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Overview

What is Medicine?

The Otago Medical School medical degree (MB ChB) prepares students to graduate as doctors committed to the provision of high-quality, patient-centred, evidence-based medical care within the New Zealand health care system and wherever they practise. Students will graduate with the professional, clinical, biomedical and psychosocial foundations to practise collaboratively as doctors, and to undertake further training in any field of medicine. If you are considering a career in medicine, you should be skilled in communication, understanding people, have critical and scientific reasoning, and be prepared for lifelong learning to maintain your practising standards. You will be committed to serving people and communities.

The Otago Medical School delivers a socially accountable education programme that emphasises graduate commitment to improving the health of individuals and communities, to equitable health outcomes, and to the Treaty of Waitangi.

The University of Otago medical degree (the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery; MB ChB) takes five years from admission after either Health Sciences First Year (undertaken in Dunedin) or a prior undergraduate degree. The first two years of the programme (Early Learning in Medicine) take place in Dunedin; from fourth year, the class is split across Dunedin, Christchurch and Wellington for the three clinically-based years in Advanced Learning in Medicine.

Note: Applicants in all categories must have their personal and financial affairs in order when they apply so that if their application is successful, they are able to take up a place at the start of the first semester.

Entry requirements

The Medical  Admissions Committee considers applications from candidates in the following categories:

Graduates who have already completed a qualification in medicine, and for whom pathways exist to obtain registration through the Medical Council of New Zealand, are not eligible to apply for admission to the programme under any category.

University of Otago Health Sciences First Year (HSFY) category

To be considered for admission in the HSFY category an applicant must be enrolled in HSFY at Otago and pass all the papers prescribed for HSFY at first attempt, with a minimum of 70% in each paper.

Applicants must have passed the HSFY English Diagnostic or ENGL 128.

Domestic applicants must have a UCAT result obtained in the year of application and have achieved a score in all five of the UCAT sections at a threshold level determined annually by the Medical Admissions Committee.

The UCAT thresholds determined by the Medical Admissions Committee in the following two UCAT domains in 2025 are:

  • Verbal reasoning: 20th percentile or higher
  • Situational judgement: 10th percentile or higher

The final determining factor for selection of an applicant who has met all of the admission criteria will be academic score; see scoring example:

Scoring Example HSFY Category (PDF)

When applying for Medicine a candidate may apply once only using this category.

HSFY category checklist

Graduate category

To be considered for admission in the Graduate category, applicants must have completed, 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.

Domestic applicants must have a UCAT result obtained in the year of application and have achieved a score in all five of the UCAT sections at a threshold level determined annually by the Medical Admissions Committee.

The UCAT thresholds determined by the Medical Admissions Committee in the following two UCAT domains in 2025 are:

  • Verbal reasoning: 20th percentile or higher
  • Situational judgement: 10th percentile or higher

Selection for applicants who reach the UCAT threshold is competitive according to the weighted academic score, see scoring example.

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, without break in study, by a postgraduate diploma or postgraduate honours year.

No preference is given to degree qualification or major subject.

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

The average grade for all papers in the qualifying programme must be at least a weighted grade point average of 5.

The score for candidates applying is based on the following:

  • 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:
    oBest scoring (maximum of) 120 points at 300-level
    oBest scoring of 200-level and 100-level papers to 360 points
    oWith 100-level papers weighted x 0.5, 200-level papers weighted x 1.0, and 300-level papers weighted x 1.5

Please refer to the scoring example below to get indication of your weighted GPA score. Please note that your weighted GPA score will be confirmed as part of the application process in December, and that this spreadsheet is for example purposes only.

Please contact us via AskOtago if you have any questions.

Due to the scoring system for admission to Medicine, we are not able to score papers that have a pass / fail grade, nor are we able to score aegrotat passes.

Applicants who are offered a place in second-year Medicine, and are missing the First-Year papers (or their equivalent) listed in the MB ChB Schedule, will be required to undertake a prescribed course of study. When the Medical Admissions Committee offer a place, applicants will be advised which papers they must complete, as well as the grades that must be attained in order to be eligible to be admitted to the second year of Medicine.

