Home Scholarships University of Otago: TUITION FEES, COURSES ADMISSION, AND RANKING


University of Otago: TUITION FEES, COURSES ADMISSION, AND RANKING – The university is located in Dunedin, Otago in the South Island region of the country, the world-class teaching and research university was established by the Otago Provincial Council about 150 years ago, dating back to 1869.

However, it is well developed and its reputation for providing high-quality education to students from all around the world, especially in the area of top-class postgraduate research; with the most recent recognition being a 2018 excellent rating of 5 plus for quality education by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), an annual publication of world’s universities ranking.

Studying at the University of Otago, be it as an undergraduate or a postgraduate student, is usually a dream come through.

The University has produced over 20,000 students, with an offering of over 195 undergraduate and postgraduate programs that cut across the Sciences, Humanities, Social sciences, and the Otago School of business.

Also, it is also home to the Country’s first medical school and also boasts of offering Summer School, International School, and Distant Learning programs.

University of Otago Ranking:

The Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) is an annual ranking of the world’s top universities based on international standards. However, this ranking was initially meant to distinguish the top 200 schools in the world and the University of Otago first featured in the year 2007 when it came on the list as the 114th top school in the world.

Before 2015, No New Zealand School had had a course in the top 10 QS course ranking list until the University of Otago came in ranked 8th in Dentistry.

The University of Otago was recently ranked 151st in the 2017/2018 QS rankings, placing it in the top 3% of the world’s universities. It is also currently among the top 50 in the subject areas of Dentistry, Anatomy and Physiology, Archaeology, Physical Education, and Development Studies.

The University of Otago Courses:

All applicants looking to study at the University of Otago are usually either of two categories; students seeking to gain from the rich teaching culture at the University by undergoing an undergraduate program and those looking to leverage on the world-class research set up to further their studies on a postgraduate program.

Undergraduate courses

The University currently has well over 14,000 students enrolled in courses split across the four (4) divisions of Sciences, Humanities, Social sciences, and the Otago Business School. Based on the divisions, the following Bachelor degree courses are offered;


Surveying, Science, Applied Science, Arts and Science, Physical Education and a Diploma for Graduates (Science)

Health Sciences

Pharmacy, Medicine and Surgery, Biomedical Sciences, Medical Laboratory Science, Dental Surgery, Dental Technology, Physiotherapy, Radiation Therapy, Oral Health, and a Diploma for Graduates for Health Sciences.



Laws, Music, Theology, Arts, Arts, and Science, Performing Arts, Teaching, Social Work, and Diploma in the following categories – Language, Language and Culture, Graduates (Humanities).

Otago Business School

Bachelor of Commerce and a Diploma for Graduate (Commerce).

Postgraduate Courses


Diploma for Graduates – Sciences, Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) – Sciences, Doctor of Science, Master of Applied Science, Master of Dance Studies, Master of Dietetics, Master of Physical Education, Master of Science, Master of Science Communication, Master of Surveying, Master of Wildlife Management

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Health Sciences

Diploma for Graduates – Health Sciences, Doctor of Clinical Dentistry, Doctor of Dental Science, Doctor of Medicine, Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) – Health Sciences, Master of Aeromedical Retrieval and Transport, Master of Aviation Medicine, Master of Bioethics and Health Law, Master of Clinical Pharmacy, Master of Community Dentistry, Master of Dental Surgery, Master of Dental

Also, Master of Dentistry, Master of General Practice, Master of Health Sciences, Master of Medical Laboratory Science, Master of Medical Science, Master of Nursing Science, Master of Occupational Medicine, Master of Ophthalmology, Master of Oral Health, Master of Pharmacy, Master of Physiotherapy, Master of Primary Health Care, Master of Public Health, Master of Travel Medicine.


Diploma for Graduates – Humanities, Doctor of Education, Doctor of Laws, Doctor of Literature, Doctor of Music, Doctor of Musical Arts, Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) – Humanities, Master of Arts, Master of Chaplaincy, Master of Education, Master of Emerging Technologies Law, Master of Fine Arts, Master of Higher Education, Master of Indigenous Studies, Master of International Studies, Master of Laws, Master of Ministry, Master of Music, Master of Peace and Conflict Studies, Master of Planning, Master of Politics, Master of Social Work, Master of Teaching, Master of Teaching and Learning, Master of Theology.

University of Otago Business School:

Diploma for Graduates – Commerce, Doctor of Commerce, Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) – Commerce, Master of Accounting, Master of Business Administration, Master of Business Data Science, Master of Commerce, Master of Economics, Master of Entrepreneurship, Master of Finance, Master of International Business, Master of Marketing, Master of Professional Accounting, Master of Sustainable Business, Master of Tourism.

University of Otago Admission Requirements:

Undergraduate Study Requirements

The minimum admission requirement for entrance into the University of Otago for undergraduate study is the completion of a high school certificate. The general requirements, however, differ with the student’s country of prior study based on its equivalence to the New Zealand qualification for entrance. For instance, for students applying in Nigeria, the minimum requirement is the completion of a high school certificate and satisfactory completion of one year’s study at an approved Nigerian tertiary institution. You can check the entrance requirements for your country here.

Postgraduate Study requirement

Admission requirements for postgraduate study at the University of Otago vary by Programme. General requirements usually include a bachelor-degree certificate in the field the student is looking to apply for, and in some cases, relevant work experience in that area. Professional registration in New Zealand could also be a requirement in certain cases.

Holding a bachelor’s degree may qualify one for a coursework-and-thesis-based master’s study though having an honors bachelor’s degree or a postgraduate diploma may qualify a student for a thesis-only based master’s program.

Completion of a master’s degree or an undergraduate degree with a first-class or second-class upper honors in the area of intended study qualifies a student to apply for a Ph.D. degree in the university.

