Accessibility Skip to Global Navigation Skip to Local Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Site Map Menu

Master of Nursing Science (MNSc)

MNSc key points

  • The Master of Nursing Science (MNSc) is a two year intensive integrated programme of study offering a pathway to a nursing career.
  • Graduates from any discipline who have achieved a B average from the final two years of their qualifying degree will be considered for this qualification.
  • Study is undertaken on the University of Otago Christchurch campus, with clinical experience placements available with healthcare providers throughout the South Island.
  • Students develop their knowledge and skills for practice through case-based scenarios, clinical simulation, clinical practice experiences, research, and in-class activities.
  • On successful completion of the MNSc students will be eligible to apply for registration with the Nursing Council of New Zealand.

Information for new applicants

The Centre for Postgraduate Nursing Studies welcomes your questions about the Master of Nursing Science programme at any time.

Contact the Programme Administrator:
Tel 64 3 364 3850

New international students should contact the International Office for advice on admission to their intended programmes.

View the Enrolling at Otago webpage for more information

Regulations and programme requirements for the Master of Nursing Science

View the MNSc Qualifications page for the Regulations for the degree of Master of Nursing Science, programme requirements and individual paper content.

Guidelines for admission

Online registration and application

New and returning students are required to complete their application through eVision, which combines both your admission and enrolment into the University of Otago, and your programme application.

If this is the first time you have applied to the University of Otago, you may be asked for additional documents such as

  • academic transcript/record from any other institutions attended
  • birth certificate
  • passport
  • marriage certificate
  • certified IELTS results

The on-line system allows you to upload documents from your computer so it is a good idea to save any required documents in pdf format on your computer prior to beginning the application process.

Once you have submitted your application you will not be able to change your specific Master of Nursing Science application details.

New students please note that it will take at least 2 days to receive your login details before you are able to complete and submit your application.

If you have any questions regarding your registration contact the University Information Centre

^ Top of Page

Supporting documentation for on-line applications

The Master of Nursing Science application will require you to submit supporting documentation. Details of the information required is listed below. Please have the information available before starting your application.

  • Academic qualifications e.g. university/polytechnic transcript; we require a witnessed copy if it is not from the University of Otago.
  • An up to date copy of your curriculum vitae (CV) with details of current and recent past employment, community activities, participant sports and voluntary work. You will be required to upload your CV during the on-line process.
  • A statement of no more than 300 words, outlining your reasons for wanting to enter Nursing. You will be required to download the Statement of Interest form during the on-line process, complete and upload to your application. A copy of the Statement of Interest form can be found below.
  • Under Other Supporting Information on the eVision programme application screen, you will be required to download, complete, sign, and upload the Health Sciences Declaration and Police Vetting forms to your application. A copy of the Declaration forms can be found below.
  • You are required to provide details for two referees during the on-line application process. The confidential referee report template can be downloaded below, or during the online application process. Fill out the required sections and send to your referees to return directly to us (an email address or Freepost address is provided on the form). Your application is not complete until we have received the reports from your referees.
  • Applicants whose first language is not English or Māori must provide certified results of an IELTS (International English Language Testing System) score of 6.5 in the academic module (with no individual band below 6.0).

Declaration and police vetting
Statement of interest
Referee form

^ Top of Page

Once your application has been submitted

  • After you submit your online application, you will receive an email confirming receipt of your application.
  • The University will email your online student portal if they require further information or documentation.
  • It is important to check all contact email addresses you provided during the application process as you will continue to receive information about your application following submission.

^ Top of Page

Outcome of application

  • The Master of Nursing Science Admissions Committee will review all applications and shortlist those who will progress to an interview.
  • Selection into the programme will be assessed by means of your academic record, your CV, Statement of Interest, your two confidential referee reports, and an interview.
  • Applicants who have been shortlisted for interview will be informed of this via email within two weeks of receiving your application.
  • If your application has not been successful you will be notified of this via your e:Vision student portal.
  • If you are successful following the selection process you will be offered a place in the programme via your e:Vision student portal. This may be a conditional offer if, for example, we have not received all documentation required to complete your application.
  • If you receive an offer of study you will be advised of the deadline for accepting or declining the offer. To accept your offer you must complete an online response to the offer. Even if you do not wish to accept any offer made to you, you must still complete the online response to offer process.
  • If you receive notification that you have been placed on the Waiting list for the Master of Nursing Science you will be contacted should a place become available. You can be offered a place from a waiting list right up to the time classes begin. Where students are on the waiting list and have exactly the same score, a balloting system will be used to determine who is offered a place.
  • Entry into the programme is competitive and places are limited due to the number of clinical placements available.
  • Applicants must have their personal and financial affairs in order when they apply so that if their application is successful, they are able to take up a place at the start of the first semester.

