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Master of Science Communication (MSciComm)

    Applications for the Masters in Science Communication (MSciComm) are currently paused.  Students are encouraged to email with any questions.


    Dunedin is a UNESCO City of Literature, supports an International Science Festival, and is the wildlife capital of New Zealand, with colonies of seals, albatross and penguins in the city's boundaries. It is perhaps no accident, therefore, that it has also become a hub for natural history filmmaking. The outstanding natural environment and dynamic cultural environment provide an excellent setting for the University of Otago's Department of Science Communication, the home of story-telling and science.


    Department of Science Communication



    Regulations for the Degree of Master of Science Communication (MSciComm)

    1. Admission to the Programme

      1. Admission to the programme shall be subject to the approval of the Pro-Vice Chancellor (Sciences), on the advice of the Head of the Department of Science Communication.
      2. Every applicant must either        
        1. be a graduate and have achieved an average grade of at least B in the relevant 300 level papers.
        2. have equivalent qualifications or experience acceptable to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Sciences).
      3. In considering an applicant's qualifications, regard will be had to the detail of the course of study followed to gain the qualification, as well as the applicant's performance in the programme.
      4. An applicant seeking admission to the thesis-only option of the programme (see 2 (c) below) on the basis of the Degree of Bachelor of Sciences with Honours or the Postgraduate Diploma in Science Communication or equivalent, must have a B+ average within the papers required for that degree.
    2. Structure of the Programme

      1. Every programme of study shall be as prescribed in the MSciComm schedule.
      2. A candidate may be exempted from some or all of the prescribed papers on the basis of previous study.
      3. A candidate shall, before commencing the investigation to be described in the thesis, secure the approval of the Head of the Department of Science Communication for the topic, the supervisor(s), and the proposed course of the investigation.
      4. A candidate may not present a thesis or other material which has previously been accepted for another degree.
      5. For the thesis, the research should be of a kind that a diligent and competent student should complete within one year of full-time study.
      6. A candidate whose qualification for entry to the programme is the degree of Bachelor of Science with Honours or the Postgraduate Diploma in Science Communication or equivalent may achieve the degree in a minimum of one year of further study, normally by completing a thesis or equivalent as prescribed in 2 (e).
    3. Duration of the Programme

      A candidate shall normally follow a programme of study for not less than two years of full-time study, or the equivalent in part-time study, and shall complete the requirements for the degree within three years of admission to the programme. Exceptions shall be permitted only with the permission of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Sciences).

    4. Withdrawal from the Programme

      1. A candidate undertaking both papers and thesis who does not achieve an average grade of at least B+ in their papers or does not achieve a grade of at least B in any paper for the degree, shall be required to withdraw from the programme
      2. Where a candidate withdraws from the programme, whether voluntarily or otherwise, after completing the prescribed papers, the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Sciences) may recommend the award of Postgraduate Diploma in Science Communication or determine which papers should be credited towards the Diploma; alternatively, the PVC may recommend that the candidate convert to the degree of MAppSc in Science Communication.
    5. Examination of the Thesis and Associated Material

      1. The thesis and any associated material shall be assessed by at least two examiners, at least one of whom shall be external to the University.
      2. The candidate's supervisor shall not be an examiner but may make a report on the work of the candidate to the Convener of Examiners.
      3. Each examiner shall supply a written report on the thesis and any associated material and recommend a mark and grade on the basis of the thesis and any associated material as submitted, and an overall result selected from the options specified in clause (d) below.
      4. The examiners may recommend that a thesis and any associated material:        
        1. be accepted without requiring amendments;
        2. be accepted subject to minor corrections being made at the discretion and to the satisfaction of the Convener of Examiners;
        3. does not meet the criteria for the award of the degree, but may be revised and resubmitted for examination;
        4. does not meet the criteria for the award of the degree, and should be rejected without right of resubmission.
      5. Amendments 5(d)(ii) and revisions 5(d)(iii) shall be completed by a specified date to be determined by the Convener of Examiners.
      6. A candidate shall be permitted to revise and resubmit a thesis and any associated material for examination once only.
      7. If a revised and resubmitted thesis and any associated material is finally accepted, the result shall be either Pass or Fail (i.e. ungraded) and without eligibility for the award of the degree with distinction or credit.
      8. Where examiners cannot agree on a result, the Convener of Examiners should so report to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Sciences) or nominee who shall arrive at a decision after consulting a referee who should normally be external to the University.
    6. Level of Award of the Degree

      The degree may be awarded with distinction or with credit.

    7. Variations

      The Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Sciences) may in exceptional circumstances approve a course of study which does not comply with these regulations.

    This information must be read subject to the statement on our Copyright & Disclaimer page.

    Regulations on this page are taken from the 2023 Calendar and supplementary material.

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