer some but not all of your information. We will remove from the system any applications that remain incomplete through two successive deadlines.

victoria university phd admission

A Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) gives you the opportunity to develop specialised research skills and gain systematic and critical understanding of a complex field of knowledge.

PhD students graduate with specialised cognitive, technical and research skills in their chosen discipline. They are able to independently and methodically:

  • generate original knowledge and understanding to make a substantial contribution to a discipline
  • engage in critical reflection, synthesis and evaluation
  • develop, adapt and implement research methodologies to extend and redefine existing knowledge
  • disseminate and promote new insight to peers and the community.

Prior to candidature confirmation, you will engage in coursework to prepare you for conceptualising and contextualising your research, and for undertaking research in an ethical manner.

There are two possible pathways to a PhD at VU: the standard pathway PhD and the alternative pathway PhD (Integrated).

You may report your doctoral research by way of a thesis, a creative project with exegesis, or a thematic set of scholarly publications with exegesis.

victoria university phd entry requirements

You may apply for entry for a PhD if you satisfy one of the following:

  • Masters by coursework degree with minor thesis, requiring average grades of at least H2A/Distinction (above 70% VU standard).
  • Masters by research degree, or demonstrated exceptional ability during partial completion of a research project in a Masters by research degree.
  • Four-year bachelor degree with honours, or an honours degree at H1 or H2A honours level, incorporating initial research training and a minor thesis (above 70% VU standard).

In addition to the above, applicants who have a masters degree undertaken entirely by coursework, with average grades of at least H2A/Distinction (above 70% VU standard), may apply for entry into a PhD through the alternative pathway PhD (Integrated).


All applicants must demonstrate competency in English sufficient to work at doctoral level by providing evidence of one or more of the following:

  • Completion of a qualification where English was the primary language of instruction and assessment, and undertaken in a predominantly English-speaking context (within the last two years).
  • An overall band score of not less than 6.5 in an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test with no individual band score below 6.0 or equivalent in another university sanctioned English language assessment (see table below).
  • Demonstrated competence in English equivalent to above.
English language examination methodResult
IELTS (Academic Module): Overall score (no band less than)6.5 (6.0)
TOEFL Internet: Overall score (section score no less than)79 (Listening 19, Speaking 19, Reading 18, Writing 22)
Pearson Test of English (PTE): Overall score (no section score less than):58-64 (50)
University of Cambridge – Advanced (CAE): Total score of58
VU English – University Preparation UPP (Postgraduate)Achieved
English Language School in Sydney (ELSIS) – EAP 2 (advanced)A grade

In some circumstances, we will accept test results from other examination methods not listed in this table.

victoria university of wellington phd fees


If you reside in Australia and are an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident, or New Zealand citizen, the following applies to you.


The Commonwealth Government will normally cover the cost of your tuition through Research Training Program (RTP) Fee Offset places. However, you may incur additional fees in some circumstances.


Year 1: The first year of this program is normally full fee paying. You may access the FEE HELP scheme to defer payment. You may also be eligible for a Research Training Program (RTP) Fee Offset place.

Years 2-4: The Commonwealth Government will normally cover the remaining cost of your tuition through Research Training Program (RTP) Fee Offset places. However, you may incur additional fees in some circumstances.


Your tuition fees will vary depending on your chosen field of research, but are typically in the range of A$11,000 – A$14,500 per semester.

International student fees are listed on the individual course pages.

Victoria University Of Wellington Phd Scholarships

Study Area(s): Architecture; Business; Design; Education; Engineering; Health; Humanities; Law; Music; Technology; ScienceScholarship Level: DoctoralClosing Date(s): Three rounds each year closing 1 March, 1 July and 1 November.Tenure: Scholarships will normally be tenable for three years. For a student who has already been enrolled for a Doctorate at Victoria University of Wellington for more than six months at the time when the offer of a Scholarship is made, the maximum length of tenure of the Scholarship will be reduced at the discretion of the Victoria University Research Scholarships Committee.Number offered: Approximately 110 per year.Value: $27,500 stipend annually plus tuition fees. Conditions apply. See ‘Regulations’ for details.


