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Regulations for the degree of Master of Health Sciences



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.


(a) Admission to the programme shall be subject to the approval of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences).

(b) Every candidate for the degree shall:

  • be a graduate or possess an appropriate health professional qualification requiring at least three years' full-time tertiary study
  • present evidence of ability for advanced level academic study

Note: Candidates will normally be expected to have completed the requirements for the Postgraduate Diploma in Health Sciences, or equivalent, and to have achieved grades averaging B or better.

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
  • approved papers and other course components at 400-level or higher worth at least 240 points, including a research paper or papers to the value of 30 points, and either a research project (30 points) or a dissertation (60 points).
    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.

Endorsed options for the MHealSc through 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

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Further Information

Ruth Helms
Manager, Academic Programmes
University of Otago, Christchurch
PO Box 4345
Christchurch, New Zealand
Tel 64 3 364 0527