Grad School Profile: PhD Program at Victoria University of Wellington

Institution: Victoria University of Wellington.

Location: Wellington, New Zealand.

Department: School of Design – The Design Research Innovation Lab (DRIL).

Concentration(s): Digital Media, Culture+Context and Industrial Design.

Application Deadline: March 1, 2011.

Admission Requirements: A portfolio of creative work demonstrating the breadth of the applicant’s prior experience in design or related creative discipline; a statement of research interests; an example of academic writing; two referees’ reports provided on the correct VUW template, sent by the referee only from a verifiable institutional email address, or as a signed hard copy; Verified transcripts and certificates for each national and/or international degree earned and, if from an EU country, the Diploma Supplement (International students must also include grade conversion tables).  More information about admission requirements can be found here.

Tuition and Financial Aid: Tuition varies for accepted students based on whether they are domestic or foreign to New Zealand.  Refer to this link for more information regarding tuition and fees. Scholarships and doctoral assistantships are available to exceptional students on a competitive basis, and further funding opportunities may be available through faculty research projects.  Domestic residents may be eligible for student allowances that cover housing and other needs.

Course Curriculum: The DRIL PhD program emphasizes the advancement of interdisciplinary knowledge and supports practice-led research through its emphasis on creativity as a process of investigation.  Through the Design Research and Innovation Lab students also have the opportunity to actively participate in professional academic life. Our diverse faculty provide collegial mentorship in research activities from reading groups and proposal writing workshops to preparing conference presentations, exhibitions and publications. DRIL also supports the School’s research-led teaching efforts, and postgraduate students have the opportunity to deliver design-related courses as part of our Bachelor and Master of Design Innovation programs.

Degree Requirements: PhD thesis: a substantial written exegesis critically analyzing the methodology, process, and documentation of the final creative composition.

Course Highlights: Design-Led Futures for Science, Technology & Energy; Digital Image Cultures & Digital Media Design; Historical & Cultural Studies of Design; Interaction Design & Emotion.

Professional Goals: Prospective candidates with exceptional creative and analytical skills seeking to study design from philosophical, cultural and practice-led perspectives are encouraged to apply. Potential candidates will be expected to make a substantial contribution to design knowledge, extending current understanding within the discipline and discourse of design research.

Contact: Dr Anne Galloway (Chair, Research Sub-Committee) or Dr Leon Gurevitch (Postgraduate Research Coordinator).

Click here to view the program’s website.

If you attend a graduate program in this field and feel it should be profiled, please email Worn Through.

Related Articles

Leave a Comment

Monthly Archive


Available now: Punk Style by Worn Through founder, Monica Sklar, PhD. Find it at :, Powell's Books, or a bookseller near you.