MA in Australia or New Zealand?

My husband and I were at first considering doing a distace MA, but have now decided to leave next year and do one in Austalia or New Zealand. Looks like both countries may be cheaper than England (my husband is British, but I am American and would have to pay international fees in the UK).

Does anyone have any recommendations for unis in Australia or New Zealand for doing an MA in Applied Linguistics? Also, does anyone know which country would be cheaper in terms of cost of living, assuming that we don’t study in Sydney, Melbourne, or Aukland?

We are hoping to keep our living costs down to about US$30,000 (AUD 41,000) for the year (not counting tuition, fees, and books). Is this realistic, assuming that we have our own apartment off-campus and have a reasonable social life?

I have been doing a lot of internet research on the matter, but am not finding as many solid answers as I would like. I would love to hear from people who have first hand accounts / experience. Thanks a million! :smiley:

It’s going to be cheaper living in Christchurch, New Zealand. OR, if you don’t mind the cold - Otago University

Not counting tuition fees and books… with US$30,000 for a year in NZ… You’ll live like a royal family. Don’t expect that to go so far in Australia. But, with that much you could live ok in Auckland too.

Basically, find a good school in NZ… Auckland Uni, Victoria University in Wellington, Uni of Canterbury in Christchurch, Otago, or Massey. All of them are good schools. But, my preference is with my home city of Christchurch.

You may want to look into the fees.

I am not putting Australian education down, but New Zealand is a more pleasant place to live.

ah, some more info…

Expect to pay about US$4320 in rent for a year in Christchurch. Depending on the area where you rent.

Transport can be picked up cheap, around US$4000 will pick up something nice looking that won’t crap out on you. Public transport is cheap, reliable, and convenient.

Food - I could keep a family alive on about US$60 per week. But, if there is only 2 people - I am betting you could do it for less.

Utilities - You need gas heating and a good water heating system to keep the bills down. But, it’s not expensive.

Wow, thanks a million, Bassman!

New Zealand appeals to us much more than anywhere else anyway…the tuition seems to be about US $2,000 - $3,000 more per person per year than Australia, but if the cost of living is lower in NZ and it all works out about the same, it will be NZ for us.

I crave the fresh air and all of the outdoor activities that NZ has to offer, too…I hope a Masters doesn’t keep us so busy that we can’t enjoy the great outdoors there if we go!

You have been a great help. Thanks so much!

Bassman, did you do a Masters in Linguistics? Can it be done in a year in NZ?

No, and I don’t know, but there is a linguistics association that would be good to contact.

There are also plenty of great websites about living in NZ. I should see what I can dig up. The tuition is a bummer though.

I’d like to add a disclaimer though…

I haven’t lived in NZ for about 7 years. A lot may have changed.

Any other Kiwi’s want to add to this?

How about the Aussies?

Bassman, is The University of Waikato a good uni?

Canterbury looks fab…it has a Linguistics program, but I am looking for an Applied Linguistics program. How disappointing!

Thanks again! :slight_smile:

[quote=“Indiana”]Bassman, is The University of Waikato a good uni?


Almost all Universities in New Zealand are great. Most of them are State run schools.

The list here is pretty good. Any of the uni’s listed there are good.

The University of Waikato would probably put you outside of a social hub. It’s in Hamilton, which is a city but not a big one. It’s a good uni, but let’s just say that most people move away from Hamilton and not to it.

One thing you don’t find much of in NZ is people saying that any particular uni is bad.

There are also plenty of Polytechics that offer degree and possibly masters programs. These should be avoided when it comes to international recognition, but are awesome for people that live in NZ.

Australian universities may be great too, probably bigger.

The thing that I would do, if I were chosing a masters program, would be to check out the faculty. If the faculty are published, respected, and can help guide you, then I would go with that school.

Thanks again, Bassman! :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

Are any Aussies out there from Southern Queensland? How is the cost of living there? What is the typical rent like for a nice 1 to 2 bedroom flat?


Massey University (Palmerston North, NZ) has a linguistics program. They have a very good online, distance program so you can start your course now, and do exams here, too, to cut down your study time at the university. They also run summer courses and classes through the usual breaks, if you are in a hurry to finish.

I went to Otago, it was a really fun place to be a student. Too cold in the winter for me, though! (Great if you like skiing.)

Wow surprised no Aussies have spoken up yet. I was living in Brisbane until early this year. We rented a house in the inner city suburbs for $250 Aus a week. Groceries cost us around $60-80 a week not counting eating out plus around $50 a month for telephone (inc internet) and then just depends if you have gas or electric hot water (gas is much cheaper).
Transport was $10 a week with a student card (50% off). Lots of discounts if you’re a student.

The uni I think you’re thinking of would put you inland from Brisbane by about and hour or so, so rents would be a good deal cheaper as would food. In fact, fruit and veg would be pretty cheap I think cos that is a ‘growing’ district with some farms etc.

