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Frequently asked questions

Can I study other related areas of Aviation Medicine as part of my Masters Degree in Aviation Medicine such as Occupational Medicine or Aeromedical Retrieval and Transport?

Students who progress to the Master of Aviation Medicine Degree will usually be able to obtain a Postgraduate Diploma in either Occupational Medicine or Aeromedical Retrieval and Transport (or a certificate in each), which is awarded in addition to the Master of Aviation Medicine degree. Please ask Julie Myers our Research Manager julie.myers@otago.ac.nz or Rob Griffiths our Academic Coordinator rob.griffiths@otago.ac.nz for advice if your route for obtaining these qualifications is not clear.

Is it possible to complete a Certificate level Aviation Medicine qualification?

It is possible to complete a Postgraduate Certificate in Civil Aviation Medicine (PGCertCivAvMed) by completing two core Aviation Medicine papers only, AVME711 and 714. This qualification is only offered in even numbered years (2016, 2018, 2020). Completing the PGCertCivAvMed qualificiation may limit your options as far as paper options for the Masters of Aviation Medicine (MAvMed). It is recommended that you seek course advice from the programme manager (oamu@otago.ac.nz) regarding your options.

Please note: If you are completing the certificate in order to become certified with the New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority as an Aviation Medical Examiner you have the option to be provided with an official letter stating that you have completed AVME711 and AVME714, without being awareded the PGCertCivAvMed for maximum flexibility in your further study options. This letter will be acceptable as confirmation that you have undertaken the required academic training to be approved as an Aviation Medical Examiner. If you have questions regarding this assurance please do not hesitate to contact Dr Rob Griffiths rob.griffiths@otago.ac.nz

Who is eligible to do a course in Aviation Medicine?

There is a broad range of qualifications available in Aviation Medicine, but specific qualifications such as the Masters in Aviation Medicine are open to medical practitioners only. Other qualifications such as the Master of Health Sciences and some of the Aeromedical Retrieval and Transport qualifications (for example the Postgraduate Diploma in Health Science endorsed in Aeromedical Retrieval and Transport) are also open to flight nurses and allied health professionals. For a full list of the Aviation Medicine qualifications and eligibility requirements go to: otago.ac.nz/wellington/departments/medicine/postgraduate/occupationalaviationmedicine

How is the Aeromedical Retrieval and Transport programme of courses structured for doctors?

Aeromedical Retrieval and Transport courses for medical practitioners start with a Postgraduate Certificate in Aeromedical Retrieval and Transport, progressing to a Postgraduate Diploma in Aeromedical Retrieval and Transport, and finally a Master of Health Sciences degree endorsed in Aeromedical Retrieval and Transport. The certificate is a one year part-time course consisting of two papers; the diploma consists of four papers and takes two years part-time; while the Masters degree consists of at least four papers plus some research and takes four years part-time. As you move through the programme the certificate papers can be credited towards the diploma, which in turn can be credited towards a Masters degree.

How is the Aeromedical Retrieval and Transport programme of courses structured for nurses and allied health professionals?

Aeromedical Retrieval and Transport courses for flight nurses and allied health professionals start with a certificate level qualification called a Postgraduate Certificate in Health Sciences endorsed in Aeromedical Retrieval and Transport. This can then be credited towards a diploma qualification which is the Postgraduate Diploma in Health Sciences endorsed in Aeromedical Retrieval and Transport. The certificate is a one year part-time course consisting of two papers, while the diploma consists of four papers taken over two years part-time. The Masters qualification (Master of Health Sciences endorsed in Aeromedical Retrieval and Transport) requires at least four Aeromedical Retrieval and Transport papers plus some research and takes four years part-time.

How many Papers are needed for a Masters in Aviation Medicine?

Each paper is worth 30 points, and the Master of Aviation Medicine degree requires eight papers or 240 points in total. There is also a research Masters degree called the MHealSc(Aviation Medicine) which must combine papers and research worth 240 points in total.

How will I interact with my tutors?

Tutors send out regular weekly emails called diary pages throughout the semester, starting from the beginning of February for first semester, and the beginning of July for second semester. Tailored interactions are set up for research students. You can ask questions of your tutor by email any time. You will interact with your classmates and tutors in a scheduled number of webinars for each paper.

How will my work be assessed?

Most papers require the completion of three assignments. These vary from case studies to MCQs. We no longer require an end of semester examination. All assessment takes place during the course of the semester.

Do I have to travel to New Zealand to take part in this programme?

No. All courses are distance taught and are designed so that study can be carried out from your usual residence or place of work. The only time you will need to leave your normal area of work is to attend a one week annual Professional Visits Programme which is held in a different location around the world each year.

Is it less expensive if I enrol for all my intended papers now/at the same time?

No, payment is always calculated on a ‘per paper’ basis and in fact you can only enrol for one year at a time. To spread the cost over the course of your studies you can sign up for one paper at a time, therefore only having to pay for each paper as you take it.

Do any of the Aviation, Occupational Medicine or Aeromedical Retrieval and Transport qualifications guarantee me a job?

Not directly, but the University of Otago is the world’s leading provider of distance education and professional development in Aviation Medicine. Graduates of the course will meet internationally recognised “best practice” standards for aviation medicine practitioners, and are frequently employed by airlines including for example Cathay Pacific, Emirates and Qantas.

Can I move between the AeroRT papers and pure Aviation Medicine and Occupational Medicine?

Yes. The qualifications are designed so that you can progress from a certificate level course, which may then be credited towards a diploma level course and then in turn to a Master’s level course. For example four Aeromedical Retrieval and Transport papers can give you the Postgraduate Diploma in Aeromedical Retrieval and Transport, which can then be credited to a Master of Aviation Medicine which is completed by doing four core Aviation Medicine papers. Alternatively it is also possible for example to do two Aeromedical Retrieval and Transport papers for a Postgraduate Certificate in Aeromedical Retrieval and Transport, then do two Occupational Medicine papers for a Postgraduate Certificate in Occupational Medicine, and then credit both these to a Master of Aviation Medicine degree (again, completed by doing the four core Aviation Medicine papers). However, because some of the course requirements for different qualifications are quite specific it is recommended that you discuss your options with the academic coordinator for Aviation Medicine Dr Rob Griffiths rob.griffiths@otago.ac.nz or the Director of Research Julie Myers julie.myers@otago.ac.nz.

Do my previous experiences or qualifications (RPL) exempt me from any parts of the programme?

Credit may be given for previous academic achievement. If you think you may be eligible please contact the Director of Research, Julie Myers julie.myers@otago.ac.nz.