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The MA by thesis: The normal admission requirement is a Bachelor of Arts with Honours (BA(Hons)) degree in one of at least 24 subjects, but admission on the basis of alternative qualifications and experience is possible. Some thesis candidates may be required to pass approved postgraduate papers before embarking on the thesis research, but will be advised of that before enrolment.
If your first language is not English you need to meet our English language requirements as follows: IELTS score of 6.5 in the academic module (with no individual band below 6.0); we also accept a number of other English language tests. Due to COVID-19, we currently accept Duolingo English Test (DET), IELTS Indicator Test, and TOEFL iBT Special home Edition.
Don’t meet the English language requirements? The University of Otago Language Centre "English for Otago" programme offers a pathway for Undergraduate and Postgraduate students to meet the English language requirements for undergraduate and postgraduate study.
Months of entry
The Master of Arts (Thesis) (MA (Thesis))
The MA by thesis
The thesis option normally requires at least one year of full-time study and entails completion of a thesis. The thesis is a major piece of supervised research of up to 40,000 words on a topic of current interest.
The primary aim of the MA by thesis programme is to develop in a candidate skills needed to identify a significant topic, design and implement an extended piece of research, and present the findings in a form acceptable to an expert readership.
Communication Studies may be defined as the study of the processes and effects of interpersonal and mass communication involving the production, reception, and human processing of aural, verbal and visual messages in their cultural contexts.
The interdisciplinary programme has been developed in response to the recognised need for graduates who understand the processes, effects, and cultural implications of communication in the Information Age.
The revolution in information and communications technology has wrought profound changes in the way we experience the world and conduct our social, political and commercial affairs. It has produced more powerful systems of mass communication than have ever been seen before, which manipulate the ways in which we impart and receive information, and influence the ways in which we construct our individual and collective identities. It has resulted in a globalized economy with new pressures for increased understanding of intercultural communication, as well as the implications of modern technology and media for commercial and political interactions. Above all, it has introduced new interfaces with technology that affect every one of us in our daily lives.
Structure of the Programme
The programme of study for this option shall consist of the preparation and submission of a thesis embodying the results of supervised research. For a thesis, the research should be of a kind that a diligent and competent student should complete within one year of full-time study.
Thesis: COMS 5
A candidate may not present a thesis which has previously been accepted for another degree.
Information for international students
Otago offers students an unrivalled campus experience and a vibrant, social student culture. The majority of Otago’s 21,000 students live, work and play in Dunedin - New Zealand’s only true university city. Otago is home to over 3,000 students, from over 100 countries.
Fees and funding
New Zealand is a relatively affordable country to live in. Dunedin, being a student-focused city, has living and entertainment options for all budgets.
Students are eligible for the Otago International Excellence Scholarship.
Qualification, course duration and attendance options
- MA by research
- full time12 months
- Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
Course contact details