Information for Prospective Postgraduate Students

Kia ora and welcome. MSOR at Victoria University of Wellington is a leading research department in New Zealand and is home to internationally distinguished faculty whose research in pure and applied mathematics, statistics and operations research is widely recognised.

Qualifications, Courses and Prospectuses

The School offers a full range of graduate degrees and diplomas, including PhD, MSc, BSc Honours, BA Honours, Postgraduate and Graduate Diplomas in Science in Mathematics, Statistics and Operations Research, and Logic and Computation. In addition Masters degrees may be taken in Mathematics Education and Stochastic Processes for Finance and Insurance.

A list of all postgraduate courses can be found on our course page. You can download postgraduate prospectuses for the whole of the University from the Victoria Postgraduate Prospectus page. The 2010 Postgraduate Prospectuses for Mathematics (pdf), Statistics, Applied Statistics and Operations Research (pdf), and Logic and Computation (pdf) can be downloaded.

Honours/Graduate/Postgraduate Diploma in Science

You can apply for these programmes online. It is recommended that you seek advice from one of the Graduate Coordinators Dr Peter Donelan (Mathematics) or Prof Estate Khmaladze (Statistics & Operations Research) or another academic staff member in the School first. More details of postgraduate courses can be found on our course page.

The BSc and BA Honours programmes are one year (or up to 2 years part time) and consist of eight 15 point 400-level courses and may include an optional project or directed individual study based around a 300-level course.

The Graduate Diploma in Science (GDipSc) is a one-year programme of coursework at 200-level and above for students who already have a Bachelors degree but would like to compete a shorter undergraduate level programme in a different discipline/major. It requires 120 points of courses at 200-level or above, including at least 75 points at 300-level from the BSc schedule. Up to 30 points may be substituted by approved courses from another programme. Candidates will need to have a background equivalent to the relevant 100-level courses in their subject. The Diploma can be endorsed with a major subject from the BSc schedule, including Mathematics, Statistics, Applied Statistics and Operations Research if the requirements of that major are satsified.
Note: the former specialisations in Logic and Computation, Modelling with Differential Equations and Mathematics of Finance and Insurance have been discontinued from 2010.

The Postgraduate Diploma in Science is a one year (120 points) programme that can be taken in Mathematics, Statistics and Operations Research, Applied Statistics and Logic and Computation. It is essentially the same as BSc Honours, except that it may be taken over 4 years, whereas Honours degrees must be completed within 2 years. It is also offered in Stochastic Processes for Finance and Insurance which is usually a 2-year Masters programme but not available under BSc Honours. The Postgraduate Certificate in Science is similar but requires only 60 points and is suitable for someone in full-time employment or managing other commitments and may also be used for those who wish to exit early from another graduate qualification. Conversely, a PGCertSc may later be abandoned in favour of a PGDipSc if the requirements for that qualification are subsequently met.

Research Programmes and Staff

The School is home to many academics of national and international repute. Individual research interests and biographies can be found on the People page. You can view some of the School's current research at the Research Groups and a selection of thesis topics and supervisors can be found on this page.

Applying for Postgraduate Study

The PhD degree is a university-wide qualification that is administered by the Faculty of Graduate Research. All prospective PhD candidates should refer to that page for information about application and scholarships.

All other post-graduate programmes are administered by the relevant Faculty, in this case the Faculty of Science. Specific information is available for international students from Victoria International.

Candidates for Postgraduate programmes involving coursework need to apply by the regular enrolment deadlines. Make sure you enrol in time - late enrolments attract an additional fee, and are not guaranteed to be approved.

Prospective PhD and MSc thesis students may wish to contact an appropriate staff member to determine whether the topic they would like to research for their thesis can be supervised by the school. See the list of thesis topics and supervisors below. Other enquiries can be directed to the Graduate Coordinators Dr Peter Donelan (Mathematics) or Prof Estate Khmaladze (Statistics & Operations Research).


The University offers a range of scholarships for post-graduate study. Full information on all scholarships can be found here.

Forthcoming Victoria University scholarship rounds:

Victoria PhD Scholarships and Doctoral Assistantships. Application is made as part of the application for admission and the closing dates are therefore 1 March, 1 July and 1 November.

Victoria Master's (by thesis) Scholarships. Details and application form. For students enrolling in Master's Part 2. Applications close on 1 November each year. Value: $15,000 per year + domestic fees (1 year).

