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The PhD is the University of Otago's highest-level supervised research degree. It is a three-year full-time degree or around six years part time.

You must have previous postgraduate qualifications to enrol for a PhD but you don't have to have taken our postgraduate courses.

Our PhD students are vital contributors to the research culture of the department, and we welcome all enquiries regarding PhD study.

Our PhD students have backgrounds in the Humanities, Social Sciences, Health Sciences and Medicine. We also offer co-supervision with other departments across the University of Otago.

Contact details

If you are thinking about studying for a PhD with us, please contact Convener of Higher Degrees, Dr Katherine Hall. She will advise you of the process for finding supervisors and enrolling.

Dr Katherine Hall
Convener of Higher Degrees

PhD research opportunities

We have PhD research opportunities in a range of areas:

  • Patient safety
  • Health care quality improvement research in primary health care and the wider NZ health system
  • The changing environment and structure of general practice
  • Aged and end-of-life care
  • Medical humanities
  • Ethics in general practice
  • Rural health
  • Medical anthropology and sociology
  • Social and cultural issues in health care
  • Clinical, health professional, and medical education

Information for PhD students at Otago

The University of Otago website provides information for prospective candidates, current candidates, and staff involved in the PhD process:


Applications for PhD study can be made through the PhD qualification page:

PhD qualification page

Further information

For further information, please contact:

Doctoral and Scholarships Office of the Graduate Research School

This information must be read subject to the statement on our Copyright & Disclaimer page.

Regulations on this page are taken from the 2023 Calendar and supplementary material.

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