Chapter 4: Research degree completions

Research degree completions by broad field of study and subject-area weighting, 2008 to 2011

4.37This section provides sets of tables and associated commentary on RDCs between 2008 and 2011 for each level of PBRF-eligible postgraduate study. In addition to subject-area weightings, data is cut by broad field of study, as defined by the New Zealand Standard Classification of Education (NZSCED).11 TEOs appear in alphabetical order.

All RDC types

4.38Table 4.9 sets out the numbers of RDCs (all types aggregated) for each TEO by broad field of study.

Table 4.9: Aggregated RDC types by broad field of study and TEO, 2008 to 2011

Broad NZSCED TEO 2008 2009 2010 2011 Total
Agriculture, Environmental and Related Studies Lincoln University 4 8 3 6 21
Massey University 6 4 5 7 22
The University of Auckland 2 4 2 3 11
University of Canterbury 1 3 2 2 8
University of Otago 11 18 13 10 52
Victoria University of Wellington 28 24 14 22 88
Total 52 61 39 50 202
Architecture and Building Lincoln University       2 2
Massey University 1 2 2 2 7
The University of Auckland 17 67 31 107 222
Unitec New Zealand 2 28 40 37 107
Victoria University of Wellington 5 4 10 78 97
Total 25 101 83 226 435
Creative Arts Auckland University of Technology 60 76 100 76 312
Massey University 41 33 47 27 148
Otago Polytechnic 12 3 6 26 47
The University of Auckland 121 122 117 129 489
Unitec New Zealand 4 5 4 5 18
University of Canterbury 13 21 25 23 82
University of Otago 2 1 8 24 35
University of Waikato 9 7 24 8 48
Victoria University of Wellington 20 16 19 22 77
Waikato Institute of Technology 15 14 25 18 72
Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design 10 5 18   33
Total 307 303 393 358 1,361

Table 4.9: Aggregated RDC types by broad field of study and TEO, 2008 to 2011 – continued

Broad NZSCED TEO 2008 2009 2010 2011 Total
Education Auckland University of Technology 5 4 6 5 20
Christchurch College of Education   1     1
Massey University 25 7 15 23 70
The University of Auckland 25 21 12 25 83
Unitec New Zealand 4 6 2 2 14
University of Canterbury 6 5 11 31 53
University of Otago 1     2 3
University of Waikato 23 21 31 30 105
Victoria University of Wellington 6 5 11 29 51
Total 95 70 88 147 400
Engineering and Related Technologies Auckland University of Technology   7 8 7 22
Massey University 16 28 20 24 88
The University of Auckland 63 60 74 78 275
University of Canterbury 27 18 30 21 96
University of Otago       1 1
University of Waikato 10 4 13 8 35
Victoria University of Wellington     2 2 4
Total 116 117 147 141 521
Health Auckland University of Technology 20 16 17 21 74
Eastern Institute of Technology   6 5 1 12
Massey University 2 8 3 4 17
Otago Polytechnic 3 2 2 2 9
The University of Auckland 51 54 45 60 210
Unitec New Zealand 1 7 16 22 46
University of Canterbury 14 13 21 22 70
University of Otago 43 48 46 67 204
Victoria University of Wellington 5 10 6 4 25
Waikato Institute of Technology 1   3 2 6
Total 140 164 164 205 673
Information Technology Auckland University of Technology 5 9 3 20 37
Lincoln University 4 2 1   7
Massey University 5 6   3 14
Unitec New Zealand 7 6 4 10 27
Total 21 23 8 33 85
Management and Commerce Auckland University of Technology 10 25 16 8 59
Lincoln University 8 11 14 11 44
Massey University 25 16 18 15 74
The University of Auckland 33 40 55 55 183
Unitec New Zealand 14 18 12 19 63

Table 4.9: Aggregated RDC types by broad field of study and TEO, 2008 to 2011 – continued

