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Frequently Asked Questions: PhD application process

Do you need help with applying for a PhD in Tourism at Otago?

Here are the most commonly asked questions by PhD applicants.

Once I submit a PhD proposal and acceptance into the PhD programme is granted, is the research topic and proposal then fixed?

A research topic and proposal are not fixed hard and fast, however it is preferable if they stay within the parameters of the broad topic area of the original proposal. The reason for this is that when an applicant is accepted they are assigned supervisors, so if the change is too significant, the research topic may not suit the supervisors’ areas of research interest or expertise. If a significant change of direction is undertaken new supervisors may need to be identified.

Do I have to re-sit IELTS or TOEFL as mine has expired?

If your IELTS or TOEFL has expired, then you will have to re-sit the test. This will not prevent you at this stage from proceeding with your preliminary application to the Department, however it may lead to acceptance conditional on attaining the required English Language Qualification for entrance into the PhD programme.

Please study our information regarding Otago’s English Language Requirements.

Do I have to have an English test result if I have studied at an English speaking university?

If the university in question was in a country where the first language is English then the answer is no – but if the university was not in such a country then an English language test would be required.

What type of Masters Degree is necessary for entry into the PhD programme?

Part of our entrance requirement into our PhD programme is to have completed a dissertation/thesis to a satisfactory level normally in a Masters degree but potentially in an Honours degree, or to have had other independent research experience. A Masters degree that has no research component is not by itself sufficient for entry to the PhD programme.

Is it possible to join the PhD programme as a part-time, distance student?

Our preference is to accept applications from students intending to study full time and be based in Dunedin. In the second year a PhD student is able to spend up to one year doing their fieldwork.