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.

For further information on previous years cutting marks, please contact: health-sciences@otago.ac.nz

Graduate category checklist

  • Completed online application form
  • Current Academic Records (transcripts)
    • We do not require copies of Otago academic records – these will be accessed directly when your application is processed.
    • The required academic documentation will be requested from you via your eVision portal. Please ensure that you monitor your portal after submitting your application.
    • If official academic transcripts for your previous university study, including semester 2 results, are not received by December 1 there may be a delay before you receive the outcome of your application.

Alternative category

The purpose of the Alternative Category is to attract a range of academically suitable applicants with broad life experiences, skills and perspectives to the medical programme.  This increased diversity will help ensure that each graduating class shall better mirror and understand contemporary New Zealand society, and be best placed to contribute across the full spectrum of community medical needs in New Zealand.

Admission for Medicine in the Alternative category opens 1 April and closes on 1 May.

A candidate may apply once only using this category.

  • For applications submitted but subsequently cancelled by an applicant before 11pm (New Zealand time) on 10 May, an application in a later year will be permitted.

This category for application for admission to second-year Medicine is open to allied health professionals and other graduates.

To be considered for admission under the Alternative category, an applicant must be a domestic student, must not be eligible for any other admission category, and:

  • Hold a degree from a New Zealand university;
    or
  • Have completed a degree at an overseas university at a standard of at least NZQF Level 7 no less than three years prior to application;
    or
  • Hold a master's or doctoral degree;
    or
  • Demonstrate health-related professional experience in a relevant field to a standard acceptable to the Medical Admissions Committee

Applicants seeking admission to Medicine with health-related professional experience will be required to demonstrate academic and/or professional experience in the relevant field, to a standard acceptable to the Medical Admissions Committee, as part of the selection process. Allied health professionals are recommended to have not less than five years' experience in their chosen profession(s), and preferably at least two years in New Zealand.

The allied health professions which are considered under the health-related professional experience in a relevant field criteria, are those that are currently regulated under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act ( HPCA ), and Social Workers who are regulated under the Social Worker Registration Legislation Act 2019.

Current professions regulated under the HPCA Act 2003 (PDF)

International applicants are not considered under the Alternative category.

Qualifications that applicants wish to be considered as part of their application must be completed (with results available by 1 May in the year of application) and a full academic transcript must be provided before an application can be processed.

Documentation to be included in the assessment of an application must be received not later than 1pm, 5 May. Documentation received after this point will not be considered. Academic documentation must be official. If documentation required to establish the eligibility of the application for the Alternative category is not provided by this time the application will not be processed further.

Applicants will be required to provide the names and contact details of three referees (both professional and character), who will be contacted only if an applicant is selected for interview.

Please note that references are confidential and will not be released to the applicant.

Candidate selection is a two-stage process. Candidates are selected for interview based on academic achievements, statement of interest, and CV. Not all applicants will be selected for interview.

At interview, topics covered include:

  • Academic achievement
  • Other achievements
  • Commitment to a career change
  • Communication skills
  • Knowledge of the New Zealand health system
  • Understanding of the profession

Interviews will take place via Zoom approximately eight weeks from the closing date. Notification is via your eVision account. Applicants need to ensure that they are available to attend for interview if invited, as the Interview Panel will not reschedule their dates.

The final outcome of applications will be confirmed by 11pm (New Zealand Time), 31 August.

Applicants who are offered a place in second-year Medicine and are missing the First-Year papers (or their equivalent) listed in the MB ChB Schedule, may be required to undertake a prescribed course of study. When the Medical Admissions Committee offer a place, applicants will be advised which papers they must complete, as well as the grades that must be attained in order to be eligible to be admitted to the second year of Medicine.

The Medical Admissions Committee will not enter into any correspondence regarding application outcome or interview.

