Master of Philosophy

The MPhil degree is solely a research degree, designed to recognise an original contribution to knowledge that is normally presented as a thesis. It is intended to be the product of one year of full-time research.

MPhil Benefits

  • Nationally and internationally recognised degree.
  • Supervision from academic staff who are leaders in their field.
  • The MPhil is the shortest of the higher degrees.
  • Does not include a conditional enrolment period.
  • Specialised equipment laboratories.

The Master of Philosophy is a pre-eminent research-based degree in which students undertake a programme of approved and supervised research that leads to a thesis. The thesis critically investigates an approved topic of substance and significance, demonstrates expertise in the methods of research and scholarship, displays intellectual independence and makes a substantial original contribution to the field of study, and is of publishable quality. It encourages development of research skills and furthers your knowledge of techniques, as well as providing training in specialist areas.


Research programmes exist across a wide range of disciplines, supported by the primary research interests of our staff. Visit our extensive list of staff profiles to view their current areas of research.

Practical Experience

The supervised research degrees of Master of Philosophy (MPhil), is acquired solely by the submission of a thesis prepared under supervision at the University of Waikato. The thesis must be submitted after a minimum of one year of full-time study, or two years of part-time study. The MPhil thesis must demonstrate expertise in the methods of research and scholarship; display intellectual independence; make a substantial contribution to knowledge in a particular field and contain publishable material. The research is supervised by members of academic staff, but must be the candidate’s original work. This must be presented as a written thesis that demonstrates the research process and the argument or results.

Entry requirements

Please refer to the relevant regulations in the University of Waikato Calendar for official details of admission and degree requirements, and more.

If you do not hold the appropriate qualifications required for direct entry, you may be eligible to apply for a pathway via other University qualifications. Contact the Faculty for advice on the possibilities.

Degree Structure

1-2 years 

The thesis must be submitted after a minimum of one year of full-time study, or two years of part-time study. The process begins with learning how to define a research topic, and planning a programme of research to investigate it. As they pursue their degree, candidates develop their abilities in the use of appropriate methodologies of investigation, in the collection and analysis of information and data, and in the presentation of their results.

Contact us

To enrol in a higher degree with our Faculty, you must first find a supervisor from our staff. Visit the University of Waikato Experts File, or browse our staff listings to find a potential supervisor. Once you have been in contact with your potential supervisor, and discussion between applicant and academic result in agreed supervision, please contact the Faculty Office.