The Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MB ChB) degree is commonly referred to as the 'medical degree'. School leavers enrol at Otago for the common Health Sciences First Year course and then apply for admission to second year medicine. Graduates may also apply for admission at second year. If successful, students will complete a further five years, then after graduation work for another year under probation in order to gain general registration. There is a wide range of specialisation available in the public and private sectors, involving research, academic medicine, public health, clinical medicine and other areas. Specialties include Cardiology, Oncology, Paediatrics, Psychological Medicine, Surgery, Pathology, Public Health, General Practice and many others. Most doctors complete postgraduate training in their chosen specialty.
Medicine is a respected, rewarding, and truly international career.
Information for New Applicants
Applications for admission to Medicine via the HSFY and Graduate categories for 2014:
Open: 12 August 2013
Close: 15 September 2013
Applications for admission to Medicine via the ‘Other’ category have closed for 2014. Applications for 2015:
Open: 1 April 2014
Close: 1 May 2014
Information regarding the guidelines for admission can be found on the following website.
Division of Health Sciences
For further information about the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MB ChB) degree please contact:
Health Sciences Admissions Office
Division of Health Sciences
PO Box 647
Tel 64 3 479 7428
Fax 64 3 479 5058
Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MB ChB)
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(i) Students enrolled in the Health Sciences First Year course will be required to achieve a satisfactory mark in a standard diagnostic English test or another approved measure of achievement.
(ii) No student will be permitted to take an examination in a subject of the first year course in which a pass has already been gained.
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MICN 201 Medicine Second Year
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MICN 301 Medicine Third Year
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MICN 401 Medicine Fourth Year
|5th year||MICN 501 Medicine Fifth Year||120|
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MICN 621 Medicine Sixth Year 1st Quarter
MICN 622 Medicine Sixth Year 2nd Quarter
MICN 623 Medicine Sixth Year 3rd Quarter
MICN 624 Medicine Sixth Year 4th Quarter
Note: MICN 621-624 shall normally be taken in sequence in one year of study, but in approved cases the order may be varied or the total period of study extended.
Regulations for the Degrees of Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MB ChB)
Admission to the Programme
- Admission to Second Year Classes in Medicine is limited to a number, determined annually, of candidates who are eligible by virtue of citizenship or permanent residence in New Zealand (but see regulation 1(j)).
- The Division of Health Sciences has delegated authority to the Medical Admissions Committee for selection of candidates to Second Year Classes in Medicine.
- Candidates for admission will be considered in the following categories and at the following times:
- Health Sciences First Year - in the first year of university study at the University of Otago, for candidates who will have fulfilled the requirements of the first year course;
- Graduate - within three years of the completion of the requirements of a first degree awarded by a university in New Zealand;
- Other - at one subsequent time, which may be on completion of a second degree or other university qualification.
- Applications for enrolment in Second Year Classes in Medicine must be received no later than the following dates, in the year preceding desired entry:
- from Other categories applicants, by 1 May
- from Health Sciences First Year applicants, by 15 September
- from Graduate applicants, by 15 September
- To gain entry in the Health Sciences First Year category, a candidate must, in the first year of university study at the University of Otago, pass all the papers prescribed for the Health Sciences First Year course, at the first attempt, with B grades or better. Candidates must also have a valid Undergraduate Medicine and Health Sciences Admission Test (UMAT) result. Selection shall be based on the results achieved in the papers with a total of 126 points, and in the UMAT. The academic grades shall contribute 66% of the score to be used for selection and the UMAT shall contribute 34%.
- To gain entry in the Graduate category, applicants must have completed, normally in the minimum academic time, a qualification awarded by a university in New Zealand:
- a first degree; or
- a first degree followed by an honours degree; or
- a first degree followed by a postgraduate diploma similar to an honours degree;
An application must be received within three years of the completion of the first degree. The academic score for the applicants' degrees will be determined annually by the Medical Admissions Committee. Candidates considered for entry in the Graduate category must have valid UMAT results.
- To gain entry in the Other category, a candidate must meet one or more of the following criteria:
- be a graduate who does not fulfil the requirements of the first degree as described in regulation 1(f);
- have health-related professional experience and satisfy special criteria (see note);
- have health professional experience in mental health and satisfy special criteria (see note).
- A candidate in the Other category must have achieved at least a minimum academic standard to be determined by the Medical Admissions Committee from year to year in the course of study on which the application for admission is based. A candidate may be required to attend an interview.
Note: Applicants seeking admission to Medicine with health-related professional experience (see (g)(i)(b) above) or with health professional experience in mental health (see (g)(i)(c) above) will be required to demonstrate academic and/or professional experience in the relevant field, to a standard acceptable to the Medical Admissions Committee, as part of the selection process. Candidates applying under regulation (g)(i)(c) above are expected to have an interest in pursuing a career in mental health after graduating in Medicine.
