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University

University of Otago
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PhD - Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science

This course is available

On-Campus

Level of Study

Doctoral Degree

Duration

3 years

Next start date

Expected Feb 2023

Campus

University of Otago

Summary

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is the highest degree offered by the University of Otago. It is awarded on the submission of a thesis 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.

Nature of the Degree

Candidates for the degree of the Doctor of Philosophy are required to pursue an approved programme of advanced study and research under supervision as enrolled students of the University. The degree of Doctor of Philosophy is awarded on the basis of the submission of a thesis. The thesis, which may include a nominated creative component, should give evidence of the candidate’s ability to carry out research, that the candidate has shown originality and independence, and that the candidate has made a significant contribution to the advancement of their particular field. The research should be of a kind which a diligent and competent student might reasonably be expected to complete within three years of full-time study.

Study Computer Science at Otago and take control of your future. Doors open to many areas – from machine learning, computer animation, computer games, software design and robotics, through to legal, financial and business careers.

Computer Science forms the basis for all information technology and it is a fast-changing and rapidly growing field. Computing is now central to the way our modern society works, and it will remain that way. Computer scientists analyse, design and implement computer algorithms and computer systems. Their skills are desperately needed in New Zealand and worldwide.

At Otago, we cover all core areas of Computer Science and actively research at the cutting-edge in areas as diverse as artificial intelligence, computer graphics and vision, distributed computing, databases, search, biological data science and theory.

Why study Computer Science?

Computer scientists are in demand across the world and attract excellent salaries. Technologies change rapidly and there is always something new and exciting to learn – whether as a programmer, software engineer, systems architect or chief technical officer.

A career as a Computer Scientist is challenging and rewarding. If you like solving problems, then a major in computer science is for you. It is hard to describe the joy involved in designing and implementing a complex system and then seeing it all work in front of your eyes.

Duration of the Programme

A candidate shall pursue a programme of study and research under supervision for a period normally equivalent to 3 full-time years.

The minimum period of study shall be equivalent to 3 full-time years and the maximum period shall be equivalent to 4 full-time years. Exceptions shall be permitted only with approval of the Senate.

No programme shall exceed the equivalent of six years of full-time study from the date of first admission.

A candidate shall be enrolled continuously for the entire period of the candidacy, up to the submission of the thesis, except that a candidate may apply to the Senate for permission to withdraw temporarily from study.

Location of Study and Research

Candidates are normally expected to be resident and studying in New Zealand while enrolled for the degree. Exceptions shall be permitted only with approval of the Senate.

Candidates proposing to study overseas may be approved to do so on a case-by-case basis by the Senate. Normally such study must be deemed necessary for the candidate's research. While overseas, the candidate must continue to be enrolled at the University.

Entry criteria

Admission to the degree programme shall be subject to the approval of the Senate.

Every candidate must be a university graduate and produce evidence of ability to undertake research in the area of proposed study. Such evidence shall include:

  • a Bachelor’s degree with first or upper second class Honours (with an average grade in Honours papers at or equivalent to at least B+ at the University of Otago) or equivalent (including a research component) with an average grade at or equivalent to at least B+ at the University of Otago;) or
  • a Master’s degree (with an average grade at or equivalent to at least B+ at the University of Otago) (including an appropriate research component worth at least a quarter of a year's workload (0.25 EFTS), with a grade at or equivalent to at least B+ at the University of Otago); or
  • appropriate research experience; and
  • for candidates including a nominated creative component for assessment, demonstrated advanced training or experience in a relevant creative practice.

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

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