Chapter 4: Research degree completions

Research degree completions by broad field of study and subject-area weighting, 2007–2010

4.45This section provides sets of tables and associated commentary on research degree completions between 2007 and 2010 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).10 TEOs appear by alphabetical order.

All RDC types

4.46Table 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, 2007–2010

Broad NZSCED TEO 2007 2008 2009 2010 Total
Agriculture, Environmental and Related Studies Lincoln University 5 4 8 3 20
Massey University 10 6 4 5 25
The University of Auckland   2 4 2 8
University of Canterbury 4 1 3 2 10
University of Otago 11 11 18 13 53
Victoria University of Wellington 17 28 24 15 84
Architecture and Building Massey University 1 1 2 2 6
The University of Auckland 12 17 67 31 127
Unitec New Zealand 5 2 28 40 75
Victoria University of Wellington 2 5 4 10 21
Creative Arts Auckland University of Technology 24 64 77 100 265
Massey University 24 41 32 46 143
Otago Polytechnic 6 11 3 5 25
The University of Auckland 61 121 122 117 421
Unitec New Zealand 11 4 5 4 24
University of Canterbury 23 16 25 29 93
University of Otago 3 2 1 8 14
University of Waikato 12 9 5 25 51
Victoria University of Wellington 14 20 21 20 75
Waikato Institute of Technology 16 15 14 25 70
Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design 11 10 5 18 44
Education Auckland University of Technology 1 6 5 5 17
Christchurch College of Education 2   1   3
Massey University 25 25 7 15 72
The University of Auckland 25 25 21 12 83
Unitec New Zealand 3 4 6 2 15
University of Canterbury 3 6 5 11 25
University of Otago 2 1     3

Table 4.9: Aggregated RDC types by broad field of study and TEO, 2007–2010 — continued

Broad NZSCED TEO 2007 2008 2009 2010 Total
Engineering and Related Technologies Auckland University of Technology     9 10 19
Massey University 26 16 28 20 90
The University of Auckland 71 63 60 74 268
University of Canterbury 52 27 18 30 127
University of Otago 1       1
University of Waikato 4 10 4 13 31
Victoria University of Wellington       2 2
Health   Auckland University of Technology 7 20 18 18 63
Eastern Institute of Technology     6 5 11
Massey University 7 2 8 3 20
Otago Polytechnic 4 3 3 2 12
The University of Auckland 38 51 54 45 188
Unitec New Zealand 3 1 7 16 27
University of Canterbury 12 14 13 21 60
University of Otago 54 43 48 46 191
Victoria University of Wellington 1 5 10 6 22
Waikato Institute of Technology   1   3 4
Information Technology Auckland University of Technology 2 5 9 3 19
Lincoln University   4 2 1 7
Massey University 8 5 6   19
Unitec New Zealand 7 7 6 4 24
Engineering and Related Technologies Auckland University of Technology     9 10 19
Massey University 26 16 28 20 90
The University of Auckland 71 63 60 74 268
University of Canterbury 52 27 18 30 127
University of Otago 1       1

Table 4.9: Aggregated RDC types by broad field of study and TEO, 2007–2010 — continued

Broad NZSCED TEO 2007 2008 2009 2010 Total
Management and Commerce Auckland University of Technology 12 9 26 17 64
Lincoln University 17 8 11 14 50
Massey University 11 25 14 15 65
The University of Auckland 45 33 40 55 173
Unitec New Zealand 13 14 18 12 57
University of Canterbury 4 5 4 5 18
University of Otago 9 10 12 4 35
University of Waikato 4   9 3 16
Victoria University of Wellington 18 21 23 17 79
Mixed Field Programmes Auckland University of Technology 3 7 3   13
Lincoln University 27 20 33 44 124
Massey University 109 116 119 125 469
The University of Auckland 180 215 227 278 900
University of Canterbury 105 135 116 114 470
University of Otago 137 150 170 197 654
University of Waikato     2 2 4
Victoria University of Wellington 95 73 76 142 386
Auckland University of Technology 3 7 9 8 27
Natural and Physical Sciences Lincoln University 15 15 16 16 62
Massey University 41 51 49 41 182
The University of Auckland 226 191 235 236 888
University of Canterbury 89 83 84 65 321
University of Otago 111 104 104 105 424
University of Waikato 49 45 50 57 201
Victoria University of Wellington 46 80 56 50 232
Society and Culture Auckland University of Technology 17 70 43 49 179
Laidlaw College Incorporated 3 4 5 5 17
Lincoln University 1 3 1 1 6
Massey University 69 80 85 62 296
Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi 7 3 3 9 22
Unknown University of Waikato     2   2
Total   2,564 2,764 2,946 3,149 11,423

