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Master of Science in Electronics

Note: No new enrolments will be accepted into this programme.

The Master of Science (MSc) degree in Electronics includes a research thesis, taken after completion of a 400-level programme. Normally, students will complete either a BSc Honours degree or Postgraduate Diploma in Science (PGDipSci) in Electronics prior to admission to our MSc programme. The MSc degree is then by thesis-only (requiring a minimum of one year of full time study). In special circumstances, students may be admitted to the two-year MSc in Electronics by papers and thesis following a BSc qualification. Note that the Master of Applied Science (MAppSc) in Electronics is also available following a BSc qualification, providing a Master-level qualification in one calendar year.

By earning a Masters degree in Electronics you will have demonstrated your ability to:

  • work independently,
  • explore and understand the relevant literature,
  • develop new technical skills,
  •  carry out an original research project, and
  • accurately report your findings.

These are qualities that are valued by potential employers. A Masters degree is also an entry route to the PhD degree.


Entry to the MSc degree in Electronics by thesis-only requires:

  • a BSc Honours degree or PGDipSci in Electronics or a closely related subject
  • good grades in the final year of the qualifying course,
  • 400-level papers relevant to your thesis topic have been completed.

In special circumstances, students may be admitted to the MSc in Electronics on the basis of a BSc qualification. The MSc programme is then a minimum of two years, with the first year devoted full-time to 400-level papers and preliminary research preparation. The MSc in papers and thesis normally takes two calendar years.

Entry to the two-year MSc degree in Electronics normally requires:

  • a BSc in Electronics or relevant subject,
  • an average B+ pass in your four best Electronics (or relevant) papers at 300 level.

Requirements for MSc degree


100 points from 400-level ELEC papers which may include one of PHSI 480 or PHSI 490, and 20 further 400-level points as approved by the Director of the Electronics programme.


A thesis must be completed on a topic approved by the Head of the Department of Physics.

Some recent Electronics MSc theses from our department

Iterative maps with a given ergodic distribution
FPGA-based radio
Exploring GPS signal data & position estimation through Bayesian inference
DSP autocorrelation for musical pitch detection

Applying to do an MSc in Electronics

Applications for the MSc in Electronics from well-qualified candidates are welcomed. Normally this degree is by thesis-only (see Prerequisites), and may commence at any time during the year. Please follow the steps outlined below.

  1. Your choice of research area for your thesis is the important first step. You will need a supervisor from amongst our current academic staff. The research interests and expertise of our staff can be found in a number of places on our website:
    • Our Research, which gives the general areas of research and provides internal links to individual research groups,
    • elec@otago web site links directly to research activities and personnel in the Electronics group
    • Research Expertise, which has a table of key words and links to staff profiles.
  2. All students must have a confirmed thesis supervisor before they formally apply to the University to enter the degree. Local students should directly contact the staff members they are interested in working with. Students from other Universities should send an email to our Research Committee at, stating that they are interested in applying to do an MSc in our department, noting the area they wish to work in, and naming the staff member(s) they are interested in working with. Please include the following information:

    • up to date academic CV
    • academic record (with explanation of grading if not from a NZ or Australian University)
    • your country of citizenship
    • contact information for at least two academic referees
  3. You will shortly be informed by our Departmental Research Committee as to whether or not there is a staff member who wishes to consider you as an MSc student. If no staff member is available then unfortunately your application can not proceed further. If there is an available staff member, they will contact you to discuss your application, and potential projects.

  4. Once you have obtained agreement from a staff member to supervise your MSc thesis, you now submit a formal application to University, which is done through the University’s eVision portal. Follow this link, click the yellow Apply Now button on the right hand side, and follow the instructions.

Scholarships and Fees

Domestic students are eligible for University of Otago Postgraduate Awards, which are awarded to Masters candidates in their thesis year of study. The award provides an annual emolument of $13,000 for up to 1 year, the payment of the fees at domestic level and partial thesis expenses.

Some staff members may be able to provide Masters scholarships from their research grants.

Students who are not New Zealand residents or Australian, are required to pay international fees

International students

The Electronics research group welcomes international students. The University offers a small number of International Masters Awards which are awarded to Masters' candidates in their thesis year of study. They provide an annual emolument of $13,000 for up to 1 year, the payment of the fees at international level, and partial thesis expenses.

International students will need to provide certified evidence of English language proficiency.

Read further important information on language proficiency

Find further useful information for international students.