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Guide to Application for PhD Admission and Victoria Scholarships

Read these instructions carefully before completing the application form. All applicants are advised to consult the website of the Faculty of Graduate Research at Glossary FGR: Full-time Doctoral Student: Faculty of Graduate Research

Students are deemed to be full-time when they are able to devote a minimum of 30 hours per week to the thesis, on average, over the year. This workload excludes statutory holiday periods. Note: a realistic workload for a full-time student hoping to complete within 3-4 years would be 4050 hours per week. Students who cannot work on the thesis for the minimum amount of 30 hours per week are deemed to be half-time students.

Half-time Doctoral Student:

Section AGeneral information

Distance study and international students Victoria University does not offer a distance option for PhD study. All PhD students are required to be under supervision and resident in Wellington for their provisional registration period, a maximum of three months absence may be approved during this period. International students are limited to a total of twelve months absence during the PhD programme. Required documentation and incomplete applications Applications will only be considered once all documentation and supporting material has been received. All documents apart from referees statements should be submitted at the same time. In addition to your completed application form and copies of all official documents, you must also upoad an Expression of Research Interests and a sample of your academic writing. A portfolio of creative work or DVD may also be required. See the Faculty of Graduate Research website at for more information. You should upload your documents through the online application form (except for referees reports, which should be sent to the contact addresses at the end of this document). If for some reason you cannot upload your documents, email them to: If documents are emailed, they must be PDF or word files and not JPG or RAR documents. Note: if you provide information over and above what has been requested, this will not be forwarded to selection panels.

Certified copies of official documents Before you can be admitted as a doctoral student, you must supply the Faculty of Graduate Research (FGR) with certified paper copies of all official documents asked for in the application form. You do not need to send these certified copies when you apply, though you may do so if you wish. Successful applicants will receive an offer of place which will be conditional on the FGR receiving certified copies. International students should note that Immigration New Zealand may require an unconditional offer before they will issue you with a student visa. Copies of your official documents must be certified by the institution of issue, or by an official notary, and must bear the official stamp of the institution or person. Return of documents Unless original documents are specifically requested in the application, the FGR does not undertake to return documents supplied. Privacy of personal information Victoria University of Wellington (the University) collects, stores, uses and discloses personal information relating to students in accordance with the Privacy Act 1993 for the purpose of conducting its proper business. A unique identifier is assigned to each student. Personal information is disclosed to other agencies as required under the Education Act 1989 and other relevant New Zealand laws, regulations, and contractual agreements by which the University is bound. Students have the right to access and seek correction of their personal information. More information on the Universitys protection of the privacy of personal information is available at

Section BApplication form

The Document Upload section of the online form lists the documents you need to provide. All documents should be uploaded in your online application if possible, except for referees reports. Referees reports should be sent to the contact addresses at the end of this document. Personal informationCitizenship International students do not need to have a student visa at the time of application. You can apply for a student visa after you receive an offer of place. Victoria scholarships Applicants for Victoria Doctoral Scholarships must read the full Doctoral scholarship regulations which you can download from the following webpage: Victoria Doctoral scholarships are open to all applicants. There are limited numbers of scholarships available each round. Applicants for Victoria Doctoral Scholarships must: o have completed a Bachelors or Masters degree with academic distinction equivalent to a First Class Honours degree at a New Zealand University; or have a significant publication record, research experience and/or professional experience (see the Qualifications and Experience form at You may be offered admission without a scholarship. It is therefore important that you investigate alternative funding options. o

If you intend to study half-time, you are not eligible to apply for a Victoria Doctoral scholarship. Victoria University academic staff are not able to hold a Victoria University scholarship. If you hold a full Victoria scholarship, you are limited to a maximum of 550 hours of employment per year, preferably in an area related to your research. Additional information required by international applicants for Victoria scholarships: Category 1applicants whose degree has been conferred at a university in the United Kingdom, Ireland, United States of America, Canada, Germany or Australia must supply an original or certified copy of their university transcript. Category 2applicants from any other country must have their transcript verified and assessed with a course-by-course evaluation of the prerequisite degree by Educational Credential Evaluators (

Proposed start date You are required to nominate a start date for your PhD to assist schools with their planning. Dates may later be changed by negotiation. You are strongly encouraged to begin your studies within six weeks of one of the Faculty of Graduate Researchs orientation programmes for new students. See the FGR website at for dates. Successful applicants will receive an offer of place around six weeks after the closing date for applications. You will have one month to accept the offer and will be expected to begin your PhD within six months of your acceptance if you are a domestic student or within nine months if you are an international student. Academic qualifications Applicants who have studied at a New Zealand university will need a first- or second-class, division one pass in an Honours or Masters degree, or be currently enrolled in a Masters by thesis. Overseas applicants need to have equivalent qualifications to New Zealand applicants. In general, for applicants who have a four year Bachelors degree graded in a four point GPA system, the GPA should be at least 3.0 out of 4.0. For applicants who have a Bachelors degree graded in the British system, including India, the degree must be awarded with first or upper second-class honours. For some programmes evidence of relevant work/research experience may be necessary. You must provide certified copies of academic transcripts for all qualifications except those you have obtained at Victoria University of Wellington (see Certified copies of official documents in Section A above). Academic refereesconfidential report You must ask two referees who are able to evaluate your academic ability and research potential to complete a report. Referees may be academics from your most recent institution or other appropriate professionals. Referees statements will only be accepted on the correct form. You must provide your referees with the Academic referees - Confidential report form at Please advise

referees of the relevant closing date for your application (1 March, 1 July or 1 November). Applications will not be considered until referees reports have been received. If the reports arrive late, your application will be held over until the following round. Referees reports are confidential to the Victoria University of Wellington panel(s) assessing the application and must not be submitted by the applicant unless they are in a sealed envelope with the referees signature across the seal. The Academic RefereesConfidential report may be emailed to provided the referee uses a verifiable institutional email address. Any referees report that is received from an unverified source will be marked as unverified. The Faculty of Graduate Research will request a hard copy if there is any doubt about authenticity.

