University Of Canterbury Masters

A research master’s degree advances your knowledge in the area of your previous studies, and enables you to conduct a significant piece of independent research (with supervision).

A coursework master’s (or taught master’s) degree provides a structured programme of taught courses at an advanced level. In some cases, a taught master’s can allow you to undertake study in a different professional area from that of your first degree (and so can facilitate a change of career focus). As well as the course component, many offer applied learning opportunities, such as an independent project or industry placement.

A number of UC’s master’s degrees allow for a combination of both courses and research.

UC offers three types of master’s degrees:

  • research master’s
  • coursework master’s
  • a combination of both.

Regardless of form, gaining a master’s degree is evidence of high academic attainment, specialist understanding and advanced critical evaluation, research, interpretation, and communication skills.

Postgraduate prospectus (PDF, 3MB, 72 pages)

Entry requirements

Admission to a master’s degree is based on your previous studies in a relevant bachelor’s degree, or a qualification or combination of qualifications considered to be equivalent. If you gained your qualifications overseas, these will need to be assessed to make sure they are of an equivalent standard.

The primary basis for selection is on your Grade Point Average in your undergraduate degree and your ability to complete postgraduate study, however consideration may also be given to other factors, such as relevant work experience. A good indication of your readiness for postgraduate-level study is the achievement of B grades or better in your final-year undergraduate courses.

If English is your additional language, you are also required to meet UC’s English language requirements to gain entry.

Admission to master’s degrees can be competitive, and some departments and schools may have additional requirements. Refer to the specific master’s programme you are interested in for detailed entry requirements.

Find out how to apply for postgraduate qualifications

Finding a research supervisor

If you are intending to conduct research, you should investigate potential supervisors before applying for postgraduate study at UC – see the UC Research Profile for a searchable database. Your supervisor is responsible for ensuring that all administrative and administrative requirements are met. They will also assess your suitability as a master’s candidate based on your academic performance (often requiring supporting evidence), the matching between your research interests and theirs, and their availability and funding.

Qualification options

Some of the master’s programmes offer a choice of structure. You should consider your options and what you plan to do with your degree. If you are considering a professional services career, coursework may work best for you. If you are looking for careers in research or academia, a research master’s is likely required.

Your research is presented in the form of a thesis, a research project or other output type, depending on the nature of the degree eg, fine arts and music.

The following master’s degrees are available at the University of Canterbury | Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha:

  • Master of Antarctic Studies
  • Master of Applied Data Science
  • Master of Applied Finance and Economics
  • Master of Applied Translation and Interpreting
  • Master of Architectural Engineering
  • Master of Arts
  • Master of Audiology
  • Master of Bicultural Co-Governance of Natural Resources
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA)
  • Master of Business Information Systems
  • Master of Business Management
  • Master of Civil Engineering
  • Master of Commerce
  • Master of Computer-Assisted Language Learning
  • Master of Counselling
  • Master of Criminal Justice
  • Master of Disaster Risk and Resilience
  • Master of Education
  • Master of Engineering
  • Master of Engineering in Fire Engineering
  • Master of Engineering in Management
  • Master of Engineering Studies
  • Master of Engineering in Transportation
  • Master of European Union Studies
  • Master of Financial Engineering
  • Master of Financial Management
  • Master of Fine Arts
  • Master of Forestry Science
  • Master of Geographic Information Science
  • Master of Health Sciences
  • Master of Health Sciences Professional Practice
  • Master of Human Interface Technology
  • Master of International Relations and Diplomacy
  • Master of Laws
  • Master of Laws (International Law and Politics)
  • Master of Linguistics
  • Master of Māori and Indigenous Leadership
  • Master of Music
  • Master of Policy and Governance
  • Master of Product Design
  • Master of Product Innovation
  • Master of Professional Accounting
  • Master of Science
  • Master of Social Work
  • Master of Social Work (Applied)
  • Master of Spatial Analysis for Public Health
  • Master of Specialist Teaching
  • Master of Speech and Language Pathology
  • Master of Sport Science
  • Master of Strategic Communication
  • Master of Teaching and Learning
  • Master of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
  • Master of Te Reo Māori
  • Master of Urban Resilience and Renewal
  • Master of Water Resource Management
  • Master of Writing
  • Professional Master of Engineering Geology
  • Professional Master of Geospatial Science and Technology


A number of master’s degrees allow for a combination of individual research and coursework. Master’s degrees at UC take between one and two years to complete (longer if part-time) depending on your earlier qualifications and the particular degree.

Part-time study because of employment, family, health or other reasons may be possible, but is not automatic.

Further study

It is possible to transfer to a PhD (or other doctoral degree) from a master’s degree. You will need to demonstrate that your thesis research is progressing well and that your thesis would benefit from an extended period of research. You will also need the support of your school or department to apply for a transfer.