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Preparing to study Health Sciences First Year

Overview

There are no subject requirements for entry into Health Sciences First Year (HSFY). However, we strongly recommend you take Chemistry and Physics to NCEA Level 3 (or equivalent), and if possible, also take Biology to NCEA Level 3 (or equivalent).

If you have not taken Chemistry, Physics, and/or Biology, please read on to discover how you can up-skill before starting HSFY.

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Resources for all future students

Otago Life helps you make the most of your time at university. It provides information on preparing to study at university level, and gives you a guide to Academic Orientation Week, study tips and resources, financial support (including student loans and allowances), and accommodation.

HEDC Student Learning Development provides free and confidential academic support to all students at Otago. HEDC Student Learning Development offers online resources and self-study guides, as well as one-to-one appointments with learning advisors. Whether you're working hard to get a pass mark, seeking to gain a top result, or catching up after a break away from study, you can benefit from their services.

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If you did not study NCEA Level 3 (or equivalent) Chemistry

CHEM 150

CHEM 150 Concepts in Chemistry is an Otago Summer School paper, taught in January and February each year (before HSFY starts in Semester One). It is designed for students with limited chemistry backgrounds, and provides you with the necessary theory and practical skills to successfully continue on to the HSFY paper CHEM 191 The Chemical Basis of Biology. The first four weeks of CHEM 150 are taught and assessed entirely online (using Blackboard, the University of Otago's learning management system), with the last two weeks taught on campus.

Note: If you have achieved 14 credits of NCEA Level 2 Chemistry or more, or any credits of NCEA Level 3 Chemistry (or their equivalents), you will need Head of Department approval to enrol in CHEM 150.

Application date: See Summer School enrolment dates

Introductory Chemistry

Introductory Chemistry covers the same content as CHEM 150 Concepts in Chemistry, but does not include the laboratory component. Introductory Chemistry is designed for students not eligible for CHEM 150, and can be taken at any time.

Foundation Studies

Foundation Studies are recommended for students with little or no Chemistry background, or who are missing more than one of the recommended subjects for HSFY.

Application date: Prior to class starting on 20 February (but the earlier the better)

Bachelor of Science (BSc)

A three-year BSc allows you to spread the HSFY papers across your degree, and then apply for the Health Sciences professional programmes via alternative pathways.

Contact the Health Sciences Admissions Office for more information about alternative pathways.

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If you did not study NCEA Level 3 (or equivalent) Physics

JumpStart Physics

JumpStart Physics is a not-for-credit Continuing Education course that runs for a three-week intensive period immediately before Semester One. It is designed to prepare students to confidently undertake the PHSI 191 Biological Physics paper in HSFY. It is for students whose training in secondary school Physics and Mathematics is incomplete, having not taken NCEA Level  (or equivalent) Physics. Students undertaking this course will still need to meet the University's admission and entrance criteria in order to proceed to full credit study.

Note: Students who have achieved 14 credits and higher in NCEA Level 2 Physics or General Science, or have a pass in Sixth Form Certificate Physics or Science, will not be accepted except with the approval of the Head of Department.

Application date: 9 December 2017 (to be confirmed)

Foundation Studies

Foundation Studies are recommended for students with little or no Physics background, or who are missing more than one of the recommended subjects for HSFY.

Application date: Prior to class starting on 20 February (but the earlier the better)

Bachelor of Science (BSc)

A three-year BSc allows you to spread the HSFY papers across your degree, and then apply for the Health Sciences professional programmes via alternative pathways.

Contact the Health Sciences Admissions Office for more information about alternative pathways.

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If you did not study NCEA Level 3 (or equivalent) Biology

HUBS 191 pre-reading

NCEA Level 3 (or equivalent) Biology is recommended preparation for HUBS 191. If you have not completed NCEA Level 3 (or equivalent) Biology, we recommend you prepare for HUBS 191 by reading the first six chapters of the HUBS 191 textbook:

  1. Organisation of the Body
  2. The Chemical Basis of Life
  3. Anatomy of Cells
  4. Physiology of Cells
  5. Cell Growth and Reproduction
  6. Tissues

In 2017, the HUBS 191 textbook is: Patton, K. & Thibodeau, G. (2012). Anatomy & Physiology (8th ed.). Elsevier.

CELS 191 pre-reading

You do not require NCEA Level 3 (or equivalent) Biology for CELS 191, however NCEA Level 2 (or equivalent) Biology is useful.

If you did not study NCEA Level 2 (or equivalent) Biology, we recommend you purchase an NCEA Level 2 Biology study guide. Work through the material before the start of Semester One.

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Further resources

  • NCEA study guides
  • HSFY textbooks (available from the University Book Shop)

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