- To gain entry in the Other category, a candidate must meet one or more of the following criteria:
- The University of Otago is committed to initatives that increase the number of Māori and indigenous Pacific Island graduates. The Division on Health Sciences is focused on ensuring that New Zealand's diverse health workforce needs are met, honouring the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi/Te Tiriti o Waitangi and promoting academic equity for under-represented groups.
- Indigenous Pacific (see note).
- Applicants in any category (see regulation 1(c)) who have had a rural New Zealand upbringing and/or education (see note) may seek admission under the New Zealand Rural Origins sub-category. If successful these students may be required to undertake one year of the medical course in a rural immersion programme. This year will not add to the overall length of the course.
- have undertaken a minimum of 4 years of their pre-tertiary education at a school in a rural area of New Zealand; or
- have resided in a rural area of New Zealand for a minimum of 4 consecutive years following the completion of their secondary education.
- Applicants who are classified as International Students must apply under the International Students sub-category. In this sub-category:
- The Medical Admissions Committee shall have discretion to offer additional places in second year classes to International students under arrangements which have been approved by the Faculty of Medicine.
- Candidates must have achieved a level of academic attainment to be determined by the Medical Admissions Committee and shall have completed all necessary prerequisites.
- Candidates offered a place under the Graduate or Other categories may be required to satisfy academic bridging requirements or pass prerequisite papers, at a standard to be determined by the Medical Admissions Committee, before being admitted to second year classes.
- Entry to the course shall be subject to candidates meeting a specified English language requirement prior to enrolment in any second year classes.
- Notwithstanding any of the above provisions, the Medical Admissions Committee shall have discretion to consider any applicant who, not having satisfied these regulations in a particular aspect, warrants admission to second year classes in Medicine for exceptional reasons.
A candidate may apply once only in each of the three categories of this regulation.
Note: All papers prescribed for the University of Otago Health Sciences First Year course must be passed at B grade or better. If an additional optional paper from the approved list is taken, and provided all of the prescribed papers are passed at or above the required minimum standard, the results in the best seven papers will be counted for admission purposes.
Applicants in any category (see regulation 1(c) who have fulfilled the requirements as described in 1(e), 1(f) or 1(g) may also be considered in one or both of the following sub-categories:
An applicant in either or both of these sub-categories must provide verified evidence of either Maori whakapapa or indigenous Pacific ancestry and be a permanent resident or citizen of New Zealand.
An applicant in either or both of these sub-categories must have achieved at least a minimum academic standard to be determined by the Medical Admissions Committee from year to year in the course of study on which the application for admission is based.
Note: Students applying under the indigenous Pacific sub-category need to provide verified evidence of family ancestry originating from one or more of the following Pacific nations: Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga, Cook Islands, Niue, Tokelau, Fiji, Rotuma, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Kiribati, Tuvalu, Palau, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Wallis and Futuna, Hawai'i, French Polynesia, Rapanui (Easter Island).
Note: To qualify for the New Zealand Rural Origins sub-category candidates must:
Applicants who are uncertain of their eligibility to apply under the New Zealand Rural Origins sub-category should contact the Health Sciences Admissions Office (firstname.lastname@example.org) or see the Guidelines for Admission on the Health sciences website (http://www.otago.ac.nz/healthscience).
Note: Applicants seeking entry to Medicine in this sub-category must be Health Sciences First Year or Graduate applicants only.
Note: Candidates for admission in the Health Sciences First Year and Competitive Graduate categories must have valid UMAT results, as defined by the Australian Council for Educational Research, which is responsible for the development and administration of UMAT.
Structure of the Programme
- Every programme of study shall satisfy the programme requirements above.
- All students undertaking a first year course for the purpose of gaining entry to Second Year classes in Medicine are required to obtain approval of their courses of study from a Health Sciences first year course adviser. A student pursuing a course leading to a Bachelor of Science or a Bachelor of Arts degree for the purpose of gaining entry to Medical School must obtain approval for that course from an Adviser of Studies for the particular degree concerned.
- No student may take any paper additional to the programme without first obtaining the approval of the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine or the Dean of a School of Medicine.
- In approved cases, the Medical degree may be combined in an integrated programme of study with the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery programme (also including the degrees of Bachelor of Dental Surgery and Doctor of Clinical Dentistry), the degree of Master of Dental Surgery in Oral Medicine, the degree of Bachelor of Medical Sciences with Honours or the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Note: For specific enquiries about entry to Medical School students should make an appointment with the Associate Dean for Admissions, c/o Admissions Office, Division of Health Sciences.
Note: For further information and details of the integrated programme requirements contact the Faculty Manager, Faculty of Medicine.
Admission of Students by Transfer
Transfer of students to the Medical programme at the University of Otago from the Medical programme at the University of Auckland (and vice versa) is possible only at Trainee Intern (sixth year) level. Students will be admitted with the approval of the Faculty Board and provided that:
- a one to one exchange of students can be arranged;
- the student has achieved a standard of performance acceptable to the Faculty Board;
- the Faculty Board is satisfied there are special reasons for the student to transfer;
- the Faculty has sufficient resources and facilities to accept the student.
