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Doctor of Fine Arts

  • Doctorate (PhD)

Suitable for both experienced practitioners and emerging artists, the DocFA involves both research and practice.

Key details

Degree Type
Doctorate (PhD)
3 - 4 years full-time, 6 years part-time
Study Mode
In person
Domestic Fees
$7,109 per year

About this course

Suitable for both experienced practitioners and emerging artists, the DocFA involves both research and practice. You will be supervised by a committed team of professionally active, internationally recognised staff from Elam School of Fine Arts and, if appropriate, other schools/departments within the University of Auckland. The DocFA is the highest-level university qualification in Fine Arts at the University of Auckland that is predominantly founded on studio-based practice. Like the PhD, it is expected to be a contribution to knowledge in your chosen field. Candidates work on advanced-level research in a manner relevant to medium-based or post-medium practices throughout the course of the degree. Alternatively, we also offer the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Fine Arts with a . If you wish to undertake a solely written thesis, then a PhD might be for you. For more information see or contact our academic department postgraduate advisors to discuss your options.

Study locations


Course structure

The University of Auckland DocFA is a three-to-four year full-time advanced creative practice and research degree.

  • On entry to the DocFA programme, you will be provisionally enrolled.
  • By the end of your first year, you must meet a number of goals to be confirmed into the DocFA programme, including developing a full research proposal for both the creative work and thesis.
  • After confirmation, you will continue to work on your research before submitting your thesis and creative work for examination after three years and within four years of your start date (full-time study). The creative work may be an exhibition, or other approved work. The examination process will include an oral exam.

As part of your DocFA study, you can take part in our doctoral skills programme, designed to help you achieve success in your research and develop skills for your future. We have a dedicated postgraduate careers advisor, and our library service includes specialist subject librarians to help you in your research. The central School of Graduate Studies provides dedicated support and advice for the doctoral community.

Part-time enrolment is available for New Zealand students, in which case provisional enrolment lasts for 24 months, and you must submit your full thesis for examination no earlier than 6 years, and within 8 years, of your start date. For students who have undertaken a mix of part-time and full-time study, submission deadlines are calculated on a pro-rata basis.

For international students, your visa conditions will generally stipulate that you must be enrolled for full-time study.