Doctoral study in the School of Architecture and Planning

Doctoral study in the School of Architecture and Planning

The School of Architecture and Planning offers advanced research qualifications in architecture, planning and urban design. The School has particular strengths in the following areas: 

  • Design and fabrication
  • Pedagogy 
  • Urban design, spatial planning and place making
  • Māori and Pacific research 
  • Theory and history
  • Resilience and sustainability 

Types of doctoral study

In our school, you are able to choose one of two ways to complete your doctoral study, depending on your research preferences.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
The traditional PhD thesis is a formal piece of advanced research, with a final examined thesis of up to 100,000 words. Your thesis serves as a contribution to the field on both a local and international level. You can find out more about the University’s PhD programme here.

PhD with a creative practice component
You may also like to consider completing your PhD with a creative practice component. This allows you to submit a design output as examinable work alongside a thesis of up to 60,000 words. There are some specific guidelines around the admission requirements and timing of the examination for creative works. You can find out more about the creative practice component here.

Read about our first graduate with a PhD in Architecture with Creative Practice Component, Sarosh Mulla, to see how practice can become research.

Doctoral supervisors

We understand that decisions about where to undertake doctoral study are often based on the calibre of the supervisors and the quality of the candidate-supervisor relationship. Take the time to browse the profiles and research interests of our available doctoral supervisors here

Statement of Research Intent

As part of your application, you’ll need to submit the specific Architecture and Planning Statement of Research Intent as well as the University of Auckland’s Statement. The purpose of preparing the documents is to obtain sufficient information for the school to assess your application and allocate supervisors best able to support your research. If you intend to undertake the PhD with creative practice component, you’ll need to submit, in addition to the University’s general document, a Statement of Research Intend for PhD with Practice Component.

Postgraduate Advisers

We encourage contacting our Postgraduate Advisers before you submit your Application for Admission (AfA) for more specific information and advice about doctoral study in our School. 


Dr Emilio Garcia 
Phone: +64 9 923 5348


Dr Stephen Knight-Lenihan
Phone: +64 9 923 8673

Urban Design

Dr Lee Beattie
Phone: +64 9 923 9155

Additional information

The following links may be relevant to you as you consider your doctoral study:

You may need to contact our Student Centre or the School of Graduate Studies at different points of your planning and application process. 


Creative Arts and Industries Student Centre
Level 2, Building 421
(Architecture and Planning Building)
26 Symonds St 
Open Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm 

School of Graduate Studies
Graduate Centre, East Wing, ClockTower
22 Princes Street