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Master of Antarctic Studies

This course is available


Level of Study

Master's Degree


1 year

Next start date

Expected Nov 2024


University of Canterbury


This 180-point Master of Antarctic Studies (MAntaStud) is a one-year degree that kick starts with summer courses that are coordinated by Gateway Antarctica, a research centre based at UC.

Gateway Antarctica offers an internationally unique programme of study and inquiry that has been developed by staff at Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha | University of Canterbury in partnership with Antarctica New Zealand, with significant contributions from other Aotearoa New Zealand business, government, industry, iwi, and non-profit organisations with an interest in protecting and preserving Antarctica.

Antarctic research is represented in one of the 11 New Zealand National Science Challenges, highlighting the importance of understanding the role of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean in determining Aotearoa New Zealand's future climate and environment. It is also of interest internationally, especially to countries that make up the signatory states to the Antarctic Treaty, and those that undertake national polar research programmes and institutes.

This Master's degree allows you to:

complete the Postgraduate Certificate in Antarctic Studies, which includes three courses focused on developing your Antarctic knowledge, connecting you with Antarctic organisations, and developing your research skills and initial research work on an Antarctic topic
undertake further courses and a research dissertation related to your area of expertise and interest
complete a master's level qualification within one year
prepare for jobs requiring a solid background in Antarctic science or policy.


Postgraduate study can bring many career benefits eg, specialist skills and enhanced knowledge, entry into specific occupations, higher starting salary/progression rates, research capability/achievement, and evidence of high academic attainment/self-discipline.

Entry criteria

Anyone interested in enrolling for the Master of Antarctic Studies must have a relevant postgraduate qualification in a suitable background to Antarctic Studies (eg, the Postgraduate Certificate in Antarctic Studies), and evidence of their ability to complete advanced-level academic study (normally a B Grade Point Average in 300-level, or equivalent, courses).

Applicants must also satisfy our English language entry requirements:

IELTS (Academic): An average score of 6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 in reading, writing, listening, and speaking.
TOEFL (IBT): Total minimum score of 90, minimum score of 19 in reading, writing, and listening.
PTE (Pearson Test of English - Academic): PTE with an overall score of 58 and no PTE communicative skills score below 50.

You will need to complete the application form on the Gateway Antarctica website by 19 September.

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