4.47In a shift from previous years the Mixed Field Programmes category contained the largest number of RDCs for most providers reflecting changes to qualification codes across individual providers for funding purposes. The data included in the table above and the remainder of this section will vary significantly with tables provided in the 2010 PBRF Annual Report. As such, the analysis below relates only to the data provided in this report.

4.48Due to the reclassifications outlined above, the number of RDCs recorded under the Mixed Field Category has increased exponentially to account for the largest proportion of RDCs for nearly all providers in 2010, including 47 percent at the University of Otago, 37 percent at Massey University, and 36 percent at the University of Canterbury. The University of Waikato and Auckland University of Technology were the two exceptions to this with low numbers of RDCs in this field.

4.49Outside of the Mixed Field Category the universities performance largely reflects their traditional strengths. There were, for example, high proportions of RDCs in Society and Culture for Victoria University of Wellington (30 percent), with similarly high proportions in Natural and Physical Sciences at the University of Auckland (24 percent) and the University of Otago (25 percent), and Creative Arts at the Auckland University of Technology (48 percent).

4.50Creative Arts continued to increase in 2010 compared with the previous year in terms of the total number of RDCs, in particular at the Auckland University of Technology and Massey University which increased by 23 and 14 RDCs respectively.

4.51Unitec, Eastern Institute of Technology, Waikato Institute of Technology and Otago Polytechnic were the only ITPs to feature in terms of RDCs and did so primarily in the fields of Architecture and Building, Creative Arts, Education, and Health. Unitec, by far the largest of the ITPs, also had RDCs across a number of NZSCED broad fields including Information Technology, Management and Commerce, and more recently Society and Culture. Unitec’s highest number of RDCs were in Architecture and Building in 2010 with 40, more than the University of Auckland, which had 31.

4.52Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design, Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi and Laidlaw College were the only other providers outside of the universities and ITPs with any RDCs. Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design had 18 RDCs in 2010 (up from five in 2009) in the field of Creative Arts while Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi and Laidlaw College had nine and five RDCs respectively in Society and Culture.

Table 4.10: Doctoral completions by subject weighting and broad NZSCED, 2007–2010

