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Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

A PhD is the ultimate step in university education. Those awarded the degree will become the next generation of researchers, university teachers and leaders in their fields. The prerequisite for entry into the PhD programme is a BA Honours or MA degree in which performance has been of a sufficiently high standard to satisfy the University Senate of the student’s ability to successfully complete a doctorate. Usually this means a grade no lower than B+ for an MA degree, or no lower than A for a BA honours degree.
 

Applying to study for a PhD in the Media, film and communication programme

The application process consists of two steps. Before this begins, look at our staff profiles to see what work we do and who might best fit as a supervisor for your research. Step one involves the academics in the programme considering a research proposal and writing sample. If the proposal and writing sample are supported, the applicant will be invited to move to step two. Step two involves formally applying to the University’s central administration for admission and scholarships.

To start the application process, that is step one, you will need to submit the following documents to the Head of programme, Dr Brett Nicholls brett.nicholls@otago.ac.nz:

  • A research proposal, including a bibliography (400-700 words and a select bibliography of one page). Proposals for the PhD must indicate the research field, topic and methodology. If you have been in contact with a possible supervisor from the programme, mention this in your document as well.
  • A writing sample (an example of your best and most academically informed work). Otago graduates with a grade of B+ or above in the MA do not need to submit a writing sample.
  • A transcript from your most recent degree-granting institution.
  • If English is not your first language, a brief statement about your experience in writing in English or your ESL (English as a Second Language) test scores.

The process of assessing these documents usually takes about two to three weeks.