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University of Otago

Dunedin, New Zealand

  • Cost of LivingNZ$ 17,751
  • Tuition Fee FromNZ$ 13,178
  • Country Rank#2
  • Batch Strength18,690
  • Global Diversity21%
  • Gender Ratio39 : 61



The University of Otago, founded in 1869, is New Zealand's oldest university. It is the country's only institution where 85% of the students come from outside of Dunedin. The institution is consistently recognised as one of the most stunning campuses in the world, besides Oxford and Cambridge. There are around 18,000 students and 4,000 staff at the university. The university aims to equip students with a global perspective and career prospects abroad by having a significant population of overseas students and positive ties with several global institutions. Otago University is well-known for its research, academic brilliance, and unparalleled student experience. It ranks well in terms of average research quality and, in 2006, was next to the University of Auckland in terms of the number of A-rated academic researchers it employs. Otago University was named one of the world's most attractive institutions due to its architectural grandeur and associated gardens.


The institution is presently organised into four academic departments: the Otago Business School, the Division of Health Sciences, the Division of Humanities, and the Division of Sciences. The university has four campuses spread around New Zealand. Otago drew more students from beyond its provincial district due to its diverse academic offerings. This resulted in the growth of colleges and informal accommodation in the area around the faculty buildings in north Dunedin. The university also has a strong network of over 100,000 alumni spread over 142 countries. The university is affiliated with some eminent personalities. 


Otago was also the first institution in Australasia to allow women to study law. In addition to the existing university subjects, the university's medical school, founded in 1875, is one of only two in New Zealand, having component schools in Dunedin, Christchurch, and Wellington. Otago is the only university in the country that provides dental training. Other professional disciplines and faculties not available at all New Zealand institutions include Pharmacy, Physical Education, Physiotherapy, Medical Laboratory Science, and Surveying.


The institution offers many scholarships to overseas students. The undergraduate scholarships cover tuition expenses up to $10,000 NZD. Postgraduate students, on the other hand, can get up to 15,000 NZD each year in addition to a partial tuition cost reduction. Students who are unable to get university scholarships might look into external scholarships offered by the New Zealand Government and other organisations.

University Name University of Otago
Official Website
Year of Establishment 1869
Average Living Cost € 17751
University Address Dunedin - New Zealand
Country Rank 2
University Type Public
For Study Abroad Counselling Click Here

University of Otago Ranking for 2024

QS World University Ranking 2024:

University of Otago has shown excellence by securing 301–350 spot on the global scale.

Otago has taken pleasure in being a research-led university with a worldwide reputation for excellence over the past 150 years. In the 2021/22 QS World University Rankings, it is placed 194 and is listed in the top 100 in 15 subject areas. The institution is well-known for its outstanding medical and agricultural departments. Dentistry is one of the university's most popular degrees, and it is placed #43 in the QS World Rankings by Subject, 2021. Here are some prominent Otago University ranking highlights -


  • In the QS global university performance ratings, the University of Otago rankings are in the top 1% of universities in the world, with the highest possible grade of 5 Stars Plus.
  • The university is ranked in the 201-250 range by THE for the year 2022; this ranking has remained constant since 2016.


Course Rankings

Otago is one of the top institutions in New Zealand and comes in at number two overall out of the country's 71 universities. Employers prefer Otago alumni since 95% of university grads immediately begin working or pursuing higher education. The university graduates are praised for their clarity of thought, intellectual and analytical abilities, and negotiation and interpersonal skills. Here are some of the university’s course-wise ranking highlights as of the academic year 2022 -


Business Courses

QS - Global MBA - #151 - 200

THE PG Business & Economics - #126 - 150


Computer Courses

THE PG Computers - #401 - 500


Science Courses

THE Life Sciences Rankings - #301 - 400

THE Psychology Rankings - #93


Humanities Courses

THE Arts & Humanities Rankings - #176 - 200


Medicine Courses

THE Clinical and Health Rankings - #151 - 175


Law Courses

THE Law Rankings - #201+


QS Ranks

US News Ranks








Otago University is located in a perfect setting for taking advantage of everything Dunedin has to offer. The university's offerings demonstrate that arts, culture, sports, gastronomy, and entertainment are all right on its doorstep. Here is a list of some of the most popular University of Otago facilities used by students:


  • Students can make use of the great academic facilities at Otago University. Three seminar rooms are utilised for evening tutorials and are also accessible for quiet study or group work at other times.
  • The library at the university has a comfortable modern study place with three desktop computers, a network printer, reference books, fiction novels, periodicals, and DVDs. Residents enjoy this place because of the comfortable study tables and chairs.
  • Otago University offers an exceptional student experience, with a strong commitment to pastoral care and support networks. International students benefit from additional support services that help them adjust to life at Otago.
  • The University Union provides dining, retail, and hospitality services on and around the university campus. It serves as the university's community centre, serving students, faculty, alumni, and visitors.

Notable Alumni

Nathan Cohen (rower)
Nathan Cohen (rower)
World Champion and Olympic Champion Rower
Bill English
Bill English
39th Prime Minister of New Zealand
Fergus Hume
Fergus Hume

University of Otago Courses for 2024

University of Otago Scholarship

Regardless of the programme you are studying, there are several scholarship opportunities provided by the University of Otago as well as other organisations. With so many scholarships available now, overseas students can greatly lower the financial burden of studying in a new country. You can apply for scholarships to study at Otago University through UniScholars. You can find the following types of scholarships based on your academic performance and financial situation:


  • Merit-based scholarships
  • Need-based scholarships
  • Country-specific scholarships
  • College-specific scholarships
  • Student-specific scholarships


Most international students are obligated to show proof of sufficient funds in order to obtain a visa. While some students may have the opportunity to make use of scholarships, not all students cut the eligibility to get a scholarship or a grant. Moreover, not all scholarships cover 100% of your study abroad expenses. At such times, most students resort to acquiring education loans to avoid the financial hassles associated with studying at the university. For Indian students, UniCreds is the ideal education loan marketplace if you’re looking for low-interest rates and free consultation services!

