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.
Microbiology is the study of the large and diverse group of living organisms of microscopic size which includes viruses, bacteria, fungi, algae, worms and protozoa. Microbiology is the science which is concerned with the study of micro-organisms including their distribution and role in the environment and their relationship to other living organisms including humans (in health and disease) and other animals. An understanding of the basic nature and molecular structure of the microbes has been a major factor in the advancement of molecular biology as a scientific discipline and in establishing microbial genetics as an advancing science.
Microbiology plays a central role as one of the basic biological sciences and has been at the forefront of research aimed at probing the nature of life processes. During the past several decades many of the major discoveries which have helped to elucidate the fundamental principles of molecular biology, biochemistry and genetics have arisen from studies using micro-organisms. Micro-organisms are also closely associated with the health and welfare of animals including human beings, with some micro-organisms having beneficial effects and others having detrimental effects.
Many large-scale industrial processes, involved in the manufacture of food and beverages, as well as the production of many pharmaceutical, chemical and agricultural products, are microbiologically based. Microbiology also plays a vital part in the control of pollution in the environment through treatment processes for water and industrial, agricultural and domestic wastes.
Papers and Thesis
- MICR 495 Master's Thesis Preparation
- MICR 461 Molecular Microbiology
- MICR 462 Microbiology and Immunology Research
- MICR 463 Trends in Microbiology
- MICR 464 Medical Microbiology and Immunology
- Thesis: MICR 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.
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
Further details of qualification
Options: 1. Bachelor’s degree in the same subject with B grades – leading to the two-year coursework and research MSc. 2. 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
Course contact details