Broad NZSCED TEO 2008 2009 2010 2011 Total
  University of Canterbury 5 4 5 6 20
University of Otago 10 12 4 28 54
University of Waikato   9 3 12 24
Victoria University of Wellington 21 23 17 14 75
Total 126 158 144 168 596
Mixed Field Programmes Auckland University of Technology 6 3     9
Lincoln University 20 33 44 51 148
Massey University 116 117 122 106 461
Te Whare Wananga O Awanuiarangi       2 2
The University of Auckland 215 227 278 291 1,011
University of Canterbury 135 117 114 113 479
University of Otago 150 170 197 204 721
University of Waikato   2 2   4
Victoria University of Wellington 71 76 142 159 448
Total 713 745 899 926 3,283
Natural and Physical Sciences Auckland University of Technology 8 8 7 11 34
Lincoln University 15 16 16 13 60
Massey University 51 49 41 42 183
The University of Auckland 191 235 236 279 941
University of Canterbury 83 84 65 70 302
University of Otago 104 104 105 130 443
University of Waikato 45 50 57 47 199
Victoria University of Wellington 80 56 50 81 267
Total 577 602 577 673 2,429
Society and Culture Auckland University of Technology 68 37 47 61 213
Laidlaw College Incorporated 4 6 7 4 21
Lincoln University 3 1 1 1 6
Massey University 80 85 62 83 310
Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi 3 3 9 4 19
The University of Auckland 114 126 141 140 521
Unitec New Zealand   3 2 1 6
University of Canterbury 60 57 41 36 194
University of Otago 64 66 51 53 234
University of Waikato 93 103 122 146 464
Victoria University of Wellington 94 93 116 147 450
Total 583 580 599 676 2,438
Total   2,755 2,924 3,141 3,603 12,423

4.39Overall, Mixed Field Programmes have consistently produced the highest number of RDCs, totalling 926 in 2011 (up from 713 counts in 2008). Society and Culture, and Natural and Physical Sciences, have also consistently produced the next highest number of RDCs, tallying 676 and 673 respectively for 2011. A notable increase in RDCs occurred in Architecture and Building which grew from 25 counts in 2008 to 226 in 2011. This field saw sharp increases between 2010 and 2011 from the University of Auckland (up by 76 counts to 107) and Victoria University of Wellington (up by 68 counts to 78).

4.40Outside of the Mixed Field category, the performance of the universities largely reflects their traditional strengths. In 2011, for example, there were high proportions of PhDs and Masters in:

4.41Of interest also were increases or high volumes over the period in:

4.42Unitec New Zealand, Eastern Institute of Technology, Waikato Institute of Technology and Otago Polytechnic were the only ITPs to produce PBRF-eligible RDCs, doing so primarily in the fields of Architecture and Building, Creative Arts, and Health. In 2011, Otago Polytechnic significantly increased its RDCs in the Creative Arts field to 26, up from six in 2010. Unitec New Zealand also reported steady or growing numbers of RDCs in Information Technology and Management and Commerce in 2011.

4.43Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi and Laidlaw College, the only other providers outside of the universities and ITPs with RDCs in 2011, reported single digit counts in Mixed Field and Society and Culture categories.

Table 4.10: Doctoral completions by subject weighting and broad NZSCED, 2008 to 2011

TEO Subject weighting Broad NZSCED 2008 2009 2010 2011 Total
The University of Auckland 1 Education 6 4 4 9 23
  Mixed Field Programmes 63 57 71 82 273
2 Health         0
  Society and Culture 3 7 8 11 29
  Creative Arts 3 7 1 5 16
  Mixed Field Programmes 85 71 96 77 329
2.5 Health     2 5 7
  Mixed Field Programmes 67 99 110 132 408
Total   227 245 292 321 1,085
University of Otago 1 Education       2 2
  Management and Commerce 1       1
  Mixed Field Programmes 28 47 44 64 183
2 Natural and Physical Sciences 1       1
  Agriculture, Environmental and Related Studies         0

Table 4.10: Doctoral completions by subject weighting and broad NZSCED, 2008 to 2011 – continued

