Postgraduate study

researchers on the ice in Antarctica

‌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. 

Scott Base

Programme components

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 (PCAS ) 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.   

 ‌

  Adelie Penguin

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 Antarctica might offer. These projects can also be developed into your MASt dissertation project.

 

 Sea ICe

Link to Supervised Project Page List  ‌

PCAS 2019 Projects

Further opportunities

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.

https://www.canterbury.ac.nz/study/qualifications-and-courses/postgraduate-certificates-and-diplomas/postgraduate-certificate-in-antarctic-studies/

https://www.canterbury.ac.nz/regulations/academic-regulations/pgcertantastud-104/

  

MASt/PCAS application process

All students in the MASt programme 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.

 

 Mast/PCAS Application Form

 

             

          Key Dates for MAST Entry

 

 1 May

 Projects available on website

 7 Jul

 Applications close

 31 Jul

 Candidates advised

 Mid Aug

 Deadline for paying deposit

 Early September

 Application to enrol begins

 Mid Nov

 PCAS Programme commences 
 in Christchurch

 Nov–Jan

 Antarctic fieldtrip (dates vary)

 Late Jan

 Lectures end

 Mid Feb

 Final supervised  project reports submitted

 1 Apr

 Results available

 

MORE INFORMATION 

Master of Antarctic Studies Brochure

 

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.

 

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.

Programme components

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. This course delivers 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.

 

Antarctic Photo 3

 

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 those in the social sciences and humanities –all with a focus on Antarctica and the Southern Ocean, are available on the PCAS website (https://www.canterbury.ac.nz/science/schools-and-departments/antarctica/postgraduate-study/). This list of projects will provide a taste of the possibilities that a career working or researching Antarctica might offer.

 

Link to Supervised Project Page

 PCAS 2019 Projects

           Key Dates for PCAS Entry

 

 1 May

 Projects available on website

 7 July

 Applications close

 31 July

 Candidates advised

 Mid Aug

 Deadline for paying deposit

 Early September 

 Application to enrol begins

 Mid November

 PCAS Programme commences 
 in Christchurch

 November - January     

 Antarctic fieldtrip (dates vary)

 Late January

 Lectures end

 Mid February

 Final supervised  project reports submitted

 1 April

 Results available

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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, and from across the world.

https://www.canterbury.ac.nz/study/qualifications-and-courses/postgraduate-certificates-and-diplomas/postgraduate-certificate-in-antarctic-studie

https://www.canterbury.ac.nz/regulations/academic-regulations/pgcertantastud-104/

MASt/PCAS application process

All students in the MASt programme 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.

 

 Mast/PCAS Application Form

 

 A PhD is an advanced course of study and research which makes an original contribution to knowledge or understanding in the field of study. 

 

Scholarships and funding

For general scholarships see the UC Scholarships database.

For funding specifically for Antarctic-related study, see the list below.

 

Useful links

UC library portal

UC Antarctic Collection

Past postgraduate research

Current postgraduate research

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 (gateway-antarctica@canterbury.ac.nz) by 7 uly 2019.  You will also need to provide certified copies of your academic transcripts with your application.  Two letters of reference have to be sent to us directly by your referees (see reference form attached).  A decision on whether your application has been successful will be made in early September.

 

 

   
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
Bernadette Hall Poet
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
John Maillard Ara
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
Key dateAction
August 1                                          Applications close
End of August Candidates advised of selection
Early September Students with international qualifications apply for admission
Mid-September  Deadline for acceptance and payment of $100 deposit
October  All students apply and enrol
Early November Submit medical forms to Antarctica New Zealand
Mid-November  Course commences in Christchurch
Late November  Cass field trip, 2 nights
Late December Antarctica field trip
Late January Lectures and group work ends
Late February Project work ends
Late March Results

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.

For all enquiries please contact:

Daniela Liggett

Senior Lecturer
Julius von Haast Level 7
Internal Phone: 92170