These scholarships are intended to encourage and support doctoral study (PhD) at Victoria University of Wellington.


To encourage postgraduate research Victoria University of Wellington offers scholarships to those about to begin their doctoral studies. These scholarships are awarded on academic merit and are open to New Zealand and international students in any discipline.


These scholarships are open to graduates of any university within or outside of New Zealand who intend to enrol full time for a Doctorate (PhD) or who have commenced their doctoral study at Victoria University of Wellington. Please note: It is very important to refer to the website for regulations and further process requirements regarding an application for this scholarship.

Wellington Doctoral Scholarship regulations

To encourage postgraduate research Victoria University of Wellington offers scholarships to those about to begin their doctoral studies. These scholarships are awarded on academic merit and are open to New Zealand and international students in any discipline.

All offers of Wellington Doctoral Scholarships consist of a $27,500 per annum stipend plus domestic tuition fees for up to three years.

The scholarships are offered to the top ranked candidates in any Doctoral admission and scholarship application round throughout the year. To be considered for a Wellington Doctoral Scholarship the applicant must have a strong academic record and excellent academic references, or:

  • demonstrated potential for high quality research; or
  • a record of publication in high quality journals commensurate with experience and education.

Other considerations may be taken into account such as the alignment between the applicant’s research interests and those of the School, Institute or Centre. Strategic interests including collaboration between institutions or research involving potential joint initiatives with the research and business communities may also be factors in determining offers of scholarship.

Applicants other than those who have completed all of their study at Victoria University of Wellington must include a copy of their academic record from other institutions with the application form.

Currently the closing dates are 1 March, 1 July and 1 November. All applicants for the scholarship will be notified by email of the outcome within six to eight weeks of the closing date for applications.

Terms and conditions:

These terms and conditions apply to Victoria Doctoral Scholarships awarded from 2015 and Wellington Doctoral Scholarships from 2020.