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University of Otago Fees:

In the University of Otago, tuition fees are calculated based on the student’s subject categories per EFTS (Equivalent Full-time student) for a given year. This is because there are students who may decide to take more or fewer courses than others per session.

Note that All fees are in New Zealand Dollars NZ$

Domestic Tuition Fees

The tuition fees for undergraduate students based on these subject categories ranges from $5,793.00 (per EFTS) for Arts, Languages, Theology, Mathematics, and Education to $15.389.00 (per EFTS) for Medicine and Dentistry.

For Postgraduate students, the tuition fees (in EFTS) based on subject category ranges from $7,551.00 for Law Honours to $35,985.00 for Medicine-MDS in the Postgraduate Taught study category while for Postgraduate Thesis and Honours category, it ranges from $6,351.00 for Commerce (per EFTS) to $9,955 (per EFTS) for Dentistry thesis (Non-clinical).

A full list of tuition fees for all subject categories including other fees like administration fees and Student Services fees and also how to make payments in the event of admission can be gotten on the following page (https://www.otago.ac.nz/study/fees/) of the school’s website. The Student Services fees and administration fees are general for both domestic and international students.

International Tuition Fees

There is a different range of tuition fees available for International students admitted into the University of Otago. This is usually based on the papers enrolled by the student from a range of subject areas.

For Undergraduate International Students, the current range of tuition fees for each subject division are as follows;

The Business Division offers $27,154 annually for all its courses except Information Science with a slightly higher fee of $30,851.

The Division of Health Sciences averages tuition fees of $36,000 for first-year students. This value varies per course and it increases for the remaining years of study to a range of $38,808 for Medical Laboratory Science to $95,319 for Dental Surgery. The only exception to this is the Biomedical Sciences and Health Sciences program which offers $32,760 to students flat for the whole duration of the program.

For the Humanities Division, the majority of the courses are offered at a yearly tuition fee of $25,109. This fee is increased for only a few programs with Geography and Archaeology amongst the highest tuition fees at $30,851.

The Division of Sciences has tuition fees ranging from $25,109 for the departments of Mathematics and Statistics to only as high as $32,760 for programs like Genetics, Anatomy, Biochemistry, and a few others.

Postgraduate programs usually have relatively low tuition fees with Ph.D. students paying between $6,351 for commerce and $9,955 for Dentistry thesis (Non-clinical). Tuition fees for master’s programs, however, come higher almost to the range of the undergraduate programs. The full list of tuition fees for all undergraduate and postgraduate programs for International students can be found here (https://www.otago.ac.nz/international/otago689130.pdf)

University of Otago Scholarship Opportunities

Undergraduate Scholarships

The University of Otago provides over 25 different scholarship initiatives for its undergraduate students to provide financial support in view of the completion of their program. Some of the scholarships, listed on the school’s website, are as follows;

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Alexander Leith Bagpipe and Drum Scholarship
Scholarship funding to support the first year of a Bachelor of Music degree.

Campbell-White Scholarship

$3,000 for a student studying full-time towards a degree of Bachelor of Surveying, Bachelor of Applied Science, or Bachelor of Science majoring in Geology, Surveying, or Applied Geology.

Chris Burks Memorial Bursary

$3,000 for a second-year resident of Carrington College, who has contributed towards the welfare of others.

Dunedin Symphony Scholarship for Orchestral Performance

$5,000 to foster the performance careers of exceptionally talented musicians who have demonstrated a strong and clear commitment to an orchestral career.

Dr. E C Grant and Mrs. H M Grant Memorial Medical Scholarship
Funding to support students admitted to the medical program.

Dr. Emily Hancock Siedeberg Scholarship

$1,250 for a female student in the fourth year of an MB ChB.

Energy Education Trust NZ Undergraduate Scholarship

$5,000 for students with a specific interest in energy issues.

E Rewa Begg Scholarship

$2,000 towards the second year of study in the field of commerce.

The full list of undergraduate scholarships can be found here (https://www.otago.ac.nz/graduate-research/scholarships/undergraduate/index.html)

For applicants who are looking to get admission into the University, there are entrance scholarships that are usually open between the months of July and August and the months of November and December. These scholarships have a tenure range of one year to three years as the case may be and they can all be found on the school’s website here (https://www.otago.ac.nz/future-students/cost/scholarships/index.html)

Postgraduate Scholarships

The University of Otago also offers more than 240 research scholarships worth more than $18 million every year to her postgraduate students, with an allocation of 181 new Ph.D. scholarships worth $25,000 plus tuition fee rebate and 60 research Master’s scholarships worth $10,000 to $13,000 yearly. There is usually no deadline for applications. Below is an extract from the full list of postgraduate scholarships offered by the university for international students:

University of Otago Doctoral Scholarship

$25,000 plus tuition fee waiver for thesis doctoral students.

University of Otago Special Health Research Scholarship

$25,000 plus tuition fee waiver for thesis doctoral students.

University of Otago Pacific Island Doctoral Scholarship

$25,000 plus tuition fee waiver for indigenous Pacific Island thesis doctoral students.

Brooker Travel and HelloWorld Doctoral Travel Scholarships

Travel funding to support Ph.D. students at the University of Otago.

Built Environment and Active Transport Ph.D. Scholarship

Ph.D. funding for working on the “Built Environment and Active Transport to School: BEATS Study”

University of Otago International Master’s Research Scholarship

$13,000 plus tuition fee waiver for international thesis Master’s students.

University of Otago Coursework Master’s Scholarship

$10,000 towards coursework Master’s student’s tuition fees.

You can visit the school’s website (https://www.otago.ac.nz/) to learn more about how to apply (https://www.otago.ac.nz/future-students/apply/index.html

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