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Master of Nursing Science (MNSc)

Become a registered nurse in just 2 years

Nurse with a child patientThe Master of Nursing Science (MNSc) is an intensive 2‑year programme that gives you a pathway to a nursing career.

The MNSc is taught at our Christchurch campus, with clinical experience placements available throughout the South Island.

During your MNSc studies, you’ll develop knowledge and skills through a broad range of approaches:

  • Case-based scenarios
  • Clinical practice experience
  • Clinical simulation
  • In-class activities
  • Online tutorials
  • Research

After completing your MNSc, you will be eligible to apply for registration with the Nursing Council of New Zealand.

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Why Otago?

QS World University Rankings logo - Nursing Top 100 in 2019The Centre for Postgraduate Nursing Studies is ranked in the world’s top 100 nursing schools.

The Centre has been providing advanced training to registered nurses for two decades, and understands the needs of the nursing profession.

Based at our Christchurch campus, you’ll be taught by highly-qualified academic staff with strong clinical links throughout New Zealand. You’ll benefit from the latest nursing research and technology, and will have access to the impressive University of Otago Christchurch Simulation Centre.

As New Zealand’s most-intensive campus for medical and health research, we’re home to active researchers, postgraduate research students, and medical students.

And now, we offer you the chance to become a registered nurse after just 2 years of intensive study.

Rachel Sanders 650
“The course far exceeded my expectations! I found it a lot harder than I expected, and tough at times, but there is a good mix of subjects. When it comes to the clinical work we had simulation labs every week that consolidated what we were learning in class. Nursing puts you in some really confronting situations and the simulation labs allowed us to begin developing some of the skills we would need in our careers. The labs ranged from learning how to give injections and care for wounds to having meaningful therapeutic conversations with patients. The staff are the most amazing part of the course, though. They come from so many broad and different backgrounds and have so much experience to offer. I really got the most out of my time with them, and am loving being part of the nursing workforce and putting everything I learned into practice.”
— Rachel Sanders, MNSc Graduate

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Course content

The Master of Nursing Science (MNSc) consists of seven nursing papers in the first year, and six in the second year:

First-year papers

Second-year papers

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Entry requirements

The Master of Nursing Science (MNSc) is a postgraduate qualification. It is open to graduates from any discipline who achieved a ‘B’ average from the final two years of their degree.

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How to apply

We welcome your questions about the Master of Nursing Science (MNSc) degree.

Please contact us at any time:

Tel +64 3 364 3850
Email nursing.science@otago.ac.nz

If you’re an international student, your application process is different. Please contact the International Office for advice.

When you apply to enrol in the MNSc degree, we will require the following details:

If this is your first time studying with the University of Otago, you may be asked for additional documents such as:

  • Academic transcript / record from any other institutions attended
  • Birth certificate
  • Certified IELTS results
  • Marriage certificate
  • Passport

Start your application at the MNSc regulations page

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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 eVision 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.

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Māori and New Zealand Resident Indigenous Pacific applicants

The University of Otago is committed to initiatives that increase the number of indigenous Māori 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.

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Additional information to assist your application

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)

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.

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.

The New Zealand Police website has further information on both the Clean Slate and VCA.

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.

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:

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)

Disclaimer: 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.

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