Structure and Assignments - PCAS - Gateway Antarctica - University of Canterbury - New Zealand

Programme Structure and Assignments - Postgraduate Certificate in Antarctic Studies (PCAS)

Completing the Postgraduate Certificate requires full-time commitment, including self-directed study during evenings and weekends.

The programme involves lectures, workshops, presentations, local fieldtrips, and similar activities, as well as a first aid course. The fieldtrip to Antarctica is for approximately ten days, staying at Scott Base and a field campsite; this may be over Christmas and the actual number of days depends on weather and other circumstances. Lectures are completed on return from Antarctica, then the remaining time is devoted to project work.

Four integrated courses make up the programme

  • ANTA601 - Antarctica: Contemporary Issues and Perspectives, Part 1
  • ANTA602 - Antarctica: Contemporary Issues and Perspectives, Part 2
  • ANTA603 - Antarctic Fieldwork
  • ANTA604 - Supervised Project in Antarctic Studies

Students are required to complete the following assessments

  • a literature review
  • reports based on field projects conducted in Antarctica
  • a syndicate presentation and report
  • a personal research project.

By the end of the programme it is expected that students will have met the following objectives

  • developed an overview of the role of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean in the understanding and resolution of global issues;
  • have knowledge of contemporary research activity in the Antarctic and Southern Ocean;
  • have an understanding of some of the major scientific, environmental, social, historical, legal and political issues in relation to the Antarctic and the Southern Ocean and the ways such issues are addressed;
  • have a practical appreciation of the challenges imposed by the Antarctic environment;
  • developed skills in group work, self-directed learning, research, seminar and professional presentations and critical analysis, reflection and debate.