TEO Subject weighting Broad NZSCED 2007 2008 2009 2010 Total
Auckland University of Technology 1 Education     2 1 3
  Society and Culture 7 21 8 18 54
2 Health     1 2 3
  Society and Culture 6 17 14 11 48
2.5 Health   2 2   4
  Society and Culture   8 4 3 15
Lincoln University 1 Mixed Field Programmes 5 3 7 11 26
2 Mixed Field Programmes 8 6 10 18 42
2.5 Mixed Field Programmes 14 11 16 15 56
Massey University 1 Education 6 4 3 8 21
  Mixed Field Programmes 38 35 40 45 158
2 Mixed Field Programmes 38 51 45 55 189
  Society and Culture     3 7 10
2.5 Mixed Field Programmes 33 28 33 24 118
The University of Auckland 1 Education 3 6 4 4 17
  Mixed Field Programmes 64 63 57 71 255
2 Creative Arts 6 3 7 1 17
  Mixed Field Programmes 58 85 71 96 310
  Society and Culture 9 3 7 8 27
2.5 Health       2 2
  Mixed Field Programmes 58 67 99 110 334
Unitec New Zealand 1 Education     1   1
2.5 Information Technology 1       1
University of Canterbury 1 Mixed Field Programmes 26 32 24 24 106
2 Mixed Field Programmes 46 50 50 49 195
2.5 Mixed Field Programmes 33 53 42 38 166
University of Otago 1 Mixed Field Programmes 34 30 47 44 155
2 Mixed Field Programmes 66 75 72 84 297
2.5 Health 11 6 12 14 43
  Mixed Field Programmes 33 43 47 66 189
University of Waikato 1 Education 1   5 5 11
  Society and Culture 30 18 25 30 103
2 Society and Culture 23 24 25 25 97
2.5 Society and Culture 6 3 9 6 24
Victoria University of Wellington 1 Mixed Field Programmes 48 29 32 64 173
2 Mixed Field Programmes 45 44 43 74 206
2.5 Mixed Field Programmes 2   1 4 7
Total     758 820 868 1,037 3,483

DoctoratesTop

4.53Due to the significant number of reclassifications of NZSCED fields of study the breadth of areas reported by institutions has narrowed considerably when compared with the 2010 PBRF Annual Report.

4.54Table 4.10 above shows consistent growth in PhD completions between 2007 and 2010, with the largest increase (169 additional Doctoral completions) evident between 2009 and 2010. Over the four year period Doctoral completions generally increased at higher weighted subject levels.

4.55In 2010 Mixed Field Programmes, following reclassifications of NZSCED fields, accounted for 892 PhD completions out of a total 1037 completions across the sector – this proportion has remained similar across the four year period. At most institutions Doctoral completions in Mixed Field Programmes were recorded at each subject weighting range (1.0, 2.0, and 2.5). Society and Culture was the second largest NZSCED grouping accounting for 108 PhD completions in 2010, the remaining 37 were spread across the fields of Health, Education, Creative Arts, and Information Technology.

4.56The University of Auckland had the highest number of PhDs in Mixed Field Programmes across each subject weighting in 2010 with 71 at 1.0-weighted, 96 at 2.0-weighted, and 110 at 2.5-weighted completions. The University of Otago was the second highest but like Victoria University of Wellington, Massey University, the University of Canterbury and Lincoln University had its greatest concentration of completions in 2.0-weighted Mixed Field Programmes.

4.57There were particularly strong increases in the number of Doctoral Mixed Field Programmes recorded between 2009 and 2010 at the University of Auckland, University of Otago, and Victoria University of Wellington. Between 2009 and 2010 PhDs in Mixed Field Programmes increased in number by 32 at Victoria University of Wellington and 14 at the University of Auckland. In 2.0-weighted Mixed Field Programmes over the same period the Victoria University of Wellington increased by 31, the University of Auckland by 25, and the University of Otago by 12. The University of Otago and the University of Auckland’s 2.5-weighted Mixed Field Programmes increased by 19 and 11 respectively in 2010 compared with 2009.

4.58The University of Canterbury and the University of Waikato have demonstrated the least growth across the four year period in terms of the number of overall Doctoral completions. The University of Waikato and the Auckland University of Technology were the only universities not to have any PhD completions in Mixed Field Programmes. Unitec was the only ITP to feature in terms of Doctoral completions though the number was small.

