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Doctoral degree entry criteria and application process

You can apply for admission to a doctoral study programme anytime during the year. Make sure you meet all the entry criteria before submitting an application. We will decline applications that don't meet the entry criteria.

Entry criteria

You must have:

  • completed a postgraduate bachelors (honours) degree with first class or second class (division 1) honours, or a masters degree with first class or second class (division 1) honours in a relevant field. This qualification must also include a substantive (minimum 30 credits) research project, dissertation or thesis in which you have achieved a minimum grade of B+ 
  • International qualifications will be assessed in terms of their broad equivalence to a Massey Honours or Masters’ degrees with Grade Point Equivalency. Typically this should be 75% or B+. Admissions with Equivalent Status will be used to assess the quality and ranking of the overseas institution. A qualifying degree, like domestic qualifications must include a supervised research component such as a substantial thesis or dissertation and previous research methods study is recommended
  • good academic references. The referees should know you in an academic capacity. At least one should be a supervisor for the research component of your most recent qualification (honours/masters). Contact them before you submit your application. Follow up to make sure they have received the request. We do not accept personal friends or relatives as referees.

English Language Requirements:

  • English will be considered the First Language of citizens (passport holders) of the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, the United States of America, Canada, New Zealand and Australia and therefore applicants from these countries do not usually need to meet English language requirements evidenced through an English language test
  • Applicants who have successfully completed university study in the medium of English may also be exempt, following consideration by the Graduate Research School, if this has been within the last 2 years
  • Our English language requirements are as follows: 
    • Academic IELTS score of 6.5 with no band less than 6.0 - this must be achieved in one sitting; or a minimum TOEFL iBT of 90 overall (minimum of 20 in writing). These tests are valid for 2 years. The Institute of Education requires a higher score.

Find out more about accepted alternative English language qualifications for international students

Documents you need to provide

Following the admission screening stage, we may request verified copies of the following documents:

  • Transcripts for all tertiary qualifications, master's, bachelor's etc, even if these are incomplete
  • Grading legends for all tertiary qualifications
  • All graduation certificates, unless completion is noted on the transcripts
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • References to any publications you have
  • English language test results (if you are from a country where English is not the first language)
  • Evidence of your citizenship

Please make sure you have all of these ready before applying as it will speed up the application process. You will need to supply the original documents when you arrive.

How your application is processed

Once you submit the completed online admission form The Graduate Research School completes an eligibility assessment based on all documents and qualifications submitted. If you meet the basic entry requirements an academic assessment will be carried out in the academic unit you are applying to. 

If your application is successful we issue you with an Offer of Place. You must accept the offer and pay your fees before you can start the enrolment stage.

Please allow four to six weeks for this process. However, significant delays will occur if you don't provide all necessary documents.

Doctoral tuition and AES application fees

International students must accept the Offer of Place and then pay your fees. You will receive a receipt of payment from the Graduate Research School which you can use to apply for a visa. Once your visa has been approved, you will be able to come to Massey and enrol. Please see more information about the enrolment process below. Your offer will have an expiry date by which time you must be on campus and ready to enrol. Domestic students should pay their fees on enrolment.

All domestic students pay their fees on enrolment.

Find out more about doctoral tuition and university fees

Admission with Equivalent Status fee

If your highest qualification is from an overseas institution you will be required to pay an Admission with Equivalent Status (AES) overseas qualifications fee of NZD$137.00 before your application for admission will be considered. This fee will be refunded to you upon enrolment in the programme.

Please complete the following questionnaire to begin the admission application process.


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