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 (MA) degree 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 on a topic of current interest.
The primary aim of the 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. It prepares candidates for employment in education, regional and national government agencies, the private sector, and industry. The degree is also an entry qualification for the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).
From accounting to zoology, wherever there is a need to quantify and analyse, there is an application of mathematics or its close ally, statistics. Mathematics provides the language and means to understand the symbolic and quantitative aspects of much of our knowledge, so many students will combine the study of Mathematics with Statistics, Computer Science and/or Information Science, a physical science (such as Geology, Chemistry or Physics), applied science (Engineering, Surveying), biological science, social science (Education, Psychology), commerce (Economics, Finance), or the humanities (Linguistics, Philosophy). And, quite apart from its usefulness, many students take mathematics simply because they like it! It is a subject with a strong cultural element, encapsulating much of the history of scientific discovery from the ancient Greek geometers to the latest developments in the theory of chaos.
Mathematics is valuable at all levels, either as a tool to allow physical systems to be modeled in a quantitative way, or as a logical framework that underpins and describes processes, objects or structures.
Students who pursue mathematics and statistics, even if it is not their major subject, will gain very marketable skills that will advantage them in the career of their choice. Clear thinking and deductive reasoning are valuable in all areas of modern life.
Structure of the Programme
Thesis: MATH 5
The programme of study shall consist of the preparation and submission of a thesis embodying the results of supervised research. A candidate who has obtained a three-year bachelor’s degree will be required to take and pass the fourth-stage papers listed in the Honours requirements for the subject concerned, in addition to completing a thesis. A candidate whose qualification for entry to the programme is the degree of Bachelor of Arts with Honours, or the Postgraduate Diploma in Arts Subjects in the subject of the degree, will be required to complete a thesis, although in some cases the candidate may also be required to take and pass approved papers, normally at 400-level, in addition to completing a thesis.
A candidate may not present a thesis which has previously been accepted for another degree.
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.
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