Alternative category checklist

  • Completed online application
  • Curriculum vitae
  • A statement outlining the reasons for wanting to enter Medicine on a separate A4 sheet headed Statement of reasons for wanting to enter Medicine with your name (please note this is one A4 page only)
  • Copies of academic records (transcripts)
    • We do not require copies of Otago academic records – these will be accessed directly when your application is processed
    • The required academic documentation will be requested from you via your eVision portal. Please ensure that you monitor your portal after submitting your application

Equity groups

Te Kauae Parāoa is the policy on admissions for domestic students to the health professional programmes offered by the Division of Health Sciences. This policy supersedes the former Mirror on Society Selection Policy.

Te Kauae Parāoa promotes and facilitates equity for students from underrepresented priority groups with the aim to produce a workforce that represents the communities it serves to improve health outcomes for all.

Applicants may also be considered in one or more of the following equity groups:

  • Māori
  • Indigenous Pacific (see note)
  • Socioeconomic Equity
  • Refugee
  • Rural

An applicant in either the Māori, or Indigenous Pacific or both of these equity groups requires verification of ancestry by the University. You can apply for verification of ancestry from the 'My details' section of your eVision portal, and we would encourage you to request this as soon as possible if you are intending to apply for the health sciences professional programmes, to minimise delays in processing your application.

Māori equity group

Applicants wishing to be considered under the Māori equity group must indicate this at the time of application by ticking the Māori equity group box in the online application. Using the form below, applicants will also be required to complete and upload a written personal supporting statement.

Māori – Supporting Statement form (PDF)

In order to be eligible for the Māori equity group your ancestry needs to be verified by the University. You can apply for verification of ancestry from the 'My details' section of your eVision portal.

Successful applicants from the Māori equity group are required to attend a mihiwhakatau (greeting) at the commencement of classes in Dunedin. Whānau are welcome and encouraged to attend.

It is recommended that students wishing to apply under the Māori equity group attend a relevant information session held by the Division of Health Science Māori Health Workforce Development Unit ( MHWDU ) and/or contact the MHWDU to arrange a meeting with staff or for further information:

Email mhwdu@otago.ac.nz

New Zealand Resident Indigenous Pacific Origins ( NZRIPO ) equity group

An application via the NZRIPO equity group requires verification of ancestry for one or more of the following Pacific nations:

  • American Samoa
  • Cook Islands
  • Federated States of Micronesia
  • Fiji
  • French Polynesia
  • Hawaii
  • Kiribati
  • Marshall Islands
  • New Caledonia
  • Niue
  • Palau
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Rapanui (Easter Island)
  • Rotuma
  • Samoa
  • Solomon Islands
  • Tokelau
  • Tonga
  • Tuvalu
  • Vanuatu
  • Wallis and Futuna

Applicants wishing to be considered under the NZRIPO equity group must indicate this at the time of application by ticking the NZRIPO equity group box on the application form.

In order to be eligible for the NZRIPO equity group your ancestry needs to be verified by the University. You can apply for verification of ancestry from the 'My details' section of your eVision portal.

Using the form below, applicants must also complete and upload:

  1. An endorsement of your application by a leader of a Pacific Island Community Group
    and
  2. A written personal supporting statement (500-word limit) giving your reasons for applying under the NZRIPO equity group.  Please explain your understanding of the NZRIPO equity group, and outline your commitment to and interest in the health of the Pacific Island Community in New Zealand.

New Zealand Resident Indigenous Pacific Origins (NZRIPO) endorsement and statement form (PDF)

Successful applicants from the NZRIPO equity group  are expected to be connected and contribute to the Health Sciences Pacific support network.

It is highly recommended that students wishing to apply under the NZRIPO equity group contact the staff in the Pacific Islands Research and Student Support Unit, in the Office of the Associate Dean (Pacific):

Email vot@otago.ac.nz

Socioeconomic Equity group

To be eligible for the Socioeconomic Equity ( EQ ) group, you must be a domestic student who has attended a New Zealand secondary school that was decile 1, 2 or 3 until 2024, or has an Equity Index ( EQI ) number of 479 or greater. You must have attended during Years 11, 12 and 13 within the last five years.

You can apply for Medicine under the Socioeconomic Equity group via the HSFY or Graduate categories of Admission.

