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PhD Program

The Human Interface Technology Laboratory New Zealand (HIT Lab NZ) at the University of Canterbury is offering a PhD degree in Human Interface Technology (HITL). This is a multi-disciplinary degree that is designed to allow students from a variety of backgrounds to undertake research in Human Interface Technology. The research can focus on our established research themes, including Augmented Reality, Human-Robot Interaction, Interaction Design, Science and Technology Studies, and Visualization. Other topics may be considered.

Advantages to enrolling for the HITL PhD degree:

  • you can receive a PhD in 3 years
  • PhD enrolment can start at anytime
  • there is no course work requirement at all
  • the possibility of full scholarship support
  • the opportunity to study at the world renown HIT Lab NZ
  • being able to live and study in beautiful Christchurch, New Zealand
  • it is one of the only multi-disciplinary Human Interface Technology PhD degrees in the world

Students from any background who have completed an honours level undergraduate degree or Masters degree can apply for the HIT Lab NZ PhD program. We are particularly interested in students with a strong interest in technology and design, and a desire to conduct research at the forefront of Human Interface Technology. There are limited places available, especially for those who would like financial support.

Admission Requirements for PhD at the University of Canterbury

Students must meet the admission requirements of the University of Canterbury. Students with degrees from universities other than those within New Zealand must first obtain permission to enrol (Admission ad-eundem) before being allowed to enrol for a postgraduate degrees. This requires the submission of a completed application form and supporting papers to the University, details of which may be obtained from here. It is important to be aware that admission to this Department as a postgraduate student is dependent not only on the academic level of the candidate but also on the availability of a supervisor in the candidate’s area of interest. The areas of interest must be clearly specified by the candidate when applying for admission. A candidate is strongly advised to contact an appropriate supervisor and arrange a topic for research. The supervisor and topic should be named in the application letter.

The application process is as follows:

  1. Check if you meet the admission requirements of the University of Canterbury.
  2. Send us your application through our job board. Select the specific PhD position you are interested in or choose the "Genearal PhD" position. We will contact you to discuss your application and to schedule an interview.
  3. Review the application guidelines.
  4. Send your application to the Postgraduate Office.

Once accepted into the program, Doctoral students can begin their studies at any time during the year. For international students, please check these guidelines. The general policies and regulations for PhD research are available here and in the Policy Library.


Scholarships are available from the Univeristy of Canterbury and from the HIT Lab NZ. A scholarship from the university will allow you more freedom to determine your research focus, while scholarships from the lab will require you to work within one of our funded projects. The University has two general categories for domestic scholarships and international scholarships.


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