  • Applications are accepted from those who are eligible at the time of application, or who reasonably expect to become eligible within three months of their application, to register as a candidate for a Doctoral degree at Victoria University of Wellington.
  • Applicants would normally be expected to have completed a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree with academic distinction equivalent to a First Class Honours degree at a New Zealand University.
  • The scholarship offer shall lapse in the event that the scholarship recipient does not gain full enrolment as a Doctoral student within 15 months of first enrolment.
  • Academic staff at Victoria University of Wellington or any other University may not hold a Welington Doctoral Scholarship while currently employed.
  • Scholarships will be awarded on the basis of academic merit by the University Research Scholarships Committee (the Committee), a sub­ committee of the University Research Committee.
  • Every scholarship shall be tenable at Victoria University of Wellington for a period of up to three years except as otherwise provided in this statute. If a recipient submits within the tenure of the Scholarship, stipend payments will cease no more than one month after submission.
  • If an applicant has already been enrolled for a PhD at Victoria University of Wellington for more than six months at the time when the offer of a scholarship is made, the maximum length of tenure of the scholarship will be reduced at the discretion of the Committee.
  • Scholarship recipients are required to sign a Wellington Doctoral Research Scholarship Contract. The administrative supervisor and the primary or Victoria University of Wellington supervisor will also sign the contract to indicate that they are aware of the terms and conditions of the scholarship and the contribution to the School required by this award.
  • The tenure of every scholarship shall commence on a date to be determined in each case by the Faculty of Graduate Research after discussion with appropriate School and supervisor. The date of commencement shall normally be no later than six months after the scholarship has been accepted by the scholarship recipient for domestic students and nine months for international students.
  • The Committee may grant a scholarship recipient a deferment of the commencement of the scholarship for longer periods if it considers that such a deferment would benefit the scholarship recipient’s programme of research and the University.
  • The scholarship’s emolument shall be paid to each scholarship recipient by monthly instalments in advance during the tenure of the scholarship. The first such payment shall be made by the Scholarships Office as soon as practicable after confirmation of enrolment. Up to $200 may also be paid towards the cost of producing the thesis on proof of receipt. The thesis allowance entitlement will lapse if it is not taken up within four years of the original enrolment for PhD including periods of suspension. Those that have received a doctoral scholarship funded by Victoria University of Wellington are only entitled to a single thesis claim.
  • Tuition fees will be paid on upon registration by the Scholarships Office.
  • Scholarship recipients must inform the University Scholarships Manager of any other awards held.
  • Approval for the co-tenure of awards of greater than a total one third of the value of this scholarship stipend may result in a reduction in the value of the Wellington Doctoral Scholarship stipend. Faculty Research Grants are not considered under these regulations to constitute an award.
  • Scholarship recipients shall be required to maintain full time enrolment and devote themselves full-time to their programme of research during the tenure of the scholarship and may not hold a position of emolument. However, domestic students for whom socially compelling reasons make part-time enrolment preferable, may apply to hold the scholarship on a part-time basis pro-rated.
  • Approval may be given for scholarship recipients to undertake paid employment for up to a maximum of 600 hours in any one calendar year. All requests to undertake part­ time employment must be supported in writing by the supervisor(s) and Head of School.
  • Once the period of tenure of a scholarship has commenced, the Scholarships Manager may, grant a scholarship recipient a suspension of their scholarship for a period not exceeding six months or a total of twelve months during the first three years of registration. As the monthly stipend is paid in advance the recipient must provide notification in advance of the suspension. In most cases the scholarship suspension will coincide with a formal suspension from their Doctoral enrolment. Scholarship recipients must ensure that any commitments related to their work experience are discussed with the Head of School before the suspension is agreed.
  • A scholarship shall be terminated if a scholarship recipient ceases to resume the aforesaid programme of research within one month of the last day of the period of the suspension.
  • The scholarship recipient must complete six monthly reports outlining their progress to date and ensure that copies of these reports are available to the Scholarships Office.
  • The Committee may at any time suspend or terminate a scholarship, or require the forfeiture of such proportion of the scholarship emolument as it may determine, if the scholarship recipient is not diligently pursuing their programme of research and is not making satisfactory progress, has violated the University Statute on Conduct, or has failed to comply with any of the terms and conditions on which the scholarship was awarded and of their Doctoral Scholarship Contract.
  • At the discretion of the Committee, the application of any of the terms and conditions of a Wellington Doctoral Scholarship may be modified or relaxed in special circumstances or in order to avoid hardship to any scholarship recipient or misuse of the scholarship funding.
  • The Committee shall review these Terms and Conditions from time to time.

Application process

Information on applying to do a Doctorate at Victoria University of Wellington and apply for funding to do so is also available from the Wellington Faculty of Graduate Research website. General information about doctoral study is also available from this website.

Selection process

Final selection is made by the Victoria Research Scholarships Committee on those applicants who have been put forward by the relevant School and Faculty.

Offers of Wellington Doctoral Scholarships will be made approximately six weeks after each closing date in March, July and November of the year of application. As some applicants may decline an offer further offers may be made, it is possible that some applicants will not be finally notified of the success or otherwise of their applications three months after application.

Regulations and conditions

  1. A completed online application must be submitted by 4.30 pm on the closing date. Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted. Any required supporting documentation (including references) must also be received by 4:30pm on the closing date in order for the application to be considered.
  2. All offers of the Scholarship will be conditional upon the recipient being fully enrolled in a full-year programme (full-time will be at the level of points considered by Studylink as full-time) within the stipulated criteria and tenure of the scholarship. No payment of the Scholarship will be made until this condition is met.
  3. The Scholarship cannot be deferred to a later year.
  4. The Scholarship may be held in conjunction with other awards.
  5. Should the recipient withdraw from Victoria University of Wellington during the tenure of this scholarship or fail to achieve a satisfactory progress, partial repayment of the Scholarship will normally be expected. Recipients must advise the Scholarships Office if they intend to withdraw.
  6. Recipients are expected to act as Ambassadors for Victoria University of Wellington and participate in appropriate events or marketing if requested.
  7. At the discretion of the Deciding Authority, the application of the terms and conditions of the Scholarship may be modified in special circumstances or to avoid hardship to any candidate for the Scholarship.

phd fees in new zealand for international students

Fees and funding

Unlike the UK and other countries, New Zealand doesn’t charge higher fees to international PhD students. This makes the country a comparatively affordable option for PhD study abroad.