Table 4.11: Masters completions by subject weighting and broad NZSCED, 2007–2010

TEO Subject weighting Broad NZSCED 2007 2008 2009 2010 Total
Auckland University of Technology 1 Creative Arts 8 19 33 26 86
  Education 1 6 3 4 14
  Management and Commerce 12 9 26 17 64
  Society and Culture 3 17 9 9 38
2 Creative Arts 6 31 20 32 89
  Natural and Physical Sciences 2 7 8 8 25
  Information Technology 2 5 9 3 19
  Society and Culture   4 4 5 13
2.5 Engineering and Related Technologies     8 9 17
  Health 7 18 15 16 56
  Mixed Field Programmes 3 7 3   13
  Society and Culture 1 3 4 3 11
Lincoln University 1 Natural and Physical Sciences 1     1 2
  Management and Commerce 17 8 10 12 47
  Society and Culture 1 3 1 1 6
2 Agriculture, Environmental and Related Studies 4 2 3 2 11
  Natural and Physical Sciences 9 10 5 9 33
  Information Technology   4 2 1 7
2.5 Agriculture, Environmental and Related Studies 1 2 5 1 9
  Natural and Physical Sciences 5 5 11 6 27
  Management and Commerce     1 2 3

Table 4.11: Masters completions by subject weighting and broad NZSCED, 2007–2010 — continued

TEO Subject weighting Broad NZSCED 2007 2008 2009 2010 Total
Massey University 1 Agriculture, Environmental and Related Studies 2 1 2   5
  Education 19 20 4 7 50
  Natural and Physical Sciences 3 3 2 4 12
  Engineering and Related Technologies     1   1
  Information Technology     2   2
  Management and Commerce 11 25 14 15 65
  Mixed Field Programmes   1     1
  Society and Culture 45 46 44 32 167
2 Agriculture, Environmental and Related Studies 1       1
  Creative Arts 24 41 32 46 143
  Education   1     1
  Natural and Physical Sciences 33 43 44 31 151
  Engineering and Related Technologies 1   2   3
  Health 1   2 1 4
  Information Technology 8 5 4   17
  Mixed Field Programmes   1 1 1 3
  Society and Culture 21 32 38 22 113
2.5 Agriculture, Environmental and Related Studies 7 5 2 5 19
  Architecture and Building 1 1 2 2 6
  Natural and Physical Sciences 5 5 3 6 19
  Engineering and Related Technologies 25 16 25 20 86
  Health 6 2 6 2 16
  Society and Culture 3 2   1 6
Christchurch College of Education 1 Education 2   1   3
Eastern Institute of Technology 2 Health     6 5 11
Laidlaw College Incorporated 1 Society and Culture 3 4 5 5 17
Otago Polytechnic 2 Creative Arts 6 11 3 5 25
  Health 4 3 3 2 12
Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi 1 Society and Culture   3 3 9 15

Table 4.11: Masters completions by subject weighting and broad NZSCED, 2007–2010 — continued

TEO Subject weighting Broad NZSCED 2007 2008 2009 2010 Total
The University of Auckland 1 Agriculture, Environmental and Related Studies       1 1
  Creative Arts 10 6 8 10 34
  Education 21 19 15 8 63
  Natural and Physical Sciences 5 7 8 9 29
  Management and Commerce 38 27 28 46 139
  Society and Culture 91 90 87 87 355
2 Creative Arts 44 111 107 106 368
  Education 1   2   3
  Natural and Physical Sciences 162 128 171 155 616
  Engineering and Related Technologies 7 10 8 7 32
  Health 13 16 18 11 58
  Management and Commerce 7 6 12 9 34
  Mixed Field Programmes       1 1
  Society and Culture 26 15 27 41 109
2.5 Agriculture, Environmental and Related Studies   2 4 1 7
  Architecture and Building 12 17 67 31 127
  Natural and Physical Sciences 35 35 56 72 198
  Engineering and Related Technologies 64 53 52 67 236
  Health 25 35 36 32 128
Unitec New Zealand 1 Creative Arts 3 1 3 2 9
  Education 3 4 5 2 14
  Management and Commerce 11 14 16 12 53
  Society and Culture     3 2 5
2 Creative Arts 8 3 2 2 15
  Health 3 1 7 16 27
  Information Technology 6 7 6 4 23
2.5 Architecture and Building 5 2 28 40 75
  Management and Commerce 2   2   4

Table 4.11: Masters completions by subject weighting and broad NZSCED, 2007–2010 — continued

