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Admissions pathways for health professional programmes

University of Otago Health Sciences First Year (HSFY) category

To be considered for admission via the HSFY category an applicant must be enrolled in HSFY at Otago and pass all 7 prescribed papers at first attempt. Students must achieve a minimum grade of 70% in each paper for Medicine, minimum average of 70%, with no paper grade less than 65% for Dentistry, and a minimum average of 65% for Physiotherapy, Pharmacy and Medical Laboratory Science.

Applicants will also be required to have passed the HSFY English Diagnostic Test or have passed ENGL 126.

For Medicine and Dentistry, applicants must have a current UCAT result and achieve a score in all five UCAT sections that meet threshold levels determined annually by each respective Admissions Committee.

Dentistry applicants will also undertake a short interview in early October.

Selection of applicants who have met these criteria will be based on their academic score.

Scoring Example HSFY Category (PDF)

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Graduate category

To be considered for admission via the Graduate category, applicants must have completed, normally in the minimum academic time and within three years of the date of application, the requirements of a degree (as outlined below) awarded by a university in New Zealand.

For Medicine and Dentistry, applicants must have a current UCAT result and achieve a score in all five UCAT sections that meet threshold levels determined annually by each respective Admissions Committee.

All applicants in the Graduate category are ranked on the basis of a score derived from the grades achieved in:

  • A bachelor's degree,
    or
  • A bachelor's honours degree,
    or
  • A bachelor's degree, followed by a postgraduate diploma

No preference is given to degree qualification or major subject.

The qualifying degree is the first university degree awarded to the applicant.

  • Papers are given a weighted academic score and are ranked
  • Total points scored would be as per the requirement for the relevant degree (typically 360 points for a three-year degree)
  • Using the regulations for a standard three-year Otago Bachelor's degree as an example, the admission score would be calculated as follows, in order of precedence:
  • Best scoring (maximum of) 120 points at 300-level
  • Best scoring of 200-level and 100-level papers to 360 points
  • With 100-level papers weighted x 0.5, 200-level papers weighted x 1.0, and 300-level papers weighted x 1.5

Papers that have a pass / fail grade are not able to be scored, nor are aegrotat passes.

Please refer to the scoring example below or contact the Health Sciences Admissions Office for further details.

Scoring Example Graduate Category (PDF)

Applicants who are missing any HSFY papers (or their equivalent) listed in the MB ChB Schedule, will be required to undertake a prescribed course of study. When the respective Admissions Committee offers a place, applicants will be advised which papers they must complete, and the grades that must be attained in order to be eligible for admission.

Applications must be received within three years of completion of the qualifying degree. Normally, the date of completion will be taken as the end of the teaching period in which the final paper or papers included in the programme are undertaken. Repeat applications within the eligibility period are allowed.

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Two or More Years of University Study category

Applicants who are not finalists and have completed two or more years of full-time study at a university in New Zealand, including the equivalent of the papers prescribed for the University of Otago Health Sciences First Year, will be considered for admission into Physiotherapy, Pharmacy, Medical Laboratory Science, Radiation Therapy, Dental Technology and Oral Health.

The respective Admissions Committee will score the best 240 points according to the following rules:

  1. Best 3 × 200-level papers scored,
  2. Balance of the 240 points from the best scoring remaining papers (scoring a maximum 120 points at 200-level),
  3. With 100-level papers weighted × 0.5, and all other papers weighted at × 1.5

Papers that have a pass / fail grade are not able to be scored, nor are aegrotat passes.

Students are advised that their second year of study must include at least three papers at 200-level.

Applicants must not have failed more than two papers in any one year subsequent to a first year of study.

Applicants are normally required to have a minimum B- / grade point average (GPA) of 4 (Otago equivalent). Selection for applicants will be based on their weighted GPA.

Scoring example for Two or More Years of University Study category using 18-point papers (PDF)

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Secondary School category

To be considered for admission under the Secondary School category, an applicant must:

  • Have fulfilled the University’s entrance requirements; and
  • Have attained a minimum of 14 credits in NCEA Level 3 Biology or equivalent; and
  • Have attained a minimum of 10 credits in English at NCEA Level 2 or above (with at least 5 credits in Reading and 5 credits in Writing) or equivalent; and
  • Have provided a satisfactory statement of interest and have provided a current curriculum vitae

Scoring is in accordance with the University of Otago Entry Pathway calculation:

Final admission is based on NCEA Level 3 results (or equivalent) and a possible interview.

Note: Applicants are initially reviewed based on their Level 2 (or equivalent) performance and subjects taken in NCEA Level 3 (or equivalent). Applicants must have completed NCEA Level 3 (or equivalent) within the last five years. Admission from Secondary School will be based on a scoring process as outlined above.

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One Year of University Study category

To be considered for admission under the One Year of University Study category, an applicant must:

  1. Have undertaken, within the last five years, one year of relevant study (for example biological sciences, and—if you are structuring your degree—it is recommended that you include human biology papers) in a New Zealand university to a standard determined by the Oral Health Admissions Committee

and

  1. Have provided a satisfactory statement of interest and a current curriculum vitae

Scoring is in accordance with the University of Otago GPA calculation: