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Online learning at Otago in 2021

The deadline for semester 1 online study has now passed. Late requests will only be accepted in exceptional circumstances. Applications for semester 2 study are still being accepted.

The University of Otago is pleased to announce its expanded delivery options for coursework programmes for the 2021 academic year.

While Otago’s primary teaching mode is via face-to-face learning on campus, in 2021, there will be three delivery options for eligible students:

  1. On campus
  2. Distance – existing programmes and papers designed to be delivered by distance learning
  3. Online – a limited number of papers and programmes that would normally only be delivered on campus will be temporarily delivered online in order to accommodate students that are unable to attend classes in person due to COVID‑19. Please read all the details on this page for information on how to access these online papers.

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How to apply

Updated: Friday 30 October, 5pm

The online versions of papers cannot be selected via eVision. Follow the steps below to select online papers.

Step 1 – Apply for your programme

  • You should apply for your programme via eVision as normal
  • After you have been offered a place on the programme, you can select online papers by following the steps below

Step 2 – Decide which paper(s) to take

Step 3 – Register to study online in 2021

Once you have completed the steps above, please use one of the forms below to register your interest in studying online. The University will then confirm your eligibility and paper selection. Please do not use these forms if you have not completed the steps 1 and 2 outlined above.

The approval for online study and the addition of online papers is not automatic, and it may take some time for us to approve and process your request. Please check your student email regularly, as you may be required to provide further information. To assist us with processing your request, please provide any requested information as quickly as possible.

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Important information for all students

  • Approved students must ensure they have appropriate computing resources – reliable computer (not tablet), high-speed internet connection, webcam, speaker, and microphone. More information on recommended computer specifications for University of Otago students
  • Approved students cannot take a mix of on‑campus and online papers, but students can take a mix of distance and online papers.
  • Students approved for online papers may normally take up to three papers only per semester.
  • All approved students will be required to pay the standard tuition fee for papers regardless of the delivery method. Students unable to attend campus may be eligible for an exemption from the Compulsory Student Services Fee (CSSF).
  • Because of the ongoing uncertainty arising from COVID‑19, the University is unable to guarantee that students’ preferred pathway or paper selection will be available, or that students will be able to complete a qualification in the standard minimum timeframe. Therefore, approved students must take special care in their paper selection. The University’s Student Development Team are available to provide course advice.

Visit the Student Development website

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Eligible students

Updated: Friday 6 November, 5:00pm

The following students are eligible to apply for online study:

Undergraduate study

  • Students living offshore, commencing or returning to undergraduate study in selected programmes
  • Students living in New Zealand, returning to undergraduate study in selected programmes, who meet certain COVID-related criteria (for example, having specific health, financial or family reasons for not being able to attend)

Postgraduate study and Diploma for Graduates

  • Students living in New Zealand or offshore, commencing or returning to postgraduate study in selected programmes or the Diploma for Graduates

Students interested in studying online will need to be granted approval to do so by the University. This also applies to students who have been granted approval to study online in previous semesters. Undergraduate students will be required to demonstrate that COVID 19 has impacted their ability to study on campus in 2021. Postgraduate and Diploma for Graduate students will need to apply for permission to study online, but do not need to demonstrate COVID-related hardship

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Eligible programmes

Updated: Friday 30 October, 5pm

The full list of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes and papers can be found via the following links. Online or distance papers contained in the links below are also available to Diploma for Graduates students.

Online undergraduate programmes and papers

Online postgraduate programmes and papers

List of standard distance programmes and papers

Summer School

While no online papers are offered in Summer School, a number of distance papers are available.

Visit the Summer School website for more information

Research programmes

More information for research students

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Further information

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Visit for ongoing updates.