Postgraduate Diploma in Science (PGDipSci) in Psychology

University of Otago
1 year
Full time
Graduate diploma / certificate
Scholarships available
On campus
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About this program

Postgraduate Diploma in Science (PGDipSci) in Psychology

The Postgraduate Diploma in Science (PGDipSci) is a one-year Program 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 Psychology?

The Department of Psychology at Otago has a highly-regarded teaching Program and is internationally renowned for the strength of its research.

The research conducted in the Department of Psychology addresses problems in areas as diverse as sleep disorders, industrial relations, phobias, drug rehabilitation, aircraft safety, hyperactivity in children, how nonhuman animals think, as well as how the brain works.

  • Learn about human behaviour
  • Start a challenging career
  • Develop research skills in the social and behavioural sciences
  • Improve career flexibility with Psychology in your degree

Admission requirements

Every applicant shall have fulfilled one of the following conditions

  • i. have been admitted to the degree of Bachelor of Science majoring in the subject or subjects of study proposed
  • ii. have been admitted with the status of one who is entitled to proceed to the diploma
  • iii. 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.

If your first language is not English you need to meet our English language requirements as follows: IELTS score of 6.5 in the academic module (with no individual band below 6.0); Internet-based TOEFL: Score of 95 with a minimum writing score of 22; Paper-based TOEFL: score of 587 (TWE 4.5), we also accept a number of other English language tests. Due to COVID-19, we currently accept IELTS Indicator Test, and TOEFL iBT Special home Edition.

Don’t meet the English language requirements? The University of Otago Language Centre "English for Otago" Program offers a pathway for Undergraduate and Postgraduate students to meet the English language requirements for undergraduate and postgraduate study.

Does this course require proof of English proficiency?

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Program content

  • Every Program of study shall satisfy the requirements for the subject concerned as set out above.
  • With the permission of the Heads of the Departments concerned, a candidate may substitute a paper of another subject for one of the required papers.
  • Any required research report must be submitted no later than 1 November.

Subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Biochemistry
  • Botany
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science
  • Consumer Food Science
  • Ecology
  • Economics
  • Electronics
  • Energy Science and Technology
  • Food Science
  • Genetics
  • Geography
  • Geology
  • Human Nutrition
  • Information Science
  • Marine Science
  • Mathematics
  • Microbiology
  • Neuroscience
  • Pharmacology
  • Physics
  • Physiology
  • Plant Biotechnology
  • Psychology
  • Software Engineering
  • Sport, Exercise and Health
  • Statistics
  • Surveying
  • Telecommunications
  • Zoology

Scholarships & funding

Several scholarship options are available. Please check the university website for more information.

Program delivery

Application details

Applicants should submit their online application form along with the following supporting documents: scanned copies of their previous official academic transcripts (awards gained, marks, grades); a certified copy of the personal details page of their passport or a birth certificate (in English); Educational Credential Evaluators report (ECE); and certified/notarised translations of original documents which are not in English. After completion of online application, applicant’s proof of identity document must be posted to: International Office, University of Otago, PO Box 56, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand. International student applications for semester 1/summer school study close: Oct-31; Semester 2 study close: Apr-30.


International tuition fees per year: 39377 NZD


Level of Award of the Degree

The degree may be awarded with distinction or with credit.

You will learn

  • How the brain stores memories and processes information.
  • How our abilities change from childhood to old age.
  • How emotions affect our reasoning.
  • How prejudice and stereotypes arise.
  • How parents’ behaviour influences their children’s development.
  • What underlies disorders such as schizophrenia and dementia.
  • Why drugs, head injuries and hormones influence behaviour.

Career paths

In addition to specialising in Psychology, a degree in Psychology is useful for a wide range of other disciplines as well. Students take Psychology as part of degrees in Law, Commerce, Physical Education, Applied Science, Education, or Health Sciences.

Graduates from the Department of Psychology have gone on to jobs in universities, health and social services, business and industry, safety, communications and planning, and various government agencies. Clinical Psychology graduates have gone on to work in the public health sector, Department of Corrections, or in private practice.

Graduates with appropriate postgraduate qualifications work in research sections of the government, such as the Department of Health, Education, Justice, Social Development, Transport and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. Many of our graduates spend time working overseas, particularly in Australia, the United Kingdom or USA.

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About this institute

University of Otago

Founded in 1869, the University of Otago is New Zealand's first university. Otago has gained an excellent international reputation for its research and teaching. Ranked among the world’s top 1% of universities according to QS World University Rankings, Otago students...

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Why study at University of Otago

Otago’s approachable, world-renowned teaching staff are dedicated to fostering creativity and independence and helping students achieve their visions for the future.

Otago graduates are globally in demand, with 95 percent of graduates going on to employment or further academic studies. Otago’s Social Impact Studio provides volunteering and leadership opportunities, while programmes like Audacious support start-ups and entrepreneurs.

Otago boasts some of the best completion rates for a doctorate or master’s qualification in the world, with exceptional supervisory support.

At Otago, old meets new, from iconic historic buildings to modern, award-winning laboratories and teaching spaces, on one of the most beautiful campuses in the world.

Contact info

University of Otago

362 Leith Street
9016 Dunedin
New Zealand

Phone no: +64 0800 80 80 98

Message the school

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