Study at HIT Lab NZ

HIT Lab NZ offers two postgraduate research degrees in the field of Human Interface Technology:

Master of Human Interface Technology (MHIT)

This program prepares students for industry or further PhD research. Two taught courses and a thesis are completed full-time over 12 months. You will have access to specialist equipment for project work and regularly attend the lab.

What jobs can I get?

Graduating with an MHIT prepares you to enter the workforce or continue research with a PhD.

Our MHIT graduates have skills to work as:

    • User experience design professionals
    • AR & VR developers
    • Software developers
    • Senior product designers
    • Head researchers
    • Consultants

PhD graduates may also pursue academic careers in tertiary institutions.

Potential PhD students

The Human Interface Technology PhD is designed so students from a variety of disciplines can undertake research in this field. Students begin conducting research from the moment they start the programme. The PhD degree in New Zealand usually takes three years to complete and does not involve coursework.

Research topics typically explore novel approaches to Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Applied Games, Haptics, and AI. Other topics may also be considered.

If you are interested in studying for a PhD in Human Interface Technology, your first step is to find a supervisor at HIT Lab NZ:

    • send an email to
    • introduce yourself and summarise your research interests
    • attach your CV and academic transcripts.

A member of the academic team will then contact you to discuss your interest.

Next steps:


Scholarships may be available from both the University of Canterbury and HIT Lab NZ to help fund your studies.

A scholarship from the university will allow you more freedom to choose your research focus, while a HIT Lab NZ scholarship may require you to work within one of our externally funded projects.

Search and apply for scholarships (search tip: use keywords “Human Interface Technology”).

Hear what our students have to say

“Sometimes I feel like I am doing a short PhD programme. It is so independent and allows me to focus on my research area of interest. I also love how collaborative the environment is. I love the structure of the programme; it is unlike anything that other universities offer. “

Read more about Aishvarya’s experience

Aishvarya Gopalakrishnan


“The environment and people are just amazing. It doesn’t feel so much a lab as it does family. Everyone is really nice here and helps each other out. So you’re not battling alone, you have support all around you. Plus everyone wants to work together and share the research they are working on. It was really cool that the things we made were sent to real companies as a potential for publishing into research papers.”

Read more about Jonathon’s experience

Jonathon O'Duffy


“Games are a great way to transfer knowledge. When I first started thinking about PhD topics my interest was not narrow, but multidisciplinary incorporating games, education, and psychology. With the HIT Lab, I couldn’t have asked for anything better! I get to define my own topic. When I met all the people in HIT Lab it felt like a place where opinions are appreciated and people do support you. Everybody is really respectful and I haven’t seen anything of a competitive environment. I really appreciate the weekly meetings – the input is valuable and you get feedback from your safe space.”

Meike Belter


“My horizons have expanded greatly. During my time at UC, I had access to the latest industry news, cutting-edge knowledge in professional circles, research tools, and technologies. I also had the opportunity to meet teachers and students from around the world, which was a significant advantage. During my studies, in addition to the fixed courses, I had the freedom to manage my own spare time. I could decide when to read professional papers and when to learn the specialized skills required for research. Classmates and staff were very friendly and helpful.”

Read more about Kris’s experience.

Kris Tong