Taught course


University of Otago · Division of Sciences

Entry requirements

A postgraduate diploma can usually be taken at any time after the completion of your bachelor's degree.

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

February, July

Course content

The Postgraduate Diploma in Science (PGDipSci) is a one-year programme which builds on an undergraduate science degree. The diploma encompasses both papers and a research topic, and can be taken full-time. It provides entry to the Master of Science (MSc) degree by thesis only.

Biochemistry combines the molecular approach of chemistry with the breadth and diversity of biology. Very much a laboratory science, it explores, unravels and explains every aspect of the structure and function of all living things at the molecular level.

Biochemistry continues to advance our understanding of how cells are constructed, how they function and communicate with each other, how genetic information is stored, expressed and passed on to the next generation and how all of the cell's chemistry is co-ordinated and controlled.

Because it covers the spectrum of complexity from bacteria, yeasts and viruses to humans, and includes plants, Biochemistry underpins other life sciences such as Microbiology, Physiology, Zoology and Botany as well as being a foundation subject for all the Health Sciences.


  • BIOC 480 Research Project
  • BIOC 461 Research Design and Analysis in Biochemistry
  • BIOC 462 Molecular Biology
  • BIOC 463 Contemporary Technologies in Biochemistry
  • BIOC 464 Applied Biochemistry

Note: With approval from the Head of Department, one 400-level BIOC paper may be replaced by a 400-level paper from another relevant subject.

Structure of the Programme

  • Every programme of study shall satisfy the requirements for the subject concerned as set out above.
  • With the permission of the Heads of the Departments concerned, a candidate may substitute a paper of another subject for one of the required papers.
  • Any required research report must be submitted no later than 1 November.

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

International students
NZ $39,041

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • PGDip(Sci)
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details