Victoria Graduate Scholarships. Details and application form. For students enrolling in Honours, Master's Part 1 or Postgraduate Diploma. Applications close on 1 November each year. Value: domestic fees up to $5,000 per year (1 year).

Tu Horomata Scholarships 2009 Details and application form. Targeted M%u0101ori scholarships are available for study at Master's or Honours level, for students with strong academic potential. For Master's by thesis study the scholarship offers a stipend of $12,500 for one year only. Consideration may be given to funding Honours or Master's by coursework study to a maximum of $5,000. Closing date 1 April each year.

MSc and PhD research in public health: Postgraduate Research Scholarships in Statistical Health Research - contact or (Health Services Research Centre) for further information.

PhD Scholarship: Set-valued Analysis and Statistics: Details and application form. A scholarship is available for a period of three years, beginning in 2010, to work under supervision of Prof Estate Khmaladze.


Throughout the year, a variety of speakers from academia and industry present seminars at MSOR, providing opportunities to expand your personal horizons, gain new insight into your own research, and a chance to meet and build networks with others in your field. You can see our previous and upcoming seminars in the MSOR Seminars System.

Thesis topics and supervisors

The following members of staff are offering postgraduate supervision: The following members of staff are offering postgraduate supervision:
(this list is only partial at this stage, please see individual staff pages for research interests)

Dr Christopher Atkin - Infinite-dimensional geometry and its applications to analysis; groups of autohomeomorphisms of manifolds.
Dr Peter Donelan - Topics in singularities and invariants of robot manipulators, including applications of singularity theory, Riemannian geometry and computational invariant theory (Masters and PhD level)
Prof Noam Greenberg - Classical and higher computability theory (Masters, PhD) and Set theory (Masters level)
Dr Byoung Du Kim - Number theory with focus on arithmetic geometry (Masters)
Dr Hung Le Pham - Banach algebra theory (Masters)
Dr Dillon Mayhew - Matroid Theory (Masters and PhD level)
Prof Mark McGuinness - 1. The growth of sea ice - mathematical modelling of the growth of first year sea ice, with particular attention paid to the ice/ocean boundary, where turbulent flow and billows of frazil ice crystals complicate the picture. (A background in differential equations and numerical methods would be useful.) 2.Annealing steel coils - the radial transport of heat through layers of steel and hot gas is a limiting factor in factory furnaces, and a better mathematical understanding is needed. (A background in differential equations and numerical methods would be useful.)
Prof Geoff Whittle - Combinatorics, matroid theory (Masters or PhD level)

A/Prof Richard Arnold - Capture Recapure analysis (with Prof Shirley Pledger); Bayesian statistics with applications to medicine and physics
Dr Yuichi Hirose - Missing data in semi-parametric models, Counting Process approach to time-to-event data (Masters and PhD level)
Prof Estate Khmaladze - A PhD Scholarship is available for work on newly discovered connections between set-valued analysis and statistics. See the description on
Prof Estate Khmaladze - 1. Statistical analysis of diversity. Theory of large number of rare events; 2. Application of geometry in statistical problems. Set-valued functions and statistics; 3. Goodness of fit theory. Testing statistical models; 4. Statistical analysis of tails of distributions. Extreme value theory and large deviations; 5. Stochastic processes in application to demography, finance and insurance; 6. Asymptotic statistical methods. Martingale methods in statistics; 7. Selected applications in biology, linguistics, finance.
A/Prof Ivy Liu - Ordinal Response Data Analysis
Dr Dong Wang - Multivariate analysis; Influence analysis for multivariate statistics; Diagnostic measures of censored regression; Operations research and applications in statistics.
Dr Nokuthaba Sibanda - Statistical genetics, Bayesian statistics (with applications in medicine and genetics), Statistical Process Control (with applications in healthcare and industry)

Operations Research
Dr Mark Johnston - Insight from visualization in combinatorial optimization (MSc); Integrating rewards with combinatorial optimization problems (MSc); Sports tournament scheduling and the travelling tournament problem (MSc); Sensitivity of numerical simplification in genetic programming (MSc); Addressing class imbalance in genetic programming for classification (MSc)
Topic attachments
I Attachment Action Size Date Who Comment
pg-mastersthesis.pdfpdf pg-mastersthesis.pdf manage 342 K 18 Feb 2010 - 10:15 Main.donelan Masters Thesis Enrolment form
postgrad_enrolment_2010.pdfpdf postgrad_enrolment_2010.pdf manage 96 K 18 Feb 2010 - 10:05 Main.donelan Postgraduate enrolment 2010