Applicants wishing to apply under the Socioeconomic Equity group must indicate this at the time of application by ticking the Socioeconomic Equity group box in the online application and provide the following supporting information:

  1. An official letter from your secondary school(s) confirming its EQI number of 479 or greater (or decile 1–3 until 2024) and your enrolment in years 11, 12, and 13 within the last 5 years.

    Email your school letter to health-sciences@otago.ac.nz and eq.project@otago.ac.nz

    School letter template
    (PDF)

    and
  2. Using the form below, write a personal statement (500-word limit) explaining your understanding of the reasons for the Socioeconomic Equity group, how socioeconomic background impacts practice as a health professional, and of your aspirations and commitment to make a positive contribution to the health needs of lower socioeconomic communities.

    Socioeconomic Equity Supporting Statement form (PDF)

It is strongly recommended that students wishing to apply under the Socioeconomic Equity group contact the Division of Health Sciences, EQ Project team (Raukaha Workforce Development – Kōhatu Centre for Hauora Māori).

Email eq.project@otago.ac.nz

Note: Successful applicants from the Socioeconomic Equity group are expected to maintain engagement with the EQ/Raukaha team throughout their studies.

Refugee Background equity group

In order to apply under the Refugee Background equity group you must have either been granted refugee status in New Zealand, or have a parent(s)/primary guardian(s) who has been granted refugee status in New Zealand. The Refugee Background equity group applies to all categories of admission.

Applicants wishing to apply under the Refugee Background equity group must indicate this at the time of application by ticking the Refugee Background equity group box in the online application and providing the following supporting information:

If you are applying as a person who has been granted refugee status then you must provide:

Either

  • Certified copies of your Certificate of Identity or your passport confirming refugee status and Permanent Residency.
    or
  • A letter from Immigration New Zealand confirming your status as a permanent resident was obtained on the basis of being a refugee. This must include your full legal name and date of birth.
    or
  • A letter from Immigration New Zealand confirming that you are a former refugee and that you have applied for residency. This must include your full legal name and date of birth.

Go to the Immigration NZ website to request a letter

If you are applying as a child or dependent of a parent(s) / primary guardian(s) who was granted New Zealand Residency as a refugee, you must provide:

  1. A letter from Immigration New Zealand confirming that your parent(s)/primary guardian(s) was granted NZ residency via on the basis of their status as a former refugee. This letter must include their full name and date of birth. If Immigration NZ is not able to provide such a letter, equivalent official documentation can be submitted and will be considered for acceptability. Please contact Dr Jackie Tagg in the Health Sciences Divisional Office for advice.

    Email jackie.tagg@otago.ac.nz and
  2. A document that confirms they are your parent(s) / primary guardian(s), for example your birth certificate, a joint passport, or adoption papers.

Using the form below, all applicants wishing to apply under the Refugee background equity group must also  complete and upload a personal supporting statement (500-word limit) outlining your commitment to the health of refugees and those with refugee backgrounds.

Refugee Supporting Statement form (PDF)

It is  strongly recommended that students wishing to apply under the Refugee equity group contact the  Refugee subcategory support person, Dr Jackie Tagg in the Health Sciences Divisional Office:

Email jackie.tagg@otago.ac.nz

New Zealand Rural Origins equity group

In order to apply in the New Zealand Rural Origins equity group, candidates for admission must:

  • Have undertaken a minimum of four years of their pre-tertiary education at a school in a rural area of New Zealand
    or
  • Have resided in a rural area of New Zealand for a minimum of four consecutive years following the completion of their secondary education
    or
  • Have undertaken a combination of pre-tertiary education at a school in a rural area of New Zealand and residence in a rural area of New Zealand, for a minimum of four consecutive years

(Please note "pre-tertiary" means primary, intermediate and secondary/high school.)

Applicants wishing to have their New Zealand Rural Origins status considered with their application must indicate this at the time of application by ticking the New Zealand Rural Origins equity group box in the online application.

