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).
Statistics as a field of study is concerned with the collection, analysis and interpretation of numerical data. The main emphasis is on the role of random variation in observations that are made, which is why statistical theory is built on the concepts of probability.
Although the study of statistics in any depth requires some proficiency in algebra and calculus, it is not just another branch of mathematics. The use of statistical methods requires skills in problem formulation, computing and the assessment of evidence that are not always closely related to mathematical ability. Furthermore, a key ingredient for being a successful statistician is the ability to communicate complex ideas to other people in written and verbal reports.
Other students study Statistics as their major subject because they:
- are looking for a practical and useful application of their mathematical abilities, with good employment prospects
- would like to work with researchers, in a wide range or disciplines, in solving important problems
- want a job which involves them in contributing to policy or management decisions for government or private industry
- have a concern for social or environmental issues and want to use their skills in biological, environmental or medical research.
Structure of the Programme
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.
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