Please be advised that the Master of Nursing Science Admissions office will not be held responsible for any communication problems because of an applicant's failure to provide and check an appropriate email.

^ Top of Page

Maori and NZ Resident Indigenous Pacific applicants

The University of Otago is committed to initiatives that increase the number of indigenous Maori and indigenous Pacific Island graduates. The Division of Health Sciences is focused on ensuring that New Zealand's diverse health workforce needs are met, to honouring the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi/Tiriti o Waitangi and promoting academic equity for under-represented groups.

Applicants who identify as being of either or both Maori or New Zealand resident Indigenous Pacific origins should contact the programme administrator for more detail regarding their application and available scholarships.

Additional Information to assist your applicaton

^ Top of Page

Deferral of entry

  • Successful candidates may request to defer their entry to the following academic year. Requests will be considered on the following grounds:
  • Serious medical grounds or other exceptional circumstances. Candidates that are approved deferral on medical grounds or exceptional circumstances will be required to provide evidence that they are able to resume study. This evidence must reach the Master of Nursing Science administrator by 1 September in the year following your deferral year.
  • Deferrals will only be granted for a maximum period of one academic year.
  • To apply for a deferral of entry please complete and return the deferral form (PDF 100 KB)

^ Top of Page

Health and disabilities

Please contact the University of Otago's Manager of Disability Information and Support if you have a mental or physical condition that may affect whether or not you are able to meet the requirements of a programme or obtain professional registration.

  • Health conditions include:
  • Physical conditions
  • Mental conditions
  • Psychological conditions

Applicants who have a mental or physical condition should declare this on the Division of Health Science Declaration Form.

^ Top of Page

Criminal offences

  • Applicants who have been charged with a criminal offence, and/or are currently facing disciplinary proceedings (including drink driving and traffic offences) should declare this on their Division of Health Science Declaration form.
  • As some convictions may prohibit registration, applicants are advised to consult the regulations of the appropriate registering professional body, in this instance the Nursing Council of New Zealand.
  • All applicants must consent to verification from the New Zealand Police that there are no undeclared criminal charges or convictions.
  • Any applicant who has resided in Australia must consent to verification from the Australian Police that there are no undeclared criminal charges or convictions.
  • The Vulnerable Children Act (VCA) 2014 introduces new requirements for organisations, therefore VCA-compliant vetting may be used as part of your admission to the Master of Nursing Science.
  • Further information on both the Clean Slate and VCA can be found at: NZ Police

^ Top of Page

Sensitive issues

Nursing is a profession that requires physical contract with those we are caring for. In the Master of Nursing Science programme all students must participate in laboratory, practical and clinical activities, including those that may be unusual in some cultures.

Simulation laboratory learning will require individuals to practise clinical activities including those that involve physical contact with other students. Training occurs under close supervision and all students are required to participate, as it is essential for their acquisition of clinical skills.

^ Top of Page

First aid certificate

  • All candidates who accept a place into the Master of Nursing Science must provide a certified copy of a current New Zealand First Aid Certificate before the start of the programme.
  • Applicants must gain this qualification through a NZQA-registered training provider who is authorised to assess NZQA first aid standards.
  • The certificate should include NZQA Standards 6400, 6401, 6402.
  • The following are a selection of recommended training courses:

St John (First Aid Level Two)
New Zealand Red Cross (Comprehensive First Aid Course)

^ Top of Page

Immunity status

All applicants who are offered and accept a place in the Master of Nursing Science programme will be required to provide evidence of their serology status.

Because of the nature of their practice, health professionals are required to take steps to ensure they neither acquire infections from their patients nor transmit infections to patients.

Immunity testing arrangements will be made known before the start of the programme.

Students should read and understand the full information regarding the Infectious Diseases Policy (PDF 250 KB)

^ Top of Page


The University of Otago makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information provided on its web pages. However the matters covered, including the availability and structure of courses, are subject to regular review and no warranty or representation can be provided regarding the accuracy of such information, and the University does not accept liability for any losses or damage arising directly or indirectly from reliance on the information.

While the University of Otago takes all due care in implementing the regulations, policies and procedures that relate to the admissions process, it reserves the right to correct any administrative errors that may occur.