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Master of Nursing Science (MNSc)

Apply for the Master of Nursing Science (MNSc) through the Christchurch campus in 2020

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The Master of Nursing Science (MNSc) is an intensive integrated programme of study, usually completed in two calendar years of full time study, which offers a pathway to a nursing career. Graduates from any discipline will be considered for this qualification.

Students will engage in clinically-focused, face-to-face and online, research-informed learning through the University of Otago, Christchurch, in partnership with healthcare providers in the South Island. Students will develop their knowledge and skills for practice through case-based scenarios, clinical simulation, extensive clinical experiences and research.

On successful completion of the MNSc students will be eligible to apply for registration with the Nursing Council of New Zealand. This unique and innovative degree is the first two year pathway to nursing registration through a Master's qualification approved by the New Zealand Nursing Council.

Information for new applicants

New international students should contact the International Office for advice on admission to their intended programmes.

See the University of Otago, Christchurch webpage for more information. The Centre for Postgraduate Nursing Studies welcomes your questions about the Master of Nursing Science programme at any time.

Contact details

Programme Administrator
Tel +64 3 364 3864

Programme Requirements

Master of Nursing Science (MNSc)

Level Papers Points
First year

NURS 441 Professional Nursing

NURS 442 Health Care in New Zealand

NURS 443 Nursing Science 1

NURS 444 Nursing Science 2

NURS 445 Introduction to Clinical Nursing Practice

NURS 446 Nursing Clients with Altered Health States

NURS 447 Applied Nursing Research








Second year

NURS 501 Nursing Science 3

NURS 502 Mental Health Nursing

NURS 503 Nursing Clients with Complex Health States

NURS 504 Consolidation of Practice

NURS 580 Nursing Research Project

NURS 581 Integrating Practice







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Regulations for the Degree of Master of Nursing Science (MNSc)

  1. Admission to the Programme

    1. Admission to the programme shall be subject to the approval of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences) on the advice of the Postgraduate Nursing Admissions Committee.
    2. Every applicant
      1. must hold an undergraduate degree requiring at least three years of full-time study; or hold a bachelor's honours degree; or hold a bachelor's degree followed by a postgraduate diploma; or hold a master's or doctoral degree;
      2. Note: Applicants must have achieved a grade average of B or better in the final two years of the qualifying degree (except for a doctoral degree or a master's degree that is not graded) on which the application is based.

      3. must have provided a current curriculum vitae and a statement of interest.
    3. Selection of applicants who have met these criteria will be based on their GPA and a possible interview.

      Note: For guidance on how grades are calculated, see Guidelines for Admission into MNSc at

    4. Any applicant who
      1. is, or who has been, the subject of criminal charges; or
      2. is, or who has been, subject to disciplinary proceedings of a tertiary institution or professional body; or
      3. 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
      4. is found to have failed to declare a matter covered by 1(d)(i)-(iii);
    5. may be declined admission to the programme by the Master of Nursing Science Admissions 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.

    6. The number of candidates to be admitted to the first year of the programme will be determined by the number of places available for clinical teaching.
    7. The University of Otago is committed to promote and facilitate academic equity for Māori students, and for students from other underrepresented groups, who have the potential to succeed academically.
      Applicants in any category (see regulations 1(c)) who have fulfilled the criteria as described in the Mirror on Society Policy and associated admissions entry requirements, may be considered in one or more of the Mirror on Society Category Groups.
  2. Note: Applicants will be assessed for literacy, numeracy and bio-science capacity during the selection process.

  3. Structure of the Programme

    1. Every programme of study shall satisfy the requirements set out in the MNSc Schedule.
    2. Candidates will not normally be permitted to enrol for any second year paper until all first year papers have been passed.
    3. Candidates will not normally be permitted to enrol for any paper unless they can meet the inherent requirements for that paper.
  4. Exemptions

    With the approval of the Board of Studies, a candidate may be exempt from up to 30 points for work previously satisfactorily completed for a relevant course of study. Any exemptions will be dependent on the student being able to meet the clinical hour requirements of the Nursing Council of New Zealand.

  5. Duration of the Programme

    1. The duration of the programme will normally be two years of full-time study.
    2. A candidate for the degree will be expected to meet the requirements for the degree within four years of admission to the programme.
  6. Terms Requirements

    1. No candidate shall be eligible to sit a paper in a final examination without having gained terms in that paper.
    2. A candidate gains terms in a paper by satisfactorily demonstrating acquisition of sufficient knowledge and skills, by attendance at clinical practice and by performance in a professional manner of such practical work and other work as the Centre for Postgraduate Nursing Studies may require.
    3. A candidate who fails to gain terms in any paper will be required to repeat the whole of that paper.
    4. Terms granted in any paper shall normally be for that year only.
  7. Examination of the Research Project

    1. The written report shall normally be assessed by two examiners, one internal to the Centre for Postgraduate Nursing Studies and one external.
    2. The candidate’s supervisor shall not be an examiner but may make a report on the work of the candidate to the Director of the Centre for Postgraduate Nursing Studies.
  8. Exclusion from the Programme

    1. A candidate who obtains a D grade in one or more papers in any year may be permitted to re-enrol in those papers. Normally no candidate shall be permitted to:
      1. re-enrol if papers worth more than half the points of the programme for that year have been failed;
      2. re-enrol in a clinical experience paper on more than one occasion;
      3. re-enrol in more than three clinical experience papers over the duration of the programme.
    2. Any student who, during the course of their studies, is
      1. subject to criminal charges; or
      2. subject to disciplinary proceedings of the University or of a professional body; or
      3. 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
      4. 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 Centre for Postgraduate Nursing Studies Academic Committee.

  9. Withdrawal from the Programme

    Any period of withdrawal from the programme shall not normally exceed one year following the year of withdrawal.

  10. Level of Award of the Degree

    The degree may be awarded with distinction or with credit.

  11. Variations

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