What will I learn?

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Law is an advanced research qualification.

Before embarking on further study toward a higher-level research degree, it is important to consider the “fit” between the proposed project and the particular law school.

Research quality

As New Zealand’s top ranked university for research quality Victoria has a great reputation for academic excellence—excellence that is underpinned by the quality of our learning environment and innovative teaching.

The excellence of Victoria’s legal academics was confirmed in a report released by the Tertiary Education Commission, which ranked Victoria University number one in New Zealand for research quality. The report shows Victoria has the highest-rated Law faculty for research in the country and establishes its research pre-eminence in New Zealand.

Which department am I in?

Faculty of Law

Study options

Full Time (The PhD is examined by thesis after a minimum of three years full-time supervised research)

Tuition fees
NZ$8,106.00 (US$ 5,174) per year
Average full time (120 points): NZ $8,106 (This subsidies fees is for who live and study in New Zealand)

*Price shown is for indicative purposes, please check with institution

Application deadline

1 November 2019, 1 March 2020, 1 July 2020

More details

Start date

11 November 2019, 2 March 2020, 6 July 2020, 9 November 2020


Victoria University of Wellington

Kelburn Campus,

Level 2, Easterfield Building, Kelburn Parade,



6012, New Zealand

Entry requirements

For students from United States

International applicants are expected to have equivalent qualifications to those required of New Zealand applicants: Applicants who have a four year Bachelor’s degree graded in a four point GPA system should have a GPA of at least 3.0 out of 4.0. Applicants, who have a Bachelor’s degree graded in the British system, including India, must be awarded the degree with first or upper second-class Honours. English Language Requirements: TOEFL 90 points on the internet-based test with a minimum of 20 in writing, or IELTS overall band of 6.5, no sub-score below 6, or a minimum of two ratings of 5 and two ratings of 4 in the Victoria University English Proficiency Programme test, or Pearson Test of English, with a score of 65 (with a communicative score of not less than 58).

For international students

Admission to our highest qualification is very competitive. The selection panel will need to be fully confident that an applicant can justify pursuing doctoral-level study in the Faculty of Law.

PhD applicants are expected to have a First or Second Class Honours or Master's degree in Law.

International students, including those with degrees from English-speaking universities, are required to provide formal proof of English competency:

  • IELTS: an overall band of 7, including a writing sub-score of 7 and no sub-score below 6.5 (or equivalent); or
  • TOEFL: 100 on the internet-based test with a minimum of 25 in writing; or
  • a minimum of three ratings of ‘5’ for reading, writing and speaking and one rating of ‘4’ for listening from the Victoria University English Proficiency Programme.

Find your nearest IELTS test centre and test dates

There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.


About this uni

Amongst the world’s 16,000 universities, Victoria University of Wellington ranks in the top 2 percent, and in the top 100 worldwide for 10 subjects.

  • QS Stars Rating of Excellence 2018 awarded Victoria 5 stars
  • Victoria Business School is globally recognised
  • First-ranked university in New Zealand for research quality
  • Wellington is a city filled with diverse things to explore