Studying a PhD in New Zealand is relatively affordable for international students, with no additional tuition fees and the opportunity to work unrestricted hours (not that full-time work is necessarily a good idea while you’re doing a PhD!). But how much does it cost exactly?
In New Zealand the Government doesn’t regulate the fees charged for PhD study, leaving the universities set their own fees for their programmes. This means there is some variation in cost between institutions and may also differ depending on the subject of study. The good news is, unlike many countries, international PhD students pay the same fees as students from New Zealand.
Generally, PhD fees are between NZD $6,500 to $9,000 per year for a majority of subjects. At the upper end, this is similar to the cost of PhD study in the UK for domestic students, but since many universities have lower fees (and there are no additional international fees), PhD programmes in New Zealand are on average more affordable than in the UK.
Alongside the PhD fees some universities may also require you to pay a student services fee of anything up to NZD $1,000, although this varies between universities.
You may not have to pay these fees yourself. There is a government-run New Zealand International Doctoral Research Scholarships (NZIDRS) scheme, which includes payment of all course fees. Many universities also offer their own scholarships that cover PhD programme costs.
The New Zealand Government require students to have a minimum of NZD $15,000 available to cover living costs for each year of study. Each university recommends a different amount of money per year, but generally you should aim for NZD $15,000 to $20,000.
Living costs depend on whereabouts in the country you live, how much travelling you’ll need to do and your lifestyle. Universities in more expensive areas recommend a minimum of NZD $18,000 per year so keep this in mind when selecting a university.
You may be able to work to offset some of the costs, since student visas in New Zealand allow doctoral candidates to work during both term time and holidays.
As an international student, it’s a good idea to have medical and travel insurance, although this isn’t mandatory for PhD students. Generally speaking, this will cost around NZD $670 per year. Talk to your university about which insurance is best for you.
You’ll also need to apply for a visa. As an international PhD student, you’ll need the fee-paying student visa, which costs NZD $330.