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Master of Medical Science (MMedSc)

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Overview

Applicants for the degree of  Master of Medical Science (MMedSc) must hold a Bachelor of Medical Science with Honours BMedSc(Hons) or Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery MB ChB or an alternate qualification acceptable to Faculty Board, normally another medical degree (e.g. MBBS) and be eligible for University study in New Zealand. This may mean holding appropriate visa status with the New Zealand Immigration Service – please refer to: http://www.otago.ac.nz/international/index.html for further information.

The degree involves a year of full-time research in any field of medical science, often a clinical discipline, at Master's level. A thesis is submitted. This in-depth study by the medical graduate is often the first step towards a higher degree; e.g. a PhD and a research/academic career.

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Information for new applicants

The MMedSc degree is a one-year full-time (or part-time equivalent) research degree involving a supervised investigation in a branch of medical science. A candidate shall normally follow a programme of study for the equivalent of not less than one year of full-time study and not more than two years of full-time study. Exceptions shall be permitted only with the approval of the Pro-Vice Chancellor (Health Sciences).

Applicants should check their eligibility for admission with the Manager of the Faculty of Medicine. If eligible, applicants should then approach a department of the Faculty (i.e. from the University of Otago Wellington, the University of Otago Christchurch, the Dunedin School of Medicine or the Otago School of Medical Sciences) in order to discuss their proposed topic and to secure supervisors and a supporting department. If a department can provide the necessary support and supervision for the candidate to carry out his/her research the candidate may proceed to the online application process.

With the application, brief outlines of the proposed area of study and project approach are required:

  • Background: This should provide a very brief description of the purpose of the study.
  • Proposed Methods: Brief detail of the methodological approaches should be provided. This should include patient recruitment where relevant, sample collection, types of analyses to be performed etc.
  • Analysis of Results: A brief description of the proposed methods for analysing/summarising the data acquired as a result of the study.
  • Potential Outcomes of the Study and Future Relevance: This section should provide a brief description of possible outcomes of the study, and the potential scientific and health implications for the future.

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Contact Details

Faculty of Medicine Administration
Email medical.faculty@otago.ac.nz

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Regulations for the Degree of Master of Medical Science (MMedSc)

  1. Admission to the Programme

    1. Admission to the programme shall be subject to the approval of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences) on the advice of the Academic Board of the Faculty of Medicine, which must be satisfied that the applicant has the ability and experience to proceed to the programme.
    2. Every applicant must have fulfilled one of the following conditions:
      1. have been admitted to the degree of Bachelor of Medical Science (prior to 2001) or to the degree of Bachelor of Medical Science with Honours;
      2. have been admitted to the degrees of Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery of a university in New Zealand or hold an equivalent medical qualification approved by the Academic Board of the Faculty of Medicine;
      3. have alternative qualifications or experience acceptable to the Academic Board of the Faculty of Medicine.

  2. Structure of the Programme

    1. The degree will be awarded upon the submission of a satisfactory thesis embodying the results of a supervised investigation in a branch of medical science.
    2. The topic of the thesis and the supervisors of the research shall be approved by the Academic Board of the Faculty of Medicine.
    3. The research should be of a kind that a diligent and competent student should complete within one year of full-time study.

  3. Duration of the Programme

    A candidate shall normally follow a programme of study for the equivalent of not less than one year of full-time study and not more than two years of full-time study. Exceptions shall be permitted only with the approval of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences).

  4. Examination

    1. The thesis shall be assessed by at least two examiners, at least one of whom shall be external to the University.
    2. The candidate's supervisor shall not be an examiner but may make a report on the work of the candidate to the Head of Department concerned.
    3. Each examiner shall supply a written report on the thesis and recommend a mark and grade on the basis of the thesis as submitted, and an overall result selected from the options specified in clause (d) below.
    4. The examiners may recommend that a thesis:
      1. be accepted without amendments;
      2. be accepted subject to amendments being made at the discretion and to the satisfaction of the Head of Department concerned;
      3. does not meet the criteria for the award of the degree, but may be revised and resubmitted for examination;
      4. does not meet the criteria for the award of the degree, and should be rejected without right of resubmission.
    5. Amendments 4(d)(ii) and revisions 4(d)(iii) shall be completed by a specified date to be determined by the Head of Department concerned.
    6. A candidate shall be permitted to revise and resubmit a thesis for examination once only.
    7. If a revised and resubmitted thesis is finally accepted, the result shall be either Pass or Fail (i.e. ungraded) and without eligibility for the award of the degree with distinction or credit.
    8. Where examiners cannot agree on a result, the Head of Department concerned should so report to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences) or nominee who shall arrive at a decision after consulting a referee who should normally be external to the University.
    9. A candidate may be required to take an oral examination in the field of knowledge in which the thesis lies.

  5. Level of Award of the Degree

    The degree may be awarded with distinction or with credit.

  6. Variations

    The Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences) may in exceptional circumstances approve a course of study which does not comply with these regulations.

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