The Otago Bachelor of Physiotherapy (BPhty) degree is a prestigious four-year programme positioned at the cutting edge of physiotherapy education. It is internationally renowned for excellence, because the graduates it prepares for the profession are among the best in the field.
The academic year is from late February to November. The programme is of four years' duration with years 2 to 4 being undertaken at the School of Physiotherapy. In the first year students take the Health Sciences First Year course and in the majority of cases students are selected from this year.
Students who complete all the competencies of the four years of study are then eligible to apply for registration as a physiotherapist with the New Zealand Physiotherapy Board.
Information for new applicants
Applications for Physiotherapy:
Open: 1 August
Close: 15 September
Information regarding the guidelines for admission can be found on the following website.
Division of Health Sciences
Division of class after third year
Clinical education teaching facilities for undergraduate Physiotherapy programmes are provided in the Dunedin, Christchurch and Wellington Clinical Centres and associated Clinical Hubs. After completion of the third year, the class will be divided and students allocated to one of the Clinical Centres or Clinical Hubs for the remainder of their programme. Students may also be required to complete their third year clinical training at one of the School's Clinical Centres.
In dividing the class, account will be taken of each student's personal preference as far as possible. However, if the number of applicants for entry to any Clinical Centre or Clinical Hub exceeds the number of places available, a ballot may be held to determine which students will be required to take a place in one of the other Centres or Hubs.
Honours students will normally be allocated to the Dunedin Centre. However, such students may be assigned to another Centre, or required to complete a component of their final year of clinical training at a location outside Dunedin at the discretion of the School. In determining the location, account will be taken of each student's personal preference as far as possible.
Regulations for the Degree of Bachelor of Physiotherapy (BPhty)
Admission to the Programme
- The number of domestic students admitted to the second year of the Bachelor of Physiotherapy programme is limited to the number determined by the Council annually on the basis of available resources. Some additional places may be available to International students.
- Applications for admission by domestic students may be made by those eligible under the following categories:
- Health Sciences First Year (see 1(l))
- Two or More Years of University Study (see 1(m))
- Graduate (see 1(o))
- Alternative (see 1(r))
- Applications must be made by the due dates specified for each category as part of the Guidelines for Admission into the Health Sciences Professional Programmes published at www.otago.ac.nz/healthsciences. (“the Guidelines”)
- Selection of eligible students for admission to the second year of the programme shall be made by the Physiotherapy Admissions Committee (“the Committee”) whose terms of reference shall be established by the Division of Health Sciences and approved by the Senate.
- Subject to these regulations and the Selection Criteria established by the Committee and approved by the Senate from time to time and published as part of the Guidelines, selection for admission shall be in the discretion of the Committee.
- Without limitation, the Selection Criteria may include:
- academic performance;
- demonstration of appropriate attributes for admission into the programme.
- The Division of Health Sciences' Te Kauae Parāoa policy promotes and facilitates equity for Māori students and students from other under-represented groups. In accordance with this policy, the Selection Criteria may provide for applicants in the following equity groups to be given preference for selection:
- Resident Indigenous Pacific
- Socioeconomic Equity
- Refugee Background
- Recognition for inclusion in the Māori and Resident Indigenous Pacific equity groups shall be through demonstration of ancestry in accordance with the University's Ancestry Verification Procedures for Māori and Pacific Students and any other criteria the Senate may determine. Criteria for inclusion in the Rural, Socioeconomic Equity and Refugee Background equity groups shall be established by the Academic Board of the Division of Health Sciences and approved by the Senate. Criteria approved by the Senate shall be published as part of the Guidelines.
- In selecting domestic students from the categories in 1(b) above, to enter the second year of the Physiotherapy programme, the Committee will first select from those applicants who have specified that they are seeking admission to the Physiotherapy programme only and not also to one or more of the Dentistry, Medical Laboratory Science, Medicine or Pharmacy programmes offered by the University of Otago.
- Candidates wishing to be considered under the single programme preference provision must specify that they are applying only for the Bachelor of Physiotherapy by the close of applications for the programme.
- Candidates wishing to be considered under the single programme preference provision may apply for any other programmes offered by the University of Otago excluding those named in 1 (i) above.
Health Sciences First Year Category
- To be eligible to be selected for admission under the Health Sciences First Year category an applicant must:
- be enrolled in the Health Sciences First Year course at the University of Otago;
- pass all of the papers prescribed for the University of Otago Health Sciences First Year course, with an average mark of at least 65%.*
- To be eligible to be selected for admission under the Two or More Years of University Study category an applicant must not be a finalist, but must have completed two or more years of full-time study at a university in New Zealand, comprising at least three papers at 200-level, and must not have failed more than two papers in any one year subsequent to a first year of study.
- Applicants offered a place under the Two or More Years of University Study category may be required to pass prescribed papers, to a standard determined by the Committee, before being admitted to second year classes.
- To be eligible for selection for admission under the Graduate category, an applicant must have completed as their first degree, within three years prior to the date of application, and in the minimum academic time, at least one of the following qualifications awarded by a university in New Zealand:
- a bachelor's degree; or
- undergraduate bachelor's honours degree; or
- bachelor's degree, followed without break in study by a postgraduate diploma or postgraduate honours year.
- The average grade for all papers in the qualifying programme must be at least a weighted grade point average of 4.*
- Applicants offered a place under the Graduate category may be required to pass prescribed papers, to a standard determined by the Committee, before being admitted to second year classes.
- To be eligible to be considered for admission under the Alternative category, an applicant must not be eligible under any other admission category and:
- hold a degree from a New Zealand university; or
- have completed a degree at an overseas university at a standard of at least NZQF Level 7; or
- hold a master's or doctoral degree; or
- demonstrate health-related professional experience in a relevant field to a standard acceptable to the Committee.