Note: Students transferring from Auckland will graduate with the Auckland MB ChB degrees and students transferring from Otago will graduate with the Otago MB ChB degrees.
Division of Class after Third Year
Facilities for the teaching of the fourth, fifth and sixth years of the programme are provided in the Dunedin, Christchurch and Wellington Schools of Medicine. After completion of third year, the class will be divided and students allocated to one of the three schools for the remainder of their programme.
In dividing the class, account will be taken of each student's personal preference as far as possible. However, if the numbers of applicants for entry to any one of the clinical schools exceeds the number of places available, a ballot will be held to determine which students will be required to take a place in one of the other schools.
Students will be allocated equally to the three schools. This includes international students who will be allocated equally among the three schools. Once class division has been finalised, exchanges between schools will be permitted only if there is a vacant place and with the approval of the Deans concerned.
Note: No transfer is possible between the Auckland and Otago Schools of Medicine at this stage in the programme.
- A candidate for the degrees of Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery must obtain terms for the corresponding year in order to pass the year, and before proceeding to the next year. For Second, Third and Fifth Year students the Board of Examinations for the year concerned may award terms, deny terms, or defer terms. The Board may, for a student for whom terms have been deferred, admit the student to the final examinations and allow completion of the terms requirements up to the time of the relevant Special examinations.
- Terms will be awarded by Boards of Examinations for each year based on attendance, knowledge, professional attitudes and skills assessment, and on the overall performance of each student in all components of the course during the year. Concerns about performance with respect to any of these criteria during the year, which are supported by similar concerns raised in previous years, can contribute to a decision to deny terms.
- Students who are refused terms will normally be required to repeat the year as a whole.
Note: At the beginning of each year of the Medical programme, each department or the appropriate Board of Examinations will clearly indicate to students specific requirements for the award of terms.
Note: In the event of absence through illness likely to be prejudicial to the granting of terms, students are advised to submit a medical certificate to the Dean of the appropriate School of Medicine.
- Examinations, other than the Final Examination, shall be conducted by means of written questions and/or by oral and practical, including clinical, examinations. The examiners may also take account of the performance of the candidate during the course of instruction.
- A candidate for the Final Examination must undertake an approved course of study including an approved elective.
- The Sixth Year will be a Trainee Internship designed to introduce clinical responsibility for patients. It will include clinical attachments and an elective period. To pass the Final Examination a candidate shall normally obtain a passing assessment from each clinical attachment and from the elective period. The assessment will be made on performance of clinical and other work and may include oral and clinical examinations. In the event that a passing assessment is not obtained in one or more attachments a candidate will sit a final clinical examination conducted by examiners from more than one School of Medicine and will pass the Final Examination if, in the opinion of the Board of Examinations, a satisfactory overall performance has been achieved.
- A candidate for any examination other than the Final Examination who has not sat or, having sat, has not passed the whole of the examination may be admitted to a special examination in the following January unless the Board of Examinations determines that a candidate who has not sat, or who has failed shall be required to carry out an approved course before being readmitted to examination.
- No candidate shall be permitted to sit a special examination (other than those permitted on the basis of ill health or other exceptional circumstances) in more than two of the Second to Fifth Years of the programme.
- A candidate for the Final Examination who has not sat, or having sat, has not passed the whole of the examination shall be required to carry out an approved course before being readmitted to examination.
- On the recommendation of the Board of Examinations, candidates for any examination may be credited with a portion of that examination.
- Candidates for examinations in Medicine, other than the First Year Examination, who, in the opinion of the Board of Examinations, have reached an exceptionally high standard in any subject shall be granted a pass with distinction in that subject.
Note: Entries for special examinations must reach the Manager, Student Administration, by 10 January.
Withdrawal from the Programme
- A student who withdraws on or before 10 July in the year of admission to second year classes will be required to apply to the Medical Admissions Committee for readmission and any such applications will be dealt with under the regulations governing admission to the programme.
- A student who, at any later time, withdraws from the Medical programme is required to apply for readmission to the Board of the Faculty of Medicine not later than 1 June in the year prior to that for which readmission is sought.
Exclusion from the Programme
A candidate who
- fails to complete all of the requirements for a year of the programme at a second attempt (which may include special examinations) or
- fails to complete all of the requirements for a later year of the programme at the first attempt (which may include special examinations), having repeated a previous year, or
- has not passed a year of the programme from failure to gain terms or failing the examinations for that year, having previously sat special examinations in two separate years,
may be excluded from further study towards the degree by the Board of the Division of Health Sciences on the recommendation of the Board of the Faculty of Medicine.
Note: for the purposes of Regulation 8 special examinations granted on the grounds of ill health or other exceptional circumstances are not counted.
Level of Award of the Degrees
If, in the opinion of the Faculty, any candidate has maintained a sufficiently high standard throughout the whole programme, the Faculty may recommend that the degrees be awarded with distinction.
On the recommendation of the Faculty, the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences) may, in exceptional circumstances, approve a course of study which does not comply with these regulations