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Admission to the programme shall be subject to the approval of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Sciences).
Every applicant must either: be a graduate with an average grade of at least B for the appropriate 300-level papers, or have alternative qualifications or experience acceptable to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Sciences).
An applicant seeking admission to the thesis-only option of the programme on the basis of the degree of Bachelor of Science with Honours or the Postgraduate Diploma in Science or equivalent must have achieved a grade of at least B+ for the research report, thesis preparation, or dissertation requirement of the qualification concerned.
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 Science (MSc) is a two-year degree which encompasses both coursework and research. The first year involves mainly coursework and preliminary research preparation. Students will have the opportunity to contribute to existing fields of research, or to begin to develop new areas.
Ecology is the study of animals and plants in relation to their environment. Revived interest in environmental and ecological issues and the public and governmental concern and debate over such matters has created a need for scientifically trained ecologists. An Ecology degree produces graduates with a background which will enable them to make rational judgments on ecological matters, either as professional ecologists or as educated members of the public.
Courses in Ecology are taught by staff from the Departments of Botany, Geography and Zoology. The Otago region encompasses a wide range of habitats, from marine to alpine and from semi-arid to per humid. Many of the papers offered by the various departments have fieldwork components which will give students an insight into these habitats.
Papers and Thesis
- ECOL 495 Master's Thesis Preparation
- ECOL 411 Reading Ecology
- Three of BTNY 465, BTNY 467, ECOL 450, GEOG 454, GEOG 459, GEOG 460, GEOG 461, MARI 403, MARI 425, ZOOL 410, ZOOL 411, ZOOL 415, ZOOL 416, ZOOL 417, ZOOL 418, or other papers approved by the Course Director
- Thesis: ECOL 5
Note: The papers are normally taken before undertaking the thesis.
Structure of the Programme
- The degree may be awarded in the name of the subject.
- The programme of study shall be as prescribed for the subject concerned.
- A candidate may be exempted from some of the prescribed papers on the basis of previous study.
- A candidate shall, before commencing the investigation to be described in a thesis, secure the approval of the Head of the Department concerned for the topic, the supervisor(s), and the proposed course of the investigation.
- A candidate may not present a thesis which has previously been accepted for another degree.
- A candidate taking the degree by papers and thesis must pass both the papers and the thesis components.
- For the thesis, the research should be of a kind that a diligent and competent student should complete within one year of full-time study.
- Bachelor’s degree in the same subject with B grades – leading to the two-year coursework and research MSc.
- Postgraduate diploma or honours degree in the same subject with B+ grades – leading to a one-year research MSc. For those completing a one-year research-only degree, study can commence at anytime. Due to the range of majors available, applicants are encouraged to seek advice prior to applying: firstname.lastname@example.org
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
- full time12 or 24 months
- Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
Course contact details