How to apply

2025 Applications

Applications open on 1 August 2024 for students intending to enter their first year of study of an undergraduate course at the University of Otago for the 2025 academic year. Please note that we do not accept applications from returning students who aren't already College Members, post-graduate students, foundation year and/or Language Centre students, or students currently enrolled in and/or transferring from other tertiary institutions.

All applications for St Margaret's must be made online via eVision when enrolling for University study. As part of this application process, you will need to arrange for your school to submit a confidential reference. Please see the Student Accommodation page on the University of Otago website for further details.

As St Margaret's is an independent college, in addition to the application process described above, we require that all applicants also complete an additional information form to assist us in the selection process. Please click on this link to open the form in a new window. Note that you must have already submitted an official University accommodation application before you can complete our additional information form.

As most places are offered during October, you should try and submit both your application and the additional information form by the end of September 2024. If you miss this deadline you are still encouraged to submit an application, however offers will only be made as space allows. Your application must be for the full academic year as we do not accept applications for only the 1st or 2nd semester 2025. Sometimes, however, rooms become available for the 2nd semester; please contact us in this regard.

Please do not post or email any items directly to St Margaret's, such as certificates or a curriculum vitae, unless we contact you to request such information.

College Preferences

There are no first-choice colleges as such at Otago.

While prospective students are indeed asked to indicate their top three college preferences when applying for accommodation at the University, unfortunately there can be no guarantee that they will be placed in one of those colleges.

The reasons for this are:

  1. The various colleges are very popular and usually cannot accommodate everyone who has selected them as one of their preferences; and
  2. Many other aspects form part of a college's decision-making process.

When making decisions about admitting students to a college, aspects such as the following are carefully considered by the heads of college:

  • Your school results
  • Your school subjects and their fit with your proposed course of study
  • Your confidential school reference (known as the CCRF or Common Confidential Reference Form)
  • Your extra-curricular activities (e.g. sport, cultural, art, music, community service, etc)
  • Your written reason for selecting a particular college
  • Your fit or match with the college's ethos (each college has its own carefully developed character)
  • Each college's policy in terms of the balance sought regarding study disciplines and cultural and gender proportions
  • Your college preference (this is just one of the aspects considered!)

It is important to understand that all Otago's colleges offer similar high levels of pastoral care, tutorial support and social/sport/cultural programmes. Indeed, they are all well-known for their excellent standards. The best college will be the one you are admitted to.