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.

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.


  • ECOL 480 Research Project, or ECOL 490 Dissertation
  • ECOL 411 Reading Ecology

Papers to a total of 120 points from BTNY 465, BTNY 467, ECOL 450, GEOG 454, GEOG 459, GEOG 460, GEOG 461, GEOG 471, MARI 403, SURV 509, SURV 511, ZOOL 410, ZOOL 411, ZOOL 415, ZOOL 416, ZOOL 417, ZOOL 418 or other suitable papers as approved by the Programme Director

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