Why we ask for an expression of research interests Successful doctoral research makes original and significant contributions to knowledge and prepares graduates to undertake further research or to apply their advanced skills. Victoria doctoral candidates begin with up to 12 months of provisional registration. During this period, each candidate works under supervision to develop and write a full research proposal, which is a formal document designed to clarify the parameters of the doctoral project and situate it in the context of relevant international scholarship. In many cases, the precise focus of candidates research changes from their initial ideas. There can also be restrictions on what can be studied, due to funding considerations, or compliance with local requirements such as provisions for access to Antarctica, human ethics requirements, consultation with Mori. This is why we do not require a research proposal from you now. Instead, we ask you to provide a clear overview of the nature of your intended study issue or question and information about your interest and readiness to undertake doctoral study. Issues or questions that match the research profile of particular researchers within the University are more likely to lead to acceptance than those that do not. Please also present your work in the context of the international literature and contribution to global knowledge. Mention any specific theories or methods you might draw on or any specific locations, materials or purposes that you believe would suit a doctoral project. It may be to your benefit to make contact with a School before completing your application. The School may contact you when your application is considered. In your statement, please address the following questions: 1. Why are you applying to study at Victoria? 2. What specific issue or question are you interested in studying? Why do you think this topic needs further research? 3. How might you go about researching this issue? What particular obstacles or challenges, if any, do you anticipate in conducting this research? 4. What in your academic, professional or personal background prepares you to undertake doctoral research? Complete the Expression of Research Interests form at and upload it to the online application form. Non-degree research experience Provide a statement (up to 500 words) describing your research experience other than that obtained from past degrees. Use the following as a guide.

March 2007June 2009: I worked at M & M Pharmaceuticals as part of a team investigating a new beta-blocker. My role was as a research associate, and my primary responsibilities were to assist the principal scientist in the lab, to use HPLC to analyse body fluids for the metabolites of these betablockers and to help prepare summary reports for review by the Food and Drug Administration.

Publications Below is an example of a complete reference.

Smith M, Jones S M, Brown E F, ' Tell me about your childhood', in Mind myths: exploring popular assumptions about the mind and brain, edited by Taco Rosa (Chichester, John Wiley & Sons, 2009), pp. 13-17.

Section CInternational students

International students please see the Victoria International website here: for information on services and support. Official documents Applicants must send certified copies of transcripts and degree certificates. See for more information about this. Applicants from EU countries must also provide the Diploma Supplement. Originals may be requested if the application is successful. Translations of official documents If your documents are in a language other than English, you must attach English translations certified by an accredited translator and bearing the translators official stamp (see Section A above). Please send both certified copies of your academic transcript and certified copies of the translation. English language requirements Victorias English language requirements are strict and are not negotiable. If you do not provide evidence of meeting these requirements any offer of place will be issued as conditional, which will affect your ability to obtain a student visa. These requirements are outlined below: IELTS overall band of 6.5, no sub-score below 6; or TOEFL 575 with (preferably) a TWE of 5, or 237 on the computer-based test; or 90 on the internet-based test with a minimum of 20 in writing; or CAE grade B; or a minimum of two ratings of 5 and two ratings of 4 in the Victoria University

English Proficiency Programme test see for more information. Important notes: If you are submitting a TOEFL test result, please use institution code 6765 as the score recipient. If you do not meet the minimum English requirements, you will be required to do an English Proficiency Programme (EPP) in order to gain admission as a PhD student. Applicants who are successful in obtaining full scholarship support may apply through their school to have their EPP course paid for by the Victoria Scholarships Office.

Even if you meet the minimum English language requirements, you may still be required to do a Victoria University English Proficiency Programme before you begin your doctoral studies or as part of your provisional registration. On average it takes three months full-time English language study to improve an overall IELTS bandwidth score by 0.5 or a TOEFL score by 25 points.

Student visa Before coming to study at a New Zealand university you will need a student visa. Your nearest New Zealand Diplomatic Office can provide you with the necessary information and the forms to complete. Full details of visa and permit requirements, advice on rights to employment in New Zealand while studying, and reporting requirements are available from the Immigration New Zealand website at Medical and travel insurance Most international students are not entitled to freely access publicly-funded health services while in New Zealand. If you receive medical treatment during your visit, you may have to pay the full cost of your treatment. Full details of entitlements to publicly-funded health services are available through the Ministry of Health ( All international students at Victoria University must have appropriate and current medical and travel insurance while studying in New Zealand. To find out more, go to Victoria Internationals information on insurance here:, or email Accident insurance The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) provides accident insurance for all New Zealand citizens, residents and temporary visitors to New Zealand, but you may still be liable for all other medical and related costs. Further information can be viewed on the ACC website at Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students The Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students (the Code) published by the Ministry of Education, is a policy specially designed for international students. It sets the standards of advice and care that must be given by an institution to an international student. Victoria University has agreed to observe and be bound by the Code. Copies of the Code are available on request from Victoria International or from the New Zealand Ministry of Education website at dersOfInternationalEducation/CodeofPracticeforInternationalStudents/CodeOfPractice.aspx . You should upload your documents in the online application form. If for some reason you cannot upload your documents, email them to: or send to: Postal address Faculty of Graduate Research Victoria University of Wellington PO Box 600 Wellington 6140 New Zealand Courier address Faculty of Graduate Research Victoria University of Wellington Room 103 10 Kelburn Parade Wellington 6012 New Zealand