Doctor of Philosophy

The AUT Business School is known in New Zealand and internationally for the high quality of its graduates, the impact of its research and its effective engagement with business and the broader community. We attract students from New Zealand and overseas who are seeking a relevant, rigorous and engaged business education that prepares them well for business practice.

Programme Code: AK3518
Level: 10
Points: 360
Duration: 3-6 years
Venue: City Campus
Start Date: Anytime

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree is undertaken by research only. The PhD is an advanced postgraduate degree suitable for students wishing to pursue an academic or research career. A successful candidate will make a significant original contribution to the body of knowledge in relation to a contemporary issue in business research. You will have a minimum of two supervisors to guide and advise you, with one assigned as the primary supervisor.

A PhD qualifies students as experts in their fields. The opportunities to apply this knowledge will be extensive, both in industry and academia. Staff in the Business School supervise PhD research on a wide range of topics:


  1. Must have completed the following in a specialisation appropriate to the proposed research:
    • Master’s degree with first class or upper second-class honours; or
    • Bachelor’s degree (honours), normally with first-class honours

    The programme must have included advanced learning in research, and a research thesis/dissertation.

  2. Applicants for whom English is a second or additional language must have an IELTS (Academic) score of 6.5 overall with 7 in Writing and with no band less than 6. For more details, please refer to English Language Requirements in AUT’s Academic Calendar

  3. Acceptance is subject to the availability of staff for supervision, prior research preparation and appropriate facilities.

Prospective PhD applicants are required to prepare a brief proposal of research, specifying the field of research and a general research question you wish to investigate. You may wish to consult the list of business school academic staff to identify if your field of research is one in which the
business school has an active interest.

Find out more about the business school research areas 

International applicants who would like information on their eligibility for admission to the PhD, please contact AUT PhD Admissions at

Domestic applicants (NZ or Australian citizens and permanent residents, Citizens of Cook Islands, Niue or Tokelau) who would like information on their eligibility for admission to the PhD, please contact  

Enquirers are required to provide the following information in order to be assessed for eligibility:

  • A preliminary research proposal (about 2-5 pages), that should include problem definition, research questions, the proposed methodology, and up-to-date literature references.
  • Official copies of academic transcripts for all the academic qualifications completed, especially at postgraduate level.
  • Evidence of previous independent research outputs, such as an honours-level project or masters-level dissertation or thesis. Evidence of successful completion of studies in research methodology at a postgraduate level is also required.
  • Evidence of proficiency in the English language. See “Entry Requirements” above.
  • An up-to-date C.V. listing the applicant’s research publications (if any). 


PhD research allowances are normally available for PhD candidates for expenses associated with data collection and analysis, conference attendance, travel and resources associated with completing their research.


Research scholarships and graduate assistantships may be available to approved full time PhD candidates. Please contact Dr Andy Godfrey, details above.

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Last updated: 28-Jan-2016 10.31am

The information on this page was correct at time of publication. For a comprehensive overview of AUT qualifications, please refer to the Academic Calendar.