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University of Otago

Dunedin , South Island ,New Zealand

Master of Science (MSc) in Pharmacology

A Master of Science (MSc) in Pharmacology enables you to gain employment as a research assistant or allows you to be eligible for entry into the doctoral program.

It consists of a full year of research which will develop your skills in:

  • Critical thinking
  • Experimental design
  • Experimental techniques
  • Statistical analysis 
  • Interpreting data
  • Oral and written communication of results

The transferable skills you gain from this degree has enabled past Pharmacology Master’s students to obtain employment with the NZ National Poison Centre and as a drug representative for pharmaceutical companies. Others have used it for graduate entry into medicine or to continue onto a PhD.


  • Feb
  • July

Application Processing Time in Days: 30

Minimum English Language Requirements

English Level Description IELTS (1.0 -9.0) TOEFL IBT (0-120) TOEFL CBT (0-300) PTE (10-90)
Expert 9 120 297-300 86-90
Very Good 8.5 115-119 280-293 83-86
Very Good 8 110-114 270-280 79-83
Good 7.5 102-109 253-267 73-79
Good 7 94-101 240-253 65-73
Competent 6.5 79-93 213-233 58-65
Competent 6 60-78 170-210 50-58
Modest 5.5 46-59 133-210 43-50
Modest 5 35-45 107-133 36-43
Limited 4 32-34 97-103 30-36
Extremely Limited < 4 < 31 < 93 < 30

Job Opportunity Potential

We encourage all students – including International students – to make use of the career resources available on our website. From exploring your career options to specific job search strategies, you’ll find the information you need to establish your future career. You’ll also find information on this page specifically targeted at International students.

Get help with:

Career planning: Explore your career and study options
Job Applications: CV and cover letters, interview skills and applying for work
Gaining Experience: Get the ‘right’ skills, enhance your Otago experience… and volunteer.
Finding Employment: Job search strategies, career events and looking for work
Speak to a career adviser one-on-one if you need further assistance.

Enhance your employability
The graduate job market is competitive – good grades alone may not be enough to get your ideal job. You’ll also be expected to possess excellent English language skills, and be able to demonstrate a range of work-related skills and personal qualities relevant to the job. Develop the required skills through:

Work experience – gain part-time work, voluntary work, summer placements, or internships
Extracurricular activities – get involved in activities outside your course such as student societies and sporting clubs
Academic activities – show your capabilities by, for example, leading a group project or being a student representative for your course

PSW Opportunity

2 years open post study work visa after completion of Bachelor degree.

Admission Requirement / Eligibility Criteria

A master’s degree is usually undertaken in the same area of study as the major subject
pursued for a bachelor’s degree, postgraduate diploma or honours degree. However,
some masters’ programmes require only that the candidate is a graduate and/or has
appropriate work experience.


Score of 6.5 in the academic module (with no individual band below 6.0)

IELTS Indicator test

This is an online version of the regular IELTS test, made available due to COVID-19 testing centre restrictions.

Paper-based TOEFL

Score of 587 (TWE 4.5).

TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition

This is an online version of the regular TOEFL iBT test, made available due to COVID-19 testing centre restrictions.

Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CAE)

Minimum of 176 (with no individual band below 169)

Duolingo English Test (DET)

Score of 110

Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic

Overall score of 64 with no communicative skills score below 57