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Frequently asked questions about studying Medical Laboratory Science

What subjects will I study during the programme?

During your first year, you will study the seven Health Sciences First Year (HSFY) papers.

Read about Health Sciences First Year (Division of Health Sciences website)

In second year, you move into the subjects that teach you how the human body functions normally. In the third year of the course, you learn about the changes that occur when the body is not working properly, and how these changes can be detected by laboratory tests.

For the final (fourth) year, you will be learning how to apply this knowledge in the real world of diagnostic laboratory testing.

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Can I spend the final year away from Dunedin?

Yes. We arrange for final-year students to be placed in community or hospital-based laboratories throughout New Zealand, and in Australia.

Although the choices may be limited, most final-year students are able to be in the location they prefer.

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What are my chances of getting into the BMLSc programme? Isn't it competitive, like medicine?

As long as you complete the seven papers in Health Sciences First Year, you have a very good chance of entering the Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Science programme.

Read the guidelines for admission (Division of Health Sciences website)

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I've done some university study already, and now want to change to the BMLSc. Is this possible?

Yes. Depending on your previous studies and your grades, you may be able to enter the second year classes directly. Very occasionally, graduates or students with several years' previous study may be invited directly into the third year.

If you have been studying health science topics, you may be exempt from studying some of the second year papers.

If your previous studies have not included much science, you may be asked to take some of the Health Sciences First Year papers.

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What are the job opportunities when I finish the degree?

Job opportunities in most branches of diagnostic laboratory work are currently very good—there are a diversity of employment options.

Our programme is accredited by Australia, so you can also expect to find work across the Tasman.

Salary varies between laboratories. Salary progression is generally by automatic annual increment for a period after you complete a six-month period working in a diagnostic laboratory (this six-month period is to meet competency requirements and full registration with the New Zealand Medical Sciences Council).

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I want to study forensic science. Can I do this if I take medical laboratory science?

The only way you can study forensic science in New Zealand is to take it as a postgraduate subject for a Master of Science (MSc) in Auckland.

If you're interested in this path, it's recommended you complete the Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Science degree, and do some biochemistry and chemistry study.

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