Click the button to search course listings for the University of Otago. Please keep in mind that not all courses may not be offered when you are planning to study as course offerings frequently change.

Because New Zealand is in the Southern Hemisphere, their seasons are the opposite of the United States. For example, when it is winter in the US it is summer in NZ. As a result, the semesters are opposite as well. When looking for courses please keep in mind that:

  • US Spring semester= NZ Semester 1
  • US Fall semester = NZ Semester 2

Available University of Otago Study Abroad Programs

School of Business Departments

The School of Business teaches major subjects for the business major as well as many postgraduate diplomas and degrees. Otago’s international EQUIS and AACSB accreditations ensure your business education is truly world-class and globally recognized.

Division of Humanities Departments

The Division of Humanities at Otago is one of the most innovative and progressive in New Zealand. Humanities cover the major fields of the Arts and Social Sciences. The Division consists of 15 departments and includes professional programs in Law, Education, and Social Work.

Division of Sciences Departments

The Division of Sciences is responsible for a full range of sciences including degree programs in Consumer and Applied Sciences, Physical Education, and Surveying. The Division is a leader in many areas of genetic research and computer and information technology.


  • Arts & Humanities: Art History, Biblical Studies, Buddhist Studies, English, Media, Film & Communications, History, Japanese Studies, Music, Performing Arts, Philosophy, Politics
  • Business & Communications: Accounting, Business Administration, Communications, Economics, Finance, Information Science, International Business, Marketing, Marketing Management
  • Pre-Professional Studies: Education, Exercise & Sport Science, Food Science, Health Sciences, Hospitality, Physical Education, Social Work, Tourism
  • Sciences: Biochemistry, Biology, Botany, Chemistry, Computer Science, Ecology, Energy Studies, Environmental Science, Genetics, Geology, Marine Science, Mathematics, Microbiology, Neuroscience, Physics, Zoology
  • Social Sciences: Anthropology, Archaeology, Mäori Studies, Pacific Islands, Psychology, Sociology


New Zealand universities generally follow the British model of three-year undergraduate degrees. Students completing their degree at Otago enter in a certain major and their courses are related to that major. Each year papers (the equivalent of U.S. courses) build in their level of specialization and difficulty. Introductory papers are called 100-level papers, which move on in subsequent years or semesters to 200-level and 300-level papers. Most 400-level papers are at the postgraduate level.


Most papers beyond 100-level have prerequisites. If you have not completed the equivalent of a prerequisite for a certain paper at your home institution, you will not be able to enroll in that paper. Some papers also have what are called corequisites. If you have not already passed the equivalent of the corequisite, you must take it alongside the other paper.


The basic method of presenting subject information in undergraduate papers is the lecture, although many departments use a variety of flexible approaches. Lectures normally last 50 minutes. Lectures are only a basic means of introducing new knowledge and outside of class, you will be expected to learn more through your reading. You will also take part in laboratories or tutorials, which are teaching and discussion classes of 12-20 students where more individual attention is available. You will also find you are in regular contact with tutors, other academic staff and other students by email and online discussion groups.


Courses are assessed in a variety of ways. Examination “finals” are usually the most important. Each paper normally has a two- or three-hour final examination. Finals are held at the end of each semester. Most subjects also have shorter tests during the semesters. Written assignments and laboratory work also usually count towards the final grade. Ongoing internal assessment is a feature of most Otago papers.


Most papers are single-semester papers and are worth 18 Otago points or 4 U.S. credits. A full-time load is generally 54-72 points in any one semester or 108-144 points in any one year. As an approximate guide, you can expect to spend about 12 hours per week per one single-semester paper (18 points). These hours are made up of a combination of lectures, tutorials, laboratories, assignments and reading.


When you apply to the program, you will be asked to list courses that you are hoping to take while in Dunedin. This list is for advising purposes as it helps BCA understand your course needs and make sure that our program is a good fit for you. You will officially register for your courses after you have been accepted by BCA and you are completing your University of Otago registration.