TEO Subject weighting Broad NZSCED 2008 2009 2010 2011 Total
    Society and Culture         0
  Mixed Field Programmes 75 71 84 94 324
2.5 Natural and Physical Sciences 1       1
  Health 7 12 14 18 51
  Society and Culture         0
  Mixed Field Programmes 43 47 66 42 198
Total   156 177 208 220 761
Massey University 1 Education 5 3 8 4 20
  Management and Commerce   2 3 3 8
  Mixed Field Programmes 35 38 42 36 151
2 Society and Culture   3 7 11 21
  Mixed Field Programmes 51 42 55 50 198
2.5 Mixed Field Programmes 28 33 24 16 101
Total   119 121 139 120 499
University of Canterbury 1 Mixed Field Programmes 32 24 24 34 114
2 Mixed Field Programmes 50 50 49 31 180
2.5 Mixed Field Programmes 53 43 38 48 182
Victoria University of Wellington 1 Natural and Physical Sciences         0
  Society and Culture 1       1
  Mixed Field Programmes 29 32 64 73 198
2 Mixed Field Programmes 42 43 73 75 233
2.5 Mixed Field Programmes   1 4 5 10
Total   72 76 141 153 442
University of Waikato 1 Education       4 4
  Society and Culture 18 25 30 49 122
2 Society and Culture 24 25 25 39 113
2.5 Society and Culture 3 9 6 4 22
Total   45 59 61 96 261
Auckland University of Technology 1 Education   1 1 1 3
  Society and Culture 20 8 17 14 59
2 Health 1 1 1   3
  Society and Culture 17 9 10 13 49
2.5 Health 1 1     2
  Society and Culture 7 4 3 11 25
Total   46 24 32 39 141
Lincoln University 1 Management and Commerce         0
  Mixed Field Programmes 3 7 11 18 39
2 Mixed Field Programmes 6 10 18 16 50
2.5 Mixed Field Programmes 11 16 15 17 59

Table 4.10: Doctoral completions by subject weighting and broad NZSCED, 2008 to 2011 – continued

TEO Subject weighting Broad NZSCED 2008 2009 2010 2011 Total
  Total   20 33 44 51 148
Unitec New Zealand 1 Education   1     1
2.5 Information Technology         0
Total   0 1 0 0 1
Otago Polytechnic 2 Creative Arts         0
Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi 1 Mixed Field Programmes       2 2
Total   0 0 0 2 2
Total     820 853 1,028 1,115 3,816

DoctoratesTop

4.44Table 4.10 above shows consistent growth in PhD counts between 2008 and 2011, with the largest increase (175 additional Doctorates) evident 2009 and 2010.

4.45In 2011, Mixed Field programmes accounted for most doctoral completions (912 counts) by a significant margin on the next highest category of PhDs which totalled 152 in Society and Culture.

4.46The University of Auckland had the highest number of PhDs in Mixed Field Programmes in 2011. These were concentrated in 2.5-weighted subject areas (132 PhDs, compared with 82 and 77 in 1.0-weighted and 2.0-weighted subject areas). The University of Otago notably increased its number of 1.0 and 2.0-weighted PhDs, respectively up from 29 to 66 and 76 to 94 over the 2008 to 2011 period. Health was an area of growth for this institution in 2.5-weighted cost categories (up from 7 PhDs in 2008 to 18 in 2011).

4.47Of note also were the University of Waikato’s significant increases in PhDs which occurred almost entirely in Society and Culture – counts in 1.0-weighted subject areas improved from 18 to 49 over the period, with a more moderate rise in 2.0-weighted subject areas (up from 24 to 39 counts in 2011).

4.48Te Whare Wānanga O Awanuiārangi was the only provider outside of the University sector to record doctoral completions in 2011 (two PhDs in 1.0-weighted Mixed Field Programmes).

