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PhD in Information Science

The PhD programme in New Zealand universities is similar to the UK model (rather than the US model). A PhD is based entirely on research leading to the writing of a thesis. The minimum completion time (for full time PhD study) is two and a half years.

To be accepted as a PhD student in Information Science you would normally need to have a 1st class or upper 2nd class honours degree in the field (or a related field) or a Masters degree. You must also have evidence of prior research experience. This may be satisfied by the completion of a substantial undergraduate research project, a masters thesis, or publication of academic papers.

The University offers scholarships for PhD study. If you wish to fund your programme through an Otago PhD scholarship, you will typically need the equivalent of an A or A+ average, although exceptions might be considered.

University of Otago scholarships

PhD application procedure and form

You will need to attach a research proposal to your application, but we can change that when your application arrives after consultation with you (or we could discuss it in advance - email

For inquiries about PhD study, please send a scanned copy of the transcripts for your previous study (including any information about grading schemes on the back of the transcripts), as well as an electronic copy of your Masters thesis, final year undergraduate research project report or dissertation, and/or published papers. Links to sites that verify the existence of your publications are also useful. We would also like to know about some specific research topics that interest you. Although some of our academic staff are happy to propose research topics to potential PhD students, others prefer to see an initial proposal that the potential student has written, and may then begin an email correspondence to refine the topic if they are interested in the topic and student.

PhD inquiries

Research interests

View our staff profiles

International students

International PhD students pay the same (relatively low) fees as New Zealand students.

Fees for international students

Most international students must arrange for medical and travel insurance to cover their entire period of study in New Zealand.

From 2006, dependents of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) students have been eligible to be treated as New Zealand domestic students for the purposes of fee payment at primary (approximately 5–12 years of age) and secondary (approximately 13–18 years of age) schools. However, if this is likely to be a significant factor in choosing to come here, please check with your local NZ immigration office to ensure that this policy has not changed.

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