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.

Physics tries to answer the bottom-line questions: What? and Why? when we see things in nature that are not understood. For instance, why is the sky blue whereas sunsets are red? What happens when a star explodes? What is radiation? What causes an aurora? Physics also involves the application of this knowledge to other fields. For instance, if you really understand about lasers then you will be better placed to develop new uses for them in applications such as communications, engineering and medical science. Often students take a degree in Physics because they have a particular career in mind, but for many their first priority is simply to understand Physics. They take Physics because it interests them.


60 points from PHSI 421, PHSI 422, PHSI 423, PHSI 424, PHSI 425, PHSI 426, ELEC 441

60 further 400-level MATH, PHSI or ELEC points, with no more than 20 MATH points and no more than 20 ELEC points.

Only one of PHSI 480 Research Project, or PHSI 490 Dissertation, may be included.

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