Table 4.11: Masters completions by subject weighting and broad NZSCED, 2008 to 2011

TEO Subject Weighting Broad NZSCED 2008 2009 2010 2011 Total
The University of Auckland 1 Natural and Physical Sciences 7 8 9 13 37
  Agriculture, Environmental and Related Studies     1   1
  Education 19 15 8 15 57
  Management and Commerce 27 28 46 47 148
  Society and Culture 91 87 87 92 357
  Creative Arts 6 8 10 14 38
2 Natural and Physical Sciences 128 171 155 201 655
  Engineering and Related Technologies 10 8 7 2 27
  Health 16 18 11 19 64
  Education   2   1 3
  Management and Commerce 6 12 9 8 35
  Society and Culture 15 27 41 30 113

Table 4.11: Masters completions by subject weighting and broad NZSCED, 2008 to 2011 – continued

TEO Subject Weighting Broad NZSCED 2008 2009 2010 2011 Total
    Creative Arts 111 107 106 110 434
  Mixed Field Programmes     1   1
2.5 Natural and Physical Sciences 35 56 72 65 228
  Engineering and Related Technologies 53 52 67 76 248
  Architecture and Building 17 67 31 107 222
  Agriculture, Environmental and Related Studies 2 4 1 3 10
  Health 35 36 32 35 138
Total   578 706 694 838 2,816
University of Otago 1 Natural and Physical Sciences   1 2 2 5
  Education 1       1
  Management and Commerce 6 11 4 28 49
  Society and Culture 41 40 39 38 158
  Creative Arts     1 5 6
  Mixed Field Programmes 2 1   2 5
2 Natural and Physical Sciences 78 81 81 95 335
  Health 6 7 6 2 21
  Management and Commerce 3 1     4
  Society and Culture 15 16 10 9 50
  Creative Arts 2 1 7 19 29
  Mixed Field Programmes 1 3 3 2 9
2.5 Natural and Physical Sciences 16 11 8 16 51
  Engineering and Related Technologies       1 1
  Agriculture, Environmental and Related Studies 11 18 13 10 52
  Health 21 21 18 28 88
  Society and Culture 8 10 2 6 26
  Mixed Field Programmes 1 1     2
Total   212 223 194 263 892
Massey University 1 Natural and Physical Sciences 3 2 4 1 10
  Information Technology   2     2
  Engineering and Related Technologies   1     1
  Agriculture, Environmental and Related Studies 1 2   1 4
  Education 19 4 7 16 46
  Management and Commerce 25 14 15 7 61
  Society and Culture 46 44 32 47 169
  Mixed Field Programmes 1       1
2 Natural and Physical Sciences 43 44 31 37 155
  Information Technology 5 4   3 12
  Engineering and Related Technologies   2     2

Table 4.11: Masters completions by subject weighting and broad NZSCED, 2008 to 2011 – continued

TEO Subject Weighting Broad NZSCED 2008 2009 2010 2011 Total
    Health   2 1 1 4
  Education 1     3 4
  Management and Commerce       1 1
  Society and Culture 32 38 22 22 114
  Creative Arts 41 33 47 27 148
  Mixed Field Programmes 1 4 1 1 7
2.5 Natural and Physical Sciences 5 3 6 4 18
  Engineering and Related Technologies 16 25 20 24 85
  Architecture and Building 1 2 2 2 7
  Agriculture, Environmental and Related Studies 5 2 5 6 18
  Health 2 6 2 3 13
  Management and Commerce       4 4
  Society and Culture 2   1 3 6
  Mixed Field Programmes       3 3
Total   249 234 196 216 895
University of Canterbury 1 Natural and Physical Sciences 1 6 2 3 12
  Education 6 5 11 11 33
  Management and Commerce 5 4 5 6 20
  Society and Culture 45 48 36 27 156
  Creative Arts 1 5 3 2 11
2 Natural and Physical Sciences 76 69 47 61 253
  Agriculture, Environmental and Related Studies       1 1
  Society and Culture 15 9 5 9 38
  Creative Arts 12 16 22 21 71
  Mixed Field Programmes     1   1
2.5 Natural and Physical Sciences 6 9 16 6 37
  Engineering and Related Technologies 27 18 30 21 96
  Agriculture, Environmental and Related Studies 1 3 2 1 7
  Health 14 13 21 22 70
  Mixed Field Programmes     2   2
Total   209 205 203 191 808
Victoria University of Wellington 1 Natural and Physical Sciences 9 1 2 6 18
  Education 6 5 11 29 51
  Management and Commerce 19 21 17 14 71
  Society and Culture 76 77 97 122 372
  Mixed Field Programmes       4 4

