Doctor of Philosophy
The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is a research-only programme designed for students who intend to pursue an academic or research career. The degree is awarded on the basis of: submission of a thesis giving evidence of the candidate's ability to carry out research; that the candidate has shown originality; and that the candidate has made a significant contribution to knowledge in a particular field.
Admission normally requires the completion of a master's degree or a four year first class honours degree in the same area of study, or a related discipline, as the intended area of research. Applicants for this degree must have a demonstrated research background. All applicants must submit a research proposal, and identify a principal supervisor willing to provide full supervision for the research project.
The PhD degree can normally be completed in a minimum of three years.
The PhD degree has its own admission process. Initial registration for the degree is provisional, and is confirmed only after one year of satisfactory full-time study.
Further information on the admission requirements, and the PhD regulations.
Masters' degrees vary in nature at Otago but the majority allow for the development of individual research. Working from a strong background of study, candidates have the opportunity to contribute to existing specialist fields or to begin to develop new areas of research. Masters' degrees are typically research only, but some can be a combination of research and coursework, or a mainly coursework programme.
Candidates with a four-year honours degree or postgraduate diploma may apply for a master's study by thesis only. In some cases, candidates with a bachelor's degree may apply for master's study by course work and thesis.
A master's degree is normally undertaken in the same area of study as the major subject pursued for a bachelor's degree, postgraduate diploma or honours degree. However, increasingly other masters' programmes have been developed that require that the candidate is a graduate, and/or that requires appropriate work experience.
The master's degree is normally a full-time one-year programme for candidates with a four-year honours degree or postgraduate diploma, and a two year programme for candidates with a standard bachelor's degree. Some specialist programmes, e.g. MBA, MBus, can be of different lengths.
The Postgraduate Diploma provides a specialist postgraduate qualification and a pathway to research study. The Postgraduate Diploma provides an extension to the knowledge gained in a bachelor's degree. It offers students structured courses and guidance, as well as the opportunity to undertake some independent research. Students are able to focus on a preferred area of study and may begin to formalise future research plans.
A Postgraduate Diploma can be taken directly after the completion of a bachelor's degree. A Postgraduate Diploma is normally undertaken in the same area of study as the major subject pursued for a bachelor's degree.
A Postgraduate Diploma can be completed in one academic year of full-time study.
A Graduate Diploma is designed as qualification open to graduates or to those who have been able to demonstrate equivalent practical, professional or scholarly experience of an appropriate kind. At Otago it is possible to study the following programmes: the Graduate Diploma in Tourism; the Graduate Diploma in Teaching of English As a Second Language; and the Diploma for Graduates.
The Diploma for Graduates is a very versatile qualification. It is an ideal programme for those students wishing to prepare for postgraduate study in a subject area different from their first degree. Such a programmes ensures adequate preparation for postgraduate diploma or master's study.
Candidates with a Bachelor's degree or appropriate professional/work experience may apply.
One academic year.
A Postgraduate Certificate is generally a six-month coursework qualification which recognises continuing professional development in the same area as the candidate's original degree. It may also be designed as a bridging programme for candidates wishing to undertake postgraduate study and research in an area different from that of their prior training, experience, or formal qualifications.