Applicants must provide the following supporting information:

either

  • An official letter from the pre-tertiary regional / rural education institution they attended, outlining:
    • The duration of their study,
      and
    • The physical location of the institute

or

  • A statutory declaration, made before an authorised person, confirming residency of four years or more in a rural location (this declaration must specify which years are being claimed as the four qualifying years). A statutory declaration can be used for your residential address only. It cannot be used to confirm school attendance.

An authorised person is a person listed in the Oaths and Declarations Act 1957 as able to take declarations. This person could be a:

Students within New Zealand may wish to check justiceofthepeace.org.nz for a list of Justices of the Peace in their area. Students from remote areas who do not have access to anyone in the approved categories should visit AskOtago for advice.

For applications based on a rural residential address or attendance at a rural school(s) the University classifies rural as per the Geographic Classification for Health (GCH). For the purposes of this policy, applicants will be eligible if the address or school(s) on which the rural equity group application is based on, is classified within Rural 1–3.

Using the map image in the link below, you can undertake an informal check of the classification of the residential area provided in your application.

It is important to note that this should be considered as a guide only. The Statistical Area 1s (SA1s) of the residential address and/or the school(s) provided will be checked against the GCH database during the assessment of your application. If your application is found to not be eligible under the rural category you will be notified, and your application will be processed under the general category.

Students who selected the New Zealand Rural origins equity group on their application or entry to Medicine may be required to participate in the Year 5 Rural Medical Immersion Programme.

Students will not be bonded after graduation nor will the inclusion of the rural training increase the length of the programme.

Application process

Online application and enrolment

New and returning students are required to complete their application through eVision.

HSFY category and Graduate category applicants should apply in the first instance to the 'Health Sciences Undergraduate Professional Programmes' and then select 'Medicine' from the list.

Alternative category applicants should apply directly to 'Medicine Alternative'.

If you have any questions regarding your application please visit AskOtago:

Tel 0800 80 80 98 (from within New Zealand)
Tel +64 3 479 7000 (from overseas)
Email ask@otago.ac.nz
facebook.com/otagouniversity
Visit AskOtago

Supporting documentation

For details regarding other required documentation, consult the appropriate checklist available at the end of each main category of admission section.

Application deadlines

Applications close on 1 May for Alternative category, and 15 September for HSFY and Graduate categories. Applications must be submitted by the closing date to be considered, and there is no allowance for late applications.

Outcome of application

You will be advised of the outcome of your application no later than:

  • HSFY category: 18 December
  • Graduate category: 18 December
  • Alternative category: 30 August

Selection criteria

Selection of candidates for the second year of the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor Surgery programme from among those meeting the eligibility requirements established by the programme regulations conforms to the following criteria:

  1. Those applying as members of an equity group undergo additional preliminary assessments:
    1. Applicants are confirmed as equity group members in accordance with the programme regulations.
    2. Confirmed equity group applicants are then considered by the Divisional Academic Board or its delegate against selection attributes for each specific equity group relating to the policy rationale of Te Kauae Parāoa. These attributes are approved by the Divisional Academic Board and published at: Health Sciences Selection Attributes.

    On the basis of these assessments, confirmed equity group members who are also established as meeting the policy rationale of Te Kauae Parāoa will be prioritized in the selection process outlined below.

  2. Places in the second year of the MB ChB programme are first allocated to the Alternative category.  This allocation is up to 10% of the overall places available in the following year.
  3. Alternative category applicants submit a CV, an academic record, and a personal statement, in the form specified within the Guidelines.  On the basis on these materials and (where relevant) an interview and referee reports, the Medical Admissions Committee will make a holistic assessment of overall aptitude for the programme through the following two stages:
    1. Candidates are first assessed on their preliminary materials and considered for interview.  Those invited for interview are also asked to provide referee reports.
    2. Following interviews, those confirmed as suitable for admission are ranked for selection calculated by reference to the Medical Admissions Committee’s overall assessment.
  4. Remaining places in the second year of the programme are allocated from the Health Science First Year and Graduate categories, with as near as possible to 70% of the places available after Alternative category places are filled allocated to the Health Sciences First Year category and the balance to the Graduate category.
  5. All applicants in the Health Sciences First Year and Graduate categories must present a valid UCAT result obtained in the year of application.  To progress further in the selection process, an applicant must achieve the minimum scores for UCAT sections set by the Medical Admissions Committee on an annual basis.  The UCAT minimum scores set may vary for equity group applicants.

