FAQs and anwsers
Are there scholarship opportunities for postgraduate study of science communication at the University of Otago?
Yes, there are limited and highly competitive scholarship opportunities.
- Some scholarships can be found through Universities New Zealand.
Universities New Zealand website
- PhD study: If you have a research degree (e.g. MSc or Honours), you may be eligible to apply for a PhD scholarship at the University of Otago. These scholarships are open to application from both international and domestic candidates.
- For the MSciComm, there are a very limited number of University of Otago scholarships available for the second year of the programme (the thesis year).
- The New Zealand government offers scholarship opportunities to students from some Pacific countries, some Commonwealth countries and some developing countries. Find lists of eligible countries:
New Zealand Scholarships
When are applications due?
If you want to study Science and Natural History Filmmaking, you must begin the course in New Zealand’s semester 1 which starts in February. Because there is a quota for this stream, all applications are considered in one batch, with a deadline of 31 October.
If you want to study in either the Creative Nonfiction Science Writing or Science in Society streams, it is preferable to start in semester 1, which starts in February, but possible to start in semester 2, which begins in July. There is no quota for either of these streams and applications are considered as they arrive.
Late applications may be considered. International applicants must have enough time to apply for a visa to study in New Zealand. New Zealanders and Australians do not need a visa to study in New Zealand and so later applications may be considered.
What papers (classes) are available?
Information about the courses offered is available from the Department of Science Communication’s website.
The Department of Science Communication offers study in three streams:
- Science and Natural History Filmmaking
- Creative Nonfiction Writing in Science
- Science in Society
What kind of jobs do science communication graduates get?
The jobs our graduates get are hugely varied.
We also regularly feature graduate updates on the Department’s Facebook page.
How much does it cost to study with the Department of Science Communication at University of Otago?
Fees vary for domestic and international students.
For further information, please contact:
Is it possible to study science communication via distance learning?
Yes. The Department of Science Communication offers a Postgraduate Certificate in Creative Non-fiction Science Writing via distance learning.
This course comprises the equivalent of one semester full-time study but is usually taken one paper (class) each semester over three semesters.
- SCOM 409 Introduction to Science Communication (20 points; Semester 1)*
- SCOM 432 The Craft of Storytelling (semester 1)
- SCOM 433 Science and Creative Non-fiction Writing (semester 2)
- SCOM 434 Science Communication Internship (varied times possible)
* offered 2022 only; special international rate does not apply to this paper
What postgraduate qualifications are available with the Department of Science Communication at the University of Otago?
The Department of Science Communication offers the following postgraduate qualifications:
- Postgraduate Certificate (one semester full-time equivalent)
- Postgraduate Diploma (two semesters full-time equivalent)
- MAppSc (three semesters full-time equivalent)
- MSciComm (four semesters/ two years full-time equivalent)
- PhD (three years full-time)
What are the entrance requirements for postgraduate study with the Department of Science Communication?
Applicants are expected to have a B average in appropriate upper level undergraduate papers.
Application materials for the PGCert and PGDip in a science communication endorsement should include:
- Your CV
- Academic transcripts
Application materials for the MAppSc in a science communication endorsement or an MSciComm should include:
- Your CV
- Academic transcripts
- Two confidential referee reports
- A cover letter that explains why you want to study science communication, and
- Example of your work that demonstrates creativity
If you are unable to upload examples of your work into the online application form, you may send them directly to us at the Department of Science Communication either via post or electronically.
Items sent by post are not returned. Successful applicants have provided a wide variety of different things as examples of their work, including a film clip or podcast, photographs, a piece of creative writing, song lyrics, and art work.
Admission to the research degree of MSciComm requires a B+ average in appropriate papers.
What is the difference between the MAppSc and MSciComm?
The MAppSc takes three semesters full-time equivalent. The third semester involves a 40-point project paper in which most science communication students produce something creative. It is not a research degree and so is more appropriate for students whose paths are more commercially oriented.
The MSciComm is a research degree that involves the equivalent of two years (four semesters) full-time study. The first year involves coursework and the second year involves full-time thesis work. Most MSciComm students incorporate a creative component in their master’s thesis.
It is possible to apply for either the MAppSc (with science communication endorsement) or the MSciComm after completion of the coursework in the PGDip (with science communication endorsement).