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.

Pharmacology is about the effects of chemicals on living organisms. In practice it deals mainly with the effects of drugs on animals, especially human beings. It is concerned with how drugs produce their effects, the sources, properties, distribution, elimination and uses of drugs and other chemicals. Drug effects may be useful, as in medicine (clinical pharmacology), or harmful (toxicology).


  • PHAL 480 Research Project
  • PHAL 421 General Pharmacology and Toxicology

Three of:

  • PHAL 423 Neuropharmacology
  • PHAL 426 Clinical Pharmacology
  • PHAL 427 Special Topic: Cancer Pharmacology
  • PHAL 428 Current Research Literature in Toxicology
  • PHAL 430 Advanced Topic in Pharmacology and Toxicology
  • PHAL 431 Special Project

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 $39,041

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • PGDip(Sci)
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details