PhD fees

Universities are free to set their own fees for PhD programmes, but most will charge between NZD $6,500-9,000 (USD $4,285-5,930) per year for a full-time course.

You can check fees for specific PhDs by looking at the opportunities .Some of these may already already include funding for successful applicants, usually in the form of a fee waiver and or a stipend.

Living costs

The cost of living in New Zealand is relatively low in comparison to some other study destinations. As a rough guide you should budget between NZD $15,000 and NZD $20,000 (USD $9,900-13,200) per academic year.

You can earn some of this money by working during your PhD (subject to the conditions of your visa) but you should make sure you have other resources to draw on too.


Applications for these scholarships are normally made through universities. The process is highly competitive, but don’t let that put you off. After all, winning such a prestigious award won’t just fund your PhD. It will also make an impressive contribution to your CV.

Victoria University Of Wellington Phd Law

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Law is an advanced research qualification, the highest offered by the Faculty of Law.


The PhD is examined by thesis after a minimum of three years full-time supervised research. It can also be undertaken part-time over six to seven years.

See here for current domestic and international fees information.

Entry requirements

Admission to our highest qualification is very competitive. The selection panel will need to be fully confident that an applicant can justify pursuing doctoral-level study in the Faculty of Law.

Applicants are expected to have a First or Second Class Honours or Master’s degree in Law with an overall GPA no less than 8 (or equivalent, as calculated by the Wellington Faculty of Graduate Research). Refer to the PhD Statute for full admission details.

International students, including those with degrees from English-speaking universities, are required to provide formal proof of English competency:

  • IELTS: an overall band of 7, including a writing sub-score of 7 and no sub-score below 6.5 (or equivalent); or
  • TOEFL: 100 on the internet-based test with a minimum of 25 in writing; or
  • a minimum of three ratings of 5 for reading, writing, and speaking and one rating of 4 for listening from the Victoria University of Wellington English for Academic Purposes programme.

Teaching and programme staff

The teaching staff at Faculty of Law includes scholars of national and international standing, which allows advanced research supervision over a range of topics, as reflected by the work of our current PhD students.

The programme is overseen by PhD Adviser Matteo Solinas and administered by the Postgraduate Administrator.

Research Degrees—PhD and Masters

If you’re thinking about studying a Master of Laws by research, find out more about what the Faculty of Law can offer you and your research project. Read more about Research Degrees—PhD and Master of Laws.


The Wellington Faculty of Graduate Research (WFGR) provides a first port of call for all students interested in enrolling in a PhD at Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington.

The WFGR website provides an online enrolment procedure (incorporating scholarship application), along with answers and resources related to a host of questions. The WFGR continues to provide support to PhD students throughout their studies at the University.

How to apply

Applications to the Wellington Faculty of Graduate Research are due by 1 March1 July, and 1 November. Formal acceptance into the programme occurs after the deadline.

university of auckland phd law

Why study with us?

  • The University of Auckland is New Zealand’s highest-ranking university. The Auckland Law School is ranked 29th in the QS World University Rankings (2018).
  • Stimulating and rewarding, a PhD at the Auckland Law School requires a high level of self-motivation and discipline, providing an exciting opportunity to engage in independent, cutting-edge research.
  • The University of Auckland offers a range of scholarships and opportunities for incoming doctoral candidates.

Research opportunities

Auckland Law School has New Zealand’s largest community of legal academics, with leaders in Corporate and Commercial Law, Public Law and International Law. With these and all other major areas of the law, we attract research students from around the world.

The University of Auckland Law School is an active and vibrant research institution. Its members regularly publish articles and books in New Zealand and around the world, and also serve as editors of a range of publications. The faculty hosts a number of research centres, and maintains close cooperation with the Legal Research Foundation. The faculty’s work is supported by the Davis Law Library’s extensive collection of legal materials.