University of Otago Accommodation

There are several student housing options available for students planning to attend the University of Otago. You may select from a wide choice of affordable yet elegant student flats, halls of residence, studios, ensuites, and more! You have the option of staying on campus in the university halls of residence or in a private residence. Because of their proximity to the university, on-campus housing options may be ideal; nevertheless, they tend to fill up fast and are more expensive.


UniAcco simplifies the process of finding student housing and offers a variety of options. As a result, students can select from a wide range of available student accommodation near the university, such as luxury studios, en-suites, and shared apartments that are more inexpensive and student-friendly.

Cost of Living

The University of Otago’s acceptance rate is 69% and more than 85% of first-year students come from outside of Dunedin. The university, therefore, focuses on providing high-quality housing and services through its residential colleges. Most students choose to live in a private flat in their second year, however, some choose this option in their first year if they prefer saving on their budget. The cost of living in Dunedin for international students living in private student housing is often lower than in larger cities. The list below presents a monthly estimate of living costs in Dunedin -



Cost (per month)

Off-Campus Accommodation 

NZ$ 900

On-Campus Accommodation

NZ$  1083


NZ$  45

Food Cost

NZ$ 109

Utility Cost

NZ$ 185


NZ$ 15


NZ$ 19


NZ$ 206

Total Cost of Living with Off Campus Accommodation 

NZ$ 1479

Total Cost of Living with On Campus Accommodation 

NZ$ 1662

Otago University Entry Requirements

Students must pass the university admission test in order to meet the University of Otago entry requirements. The essential prerequisites are the same for all courses. But the curriculum also has some particular requirements that are different. To be eligible to apply for a student visa, applicants must satisfy all entry criteria and submit their admission applications on time. There’s a list of documents that students will have to submit along with their application and those include -

  • Secondary school transcripts/High school diploma Certificate
  • Previous academic transcripts
  • Recommendation Letter (s)
  • Statement of Purpose
  • English Language Proficiency Scores
  • ECE Report
  • Some courses may require a letter of intent specific to that course
  • There are a few courses that also demand a resume and portfolio
  • A few candidates may also be asked to appear for an interview before their confirmation of enrollment

Apart from these documents, the university’s entry requirements that students must qualify for are listed below -

Undergraduate Requirements -

  • International Baccalaureate: An IB diploma with at least 24 points.
  • GCE Advanced Levels Cambridge International Examinations (CIE): A minimum Numerical Score of 8 is required.
  • International Foundation Year (IFY) of Northern Consortium United Kingdom (NCUK).
  • Completion of one year of study at a recognised higher institution. In most cases, a recognised institution is a college or university that is listed in the World Higher Education Database.

Postgraduate Requirements -

  • Postgraduate admission requirements vary per programme, with most needing a minimum bachelor's degree in the same subject and others requiring extra criteria such as relevant work experience and/or professional registration in New Zealand.
  • Students with an honours degree or a postgraduate diploma may be eligible for thesis-only master's studies. Students holding a bachelor's degree can also apply for a coursework master's degree or a master's study by coursework and thesis in specific situations.
  • To study for a PhD, students must first earn a master's degree or a first-class or upper second-class honours degree in the same or a relevant subject to the desired area of research.


Otago University Fees

The university has approximately 20,000 students and offers over 195 undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in the Sciences, Humanities, Social Sciences, and the Otago School of Business. International students at Otago pay greater tuition fees than local students. Many students enrol in courses from a variety of topic areas. The real tuition charge is derived by adding the fees for each paper in your course. The University of Otago fees for overseas students will range from NZD 26.5K to NZD 46.8K and can increase based on the kind of programme, length, course complexities, and other criteria. Listed below are some of the university’s top-rated courses along with their 1st-year tuition fees -

  • MS - NZD 35.99 K - 45.53 K
  • MBBS - NZD 37.93 K
  • MBA/PGDM - NZD 63.67 K
  • MIM - NZD 46.83 K
  • B.E. / B.Tech - NZD 33.03 K - 33.54 K
  • B.Sc. - NZD 26.51 K - 32.57 K


Otago University Placement

The University's administrative personnel and online mentors handle University of Otago placements by using a software programme called SONIA. Supervisors and students can access SONIA through a website or a mobile app. The institution manages 17 different job placement portals for various disciplines. In addition, the career development centre supports students' career exploration and self-evaluation. Deloitte, Hilton, Bank of New Zealand, Fulton Hogan, ANZ Bank, and many more renowned organisations hire Otago alumni. The Otago University Career Development Centre offers assistance with career planning, job applications, experience-gaining, and employment opportunities. The following list includes the highest-paying positions at the university, together with their yearly salaries:

  • Executive Management & Change - NZD 260,000
  • Financial Services - NZD 240,000
  • Compliance, AML, KYC, and Monitoring - NZD 184,000
  • Legal Department - NZD 175,000
  • Program and Project Management - NZD 173,000
  • Finance Control and Strategy - NZD 124,000