Master of Science
The Master of Science usually consists of two parts: coursework and a thesis allowing for students to investigate areas of interest to them and conduct independent and original research. Over 30 subjects are available, and some can only be studied at postgraduate level, which can allow for specialisation in academic and career pathways.
For more information about why students should consider studying a postgraduate science programme at UC, see the Postgraduate Prospectus.
The MSc may be awarded with Distinction, Merit or Honours.
Normally the minimum requirement is a three-year bachelor’s degree from a New Zealand university, or a qualification or combination of qualifications considered to be equivalent. If you gained your qualifications overseas, these will need to be assessed to make sure they are of an equivalent standard.
You are also required to meet UC’s English language requirements.
Qualification specific requirements
Candidates must have completed one of the following:
- Bachelor of Science
- Bachelor of Science with Honours*
- Bachelor of Speech and Language Pathology with Honours
- Postgraduate Diploma in Science*
- Postgraduate Diploma in Engineering Geology
- or any bachelor's degree and a qualifying programme.
Note: For Biotechnology, candidates can have completed the degree of Bachelor of Engineering with Honours.
* Students who have qualified for a Bachelor of Science with Honours or Postgraduate Diploma in Science in a subject may be admitted to a MSc Part II (by thesis-only) in that subject.
Child and Family Psychology has other requirements – see the School of Health Sciences for more information.
Qualification structure and duration
Part I of the MSc usually consists of coursework while Part II usually consists of a thesis or dissertation. Coursework must be satisfactorily completed in Part I before the student can proceed to Part II. The requirements vary depending on your choice of subject, as some subjects require only Part II.
- Part I and Part II must be completed in two years full-time; up to four years part-time.
- Part I must be completed full-time in one year.
- Part II is completed full-time in one to two years or, with the Academic Dean of Science's permission part-time in up to four years.
For most science departments Part I has a February and a July start date. Biological Sciences, Biochemistry and Chemistry have a February-only start date. Students should approach the Postgraduate Coordinator if they would like to start at another time.
For Part II, most MSc subjects can be started at the beginning of any month.
Subjects and courses
Contact the department or school directly for information about these subject areas:
- Antarctic Studies
- Applied Psychology
- Biological Sciences
- Cellular and Molecular Biology
- Child and Family Psychology
- Computational and Applied Mathematical Sciences
- Computer Science
- Data Science
- Disaster, Risk and Resilience
- Engineering Geology
- Environmental Science
- Evolutionary Biology*
- Medical Physics
- Medical Physics (Clinical)
- Plant Biology*
- Speech and Language Sciences
* Not open to new enrolments in 2018.
How to apply
Find out how to apply for graduate and postgraduate qualifications.
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.
- Read what other UC postgraduate students have gone on to achieve in their studies and careers in our student and graduate profiles.
- Our Careers, Internships & Employment team can help you to achieve the career you want, connect with employers or find a job.
- For research into career destinations by qualification, visit the Universities New Zealand website.
- Find out more about what you can do with a degree from UC.
- Come along to an upcoming information event for prospective postgraduate students.
For full requirements see the Regulations for the Master of Science.
For study planning help contact the College of Science:
College of Science | Te Rāngai Pūtaiao
University of Canterbury | Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha
Private Bag 4800