    For entry to the 2024 MB ChB programme, the threshold for UCAT minimum scores for general applicants is

    • verbal Reasoning at or above the lowest 20th percentile
    • Situational Judgement Test above the lowest 10th percentile

    After meeting this eligibility threshold, UCAT scores are not given weight in the further selection process.

  6. Final selection in the Health Sciences First Year, Graduate, and Alternative categories is based on academic ranking using the formulae specified in the Guidelines (Health Sciences First year and Graduate) or overall ranking of aptitude for the programme (Alternative).  Selections are made in the following sequence:
    1. Members of equity groups in the following sequence:
      1. Māori
      2. Resident Indigenous Pacific
      3. Refugee Background
      4. Socioeconomic Equity
      5. Rural (Government-funded places)
    2. General applicants

Accepting or declining offers

If your application is successful and you receive an offer, this will include a deadline for accepting or declining. If you do not respond to your offer by this deadline, the offer will be lapsed.

Please think carefully before making your decision; once you have declined your offer there is no opportunity to have the offer reinstated.

What is the waiting list?

If your Outcome of Application indicates that you have been placed on the waiting list, you will be contacted should a place become available. Separate waitlists are maintained for each Health Sciences Undergraduate Professional Programme.

You could be offered a place from a waiting list any time right up to the time classes begin. It is important that you continue your enrolment process for any alternative programme of study you may be considering. If you are on a waiting list and it is confirmed that there are no available places in the programme, you will be notified, and your application declined.

Deferral of entry

Applicants must have their personal and financial affairs in order when they apply so that if their application is successful, they are able to take up a place at the start of the first semester.

Requests for deferral will be considered only on the basis of unforeseen serious medical grounds or other exceptional circumstances that arise after the application deadline.

In order for deferral to be approved evidence must be provided showing that the applicant will be able to resume study the following year.

To apply for a deferral of entry please complete and return the deferral form (PDF)

Deferrals will only be granted for a maximum period of one academic year.

English language requirements

Admission to the programme shall be subject to applicants meeting an English language requirement as determined by the Medical Admissions Committee, dependent on the category under which the application is made.

International students

International students are defined as all those students who require a student visa to study in New Zealand. In any given year, a limited number of places in the second year Medicine may be available to international students in the HSFY and Graduate categories. To be eligible to apply for admission to Medicine, international students must have completed all necessary prerequisites at a minimum standard, which is determined on a yearly basis.

Should an international student's residency status change prior to notification of the application outcome, they must notify us via AskOtago immediately and will have to compete for admission with other domestic students.

NOTE: Following graduation with MBChB, to practice in New Zealand it is necessary to obtain registration from the Medical Council of New Zealand. This requires obtaining a pre-vocational training position at an approved hospital in New Zealand. There are limited, if any, places available for international students, who will normally complete registration requirements in their home country. It is the student's responsibility to find out from the relevant authority in their home country the requirements for registration and to confirm that a New Zealand MBChB will meet these requirements.

Important dates

  • Online application closing date:
    • HSFY category: 15 September
    • Graduate category: 15 September
    • Alternative category: 1 May
  • Outcome of Application sent out by:
    • HSFY category: 18 December
    • Graduate category: 18 December
    • Alternative category: 31 August
  • Medicine second year compulsory orientation: date to be confirmed
  • Medicine second year classes commence: date to be confirmed

Introductory classes are compulsory. Students who fail to attend classes on the start date risk losing their place.

Health and disabilities

Please contact the University of Otago's Manager of Disability Information and Support, or visit AskOtago, if you have a health condition and/or disability that may affect whether or not you are able to meet the requirements of the programme or obtain professional registration.

