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Come study with us

We are a vibrant interdisciplinary community in a university with a strong academic and research culture. Our postgraduate students are valued members of our programme.

Find out more about life as a postgraduate student with us:


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Annual Postgraduate Symposium

Held annually in August, our Postgraduate Symposium is a one-day fully catered event that brings the Programmes together and showcases the research of our postgraduates. The event provides a platform for students at any stage of their research journey to share their ideas and gain feedback from staff and fellow students in a convivial environment.

A survey of postgraduate students determines who will be invited to give the Symposium keynote address. In previous years students have elected celebrated researchers including the Dean of the Graduate Research School Professor Rachel Spronken-Smith (2019), University of Victoria Wellington Professor Elizabeth Stanley (2020), University of Canterbury Professor Anne-Marie Brady (2021) and MP and LGBTQ+ activist and scholar Dr Elizabeth Kerekere (2022).

BA (Hons) in Gender Studies

Entry into Honours is based on 300-level grades in Gender Studies (B+ average minimum). Papers required are GEND 401, GEND 490 and two of ANTH 423, EDUC 427, GEND402, MFCO 408 or any 400-level SOCI paper or other approved papers.

If you are interested in applying, please contact:

Associate Professor Rebecca Stringer

Postgraduate Diploma (PG Dip Arts)

The Postgraduate Diploma in Arts Subjects is a further degree for BA graduates in their major subject. Students must achieve a B+ average in their 300-level Gender Studies papers in order to be admitted to the PGDipArts. This course may be taken full time for one year, or part time over a longer period.

If you are interested in applying, please contact:

Associate Professor Rebecca Stringer

Diploma for Graduates (Dip Grad)

The Diploma for Graduates (DipGrad) is a flexible programme that enables graduates in one discipline to gain a qualification endorsement in another subject without doing the full requirements of a major. This is often used by students wanting to advance to postgraduate study in a subject other than their original major, or as a way of adding disciplinary breadth to their initial degree. Requirements for entry to the DipGrad are set out in the University Calendar and Guide to Enrolment.

Individual courses of study for the Dip Grad are arranged for each candidate through negotiation with the programme concerned and the Director of the DipGrad Programme.

Further information can be found here.

Generic requirements are: at least 120 points including 72 points at or above 300-level.

Master of Arts (MA) and PhD programmes

Master of Arts (Coursework) programme for Humanities students

The Master of Arts (Coursework) (MA (Coursework)) programme is designed to give students the balance of specific subject knowledge plus broad-based skills employers are looking for.

The programme will take either 12 months or three semesters of full-time study to complete. The programme can also be studied part-time.

Master of Arts (Thesis), (MA (Thesis))

The Master of Arts (Thesis) (MA (Thesis)) degree normally requires up to two years of full-time study, or its equivalent in part-time, study and entails completion of a thesis. The normal admission requirement is a Bachelor of Arts with Honours (BA Hons) degree in one of at least 24 subjects, but admission on the basis of alternative qualifications and experience is possible. Students with a minimum of a B+ average for their Honours degree are eligible to apply, but the final decision rests with your home programme. Some degree candidates may be required to pass approved postgraduate papers before embarking on the thesis research, but will be advised of that before enrolment.

The thesis is a major piece of supervised research on a topic of current interest. The primary aim of the programme is to develop in a candidate skills needed to identify a significant topic, design and implement an extended piece of research, and present the findings in a form acceptable to an expert readership. It prepares candidates for employment in education, regional and national government agencies, the private sector, and industry. The degree is also an entry qualification for the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), depending on grades and supervision capacity.

Further information about the Master of Arts (Thesis) programme

More about the new Master of Arts (Coursework) programme.


The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is the highest degree offered by the University of Otago. It is awarded on the submission of a thesis of 100,000 words, which must meet rigorous standards. It requires highly developed academic ability, independence and perseverance. Most students take between 3-4 years of full-time study to complete their PhD.

Further information about the PhD programme

Start your application

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