The degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) enables a student with a particular interest to carry out independent, original research culminating in a thesis. Please direct all enquiries to email@example.com
This programme is usually completed within three years. A PhD thesis should not exceed 100,000 words and must be a thorough, comprehensive and original study of a topic or issue which makes a significant contribution to the knowledge of the particular field.
Prospective candidates must have completed either:
- a four‐year Arts degree with a substantial research component (equivalent to an Honours dissertation at Otago), and must have achieved at least an upper second class Honours (75% plus) for their fourth year of study; or
- an accredited Masters programme with an appropriate research component.
Acceptance to the PhD programme is highly competitive and we unfortunately have to turn down many well-qualified candidates.
Applications are considered by the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies in February, April, July and September. You will be informed of the Committee’s decision on your application by the end of the month of consideration, or shortly thereafter.
Before making a formal application, we strongly recommend that prospective students first contact the Centre in order for us to evaluate your proposal and academic records and to determine our capacity to supervise your particular project. After this assessment (which can take up to two months), we may encourage you to make a formal application for admission to the PhD programme.
We consider the following criteria when making an internal assessment:
- Academic standard: Prospective students must meet the highest academic standards. A first class Honours degree or Masters degree including a significant research component is required; research publications (peer-reviewed articles in academic journals or book-chapters) are desirable.
- The project proposal must fit well with our research profile and appears manageable and feasible within a three-year time frame and given financial and other constraints.
- The project must be likely to generate high-quality, publishable work in peer-reviewed journals.
- A Masters degree with a focus on peace and conflict studies is highly desirable.
- Our research problematique is peace and conflict issues; and our geographic focus is primarily global or on the Pacific-East Asia region.
The Centre affirms the centrality of Te Tiriti O Waitangi as the basis for harmonious relations within Aotearoa-New Zealand and we welcome peace and conflict research that explores these and related issues.
In order for us to make our internal assessment, we need four things from the applicant:
- Full academic transcripts highlighting which course is your thesis or dissertation and / or details of your research publications (see above)
- Where possible, an electronic copy of the piece of independent research which you submitted for examination.
- A curriculum vitae which includes publications, at least one reference letter and the contact details of referees (a minimum of two)
- A preliminary research proposal (about 5 pages) which identifies the contribution of the project to the discourse, a description of its theoretical framework, research design, methodology and time plan.
- The completed rubric document which helps us to clarify the key points in your application.
Please forward all these documents as attachments in one email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Rei Foundation scholarships
Since 2013, NCPACS in partnership with Rei Foundation Limited have offered two new doctoral scholarships per year. Applications are normally called in July for study beginning the following year. Theses completed by Rei Foundation scholars are noted below.
Rei Foundation Limited (RFL) aims to attain social change through sustainable human development as a means of expanding people's life opportunities and their capacity to make responsible decisions as members of the global community. Scholarships such as this expand not only the opportunities for the students concerned but also for the wider communities that will benefit from their research.
It is RFL's aim that by offering this scholarship, we will be able to nurture capable individuals who will go on to contribute to conflict resolution and peace activities around the world through their research into a multitude of areas. We also hope that these individuals will be able to apply the skills and knowledge gained through this programme to contribute to their local and the global communities.
Presidential Statements and US use of Force (2018), Griffin Leonard
Nothing about us, without us: The pursuit of inclusive and accessible positive peace (2018), Roberta Francis
Authoritarian Politics and the Outcome of Nonviolent Uprisings (2018), Jonathan Sutton
Peace, violence, and the everyday in the Maoist conflict in Junglemahal, India (2018), Monica Carrer
Rivers of Peace: Third Party Conflict Management of Transboundary River Disputes (2013), Elvira Bobekova
Discourse transformation in peace processes: Revisiting Sudan's 2005 comprehensive agreement (2014), Patrick Mbugua
“Instruments of Peace?” Franciscans as Peacemakers in Sri Lanka During and After the Civil War (2016) Christopher John Masters
Civil Society Activists in a Protracted Conflict: Explaining Differences in Motivation to Engage in Intergroup Peacebuilding in Northern Ireland (2017) Rachel Rafferty (RFL scholar)
War, Identity, and Inherited Responsibility in Sino-Japanese Relations (2017) Ria Shibata
The Theory and Practice of Emancipatory Counterterrorism (2017) Sondre Lindahl
Colonial Continuities: A study of anti-racism in Aotearoa New Zealand and Spain (2017) Mahdis Azarmandi (RFL scholar)
Military Order Disobedience: An Analysis of Personal and Political Transformation (2017) Daniel Fridberg
Arts, Peacebuilding and Decolonization: A Comparative Study of Parihaka, Mindanao and Nairobi (2017) Babu Ayindo
Facilitation, Imposition, or Impairment?: The Role of Bridging Networks on Peacebuilding of Local Religious Leaders in the Deep South of Thailand (2017) Ajirapa Pienkhuntod
- More information about PhD study at the University of Otago
- NCPACS guide to writing a research proposal
- Research thesis advice and support from the Central Library
Māori Strategic Framework
The National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Otago embraces the Maori Strategic Framework's (2020) goal to deepen the University’s commitment to achieving participation and success for Indigenous students in tertiary education.
Our post-graduate centre is staffed by academic faculty from a variety of social science disciplines and as we work and teach in a bicultural setting (including Indigenous and Non-Indigenous cultural standpoints) we embrace a bicultural research environment. In practical terms this means we are open and responsive to both Western Canon Epistemologies and Indigenous Methodologies (Tuhiwai Smith 2012) and students who engage with research and knowledge generation in our centre are able to approach inquiry from either or both positions where appropriate.