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University

University of Otago
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Master of Science (MSc) in Botany

This course is available

On-Campus

Level of Study

Master's Degree

Duration

1 year

Next start date

Expected Feb 2023

Campus

University of Otago

Summary

The Master of Science (MSc) is a two-year degree which encompasses both coursework and research. The first year involves mainly coursework and preliminary research preparation. Students will have the opportunity to contribute to existing fields of research, or to begin to develop new areas.

Why study Botany?

Botany is an exciting and challenging degree taught by a team of excellent plant scientists.

You will learn about important, topical issues such as biotechnology, genetic modification, ecosystem services, sustainability and the ecological impacts of environmental change.

Studying Botany at Otago will enable you to examine New Zealand’s unique flora on land and in the sea. You will study its diversity and evolutionary history as well as how this flora may be affected by changing climatic conditions, ocean acidification, and invasive organisms. Botany courses will cover a wide range of topics from how photosynthetic organisms function to understanding their role in ecosystem processes. This will include the importance of plants in addressing some of the challenges and problems that face society in the 21st Century.

Botany courses have great field-trips focusing on various aspects of plant ecology, and allowing you to participate in hands-on study of our exciting natural environment.

The wide range of topics and skills learnt in Botany can lead to many different careers.

Career opportunities

There will always be jobs for plant scientists because plants are so fundamental to life on earth.

The world’s economies are highly dependent on plants and their associated habitats, not only for food production but also for timber, for the fibres and chemical compounds plants produce and for the ecological services they provide, such as removing CO2 from the atmosphere.

Plant scientists are employed around the world in industry, governmental and non-governmental organisations that seek to understand and conserve the natural environment, and to educate people about it.

Botany graduates are in high demand in industries such as biotechnology, horticulture, tourism and agriculture.

A Botany degree can also lead to a career in conservation, biosecurity, environmental education, environmental consultancy or academic research.

Our graduates take up positions in local and national government, for instance at the Department of Conservation, and Ministry of Primary Industries and Crown Research Institutes.

Duration of the Programme

A candidate achieving the degree by papers and a thesis shall normally follow a programme for the equivalent of not less than two years of full-time study and not more than three years of full-time study, and a candidate achieving the degree by thesis alone shall normally follow a programme of study for the equivalent of not less than one year of full-time study and not more than two years of full-time study. Exceptions shall be permitted only with the approval of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Sciences).

Entry criteria

Admission to the programme shall be subject to the approval of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Sciences).

Every applicant must either

  • be a graduate with an average grade of at least B for the appropriate 300-level papers, or
  • have alternative qualifications or experience acceptable to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Sciences).

An applicant seeking admission to the thesis-only option of the programme (see regulation 2(c) below) on the basis of the degree of Bachelor of Science with Honours or the Postgraduate Diploma in Science or equivalent must have achieved a grade of at least B+ for the research report, thesis preparation, or dissertation requirement of the qualification concerned.

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.

English language requirements

  • IELTS Academic - Score of 6.5 in the academic module (with no individual band below 6.0). IELTS Online is also accepted.
  • Internet-based TOEFL - Score of 90 with a minimum writing score of 21
  • Paper-based TOEFL - score of 587 (TWE 4.5)
  • Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) & Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) - Minimum of 176
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic - Overall score of 58 with no communicative skills score below 50.
  • LanguageCert - International ESOL: C1 Expert (LRWS) with a high pass overall and no less than a pass in each skill OR C2 Mastery (LRWS) with a pass overall and no less than a pass in each skill
  • NZCEL - NZCEL 5 Academic endorsement
  • ELA pathway programmes - Successful completion of the English Pathway for Postgraduate Studies (EPPS) with a B Grade

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