Applicants for the degree of Master of Medical Science (MMedSc) must hold a Bachelor of Medical Science with Honours (BMedSc(Hons) or Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MB ChB) or an alternate qualification acceptable to the Otago Medical School Academic Board, normally another medical degree (e.g. MBBS) and be eligible for University study in New Zealand. This may mean holding appropriate visa status with the New Zealand Immigration Service – see the International Office page for further information.
The degree involves a year of full-time research in any field of medical science, often a clinical discipline, at Master's level. A thesis is submitted. This in-depth study by the medical graduate is often the first step towards a higher degree; e.g. a PhD and a research/academic career.
Information for new applicants
The MMedSc degree is a one-year full-time (or part-time equivalent) research degree involving a supervised investigation in a branch of medical science. A candidate shall normally follow a programme of study for the equivalent of not less than one year of full-time study and not more than two years of full-time study. Exceptions shall be permitted only with the approval of the Pro-Vice Chancellor (Health Sciences).
Applicants should check their eligibility for admission with the Manager of the Otago Medical School. If eligible, applicants should then approach a department of the Otago Medical School (i.e. from the University of Otago Wellington, the University of Otago Christchurch, the Dunedin School of Medicine or the School of Biomedical Sciences) in order to discuss their proposed topic and to secure supervisors and a supporting department. If a department can provide the necessary support and supervision for the candidate to carry out his/her research the candidate may proceed to the online application process.
With the application, brief outlines of the proposed area of study and project approach are required:
- Background: This should provide a very brief description of the purpose of the study.
- Proposed Methods: Brief detail of the methodological approaches should be provided. This should include patient recruitment where relevant, sample collection, types of analyses to be performed etc.
- Analysis of Results: A brief description of the proposed methods for analysing/summarising the data acquired as a result of the study.
- Potential Outcomes of the Study and Future Relevance: This section should provide a brief description of possible outcomes of the study, and the potential scientific and health implications for the future.
Otago Medical School
Regulations for the Degree of Master of Medical Science (MMedSc)
Admission to the Programme
- Admission to the programme shall be subject to the approval of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences).
- Every applicant must have fulfilled one of the following conditions:
- have been admitted to the degree of Bachelor of Medical Science (prior to 2001) or to the degree of Bachelor of Medical Science with Honours;
- have been admitted to the degrees of Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery of a university in New Zealand or hold an equivalent medical qualification approved by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences);
- have alternative qualifications or experience acceptable to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences).
Structure of the Programme
- The degree will be awarded upon the submission of a satisfactory thesis embodying the results of a supervised investigation in a branch of medical science.
- The topic of the thesis and the supervisors of the research shall be approved by the Academic Board of the Otago Medical School.
- The research should be of a kind that a diligent and competent student should complete within one year of full-time study.
Duration of the Programme
A candidate shall normally follow a programme of study for the equivalent of not less than one year of full-time study and not more than two years of full-time study. Exceptions shall be permitted only with the approval of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences).
- The Dean or Head of Department concerned (or nominee) shall appoint a Convener of Examiners to oversee each thesis examination.
- The thesis shall be assessed by at least two examiners, at least one of whom shall be external to the University.
- The candidate's supervisor shall not be an examiner but may make a report on the work of the candidate to the Convener of Examiners.
- 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.
- The examiners may recommend that a thesis:
- be accepted without requiring amendments;
- be accepted subject to minor corrections made at the discretion and to the satisfaction of the Convener of Examiners;
- does not meet the criteria for the award of the degree, but may be revised and resubmitted for examination;
- does not meet the criteria for the award of the degree, and should be rejected without right of resubmission.
- Amendments (regulation 4(e)(ii)) and revisions (regulation 4(e)(iii)) shall be completed by a specified date to be determined by the Convener of Examiners.
- A candidate shall be permitted to revise and resubmit a thesis for examination once only.
- 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.
- Where examiners cannot agree on a result, the Convener of Examiners should so report to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences) or nominee who shall arrive at a decision after consulting a referee who should normally be external to the University.
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.