Table 4.11: Masters completions by subject weighting and broad NZSCED, 2008 to 2011 – continued

TEO Subject Weighting Broad NZSCED 2008 2009 2010 2011 Total
  2 Natural and Physical Sciences 66 55 47 74 242
  Agriculture, Environmental and Related Studies 28 24 14 22 88
  Health 5 10 6 4 25
  Management and Commerce 2 2     4
  Society and Culture 17 16 19 25 77
  Creative Arts 20 16 19 22 77
  Mixed Field Programmes     1 2 3
2.5 Natural and Physical Sciences 5   1 1 7
  Engineering and Related Technologies     2 2 4
  Architecture and Building 5 4 10 78 97
Total   258 231 246 405 1,140
University of Waikato 1 Natural and Physical Sciences     1   1
  Education 20 21 28 21 90
  Management and Commerce   9 3 12 24
  Society and Culture 21 17 29 23 90
2 Natural and Physical Sciences 40 49 51 45 185
  Education 3   3 5 11
  Society and Culture 27 27 30 31 115
  Creative Arts 9 7 24 8 48
  Mixed Field Programmes   2 2   4
2.5 Natural and Physical Sciences 5 1 5 2 13
  Engineering and Related Technologies 10 4 13 8 35
  Society and Culture     2   2
Total   135 137 191 155 618
Auckland University of Technology 1 Education 5 3 5 4 17
  Management and Commerce 10 25 16 8 59
  Society and Culture 17 8 10 9 44
  Creative Arts 15 32 26 36 109
2 Natural and Physical Sciences 8 7 7 11 33
  Information Technology 5 9 3 20 37
  Society and Culture 4 4 5 9 22
  Creative Arts 31 20 32 38 121
2.5 Engineering and Related Technologies   6 7 7 20
  Health 18 14 16 21 69
  Society and Culture 3 4 2 5 14
  Mixed Field Programmes 6 3     9
Total   122 135 129 168 554

Table 4.11: Masters completions by subject weighting and broad NZSCED, 2008 to 2011 – continued

TEO Subject Weighting Broad NZSCED 2008 2009 2010 2011 Total
Lincoln University 1 Natural and Physical Sciences     1   1
  Agriculture, Environmental and Related Studies       1 1
  Management and Commerce 8 10 12 11 41
  Society and Culture 3 1 1 1 6
2 Natural and Physical Sciences 10 5 9 8 32
  Information Technology 4 2 1   7
  Agriculture, Environmental and Related Studies 2 3 2 4 11
2.5 Natural and Physical Sciences 5 11 6 5 27
  Architecture and Building       2 2
  Agriculture, Environmental and Related Studies 2 5 1 1 9
  Management and Commerce   1 2   3
Total   34 38 35 33 140
Christchurch College of Education 1 Education   1     1
Total   0 1 0 0 1
Eastern Institute of Technology 2 Health   6 5 1 12
Total   0 6 5 1 12
Laidlaw College Incorporated 1 Society and Culture 4 6 7 4 21
Total   4 6 7 4 21
Unitec New Zealand 1 Education 4 5 2 2 13
  Management and Commerce 14 16 12 19 61
  Society and Culture   3 2 1 6
  Creative Arts 1 3 2   6
2 Information Technology 7 6 4 10 27
  Health 1 7 16 22 46
  Creative Arts 3 2 2 5 12
2.5 Architecture and Building 2 28 40 37 107
  Management and Commerce   2     2
Total   32 72 80 96 280
Otago Polytechnic 2 Health 3 2 2 2 9
  Creative Arts 11 3 6 26 46
Total   14 5 8 28 55

