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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.
Language is central, and perhaps unique, to human experience. Interest in its study has existed throughout history. Consequently, questions about language, and particularly the nature of its structure, use and development, have engaged scholars from a wide range of disciplines. Linguistics is the discipline that addresses these and other related questions directly.
Linguistics comprises different areas of specialisation:
• phonetics (the study of speech sounds)
• phonology (the study of sound systems)
• morphology (the study of the internal structure of words)
• syntax (the study of how words are combined into sentences)
• semantics (the study of meaning)
• pragmatics (the study of meaning in relation to the way language is used)
• socio-linguistics (the study of language in its social context)
• historical linguistics (the study of language change)
• universal typology (the study of language universals and differences)
• acquisition (the study of how first and second languages are learned)
• applied linguistics (the application of linguistics to language teaching and other professional activities)
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: LING 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