Important Announcement Application Date Extension
We would like to announce that, in acknowledgement of a technical glitch causing confusion over the application deadlines for the Master of Antarctic Studies (MASt) and the Postgraduate Certificate in Antarctic Studies (PCAS), we have extended the application deadline this year to 1 August 2019.
Master of Antarctic Studies
The Master of Antarctic Studies (MASt) aims at training graduates from a broad range of disciplines who wish to pursue a research career focussed on Antarctica or the Southern Ocean. The taught component of the programme enables students to gain a critical understanding of contemporary scientific, environmental, social and political questions connected to Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. The accompanying dissertation research project requires students to develop original Antarctic or Southern Ocean research in their chosen field under the supervision of a team of Gateway Antarctica supervisors.
Antarctic field training and the experience of living and working in Antarctica are central components of the taught component of MASt.
Jointly developed by the University of Canterbury and Antarctica New Zealand, this is the only Master’s programme in the world to offer students the experience of life in the Antarctic – at Scott Base, New Zealand’s Antarctic research station on Ross Island photgraph below.
MASt is aimed at graduates who wish to gain expertise in understanding Antarctic matters and develop critical research expertise. Compulsory components of the MASt include the Postgraduate certificate in Antarctic studies and additional coursework worth at least 30 points at 400-level or above in subjects that align with their dissertation research or broader research interests.
Antarctic field work
Students spend approximately ten days in Antarctica, undertaking a mix of field projects connected to their Antarctic research project, environmental monitoring in the vicinity of Scott Base, and visiting Antarctic sites of interest in the vicinity of Ross Island.
Supervised Antarctic research project
Students undertake an individual research project during their time on the PCAS programme. A set of projects, ranging from current issues in the natural sciences to social sciences topics, historical analyses to policy issues, all with a focus on Antarctica and the Southern Ocean, are available on the PCAS website. This list of projects will provide a taste of the possibilities that a career working or researching Antarctic issues might offer. These projects can also be developed into your MASt dissertation project.
Link to Supervised Project List
MASt provides an excellent preparation for further study in our world-class research environment and is used by many students as a launch pad for PhD Study (Doctor of Philosophy).
Entry requirements and fees
All participants are selected via a competitive process. Participants need an approved degree and must pass a medical examination prescribed by Antarctica New Zealand to complete the Antarctic field component. The competitive process attracts high-calibre applicants from across a range of natural and social sciences disciplines, and from across the world
MASt/PCAS application process
All students in the MASt and PCAS programmes must have selected a supervised project and made contact with the relevant supervisor before they are formally accepted onto the programme. Below is the link to our application form.
Projects available on website
Applicants will be notified
Deadline for paying deposit
Enrolment process begins
PCAS Programme commences
Antarctic fieldtrip (dates vary)
Final supervised project reports are due
PCAS results available
Postgraduate Certificate in Antarctic Studies
The Postgraduate Certificate in Antarctic Studies (PCAS) is the only programme in the world that provides students with the real-world experience of undertaking Antarctic research in Antarctica. Led by world-renowned scientists, PCAS is a multi-disciplinary programme of study that critically examines contemporary scientific, environmental, social and political questions focussed on Antarctica and the Southern Ocean.
Through a collaboration between the University of Canterbury and Antarctica New Zealand, Antarctic field training and the experience of living and working in Antarctica are central components of this programme.
PCAS is aimed at graduates who wish to gain expertise in understanding Antarctic matters and at professionals in organisations that deal with Antarctic issues. An exciting and innovative approach to experiential education, interactive lectures, workshops and mini-symposia form the heart of the New Zealand component of PCAS. PCAS includes lectures from over twenty New Zealand and international Antarctic experts each year to provide an exciting, and globally unique education program. Fieldtrips to Antarctic venues around Christchurch, and a three-day excursion to the Canterbury High Country prepares students for living and working in Antarctica.
