About the PhD Programme - Psychology - University of Canterbury - New Zealand

About the PhD Programme

Doctoral Study in Psychology

Doctoral study at Canterbury can be undertaken in any area of psychology (from basic neuroscience to philosophical issues in psychology). The PhD degree at Canterbury is wholly a research degree although some additional course work may be required by the PhD supervisor. It is a minimum of two years full-time work, although it often takes three to four years.

It may be undertaken part-time. The completed research must make an original contribution to psychological knowledge. The research should be of a standard acceptable for publication in well regarded, peer-reviewed journals and the Department strongly encourages students to submit their research for publication in such journals during the course of their doctoral study. More information on the Doctoral degree is available from the Postgraduate Office website.

The Department is equipped to supervise doctoral research in many areas of psychological science. Graduate students with good academic qualifications are invited to apply. The Department usually makes a financial contribution to legitimate research expenses.

The Department welcomes enquiries from within New Zealand and overseas. University Scholarships are available to both New Zealand and foreign students. The Department encourages doctoral students (and postgraduate students generally) to take up teaching assistantships, and play an active part in the Department.

General Experimental Psychology Programme

The General Experimental Programme is intended for students interested in an academic and/or research career. The PhD degree is based on high quality basic research and is available in most areas of psychology. The Department has excellent research facilities and offers postgraduate training in the following subdisciplines of psychology:

  • behaviour analysis
  • behavioural neuroscience
  • cognitive
  • developmental
  • economic
  • environmental psychology
  • family
  • health
  • human factors
  • perception
  • psychopharmacology
  • learning and memory
  • motivation
  • neuropsychology
  • social
  • personality
  • theoretical psychology

Research in Experimental Psychology involves a close collaboration with academic staff members. Interested students are encouraged to discuss possibilities with individual staff and to identify in their application a supervisor and co-supervisor who could serve as an academic/research supervisor. Ordinarily, MA, MSc or BSc(Hons) graduates with First or Second Class (Division I) Honours are eligible for the programme. As well, BA(Hons) involving a research project may be considered. Masters programmes for students planning to continue to the PhD will be designed individually for each student in consultation with his/her research supervisor and the Postgraduate Studies Coordinator.