The faculty welcomes enquiries from prospective research students. The faculty’s core subject areas include: 

  • Constitutional, Administrative and Public Law
  • Contract, Torts, Equity and Private Law
  • Corporate and Commercial Law
  • Criminal Law and Justice
  • Human Rights Law
  • Indigenous Peoples and the Law
  • International and Comparative Law
  • Land and Environmental Law
  • Legal History and Theory
  • Litigation, Dispute Resolution, Family and Relationships Law

Our people

Auckland Law School academic staff 2018

Pursue your topic with us and benefit from exceptional standards of support and supervision from internationally recognised researchers.

Professor Jane Kelsey

Jane Kelsey is one of New Zealand’s best-known critical commentators on issues of globalisation and neoliberalism. She has taught at the University of Auckland since 1979, specialising in socio-legal studies, law and policy and international economic regulation.

Jane is active internationally as a researcher, analyst, adviser and media commentator on globalisation, especially the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, trade in services, and investment agreements. She is an active member of a number of international coalitions of academics, trade unionists, NGOs and social movements working for social justice.

Find out more: Professor Jane Kelsey

Professor Craig Elliffe

Professor Craig Elliffe specialises in taxation law. Craig was appointed to a chair after 14 years as a tax partner at KPMG and nine years as a tax partner at Chapman Tripp. Craig’s research areas are in the field of international tax, corporate tax and tax avoidance.

He is the author of International and Cross-Border Taxation in New Zealand (Thomson Reuters), which was awarded the JF Northey best law book award in 2015, and Dividend Imputation: Practice and Procedure (Lexis). He has also written numerous articles and other materials on tax. He is listed in Chambers and the International Tax Review as a leading tax practitioner. He is the Director of the MTaxS programme (the leading postgraduate tax course in New Zealand). He is a member of the Government’s Tax Working Group (2018/19).

Find out more: Professor Craig Elliffe

Professor Janet McLean

Janet McLean is a Professor of Law at The University of Auckland and Associate Dean (Research). Before returning to Auckland in 2012 she held the Chair in Law and Governance at the University of Dundee. She has held visiting fellowships at Woodrow Wilson School of Politics and International Affairs and the Program in Law and Public Affairs, Princeton University (2009), and at The Australian National University (2001) and was the George P. Smith Distinguished Visiting Professor at Indiana University at Bloomington (2003).

She has acted as an advisor to the NZ government serving on the Legislation Advisory Committee and on a ministerial inquiry into Human Rights Protection in New Zealand (2000). She is the author of J McLean, Searching for the State in British Legal Thought, Cambridge University Press (2012) and A Quentin-Baxter and J McLean, This Realm of New Zealand: The Queen, The Governor-General, The Crown, AUP (2017) and of numerous articles about administrative law, human rights, the public private distinction, the political constitution, and unwritten constitutions.

phd in law nz

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Law is an advanced research qualification.

Before embarking on further study toward a higher-level research degree, it is important to consider the “fit” between the proposed project and the particular law school.

Research quality

As New Zealand’s top ranked university for research quality Victoria has a great reputation for academic excellence—excellence that is underpinned by the quality of our learning environment and innovative teaching.

The excellence of Victoria’s legal academics was confirmed in a report released by the Tertiary Education Commission, which ranked Victoria University number one in New Zealand for research quality. The report shows Victoria has the highest-rated Law faculty for research in the country and establishes its research pre-eminence in New Zealand.

Entry criteria

Admission to our highest qualification is very competitive. The selection panel will need to be fully confident that an applicant can justify pursuing doctoral-level study in the Faculty of Law.

Applicants are expected to have a First or Second Class Honours or Master’s degree in Law with an overall GPA no less than 8 (or equivalent.

International students, including those with degrees from English-speaking universities, are required to provide formal proof of English competency:

  • IELTS: an overall band of 7, including a writing sub-score of 7 and no sub-score below 6.5 (or equivalent); or
  • TOEFL: 100 on the internet-based test with a minimum of 25 in writing; or
  • a minimum of three ratings of ‘5’ for reading, writing and speaking and one rating of ‘4’ for listening from the Victoria University of Wellington English Proficiency Programme (EPP).

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