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Information for Geography postgraduates


Office Space

We try to find all postgraduate students a desk somewhere in the Department, but normally you will share a room and the rooms are reallocated annually.


Postgraduate Common Room

You are welcome to use the postgraduate common room located at the south end on the 5th floor, Richardson Building.

Please be considerate and note that use of the staff room (4th floor) is restricted to staff and PhD students in the Department


Department Seminars

Departmental seminars are held approximately every 4 weeks on Wednesday afternoon. All graduate students are expected to attend. The seminars help you to keep up to date with a variety of current research topics and provide you with an excellent opportunity to hear visitors to the Department. You may find some seminars specifically related to your own research area, and they offer an opportunity to get to know people. You are also encouraged to attend inter-departmental seminars organised by Geography staff. PhD students are required to give at least one full department seminar at some point during their training.

To receive regular updates regarding Geography seminars, please subscribe to our distribution list.


Student Representation

Postgraduate students are eligible to nominate up to four representative on staff-student Committees. Postgraduate representatives are eligible to attend and vote at staff meetings.


Postgraduate Committee

Dr Daniel Kingston (Chair) and members of the Postgraduate Committee have overall responsibility for the welfare and progress of all postgraduate students, and should be consulted by both supervisor and student in the event of any problems. In the case of 400-level courses, Professor Michelle Thompson-Fawcett (Head of Department) should be consulted.


Research and Stationery costs

The Department normally includes a small allowance for each student involved in postgraduate research and writing to help cover some of the routine costs involved. In order to assist with your general costs, the Department provides you with a limited amount of photocopying in the Library. You are also given a limited amount of photocopying/printing within the Department. You will need your supervisor's signature approving any departmental expenditure.


Technical Assistance

When setting up new equipment you should consult with your supervisor, who is responsible for ensuring that equipment is available for your project. When minor changes or repairs are needed, you should report them directly to your supervisor or to the Departmental Administrator.


The New Zealand Geographical Society (Otago Branch)

Students are warmly encouraged to become members, and to participate in the affairs of the Branch by volunteering to service on the Branch committee. Student membership is available for a reduced fee and entitles you to receive copies of the New Zealand Geographer. The Otago Branch organises regular events, which are open to everyone, such as talks, slide shows, teacher-academic contact meetings and field trips.


If Academic Problems Occur

If you are unable to resolve difficulties by approaching your supervisor or Postgraduate committee members then consider the following options:

Consulting the Head of Department, or other members of staff for advice or support.

Discussing matters with your fellow graduate students, including the postgraduate representatives, can help in problem solving and providing general support.

Disputes about academic or ethical matters, for example, the attribution of authorship to papers resulting from the thesis work, that are unable to be resolved by direct approach to a supervisor, may be referred to a University mediator.