The University of Otago’s rankings are as New Zealand’s first university, founded in 1869, Otago has earned an international reputation for the quality of its research and teaching. Otago has almost 21,000 students enrolled and has a presence in each of the four main cities of New Zealand – Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.

The Christchurch and Wellington Schools of Medicine & Health Sciences are both key elements of the University of Otago’s Health Sciences activities, providing clinical teaching for undergraduate medical students as well as conducting thriving research and postgraduate teaching programmes. The University’s facilities in central Auckland provide a resource and information centre for prospective Otago students, as well as a campus for a variety of mainly postgraduate academic programmes. In addition, Otago has a vigorous Distance Education programme, teaching to locations throughout New Zealand and also to various sites in Australia and Fiji. Links with distance students are mainly by live audio network but increasingly through the Internet. 


Staff are Otago’s greatest asset, and the University’s policy is to recruit academics and administrators of the highest international calibre. Otago has developed a strong focus on quality advancement and on strategies and processes that produce constant improvement. Planning is a strong feature of management, with the principal planning documents indicating a course of development and continued expansion. Supporting the strategic plan are the Research Management Plan, the Teaching and Learning Plan, the International Activities Management Plan and the Quality Portfolio.

One of the pillars on which the University’s international reputation is built is the quality of its leading-edge research in many fields. Teaching at Otago is closely related to scholarly research, with the result that most teaching is undertaken by academics who are at the forefront of relevant knowledge. Otago’s reputation also rests on the quality of its graduates. Employers and other key stakeholders confirm that our graduates are sought after and appreciated. There are over 50,000 Otago graduates living in all corners of the world, many occupying influential positions in industry, government and their communities.

The University offers courses in Classics and English Language and Literature, Mathematics and Natural Philosophy, and  Mental and Moral Philosophy. Eventually courses began in Law,in Medicine. Lectures in Mining as well. Since 1961, when its roll was about 3,000, the University has expanded considerably and has broadened its range of courses to include undergraduate courses in Surveying, Pharmacy, Medical Laboratory Science, Education, Teaching and Physiotherapy, as well as specialised postgraduate courses in a variety of disciplines.


 Some of the major programs:

  • Bachelor of Arts (BA)
  • Master of Arts (MA)
  • Master of International Studies (MIntSt)
  • Bachelor of Commerce (BCom)
  • Bachelor of Tourism (BTour)
  • Bachelor of Commerce with Honours (BCom – Hons)
  • Diploma in Business Administration (DipBusAdmin)
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Tourism (PGDipTour)    
  • Master of Business (MBus)
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA)
  • Master of Commerce (MCom)
  • Master of Tourism (MTour)
  • Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS)
  • Master of Dental Surgery (MDS)
  • Bachelor of Education (BEd)          
  • Master of Education (MEd)
  • Doctor of Education (EdD)
  • Bachelor of Health Sciences (BHealSc)
  • Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Science (BMLSc)
  • Master of Health Sciences (MHealSc)
  • Master of Medical Laboratory Science (MMLSc)
  • Bachelor of Laws (LLB)                     
  • Master of Laws (LLM) 
  • Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MB ChB)
  • Master of Medical Science (MMedSc)
  • Bachelor of Pharmacy (BPharm)
  • Master of Pharmacy (MPharm)
  • Bachelor of Physiotherapy (BPhty)
  • Master of Physiotherapy (MPhty)
  • Bachelor of Science (BSc)
  • Master of Science (MSc)