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

Regulations for the degree of Master of Health Sciences

 

Overview

The degree of Master of Health Sciences allows study at postgraduate level across a range of health disciplines and research experience (thesis or dissertation) in the student's area of specialisation.


Requirements

(a) Admission to the programme shall be subject to the approval of the Programme Academic Co-ordinator.

(b) Every candidate for the degree shall:

  • be a graduate or possess an appropriate health professional qualification requiring at least three years of full-time tertiary study
  • have completed the Postgraduate Diploma in Health Sciences or equivalent with grades averaging B or better
  • have completed 30 points of research methods at NZQF Level 8 with a grade of B+ or better
  • present evidence of ability for advanced level academic study

(c) Applicants for admission where non-standard research methods requirements apply (i.e. where an NZQF Level 9 research methods paper is required in the Master’s programme, or where an exemption from a research methods requirement has been granted, or other approved exceptional circumstances) shall normally be required to satisfy all of the following:

  • be a graduate in a health-related field or possess an appropriate health professional qualification requiring at least three years of full-time tertiary study
  • have completed the Postgraduate Diploma in Health Sciences or equivalent with grades averaging B+ or better
  • provide evidence of ability for advanced level academic study


Note: Candidates who have not completed 30 points in research methods are advised to enrol in research methods paper(s) at the appropriate level for Certificate of Proficiency (COP). Where the requisite grade is achieved, and admission to the Master’s programme is later granted, credit for the COP paper will normally be applied towards the Master’s programme.

Structure of the MHealSc programme

(a) The programme of study shall consist of either:

  • approved papers at 400-level or higher worth at least 120 points, and a thesis (120 points) embodying the results of one year of full-time or equivalent part-time supervised research
    or
  • approved papers and other course components at 400-level or higher worth at least 240 points, including a research methods paper or papers to the value of 30 points, and either a research project (30 points) or a dissertation (60 points). Where the programme includes a research project, the research methods paper must be one of the approved 800-level options.
    The papers shall constitute a coherent and integrated programme, shall prepare the candidate for the research study, and shall normally include approved research methods paper(s) to the value of 30 points
    With approval, papers worth up to a maximum total of 120 points which have been completed at a tertiary education institution other than the University of Otago may be credited to the programme and/or used as the basis for exemptions in terms of regulation 2c below.

(b) Where the degree is to be awarded with an endorsed option in an area of specialisation, the programme of study must conform to the requirements specified in the Schedule for that option.

(c) A candidate whose qualification for entry to the programme is an honours degree or postgraduate diploma or equivalent may be exempted from some of the required papers provided that the previous study is directly relevant to the candidate's proposed and approved programme of study, to a maximum of 120 points.

(d) A candidate may not present a thesis, which has previously been accepted for another degree.

(e) The programme of study, the topic of the thesis or dissertation and the supervisors of the research shall be approved by an Admissions Committee.

Duration of the programme

(a) A candidate for the degree shall normally follow a programme of study for not less than two years of full-time study or the equivalent of part-time study.

(b) A candidate who was admitted after completing a Postgraduate Diploma in Health Sciences (or equivalent) shall normally follow a programme of study for not less than one year of full-time study or the equivalent in part-time study.

(c) A candidate will normally be expected to satisfy the requirements for the degree within four years of admission to the programme.

Examination of the thesis

(a) The Dean or Head of Department (or nominee) shall appoint a Convenor of Examiners to oversee each thesis exam.

(b) The thesis shall be assessed by at least two examiners, at least one of whom shall be external to the University.

(c) The candidate's supervisors shall not normally be examiners but may make a report on the work of the candidate to the Convenor of Examiners.

(d) Each examiner shall supply a written report on the thesis and recommend a mark and grade on the basis of the work as submitted, and an overall result selected from the options specified in clause (e) below.

(e) The examiners may recommend that a thesis:

  • be accepted without amendments;
  • be accepted subject to amendments made at the discretion and to the satisfaction of the Exam Convenor;
  • does not meet the criteria for the award of the degree, but may be revised and re-examination;
  • does not meet the criteria for the award of the degree, and shall be rejected without right of resubmission.

(f) Any amendments or revisions required shall be completed by the specified date to be determined by the Convenor of the exam in accordance with established procedures.

(g) A candidate shall be permitted to revise and resubmit a thesis for examination only once.

(h) If a revised and resubmitted thesis is finally accepted, the result shall be either Pass or Fail (i.e. ungraded) and without eligibility for the award of the degree with distinction or credit.

(i) Where examiners cannot agree on a result, the Exam Convenor shall engage in established mediation procedures, and if unresolvable, so report to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences) who shall arrive at a decision after consulting a referee who should normally be external to the University.

Examination of dissertation

(a) The Dean or Head of Department (or nominee) shall appoint a Convenor of Examiners to oversee each dissertation exam.

(b) The dissertation shall be assessed by at least two examiners, at least one of whom shall be external to the supervising department.

(c) The candidate's supervisors shall not normally be examiners but may make a report on the work of the candidate to the Exam Convenor.

(d) Each examiner shall supply a written report on the dissertation and recommend a mark and grade on the basis of the work as submitted, and an overall result selected from the options specified in clause (e) below.

(e) The examiners may recommend that a dissertation:

  • be accepted without amendments;
  • be accepted subject to amendments made at the discretion and to the satisfaction of the Exam Convenor;
  • does not meet the criteria for the award of the degree, but may be revised and re-submitted for examination;
  • does not meet the criteria for the award of the degree, and shall be rejected without right of resubmission.

(f) Any amendments or revisions required shall be completed by the specified date to be determined by the Convenor of the exam in accordance with established procedures.

(g) A candidate shall be permitted to revise and resubmit dissertation for examination only once.

(h) If a revised and resubmitted dissertation is finally accepted, the result shall be either Pass or Fail (i.e. ungraded) and without eligibility for the award of the degree with distinction or credit.

(i) Where examiners cannot agree on a result, the Exam Convenor shall engage in established mediation procedures, and if unresolvable, so report to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences) who shall arrive at a decision after consulting a referee who should normally be external to the University.

Examination of research project

(a) The Head of Department (or nominee) shall oversee the assessment process for each research project.

(b) The research project shall be assessed by at least two internal examiners.

(c) The candidate’s supervisor shall not be an examiner but may make a report on the work of the candidate to the Head of Department.

(d) Each examiner shall supply a brief written report on the research project and recommend a mark and grade on the basis of the research project as submitted, and an overall result selected from the options specified in clause (e) below.

(e) The examiners may recommend that a research project

  • be accepted without amendments;
  • does not meet the criteria for the award of the degree, and shall be rejected without right of resubmission.

(f) Where examiners cannot agree on a result, the Head of Department or nominee shall engage in established mediation procedures and arrive at a decision.

Level of the award of the degree

The degree may be awarded with a pass, credit or distinction.

Variations

The Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences) may in exceptional circumstances approve a programme of study, which does not comply with these regulations

Endorsed options

Endorsed options for the MhealSc through the Christchurch School of Medicine and Health Sciences are:

Masters students should familiarise themselves with the Regulations for the Master of Health Sciences as printed in the current University Calendar and consult the University's Handbook for Masters Degrees - see www.otago.ac.nz/study/masters

^ Top of Page

Further information

Ruth Helms
Manager, Academic Programmes
University of Otago, Christchurch
PO Box 4345
Christchurch, New Zealand
Tel +64 3 364 0527
Email ruth.helms@otago.ac.nz