Red X iconGreen tick iconYellow tick icon

Why study Geology at Otago?

Whether you are here for a semester, a year, or your whole  degree, the University of Otago is a great place to study Geology. Here are just some the reasons to study Geology at Otago:

  • Otago is geologically active and diverse – everything from an active plate boundary to glacial lakes and submarine canyons are on our doorstep.
  • The Geology Department is research intensive and broad – learn directly from faculty doing cutting-edge work on earthquakes, gold, glaciers, volcanoes, climate history, biological evolution, Antarctica, and more.
  • Members of the Department are a highly international group, with faculty from NZ, the US, England, Canada, and Switzerland, and postgraduate students from all over the world. In addition to our work in NZ, our research extends globally in labs and field sites across all continents and the ocean floor
  • University of Otago is located in Dunedin, a University City that offers a vibrant off-campus lifestyle.
  • Otago is your gateway to the scenic beauty of the South Island of New Zealand.

Find out more about our department and undergraduate courses in this video:

What past international students have said about their time at Otago

Don't just take our word for it. Here is what past international students have said about their time at Otago:

Plenty of schools have good geology programmes, and plenty of schools are in wonderful locations, I chose Otago, because it has both. Otago has encouraged me to do any sort of project I could conceive of, and point me in the right direction when I've needed help. Living in the international community is a wonderful bubble. There's something going on every night of the week, you'll meet folks from all over the world, and if you don't know how to cook, now's the time to learn!
Fox Meyer, Washington DC, USA

Learn more about Fox's experience

I had a great time in the 252 field course. The labs were pretty challenging, but the field trips made the whole thing more than worthwhile. I know that at home I would not have had the opportunity to spend two weeks out in the field, and definitely not in such spectacular settings.

Our trip to Fiordland was absolutely amazing; not only was the scenery beautiful, but the geology was explained in such a way that I could actually understand it despite the obvious complexities.

The department is great, too; the professors are friendly and the students form a pretty close group. It was nice to be in a class with so many Kiwis because it was a great way to meet people from down here.

If you're a geology student from the States, definitely take a field course at Otago – you won't be sorry.
Jeb Berman, Brown University, USA

How can you visit Otago to study Geology?

Visit on exchange if your University has an exchange agreement or apply as a study abroad student. More info at:

Which papers (courses) should you take at Otago?

Our second-year and third-year field papers (GEOL252,  GEOL344) provide intensive training of students in field geology, and they meet the field-camp requirement for students at many other universities around the world (e.g. in USA). We offer many other papers undergraduate papers (formal classes) from 100 to 300 level and postgraduate papers at 400-level.

Recommended paper: GEOL252 Field studies and New Zealand Geology

Learn about the land around you while you explore the scenic beauty of the South Island of New Zealand. GEOL252 is predominantly field-based with about two weeks spent at two field schools. Learn more about GEOL252 in this video:

Recommended paper: GEOL265/365 Hazards of NZ and beyond

New Zealand's dynamic geology makes it a great place to study Earth Hazards. In GEOL265/365 you will learn about hazards such as earthquakes, volcanoes, and landslides and how they affect society in New Zealand and beyond.

Why not come for your entire degree?

  • Get your bachelor's degree in 3 years, with option of 4th-year honours with research thesis that is a PhD-entrance level qualification.
  • We're a highly ranked department in a University that has competitive fees. Visit here for the latest fees information.

Where to next?

Please visit the application information page to find out how to apply to study at Otago.

Back to top