Table 4.11: Masters completions by subject weighting and broad NZSCED, 2008 to 2011 – continued

TEO Subject Weighting Broad NZSCED 2008 2009 2010 2011 Total
Te Whare Wananga O Awanuiarangi 1 Society and Culture 3 3 9 4 19
Total   3 3 9 4 19
Waikato Institute of Technology 2 Health 1   3 2 6
  Creative Arts 6 3 4 6 19
Total   7 3 7 8 25
Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design 2 Creative Arts 10 5 18   33
Total   10 5 18 0 33
Total     1,867 2,010 2,022 2,410 8,309

MastersTop

4.49The data on Masters completions shows growth over the four year period with a continued shift toward higher weighted Masters categories. It also demonstrates faster growth between 2010 and 2011: between 2009 and 2010 period there was overall growth in total Masters of just 12 completions compared with the 388 additional completions in 2011, the biggest year-on-year change over this period.

4.50Between 2008 and 2011, Masters completions rose for most eligible providers. The most significant numerical increase was achieved by the University of Auckland (up by 260 completions to total 838 in 2011), while the largest percentage rise occurred at Unitec New Zealand, increasing its Level 9 RDCs by 200 percent to 96 completions in 2011.

4.51Natural and Physical Sciences, Society and Culture, and Creative Arts continued to account for the highest numbers of Masters completions in 2011. The University of Auckland delivered the most completions in each of these areas (42.53 percent, 23.60 percent, and 36.58 percent respectively).

4.52There was a large increase in 2.0-weighted completions in 2011 for Natural and Physical Sciences, with the University of Auckland increasing by 46, Victoria University of Wellington by 27, and University of Canterbury and the University of Otago by 14 completions in 2011.

4.53Masters in the 2.5-weighted Architecture and Building category rose particularly sharply between 2010 and 2011, with the University of Auckland increasing by 76 counts (from 31 to 107) and Victoria University of Wellington increasing by 68 (from 10 to 78). In Creative Arts, the University of Otago and Otago Polytechnic increased their 2.0-weighted completions by 12 and 20 respectively between 2010 and 2011 (while Massey University and the University of Waikato saw falls in this same field and cost category, down by 20 and 16 counts respectively).

Table 4.12: Postgraduate Diplomas and Honours completions by subject weighting and ​
broad NZSCED, 2008 to 2011

TEO Subject Weighting Broad NZSCED 2008 2009 2010 2011 Total
The University of Auckland 2 Natural and Physical Sciences 21       21
  Creative Arts 1       1
2.5 Health       1 1
  Society and Culture 5 5 5 7 22
Total   27 5 5 8 45
University of Otago 2 Natural and Physical Sciences 8 11 14 17 50
  Health   1     1
2.5 Health 9 7 8 19 43
Total   17 19 22 36 94
University of Canterbury 1 Education       20 20
Total         20 20
Auckland University of Technology 2 Creative Arts 14 24 42 2 82
2.5 Natural and Physical Sciences   1     1
  Engineering and Related Technologies   1 1   2
Total   14 26 43 2 85
Otago Polytechnic 2 Creative Arts 1       1
Total   1       1
Waikato Institute of Technology 2 Creative Arts 9 11 21 12 53
Total   9        
Total     68 61 91 78 298

Postgraduate Diplomas and HonoursTop

4.54Over the four year period, the number of Postgraduate Diplomas and Honours completions fluctuated across the six providers that awarded them. In 2011 the highest number of these completions was seen by the University of Otago, with 17 completions in 2.0-weighted Natural and Physical Sciences and 19 in 2.5-weighted Health. The highest single number of completions was for 1.0-weighted education at the University of Canterbury, which awarded 20 postgraduate Diplomas and Honours in 2011.

4.55Overall, the University of Otago recorded the highest number of Postgraduate Diplomas and Honours over the four year period, due to increases in both 2.0-weighted Natural and Physical Sciences and 2.5-weighted Health.