Any applicant who has a mental or physical condition that could adversely affect their fitness to practice or is found to have failed to declare a condition may be declined admission to the programme by the Medical Admissions Committee on the recommendation of the Health and Conduct Review Group. Any offer of admission made before responses to medical requests or requests for information regarding an applicant's health status have been received is conditional on the information received confirming the applicant's suitability for admission.

Criminal offences

Any applicant who is, or has been, the subject of criminal convictions, or is, or has been, subject to disciplinary proceedings of a tertiary institution or professional body, or is found to have failed to declare a matter may be declined admission to the programme by the Medical Admissions Committee on the recommendation of the Health and Conduct Review Group. Any offer of admission made before responses to requests for information regarding an applicant's past conduct have been received is conditional on the information received confirming the applicant's suitability for admission.

As some convictions may prohibit registration, applicants are advised to consult the regulations of the registering professional body:

All applicants must consent to verification from the New Zealand Police and Department of Courts that there are no undeclared criminal charges or convictions.

Health and Conduct Review Group

The Health and Conduct Review Group considers a student's suitability for admission to a Health Sciences Professional Programme in regards to fitness to practice issues.

Health and Conduct Review Group – Terms of Reference (PDF)
Health and Conduct Procedure (PDF)

Children's Act 2014

The Children's Act 2014 is aimed at providing better protection for vulnerable children. One of the ways it aims to do this, is by “safety checking”.

If you will work with vulnerable children – as part of a specified organisation that provides regulated services – the Act requires you to be “safety checked” at least once every three years.

The safety check involves:

  • Identity verification
  • New Zealand Police vetting
  • Reference checking
  • An interview
  • A risk assessment

Applicants who enter the programme will receive further information regarding the timing of these checks.

Further information

University of Otago Child Protection Policy
Oranga Tamariki (Ministry for Children website)
Children's Act requirements (Oranga Tamariki website)

Culturally-sensitive issues

All students must participate in laboratory, practical and clinical activities, including those that may be unusual in some cultures. In the professional programmes, some aspects of the teaching will require individuals to practise certain techniques on each other that may involve partially undressing or body contact with other students. Training occurs under close supervision and all students are required to participate, as it is essential for their acquisition of clinical skills.

First aid certificate

All candidates who accept a place into Medicine must have a certified copy of an appropriate New Zealand first aid certificate before the start of the programme.

Applicants must gain this qualification through an NZQA-registered training provider who is authorised to assess NZQA first aid standards.

The certificate should include at least NZQA Standard 6401 and 6402, but students are recommended to obtain a qualification which includes the higher NZQA Standard 6400.

The following are a selection of recommended training courses:

Immunity status

All applicants who are offered and accept a place to the second year of Medicine will be required to provide evidence of their serology status.

Because of the nature of their practice, health professionals are required to take steps to ensure they neither acquire infections from their patients nor transmit infections to patients.

Immunity testing arrangements will be made known during December, preceding the start of the programme. It is the responsibility of the applicant to cover all costs associated with completion of immunisation screening and vaccinations.

Please refer to the Infectious Diseases Policy for Health Professional Students (PDF) for further details regarding immunity status.

Domestic place numbers

The maximum number of domestic student places available across all admissions categories for 2025 is approximately 302.

Special examinations and adjusted paper marks

Applications from students sitting special examinations will be placed on hold until the special examination results are released. Once you receive your special examination results you must immediately advise us via AskOtago to ensure the processing of your application is completed.

As we do not receive special examination results automatically, it is applicants' responsibility to inform us of the results of special examinations, or adjusted paper marks, as soon as they become available.

Programme content

otago.ac.nz/oms/education/mbchb/about/programme-structure/

Careers

otago.ac.nz/oms/education/mbchb/prospective-students/careers/

Regulations

Regulations for the Degrees of Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MB ChB)

Disclaimer

The University of Otago makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information provided on its web pages. However the matters covered, including the availability and structure of courses, are subject to regular review and no warranty or representation can be provided regarding the accuracy of such information, and the University does not accept liability for any losses or damage arising directly or indirectly from reliance on the information.

While the University of Otago takes all due care in implementing the regulations, policies, and procedures that relate to the admissions process, it reserves the right to correct any administrative errors that may occur.

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