Graduate Programs at University of Otago
University of Otago

University of Otago

University of Otago

Established as New Zealand's first university in 1869, today the University of Otago is ranked 175th in the world by QS World University Rankings (2018).

Otago achieves academic excellence through research-led teaching. Otago academics are not only engaged, accessible and award-winning teachers, they are also active, world-class researchers. Otago offers a broad range of postgraduate degrees, including both coursework and research options.  This diversity ensures further study options for recent graduates, experienced executives, people wishing to retrain, and those seeking an academic or research career.

Otago’s commitment to academic excellence is enhanced by a combination of unique factors about the surrounding environment, student culture and atmosphere – and this is what really makes Otago stand out.  

The vast majority of Otago students are from outside of the city of Dunedin and that independent living is reflected in a confidence and independence in their academic endeavours. Many Otago students also live in close proximity to each other and campus, resulting in a tight-knit student community of like-minds and kindred spirits.

The University's location is also perfect for weekends spent exploring the extraordinary scenery and outdoor adventures that the South Island of New Zealand is world famous for.

Otago at a glance:

Established: 1869

Location: Dunedin, New Zealand.

Student population: Approx. 20,000, including 2,800 international students from 100 countries.

  • New Zealand's first university, celebrating 150 years in 2019
  • Ranked 175th in the world by QS World Rankings (2018)
  • Rated top university in New Zealand for international student experience (International Student Barometer 2017)
  • More than 195 undergraduate and postgraduate programmes
  • Otago's Business School holds international EQUIS and AACSB accreditations
  • 95% of graduates go into work or onto further study
  • Highest possible international quality rating of five-stars-plus from QS Stars
  • Recognised as one of the 16 most beautiful campuses in the world (Huffington Post).
Why Otago?
The University of Otago is in Dunedin, a city in the lower South Island with a population of 120,000; approximately 25,000 of whom are students at the university and nearby Otago Polytechnic. Education is the main industry of Dunedin, thus making it the true 'student city' of Australasia. The campus is compact with a vibrant, social student culture and the university is a student town situated within Dunedin city. Everything is close - most student accommodation is situated within a 2 – 10-minute walk from campus and the centre of Dunedin city is within 15 minutes' walk of campus.
Postgraduate students

The University of Otago is one of New Zealand’s most research intensive universities and the country’s leading postgraduate research university.

At Otago, postgraduate students are supervised by  academic staff members who are not only at the cutting edge of research in their respective disciplines but are engaged and accessible.

Otago offers coursework Master’s degrees in a wide range of disciplines across Science, Business and the Humanities. Coursework Master’s degrees at Otago are comprised of a number of advanced taught papers/courses and a research project/mini-thesis where independent research is carried out under supervision from an academic staff member.  

Otago has strong research Master’s and PhD programmes where students make a significant contribution to knowledge in their chosen field through the completion of a research thesis. Applications to research degrees relies on confirmation from an academic staff member that they will provide research supervision.

Recreation at Otago
Otago is a friendly, supportive and accessible University with over 150 student clubs and societies and a purpose built, state-of-the-art recreation centre (Unipol) that offers a range of indoor and outdoor recreational options for all Otago students to enjoy. 
Admissions Information

Entry requirements for post graduate studies vary by course with most requiring a minimum bachelor-level qualification in the same field, and some having additional requirements such as relevant work experience and/or professional registration in New Zealand.

All courses at the University of Otago are taught and examined in English. If your first language is not English, you must provide evidence of a satisfactory level of English language proficiency. If your English proficiency does not yet meet the required standard you may take pre-sessional courses in English at the University of Otago Language Centre (OULC).

  • The University of Otago offers more than 195 undergraduate and postgraduate programmes across four academic divisions: Humanities, Sciences, Health Sciences and Business
  • Otago is home to New Zealand's first medical school, and has New Zealand's only schools of Dentistry and Surveying
  • Otago ranks among the world's top 50 (QS rankings 2018) for the study of physical education, dentistry, archaeology, anatomy and physiology, and development studies
  • Unmatched record in the National Teaching Excellence awards: seven Supreme Award winners over the last 15 years
  • Tops all Tertiary Education Commission educational performance indicators for the retention of students, course and qualification completions, and progression to higher study
  • 1,552 FTE (full time equivalent) academic and research-only staff.



Coursework Master of Arts
The new Coursework Master of Arts (Coursework MA) programme is designed to provide a multi-disciplinary grounding for Humanities students in a range of subjects as preparation for further study or future employment.
Duration: 12 months or three semesters of full-time study to complete. The programme can also be studied part-time
Deadline: Ongoing
Master of Applied Science
The Master of Applied Science (MAppSc) is a 180-point, coursework postgraduate degree. A candidate would normally be a graduate but the degree is also open to those with other relevant qualifications.
Duration: The MAppSc can be completed in 12 months or in stages, providing flexibility for recent graduates and those currently employed.
Deadline: Ongoing
Master of Business Data Science
With more and more data being captured, there is growing need for people with the skills to manage large data collections, and make use of them through a range of data analysis techniques. It has been said that “data is the raw material of the 21st century”.
Duration: The programme can be completed in a 12-month period
Deadline: Ongoing
Master of International Studies
The Master of International Studies (MIntSt) degree entails an intensive programme of postgraduate coursework and research in the multi-disciplinary field of International Studies. 
Duration: At least 12 months of full-time study, or the equivalent in part-time study.
Deadline: Ongoing
Master of Peace and Conflict Studies
The Master of Peace and Conflict Studies (MPCS) is an inter-disciplinary programme providing students with an advanced qualification in peace and conflict studies, development and peacebuilding. 
Duration: 12 months’ full time, 24 months part-time.
Deadline: Ongoing
Master of Professional Accounting
In recent years, the nature of accounting in the global business workplace has moved from being principally the preparation of financial reports to now include the role of business adviser and consultant.
Duration: Over a period of 18 months.
Deadline: Ongoing
Master of Science
The Master of Science (MSc) is a two-year degree which encompasses both coursework and research. The first year involves mainly coursework and preliminary research preparation.
Duration: Students who have a Bachelor's degree will complete the MSc by papers and thesis (at least two years of full-time study). Students who have an Honours degree or postgraduate diploma can complete the degree by thesis only (minimum of one year of study).
Deadline: Ongoing
Master of Science Communication
Dunedin is a UNESCO City of Literature, supports an International Science Festival, and is the wildlife capital of New Zealand, with colonies of seals, albatross and penguins in the city's boundaries.
Duration: Not less than two years’ full time study, or the equivalent in part time study
Deadline: Ongoing
Master of Sport Development
The Master of Sport Development and Management (MSpDM) is a 180-point coursework postgraduate degree designed for individuals who are employed in Sport Development and Management and want to upskill for professional development reasons.
Duration: The typical duration of the programme is 12 months.
Deadline: Ongoing
Master of Sustainable Business
The Master of Sustainable Business (MSusBus) is an interdisciplinary programme providing students with an advanced qualification in sustainability and its relevance to the business community.
Duration: 12 months of full-time, or 24 months of part-time study.
Deadline: Ongoing
Otago MBA
The Otago MBA is offered both on-campus and online. Both programmes share the same curriculum and entry requirements, and are highly recognised internationally.
Duration: 1 year
Deadline: Ongoing
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