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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 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.
Religious Studies seeks both to understand religion as a universal human phenomenon and to explore the variety of ways in which people express their religious commitments in thought and action. Since Religious Studies students study a wide variety of societies and cultures, this is a subject which can be profitably included within most courses of study.
Papers in Religious Studies are designed to be accessible to everyone, irrespective of religious background.
The subject would be particularly useful to students of History, Philosophy, Political Studies, Classical Studies, Education, Psychology, Anthropology and Art History. Students who have majored in Religious Studies at Otago have gone on to careers in teaching, religious and social work, counselling, librarianship, business (especially marketing) and government.
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: RELS 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