School of Population Health

Peter J. Adams - PHD supervision


PhD study provides scholars with an unparalleled learning opportunity to look in depth over several years into a particular topic area. While this experience is unique, it also brings with it a range of challenges. My goal as a PhD supervisor is to maximise the learning and discovery aspects of a PhD but at the same time balancing this with the practicalities of conducting a research process and completing the dissertation.

Supervision interests

  • Social theory applications to alcohol and drug issues.
  • Innovative approaches to alcohol and drug issues.
  • The dynamics of addictions within family contexts.
  • The social and political impacts of the expansion of commercialized gambling.
  • Discourse approaches to violence, abuse and neglect.
  • Language and rhetoric applications to health issues.

Studying PhDs at the University of Auckland

PhD study follows the Scottish rather than North American structure where the scholar is wholly assessed on a dissertation.

Before enrolling in a PhD, candidates need to find two supervisors for their project and they will need to develop a proposal that outlines in detail the nature of the research and their suitability for undertaking that project. The proposal is submitted to a Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences committee for approval.

Scholars enrol first in a "provisional year" which will require them to complete a set of tasks that usually includes a literature review, a paper for journal submission and a seminar presentation.

PhD Scholars in our school are provided with a workspace, access to a computer and internet, access to phones and photocopiers and are encouraged to join in with the academic and social life of the school.

More information about doctoral study


Completed and current PhD scholars


  • Lana Perese. You Bet Your Life... And Mine: Contemporary Samoan Gambling in New Zealand Enrolled October 2001. Awarded HRC Post-graduate Scholarship. [Principle Supervisor with Timothy McCreanor from Psychology and Melani Anae in Pacific Studies] Currently employed as a senior researcher with the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs.
  • Justin Pulford. Treatment-Fit: A Novel Response to Unilateral Exit in a Psychosocial-Based Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment Context. Enrolled 2002, completed 2007. [Principle supervisor with Janie Sheridan in Pharmacy]. Currently employed as a researcher at AUT University.
  • Fiona Rossen. Adolescent Gambling in New Zealand: An Exploration of Protective and Risk Factors.  Enrolled 2000, completed 2007. [Principle Supervisor with Robyn Dixon in Nursing]. Submitted May 2007. Fiona is currently employed in the Centre for Gambling Studies. Read more
  • Jacquie Kidd. Aroha Mai: Nurses, Nursing and Mental Illness. Contributed to supervision in final year. Completed 2007. [Mary Finlayson Principle Supervisor in Nursing]. Jacquie currently lecturing in School of Nursing. Read more 
  • Vili Nosa. Alcohol Behaviours & Beliefs Amongst Niuean Migrants in Auckland, NZ and Niue. Enrolled June 1997, completed 2004. Awarded HRC Post-graduate Scholarship. [Principle supervisor]. Currently lecturer in Pacific Health in the School of Population Health. Find out more
  • Sara Bennett. A Qualitative Investigation of Young Person’s Suicide Attempts: Resiliency & Paths to Well-being.Enrolled 1998, completed 2001. Awarded ALAC Post-graduate Scholarship. [Co-supervisor with Carolyn Coggan in Community Health].
  • Marewa Glover. Reducing Maori Smoking: Elements of an Effective Intervention. Enrolled July 1996, completed November 2000. Awarded HRC Post-graduate Scholarship. [Principle supervisor]. Winner of Faculty prize for Best Doctoral Dissertation 2002. Currently director of the Auckland Tobacco Control Research Centre in the School of Population Health. Read more
  • Ian Lambie. Resiliency in Prevention of the Victim-Offender Cycle in Male Sexual Abuse. Enrolled April 1994, completed June 1998. Awarded ACC Post-graduate Scholarship. [Co-supervisor with Fred Seymour in Psychology]. Winner of international prize for research on sexual abuse. Currently director for the University of Auckland clinical psychology training programme. Read more | Staff information
  • Loma Hector-Taylor. Loneliness, Somatisation, and Visits to the Doctor: Relationships Amongst these Variables in a 60 plus Age Group. Enrolled May 1994, completed March 1998. [Principle supervisor]. Loma practiced as a clinical psychologist and has since retired. Read more