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.

Geology is the science of the Earth – it reveals the origins of our planet, and our own beginnings.

We need to understand our ancient and dynamic Earth because it provides all the ingredients that sustain our existence. Geology is a foundation of global ecology – as human impacts increase, geology guides the balance between our use and conservation of Earth materials.

Otago's Geology course explores Earth's evolving environment, natural hazards, and resources. It also considers impacts and solutions to pollution and waste disposal, to major civil engineering problems, and ot the effects of global change arising from our activities on the planet.


  • GEOL 480 Research Project
  • GEOL 401 Current Topics and Advanced Methods in Geoscience or (GEOL 402 Advanced Research Methods in Geoscience 1 and GEOL 403 Advanced Research Methods in Geoscience 2)
  • Six further 400-level GEOL papers

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