Te Ipukarea and The Centre for Language Revitalisation host postgraduate students as an important part of our commitment to supporting emerging researchers through excellent supervision and the experience of working on our research projects.

Postgraduate students based in the Institute and Centre are a part of a stimulating research culture which encourages critical thinking. Our students are exposed to diverse methodologies and multi-disciplinary approaches within a vibrant, convivial, and collegial environment.  We provide a space for students to feel part of a collective and meet other researchers who share common interests. 

The Te Ipukarea team has a strong record of supervising postgraduate research across a wide range of subjects. We emphasise quality supervision and aim to provide opportunities for collaboration and skill-sharing. The Te Ipukarea team can also help students to identify and apply for scholarships.   

At AUT, you have the option of three research component formats for the Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Philosophy.  These are:

  • Format One – the traditional thesis format
  • Format Two – the manuscript format
  • Format Three – the exegesis and creative component

The exegesis is the written narrative that is normally between 15,000 to 20,000 words for research only masters and 40,000 to 50,000 words for a doctorate and accompanies the body of practical work.


The Master of Philosophy (MPhil) is a one-year (full time) research only degree. It provides an opportunity for students to undertake a research topic of their choice under the supervision of Te Ipukarea staff. The research is presented in thesis form, accompanied in some cases by a piece of creative work. The MPhil can also provide a pathway to more advanced research at the doctoral level.

Further information regarding the Master of Philosophy, including details regarding entry requirements, as well as planning and structure of the degree, can be found at Master of Philosophy - AUT 


The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) provides students with the opportunity to undertake advanced research, develop their careers, and demonstrate leadership in their communities through the development and dissemination of knowledge. The PhD is the equivalent of three to four years of full-time study, under the academic supervision of Te Ipukarea staff, and constitutes an original and significant contribution to knowledge.

Te Ipukarea’s first collaborative doctorate which involved three Māori women who are considered tohunga raranga (experts in the Māori traditional art of weaving) met the requirements for the doctorate and were approved in 2021 for graduation which was deferred until September 2022 due to Covid.

A collaborative doctorate

The aim of a collaborative doctorate is for doctoral students to undertake a specific independent research topic within a wider research project that may encompass multiple collaborative independent topics.  Students seeking to undertake a collaborative doctorate are still required to meet the University entry requirements.  Students and the proposed supervisors need considerable time to discuss the shared topic and each of the student’s individual (but related) topic.  For those students undertaking a format three (creative) doctorate, there needs to be discussion about the individual creative component(s) and the creative component that is a collaboration between all candidates.

The collaborative factors  

Each student’s topic / research proposal needs to stand on its own merits and be achievable independently if the other topics in the collaboration are unable to be completed. The entire process from pre-enrolment through to examination is a collaboration and reflects a kaupapa Māori (Māori approach) process reflected by the mahi tahi / mahitahi approach.  This approach, which is a preferred process by Te Ipukarea supervisors in undertaking supervision, is grounded in mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge) and in their postgraduate students feel they are immersed in a Māori environment. It also means that they are not alone in facing the processes of the institution; that they have the support of the Administrator to navigate these institutional processes with them. Therefore, these students operate in a ‘Wānanga’ within a Whare Wānanga like a bubble. This means they can always be their ‘authentic’ selves.

For information about the first graduates of a collaborative doctorate see Three wāhine Māori the first to receive joint doctorate for mahi raranga | RNZ News

Further information regarding the AUT Doctor of Philosophy including details regarding entry requirements, go to Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) - AUT

Dr Donna Mariana Morrison
Te Arawa - Ngāti Whakaue, Ngāti Rangiwewehi

"I selected Te Ipukarea at AUT due to the people, particularly Professor Tania Ka'ai. Her leadership and the support of her team offered me the ideal foundation to embark on a doctoral journey delving into mātauranga Māori."


Nogiata Tukimata
Niue, Lakepe

"I chose this degree because I wanted to gain a better understanding of the ways to revitalise an endangered language like the Niuean language to enable current and future generations to continue using it."

Hēmi Kelly
Ngāti Maniapoto, Ngāti Tahu-Ngāti Whāoa

 "My passion is te reo Māori and language revitalisation, and AUT is home to Te Ipukarea Research Institute. There are a number of innovative projects that have emerged from Te Ipukarea, so the decision to further my education at AUT was easy."