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Postgraduate Diploma in Musculoskeletal Medicine (PGDipMSM)

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The Postgraduate Diploma in Musculoskeletal Medicine (PGDipMSM) is specifically aimed at medical practitioners in general primary care, trainees in associated specialist disciplines, and those wishing to commence training towards specialisation in Musculoskeletal Medicine. The diploma is available to students living and studying within New Zealand or Australia. It comprises ten papers taught over a minimum of two years, and includes both distance- and Internet-based theoretical teaching, and two practical 'hands-on', on-campus components.

The programme has been developed to reflect the expanding knowledge of pain control mechanisms, including advances in biomedical interventions and cognitive behavioural management. The academic components of the diploma are designed to provide an understanding and working knowledge of the structure, function, disorders and diseases of the musculoskeletal system; modern pain management methods; and scientific method and biostatistics.

The papers are clinically orientated, and practical clinical skills are taught in physical examination and musculoskeletal therapeutic modalities, including manual therapy and injection techniques, diagnostic interventions, and the psychosocial assessment of musculoskeletal pain problems.

The Postgraduate Diploma in Musculoskeletal Medicine (PGDipMSM) is also available through Distance Learning.


Amanda Clifford
Co-ordinator, Student Experience
University of Otago, Christchurch


Regulations for the Postgraduate Diploma in Musculoskeletal Medicine (PGDipMSM)

  1. Admission to the Programme

    1. Admission to the programme shall be subject to the approval of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences).
    2. Every applicant shall 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).
    3. Every applicant shall be registered for medical practice in the country in which the programme is taught.
    4. Applicants who have completed the Postgraduate Certificate in Musculoskeletal Medicine can enrol within four years of completing the requirements for the certificate.

  2. Structure of the Programme

    1. The programme of study shall consist of five compulsory papers (MSME 701, MSME 702, MSME 703, MSME 709, PAIN 710; see Note 2) and three optional papers (selected from MSME 705, MSME 706, MSME 707, MSME 710, PAIN 711, PAIN 712).
    2. A candidate who has completed the requirements for the Postgraduate Certificate in Musculoskeletal Medicine shall be credited with those papers in the programme for the diploma which have been previously passed for the certificate.

  3. Duration of the Programme

    The minimum time in which a candidate may complete the diploma is two years, and the maximum time is four years from commencing study.

  4. Examinations

    A candidate shall be examined in each paper.

    A candidate who fails an examination may, on the recommendation of the examiners, be admitted to a special examination.

  5. Level of Award of the Diploma

    The diploma may be awarded with distinction or with credit.

  6. Variations

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

    1. Two papers are taught on campus (MSME 701, MSME 709), and eight by distance learning.
    2. MSME 701 is a prerequisite for MSME 709.
    3. Candidates who have completed the five-paper certificate (pre-2006 regulations) may complete the diploma programme by taking three of the remaining papers.

This information must be read subject to the statement on our Copyright & Disclaimer page.

Regulations on this page are taken from the 2024 Calendar and supplementary material.

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