Entry requirements

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

February, July

Course content

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.

In Physiology you study how animals function; how they move, digest, excrete, reproduce, circulate their blood, breathe and survive in different surroundings; and how their nervous systems detect, interpret and learn. At Otago there is particular emphasis on how the human body functions. The study of individual organs, their cells and membranes incorporates the related disciplines of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology.

Medical, dental, veterinary and agricultural sciences depend on a sound background in Physiology, as do the vocational training courses for Medicine, Dentistry, Physical Education, Physiotherapy, Medical Laboratory Science and Pharmacy.

The present explosion of advances in the health sciences in which Physiology plays a central unifying, integrative role, reflects the increasing excitement in the discovery of unsuspected new ideas and processes.

Papers and Thesis

  • PHSL 495 Master's Thesis Preparation
  • PHSL 471 Systematic Physiology
  • PHSL 472 Neurophysiology
  • PHSL 473 Cellular Physiology
  • PHSL 474 Research Topics

Thesis: PHSL 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

International students
NZ $39,041

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

  • MSc
    full time
    12 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: university@otago.ac.nz

Course contact details

Name
AskOtago
Email
university@otago.ac.nz