TEO Subject weighting Broad NZSCED 2007 2008 2009 2010 Total
University of Canterbury 1 Creative Arts   1 5 3 9
  Education   6 5 11 22
  Natural and Physical Sciences   1 6 2 9
  Management and Commerce 4 5 4 5 18
  Society and Culture 52 45 48 36 181
2 Creative Arts 23 15 20 26 84
  Natural and Physical Sciences 82 76 69 47 274
  Mixed Field Programmes       1 1
  Society and Culture 19 15 9 5 48
2.5 Agriculture, Environmental and Related Studies 4 1 3 2 10
  Natural and Physical Sciences 7 6 9 16 38
  Engineering and Related Technologies 52 27 18 30 127
  Health 12 14 13 21 60
  Mixed Field Programmes       2 2
University of Otago 1 Creative Arts       1 1
  Education 2 1     3
  Natural and Physical Sciences     1 2 3
  Health 1       1
  Management and Commerce 9 7 11 4 31
  Mixed Field Programmes 1   1   2
  Society and Culture 38 41 40 39 158
2 Agriculture, Environmental and Related Studies 11       11
  Creative Arts 3 2 1 7 13
  Natural and Physical Sciences 86 79 81 81 327
  Health 5 6 7 6 24
  Management and Commerce   3 1   4
  Mixed Field Programmes 3 1 2 3 9
  Society and Culture 7 15 16 10 48
2.5 Agriculture, Environmental and Related Studies   11 18 13 42
  Natural and Physical Sciences 16 17 11 8 52
  Engineering and Related Technologies 1       1
  Health 24 22 21 18 85
  Mixed Field Programmes   1 1   2
  Society and Culture 6 8 10 2 26

Table 4.11: Masters completions by subject weighting and broad NZSCED, 2007–2010 — continued

TEO Subject weighting Broad NZSCED 2007 2008 2009 2010 Total
University of Waikato 1 Education 19 20 16 22 77
  Natural and Physical Sciences 1     1 2
  Management and Commerce 4   9 3 16
  Society and Culture 24 21 17 29 91
2 Creative Arts 12 9 5 25 51
  Education 1 3   3 7
  Natural and Physical Sciences 45 40 49 51 185
  Mixed Field Programmes     2 2 4
  Society and Culture 20 27 27 29 103
  #N/A     2   2
2.5 Natural and Physical Sciences 3 5 1 5 14
  Engineering and Related Technologies 4 10 4 13 31
  Society and Culture       2 2
Victoria University of Wellington 1 Creative Arts       1 1
  Education 4 6 5 11 26
  Natural and Physical Sciences 3 9 1 2 15
  Management and Commerce 15 19 21 17 72
  Society and Culture 71 77 78 98 324
2 Agriculture, Environmental and Related Studies 17 28 24 15 84
  Creative Arts 14 20 21 19 74
  Natural and Physical Sciences 42 66 55 47 210
  Health 1 5 10 6 22
  Management and Commerce 3 2 2   7
  Society and Culture 15 17 16 19 67
2.5 Architecture and Building 2 5 4 10 21
  Natural and Physical Sciences 1 5   1 7
  Engineering and Related Technologies       2 2
Waikato Institute of Technology 2 Creative Arts 6 6 3 4 19
  Health   1   3 4
Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design 2 Creative Arts 11 10 5 18 44
Total     1722 1877 2017 2021 7637

MastersTop

4.59The data on Masters completions shows there has been growth over the four year period with a continued shift toward higher weighted Masters categories. It also demonstrates that there has been considerably slower growth between 2009 and 2010 than in the previous intervals.

4.60The count of Natural and Physical sciences 2.0-weighted completions in 2010 decreased at the University of Auckland by 16 compared with the previous year, while the number of 2.5-weighted Masters in the same field increased by 15 during the same period. The number of 2.0-weighted Natural and Physical sciences Masters has continued to decrease at the University of Canterbury over the past four years reducing from a peak of 82 in 2007 to a low of 47 in 2010. While there have been moderate increases in 2.5-weighted Natural and Physical sciences Masters for the University of Canterbury.

