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Our distance Postgraduate Certificate in Science Communication (PGCertSciComm) consists of three papers. The Postgraduate Diploma in Science Communication (PGDipSciComm) is a six-paper course that includes an internship placement. Normally, the PGCertSciComm is completed within a single semester and the PGDipSciComm within a year (two semesters). However, many students opt to enrol part-time and to go at their own pace.

Our academic curriculum follows a “staircasing” model, which means that any credits earned for the PGCertSciComm can be applied towards the PGDipSciComm, if you decide to continue with the full one-year programme.

Our papers (classes) are asynchronous in nature, meaning that lectures can be viewed on your own schedule and that you can engage with online activities (class discussions, moderated assessments, etc.) on your own flexible terms.

Both qualifications are therefore ideal for students who prefer to study by distance, such as busy working professionals or those who cannot easily relocate to study on-campus. It is also suitable for students based in Dunedin, but who appreciate and value the flexibility offered by distance learning. From time to time, we may hold on-campus seminars and workshops in science communication, which you are welcome and encouraged to attend, if feasible.

Our staff hold regular “office hours” for drop-in remote meetings and are also available for scheduled meetings at times of mutual convenience.

As a distance student with full access to the University of Otago's electronic library resources, you'll acquire invaluable tricks of the trade, receive editorial feedback on your written work, and become part of a supportive online community, all designed to give you the competitive edge in becoming a successful communicator in this rapidly growing field.

Courses are taught and led by the Department's accomplished academic staff, including Professor Jesse Bering and Professor Lloyd Spencer Davis.

Note: By agreement with the University of Otago, international students enrolled in the Distance degree in Science Communication pay a special rate. Please consult with the degree co‑ordinator for details.

Start your application on the PGCertSciComm qualification page

Start your application on the PGDipSciComm qualifications page


For further information, or to discuss whether it is the right fit for you, please contact:


Visit the Distance learning at Otago website for more information

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