Antarctic field work
Students spend approximately ten days in Antarctica, undertaking a mix of field projects connected to ongoing Antarctic research, environmental monitoring in the vicinity of Scott Base, and visiting Antarctic sites of interest around Ross Island.
Scholarships and funding
For general scholarships see the UC Scholarships database.
For funding specifically for Antarctic-related study, see the list below.
- Christchurch City Council Antarctic Scholarship
- MFAT Scholarship in Antarctic and Southern Ocean Studies
- Antarctica New Zealand scholarships
- Enderby Trust scholarships
- Sir Peter Blake Trust
Considering the limited spaces available on the PCAS programme each year, entry into the programme is competitive. If you are interested in the programme, you will need to complete the application form attached and submit it to Gateway Antarctica (email@example.com) by 7 July 2019. You will also need to provide certified copies of your academic transcripts with your application. You will need to provide us with the contact details of two referees.
|Professor Anne-Marie Brady||University of Canterbury|
|Dr Paul Broady||University of Canterbury|
|Kerry Chuck||United States Antarctic Program|
|Professor Bill Davison||University of Canterbury|
|Dr Maj de Poorter||University of Auckland|
|Dr Regina Eisert||Gateway Antarctica, University of Canterbury|
|Margaret Elliott||Artist, Wellington|
|Jack Fenaughty||Silvifish Resources Ltd|
|Jeanine Foster||GM Communications, Antarctica New Zealand|
|Dr Sally Gaw||University of Canterbury|
|Dr Neil Gilbert||Constantia Consulting|
|Professor Ian Hawes||University of Canterbury|
|Dr Alan Hemmings||University of Canterbury|
|Professor Christina Hulbe||University of Otago|
|Dr Kurt Joy||University of Canterbury|
|Dr Elizabeth Leane||University of Tasmania|
|Peter McCarthy||Antarctica New Zealand|
|Sarah Murray||Canterbury Museum|
|Jana Newman||Antarctica New Zealand|
|Hanne Nielsen||University of Tasmania|
|Dr Clive Phillips||Question 4 Ltd|
|Ceisha Poirot||Antarctica New Zealand|
|Dr Ursula Rack||University of Canterbury|
|Dr Wolfgang Rack||University of Canterbury|
|Nicola Reid||Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade (MFAT)|
|Michelle Rogan-Finnemore||Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programs|
|Gabriela Roldan||International Antarctic Attraction|
|Professor Karen Scott||University of Canterbury|
|Dr Fiona Shanhun||Antarctica New Zealand|
|Dr Patrick Shepherd||University of Canterbury|
|Dr Gary Steel||Lincoln University|
|Nigel Watson||NZ Antarctic Heritage Trust|
|Kelsie Wilkinson||Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade (MFAT)|
|Sarah Williamson||Antarctica New Zealand|
|Professor Gary Wilson||New Zealand Antarctic Research Institute (NZARI)|
|Dr Peyman Zawar-Reza||University of Canterbury|
|May 1||Projects available on website|
|7 July||Applications close|
|31 July||Applicants will be notified|
|Mid August||Deadline for paying deposit|
|Early Sept||Enrolment process begins|
|Mid November||PCAS Programme commences
|November- January||Antarctic fieldtrip (dates vary)|
|Late January||Lectures end|
|Mid February||Final supervised project reports are due|
|1 April||PCAS results available|
As part of the Postgraduate Certificate in Antarctic Studies students complete several reports, both individually and as a group.
By the end of the course it is expected students will have met the following objectives:
- Developed an overview of the role of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean in the understanding and resolution of global issues.
- Have knowledge of contemporary research activity in the Antarctic and Southern Ocean.
- Have an understanding of some of the major scientific, environmental, social, historical, legal and political issues in relation to the Antarctic and the Southern Ocean and the ways such issues are addressed.
- Have a practical appreciation of the challenges imposed by the Antarctic environment.
- Developed skills in group work, self-directed learning, research, seminar and professional presentations and critical analysis, reflection and debate.