Taught course

Marine Environmental Science

University of Otago · Division of Sciences

Entry requirements

Admission to the programme shall be subject to the approval of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Sciences).

Every applicant shall have fulfilled one of the following conditions: be a graduate and have achieved an average grade of at least B in the relevant 300-level papers; have obtained a Postgraduate Certificate or a Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Science with an average grade of at least B; have equivalent alternative qualifications or experience acceptable to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Sciences).

In considering an applicant's qualifications, regard will be had to the detail of the course of study followed to gain the qualification, as well as the applicant's performance in the programme.

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


Course content

The Master of Applied Science (MAppSc) is a 180-point, coursework postgraduate degree. A candidate would normally be a graduate but the degree is also open to those with other relevant qualifications.

The MAppSc is designed for students who wish to pursue an interdisciplinary programme of study underpinned by science that delivers versatile skills relevant to multiple end-users. Optional paths are available that emphasize commercialization, workplace-based projects or independent study.

The MAppSc can be completed in 12 months or in stages, providing flexibility for recent graduates and those currently employed.

The Marine Environmental Science programme is a professional qualification that aims to bridge the gap between the science of the changing marine environment and the needs of those that work in and manage the marine environment. The programme has a strong focus on ensuring that graduates can critically assess scientific information and ensure that decision-making and advice is evidence-based.

The course has a large field teaching component, ensuring that candidates experience a wide range of marine environments and management challenges. Students should expect to spend at least 4 weeks in the field plus a residential week at the Ōtākou Marae. Students will work on a wide range of research vessels and from remote field stations in Fiordland, Stewart Island and Samoa.


APPS 597 Supervised Independent Study plus approved papers, to make a total of 180 points. The following is what is normally required, although other appropriate papers may be considered for inclusion in the programme.

  • MARI 401 Advanced Methods in Marine Science
  • MARI 402 Advanced Applied Field Methods in Marine Environmental Science
  • MARI 403 Critical Thinking for Environmental Scientists

At least two of:

  • AQFI 421 Advanced Aquaculture and Fisheries
  • MARI 429 Coastal Marine Environment
  • MARI 431 Antarctic and Southern Ocean Science
  • MARI 451 Reading Marine Science or ECOL 411 Reading Ecology
  • OCEN 450 Special Topic

Up to two or more (depending on points value) of:

  • BTNY 465, CHEM 461, CHEM 462, CHEM 463, CHEM 464, EMAN 404, GEOG 471, GEOG 474, GEOL 427, GEOL 431, HAZA 404, INFO 420, MAOR 414, PACI 402, PHSI 426, POLS 520, SCOM 409, STAT 435, SURV 413, SURV 452, SURV 458, TOUR 418, TOUR 422, WILM 404, ZOOL 417, ZOOL 418, LAWS 515, LAWS 521, LAWS 540

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 $53,697

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

  • MAppSci
    full time
    18 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details