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.

Chemistry has come a long way since the ancients used it for brewing, cosmetics, pottery, metallurgy and embalming, and since the alchemists tried to use chemistry to find the elixir of life or to change lead into gold.

Today Chemistry permeates every aspect of our world. Virtually everything from life itself to complete geological structure can be expressed in chemical terms, because Chemistry is the science of matter. A seemingly limitless variety of substances derived from elements and compounds and from atoms and molecules form the basic framework of nature and account for its ever changing patterns.

Chemistry may be regarded as the fundamental component of the physical, biological and earth sciences. It concerns the properties, the syntheses, and the transformation of substances and their applications to the way we live and modify our environment. It is through Chemistry that we are beginning to achieve an understanding of, and mastery over, the material and biological world.


CHEM 480 Research Project

Four of:

  • CHEM 461 Topics in Advanced Chemistry
  • CHEM 462 Topics in Advanced Chemistry
  • CHEM 463 Topics in Advanced Chemistry
  • CHEM 464 Topics in Advanced Chemistry
  • HAZA 401 Management of Chemical Hazards
  • HAZA 404 Environmental Risk Assessment and Management

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 $35,798

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

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

Course contact details