- An applicant may be required to attend an interview.
- Applicants offered a place under the Alternative category may be required to pass prescribed papers, to a standard determined by the Committee, before being admitted to second year classes.
- The Committee may offer a limited number of places in second year classes to international students who meet all the requirements determined by the Committee.
- Notwithstanding any of the above provisions, the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences) shall have discretion to approve a recommendation from the Committee concerning any applicant who, not having satisfied these regulations in a particular aspect, in the Committee's view warrants admission to the programme for exceptional reasons.
- Any applicant who
- is, or who has been, the subject of criminal charges; or
- is, or who has been, subject to disciplinary proceedings of a tertiary institution or professional body; or
- (iii)has been found to have an issue (whether in connection with their mental or physical health, or their professional attributes or conduct, or otherwise) that compromises or is likely to compromise their fitness to practise; or
- is found to have failed to declare a matter covered by (w)(i)-(iii), may be declined admission to the programme by the Committee on the recommendation of the Health and Conduct Review Group. Any offer of admission made before responses to medical tests or requests for information regarding an applicant's health status or past conduct have been received is conditional on the information received confirming the applicant's suitability for admission.
Single Programme Preference
Thereafter if domestic places are still available in each of the applicable categories, the Committee will then select from the group of applicants who are seeking to enter Physiotherapy and one or more of those other programmes.
Two or More Years of University Study
Declining of Admission
Structure of the Programme
- Every programme of study shall satisfy the programme requirements above.
- No student may take any paper additional to the Physiotherapy programme without first obtaining the approval of the Dean of the School of Physiotherapy.
Credits and Exemptions
The Board of Studies may grant such credits and exemptions as it deems appropriate for work done previously by a candidate.
A candidate who is enrolled for the degree concurrently with another degree, or who has completed another degree, may cross credit 100- and 200-level papers which are common to both degrees up to a maximum of 180 points.
- No candidate shall be eligible to sit a final examination without having gained terms in that paper.
- A candidate gains terms in a paper by satisfactorily demonstrating the acquisition of sufficient knowledge and skills, by attendance at classes and by performance in a professional manner of such practical and clinical work and other work as the School of Physiotherapy may require.
- A candidate who fails to gain terms in any paper will be required to repeat the whole of that paper.
- Terms granted in any paper shall normally be for that year only.
- A candidate shall be required to gain terms in a paper before being permitted to sit the examination in that paper.
- A candidate who obtains a D grade in one or more papers in any year may be permitted to sit special examinations in those papers. Normally no candidate may be admitted to special examinations if papers worth more than half the points for the course for that year have been failed. A student may be permitted to sit a special examination in a paper only once.
- Any candidate who has achieved an E grade in one or more subjects shall not normally be admitted to special examinations but shall be required to repeat those papers that have not been passed.
- Candidates will not be permitted to enrol in any papers of a year until all papers of the preceding year have been passed.
Exclusion from the Programme
- A candidate must complete the requirements of a paper in two consecutive years of study or may be excluded from further study towards the degree by the Board of the Division of Health Sciences on the recommendation of the Board of Studies for Physiotherapy.
- Any student who, during the course of their studies, is
- subject to criminal charges;
- subject to disciplinary proceedings of the University or of a professional body; or
- found to have an issue (whether in connection with their mental or physical health, or their professional attributes or conduct, or otherwise) that compromises or is likely to compromise their fitness to practise; or or
- found to have failed to declare a matter covered by (b)(i)-(iii),
may be excluded from further study towards the degree by the Academic Board of the Division of Health Sciences on the recommendation of the Board of Studies for Physiotherapy.
Withdrawal from the Programme
- Deferral of admission to second year classes
- In limited circumstances, the Physiotherapy Admissions Committee may allow a student to defer admission to second year classes for one year. Any application for deferral must be made no later than the end of the third week of classes in the original year of admission. Where deferral is granted the right of re-entry to second year classes remains subject to confirmation by the Physiotherapy Admissions Committee.
- Applications for deferral and for confirmation of the right of re-entry will be determined by the Physiotherapy Admissions Committee in accordance with the criteria and procedures set out in the Admissions Guidelines.
- Temporary withdrawal from programme
- Except in circumstances covered by 8(a), a student who wishes to withdraw from the programme on a temporary basis must obtain the prior approval of the Board of Studies in Physiotherapy. Where temporary withdrawal is approved, re-admission to the programme remains subject to the approval of the Board of Studies in Physiotherapy. Any application for such approval needs to be made no later than 1 October in the year prior to that for which readmission is sought.
- Applications for temporary withdrawal and for readmission will be determined by the Board of Studies in Physiotherapy in accordance with the criteria and procedures set out in the Withdrawal and Readmission Guidelines.
- Permanent withdrawal from programme
- Students who withdraw permanently (including students who withdraw without prior approval and students who fail to communicate their intentions within 12 months of when they were last enrolled or for any other 12 month period) have no right to be considered for readmission.
- Despite the previous clause, the Board of Studies in Physiotherapy may allow a student who has permanently withdrawn to submit a fresh application under the regulations governing admission to the programme. In considering whether to allow such an application to proceed, the Board of Studies in Physiotherapy may have regard to all of the circumstances of the student's withdrawal. Where an application is allowed to be made, the Physiotherapy Admissions Committee may also have regard to those circumstances when considering the application.
- Deferral of admission to second year classes
Level of Award of the Degree
The degree may be awarded with distinction or with credit.
The Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences) may in exceptional circumstances approve a course of study which does not comply with these regulations.