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University of Otago
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Postgraduate Diploma in Science (PGDipSci) in Chemistry

This course is available


Level of Study

Postgraduate Certificate or Diploma


1 year

Next start date

Expected Feb 2025


University of Otago


The Postgraduate Diploma in Science (PGDipSci) is a one-year programme which builds on an undergraduate science degree. The diploma encompasses both papers and a research topic, and can be taken full-time. It provides possible to the Master of Science (MSc) degree by thesis only.

Why study Chemistry?

Chemistry is the science of matter; it’s so fundamental it’s been called the central science. Studying Chemistry will help you develop an understanding of how the universe works. You’ll learn how to synthesise new chemicals that could have a profound effect on people’s lives. You could assist with the discovery of new drugs, agrichemicals and sources of energy, and gain a highly transportable and internationally recognised qualification in Chemistry. Studying Chemistry at Otago means you’ll acquire problem-solving skills within a chemical framework.

Career opportunities

Careers involving chemistry are hugely varied and there’s been a shortage of chemistry graduates in New Zealand in recent years.

Qualified chemists work in industries involving chemicals, plastics, pharmaceuticals, food, textiles and timber. These positions include areas such as research and development, quality control, marketing, sales or management. Chemists also play leading roles in agriculture, horticulture, fisheries, water quality control, and in chemical, biochemical or medical research units. They are also sought after in central and local government agencies, to work on projects such as pollution monitoring, water purification and forensic work solving criminal cases.

Recent changes in environmental and occupational health and safety legislation have also resulted in jobs for chemistry graduates, both in the public sector and industry. Chemistry graduates are in continual demand for commerce-related positions, because employers recognise that people with a background in chemistry have been well trained to handle information and deal with complex concepts. These are qualities relevant throughout the workforce, in areas as diverse as finance, law, politics and sales. And there is ongoing demand for secondary science and chemistry teachers throughout New Zealand.

Note: July commencement may be possible, although the duration of the qualification may be longer, or paper selection may be limited.

Entry criteria

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

Every applicant shall have fulfilled one of the following condition

  • have been admitted to the degree of Bachelor of Science majoring in the subject or subjects of study proposed
  • have been admitted with the status of one who is entitled to proceed to the diploma
  • have a qualification acceptable to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor and produce evidence satisfactory to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor of ability to proceed to the diploma.

English language requirements

  • IELTS (Academic module) (including IELTS Online) - Overall score of 6.5, no individual band below 6.0.
  • TOEFL iBT - Overall score of 90 and a writing score of 21.
  • C1 Advanced (previously Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE)) & (previously Cambridge English Proficiency (CPE)) - Overall score of 176 (with no individual band below 169).
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic - Overall score of 58 with no communicative skills score below 50.
  • Language Cert - 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
  • English New Zealand's Accredited Pathway Assessment - Assessment Level 3 (with no skill lower than Level 2).
  • APIEL Advanced Placement International English Language Examination - Grade 4 or higher.

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