University of Otago Dunedin School of Medicine Ophthalmology

Postgraduate Diploma in Ophthalmology

This course provides a postgraduate diploma in ophthalmic basic sciences (PGDipOphthBS) for medical graduates who are seeking a position on a Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (RANZCO) approved training programme or are currently engaged in such a programme.

Students who enrol are mainly second year house surgeons in New Zealand and/or Australia.

The course may also meet the needs of trainees already enrolled in similar training programmes in other parts of the world or general practitioners. Candidates have the option of studying part time during their training, or spending a year studying full time. If successful they will hold an internationally recognised qualification from the University of Otago. In 2004 we began to teach this diploma in conjunction with the University of Sydney.


The staff who teach the diploma are selected from throughout Australasia. They are mostly practising ophthalmologists with a particular interest in the basic sciences. A number have recently qualified FRANZCO and are familiar with the specific requirements of the RANZCO.

About us

Ophthalmology taught ophthalmic basic sciences for the examination formerly known as the Part I FRANZCO from 1992 to 2001 when it was superseded by the Postgraduate Diploma in Ophthalmic Basic Sciences. During this time the staff have gained considerable experience both in the teaching of these subjects and in the assessment of candidate's performance.

1. Admission to the course

  1. Admission to the course shall be subject to the approval of the board of the Faculty of Medicine which must be satisfied that previous training and experience fit the candidate to undertake the course.
  2. Every candidate for the postgraduate diploma shall:
    • Hold an appropriate degree in Medicine approved by the Board of the Faculty of Medicine, and
    • Be registered for Medical Practice in the country in which the course is being taught or have an exemption from this requirement from the Dean, Faculty of Medicine, and
    • Present evidence of ability for advanced level academic study.

2. Structure of the course

  1. The programme of study shall comprise papers to the value of 120 points selelected from OPHT 801 Ophthalmic Anatomy (30 points), OPHT 802 Ophthalmic Physiology (30 points), OPHT 803 Ophthalmic Optics (30 points), OPHT 804 Practical Ophthalmic Basic Sciences (30 points), OPHT 805 Ocular Genetics (30 points).
  2. With the approval of the Dean, Faculty of Medicine, candidates may substitute an appropriate paper up to 30 points or equivalent in value offered by another university or examining body.

3. Duration of the course

The course shall be 1 year full-time or the equivalent of part-time study. The course must be completed within 5 years of initial enrolment.

4. Variations

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


  • OPHT 801 Ophthalmic Anatomy (formerly OPHX 801)
  • OPHT 802 Ophthalmic Physiology(formlerly OPHX 802)
  • OPHT 803 Ophthalmic Optics (formerly OPHX 803)
  • OPHT 804 Practical Ophthalmic Basic Sciences
  • OPHT 805 Ocular Genetics (formerly OPHX 805)

For further details contact: