A Master of Science (MSc) in Pharmacology enables you to gain employment as a research assistant or allows you to be eligible for entry into the doctoral programme.
It consists of a full year of research which will develop your skills in:
- Critical thinking
- Experimental design
- Experimental techniques
- Statistical analysis
- Interpreting data
- Oral and written communication of results
The transferable skills you gain from this degree has enabled past Pharmacology Master’s students to obtain employment with the NZ National Poison Centre and as a drug representative for pharmaceutical companies. Others have used it for graduate entry into medicine or to continue onto a PhD.
Information for new applicants and programme requirements
You have two options for obtaining a MSc.
MSc by papers and thesis
If you have a Bachelor’s degree (BSc), then you may do a MSc by paper and thesis which takes a minimum of two years full-time study. Due to the challenging nature of this degree, the grade average is set at B+ (75–79%) for all pharmacology papers in your BSc.
In your first year of your MSc you must do:
- PHAL 421 General Pharmacology and Toxicology (20 points, semester 1)
- PHAL 495 Master’s Thesis Preparation (40 points, full year)
and three of the following:
- PHAL 423 Neuropharmacology (20 points: full year)
- PHAL 428 Current Research Literature in Toxicology (20 points: full year)
- PHAL 430 Advanced Topics in Pharmacology and Toxicology (20 points: each semester)
- PHAL 431 Special Project (20 points: each semester)
The research project (PHAL5) is carried out in the second year in one of the research laboratories. To enter the second year, you must have demonstrated satisfactory progress in your first year. This is defined as a B+ or above average in all of your 4th year papers as well as a B+ or above in PHAL495.
A thesis is submitted for external examination.
MSc by thesis only
If you have a BSc with Honours then you may do a MSc by thesis only. Due to the challenging nature of this degree, the grade average is set at B+ (75-79%) for all pharmacology papers in your BSc (Hons). This degree consists of a research project carried out in one of the research laboratories. A thesis is submitted for external examination.
The application form for either the MSc by papers and thesis or MSc by thesis alone should be submitted via eVision
Regulation for the Degree of Master of Science (MSc)
Scholarships for Master of Science in Pharmacology
The University of Otago offers scholarships during the research component of the MSc. Note that pre-research papers are not covered by these scholarships. The following scholarships are offered:
- University of Otago Research Master’s Scholarship (NZ$13,000 per annum, domestic tuition fees waiver)
- University of Otago Māori Master’s Scholarship (NZ$13,000 per annum, domestic tuition fees waiver)
- University of Otago Research Pacific Island Master’s Scholarship (NZ$13,000 per annum, domestic tuition fees waiver)
- University of Otago International Research Master’s Scholarship (NZ$13,000 per annum, international tuition fees waiver)
There are no closing dates for these scholarships.
For further information about post-graduate study at the Pharmacology and Toxicology Department, please contact us directly:
- Handbook for Research Master’s Degree at the University of Otago, New Zealand
- Examination process for the MSc at the University of Otago, New Zealand
- Assessing international grades for Otago Postgraduate Scholarships
- University of Otago International Office
- Thesis information