4.61The number of Society and Culture Masters completions was mixed across providers between 2009 and 2010. Victoria University of Wellington maintained its steady growth in single weighted RDCs increasing from 79 to 98 between 2009 and 2010 and increased its 2.0-weighted completions by three over the same interval. Similarly the University of Waikato recorded 12 additional Masters completions in 2010 compared with 2009 and two additional 2.0-weighted completions – the institution also registered a 2.5-weighted completion for the first time in 2010. Having been steady over the last four years there was a relatively sharp drop at Massey University between 2009 and 2010 reducing by 12 single weighted completions and 16 2.0-weighted completions.

4.62There were strong increases between 2009 and 2010 in 2.5-weighted Engineering and Related Technologies RDCs at the University of Auckland (up by 15), the University of Canterbury (up by 12), and the University of Waikato (up by 9). On the back of strong growth in counts of architecture and building graduates in 2009, there was a steep drop of 36 Masters completions in 2010 at the University of Auckland compared with the previous year. This drop may in part be due to strong increases at Unitec which has risen from just 5 in 2007 to 40 Masters completions in 2010 and is also based in the Auckland region.

4.63There were a number of increases in creative arts 2.0-weighted completions across providers with notable upsurges between 2009 and 2010 at the University of Waikato (5 to 25), Auckland University of Technology (20 to 32), and Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design (5 to 18).

4.64In general the number of completions across 2.0 and 2.5-weighted Health Masters declined between 2009 and 2010 with drops at traditionally the two largest providers in this field – the University of Auckland and the University of Otago. In 2010 the University of Canterbury increased its 2.5-weighted completions by 8 compared with the previous year, while Unitec continued its steady growth in 2.0-weighted Health Masters increasing by 9 on 2009.

4.65Agriculture, Environmental and Related Studies was another NZSCED field to reduce in terms of the number of Masters completions across nearly all providers between 2009 and 2010. Probably the two most notable drops occurred at the Victoria University of Wellington which reduced its 2.0-weighted Masters completions by 9 and the University of Otago where 2.5-weighted Masters dropped by 6 on the previous year.

Table 4.12: Postgraduate Diplomas and Honours completions by subject weighting and​
broad NZSCED, 2007–2010

TEO Subject weighting Broad NZSCED 2007 2008 2009 2010 Total
Auckland University of Technology 2 Creative Arts 10 14 24 42 90
2.5 Natural and Physical Sciences 1   1   2
  Engineering and Related Technologies     1 1 2
Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi 1 Society and Culture 7       7
The University of Auckland 2 Creative Arts 1 1     2
  Natural and Physical Sciences 24 21     45
2.5 Society and Culture 6 5 5 5 21
University of Canterbury 1 Education 3       3
University of Otago 2 Natural and Physical Sciences 9 8 11 14 42
  Health 2   1   3
2.5 Health 11 9 7 8 35
Waikato Institute of Technology 2 Creative Arts 10 9 11 21 51
Total     84 67 61 91 303

Postgraduate Diplomas and HonoursTop

4.66Over the four-year period, the number of Postgraduate and Honours completions fluctuated across the six providers who awarded them – beginning at 84 in 2007 dropping to a low of 61 in 2009 to reach a peak of 91 in 2010. By 2010 the majority of these completions were concentrated in three large groups being Creative Arts 2.0-weighted at the Auckland University of Technology, Creative Arts 2.0-weighted at Waikato Institute of Technology, and 2.0-weighted Natural and Physical Sciences at the University of Otago.

4.67Overall, the Auckland University of Technology has recorded the highest number of Postgraduate Diplomas and Honours over the four year period, primarily due to the high number of Creative Arts completions in 2010. Natural and Physical Sciences at the University of Auckland were also a strong contributor but ceased since 2008 as have Creative Arts.