I don’t think that area of Australia is particularly inspiring but having said that, it could be a great environment for study and you’re really not that far from the coast when you need to get away to the beach or greener pastures or to Brisvegas.

You could check out for an idea of rental properties though…

hope this helps

Thanks to everybody for the invaluable information!

I have a question about two unis in Aussie, if anyone knows about them:

The University of Southen Queensland, and The University of Newcastle.

How good of universities are they? How are their reputations in Australia?

thanks! :smiley:


MA’s in NZ are usually one year. There will be four taught papers, two in each semester (from March to July, August to October).
A 40,000 word thesis counts as 4 papers, and is all you will do.
A dissertation can count as 1, 2 or 3 papers, approx 10,000, 20,000, 30,000 words respectively, with the remainder being taught papers.
Each paper will have approx 5 hours class time a week. In theory you are supposed to put in 3X that amount of time outside class.

MAs are however the 5th year of study…there is a post-graduate Honours year which is 4th year. Honours and MA taught papers all have the 400 designation, and are basically the same level. Most MAs accordingly are usually thesis-driven, the exception being applied MAs.
So I guess you could think of it as a 2 year Masters, with the first year being all taught papers, and still getting a degree at the end :slight_smile:
I don’t think completing an Honours year is necessary to enrol in an MA though, maybe for local 22 year olds…:slight_smile:

The amount of money you have will keep you comfortably in any NZ university town. Unless you seriously like commuting or driving, I’d suggest you avoid Auckland. It does however have the largest ethnic communities in the country, so if you miss multiculturalism, then Auckland may appeal.

I love Wellington, which has probably the best cultural/nightlife/events scene in the country. Gets compared to San Francisco in general ambience. Very good public transport too. Like Taipei, Wellington has lots of hiking very close to the city.

Massey is a good uni, but Palmerston North is a pretty quiet place… although it is close to the skifields.

Waikato is a good uni too, and Hamilton has a fairly active and relatively non-mainstream live music and drama scene but you have to be pro-active to seek it out…Hamilton is also still fairly centralised and you can get everywhere by bicycle.

Christchurch (Canterbury Uni) is a nice place to visit, but bloody cold in winter, and is largely urban sprawl with a slowly decaying city centre. Good live music scene I think.

Dunedin (Otago Uni)atmosphere- wise is a colder version of Wellington, more insular, but some interesting fringe arts events and happenings, and live music. Very much a student town though. Make sure you get a well-insulated or well-heated flat. It can and does snow there.

All the universities are pretty much of a similar standard, so choosing according to which specific courses appeal, or which city appeals is largely how many locals choose which university to go to as well…(although the universities themselves will deny that strenuously)

As a cultural note, NZ is relatively insular, and while Kiwis are not unfriendly, it can take a while to be fully accepted into a social circle…particularly in the smaller towns. There is some degree of thought that if you are going to be there only a short time, then getting to know you may not be worth it or isn’t necessary…You will have to seek out your own entertainment to some degree.
Oh, and like Taiwan…everything runs on connections. There are only about two degrees of separation in NZ. If you want help or need to ask advice, ask someone, there is a good chance that if they don’t know, they will know someone who does know. Advice that doesn’t cost the advisor anything to give is fairly easy to obtain. Assistance is not quite so tied to returning favours, but the longer you stay there, the more you will need to balance things.
Wellington, because it has so many people there on transfers and simply studying is supposedly more open to newcomers, but I can’t vouch for the validity of that. Auckland is so big and sprawling that it can difficult to meet people.

Also, if you are American, be prepared to talk politics, or have a thick skin, or a good means to deflect the topic. (Saying how wonderful NZ is will usually work… )

Thanks, ensign!!! :smiley: Wow, loads of great info…

We are looking more seriously at the Victoria Uni of Wellington at the moment. It was great to read all of the info you posted about the area, very insightful.

I am still trying to work out the educational system in NZ…but I think that we would just need to study for a year. My degree from the US is a 4-year…my husband is British, so his BSc was completed in 3 years, but he also has a Masters (1 year, England), so I think we would both be good to go (I assume :astonished: ). We can really only afford a year anyway!
As it is, the tuition for Wellington would be US$25,000 for both of us, and even more at a few other unis I looked at…

Thanks again for all the great information, everyone! :bouncy:

Yeah Victoria has probably the strongest linguistics department in the country, they are heavily involved in the NZ corpus (collecting and analysing NZ English) and have a solid research reputation. If Janet Holmes, and Laurie Bauer are still there, they are both enormously experienced and talented people. Oh yeah, and they can teach too…

I tookl courses there years ago though so things may have changed.

I think the University of Southern Queensland is well regarded, particularly for distance education and education/teaching degrees in general.

The University of Newcastle is known for being a little more left of centre in many of its teaching approaches (task-based and problem-based learning) and is also well regarded. Newcastle is/was an interesting place to live - working class, steel mining town and also site to a relatively destructive earthquake (5.6) in 1989.