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Preparing to study Health Sciences First Year

Overview

There are no subject requirements for entry into Health Sciences First Year (HSFY). However, we strongly recommend you take Chemistry and Physics to NCEA Level 3 (or equivalent), and if possible, also take Biology to NCEA Level 3 (or equivalent).

If you have not taken Chemistry, Physics, and/or Biology, please read on to discover how you can up-skill before starting HSFY.

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Resources for all future students

First-Year Students helps you make the most of your time at university. It provides information on preparing to study at university level, and gives you a guide to Academic Orientation Week, study tips and resources, financial support (including student loans and allowances), and accommodation.

HEDC Student Learning Development provides free and confidential academic support to all students at Otago. HEDC Student Learning Development offers online resources and self-study guides, as well as one-to-one appointments with learning advisors. Whether you're working hard to get a pass mark, seeking to gain a top result, or catching up after a break away from study, you can benefit from their services.

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External tutoring organisations

There are some external commercial organisations which offer workshops, study sessions, advice and other tutoring activities for Health Sciences students. The University does not endorse any of these commercial tutoring organisations, and cannot give any assurance about the accuracy, currency or quality of material and information available from these sources. Success in Health Sciences is not dependent on accessing external commercial support.

Additional support (at no additional cost) is available within the University (e.g. PASS study sessions, Student Learning Development workshops). Free UCAT preparation resources are available from Pearson, who administer the test.

Guidelines for admission into Dentistry, Medical Laboratory Science, Medicine, Pharmacy, Physiotherapy, Dental Technology, Oral Health and Radiation Therapy are available on the University website. For any additional information call AskOtago 0800 80 80 98 or email ask@otago.ac.nz

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If you did not study NCEA Level 3 (or equivalent) Chemistry

CHEM 150

CHEM 150 Concepts in Chemistry is an Otago Summer School paper, taught in January and February each year (before HSFY starts in Semester One). It is designed for students with limited chemistry backgrounds, and provides you with the necessary theory and practical skills to successfully continue on to the HSFY paper CHEM 191 The Chemical Basis of Biology. The first four weeks of CHEM 150 are taught and assessed entirely online (using Blackboard, the University of Otago's learning management system), with the last two weeks taught on campus.

Note: If you have achieved 14 credits of NCEA Level 2 Chemistry or more, or any credits of NCEA Level 3 Chemistry (or their equivalents), you will need Head of Department approval to enrol in CHEM 150.

Application date: See Summer School enrolment dates

Enrolment: If you are planning on enrolling for the Health Sciences First Year (HSFY) course, and wish to complete CHEM150 paper before this, then when you enrol on eVision (the University online enrolment system) you will need to choose two programmes of study.

You will need to apply for the HSFY course and also for a Certificate of Proficiency (COP) programme where you can add CHEM 150. Make sure you apply for the 2020 option and that you indicate that your starting semester for CHEM 150 will be Summer School.

Introductory Chemistry

Introductory Chemistry covers the same content as CHEM 150 Concepts in Chemistry, but does not include the laboratory component. Introductory Chemistry is designed for students not eligible for CHEM 150, and can be taken at any time.

Foundation Studies

Foundation Studies are recommended for students with little or no Chemistry background, or who are missing more than one of the recommended subjects for HSFY.

Application date: Prior to class starting (but the earlier the better)

Bachelor of Science (BSc)

A three-year BSc allows you to spread the HSFY papers across your degree, and then apply for the Health Sciences professional programmes via other pathways.

Contact the Health Sciences Admissions Office for more information about other pathways.

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If you did not study NCEA Level 3 (or equivalent) Physics

JumpStart Physics

JumpStart Physics is a not-for-credit Continuing Education course that runs for a three-week intensive period immediately before first semester. It is designed to prepare students to confidently undertake the PHSI 191 Biological Physics paper in HSFY. It is for students whose training in secondary school Physics and Mathematics is incomplete, having not taken NCEA Level 3 (or equivalent) Physics. Students undertaking this course will still need to meet the University's admission and entrance criteria in order to proceed to full credit study.

Note: Students who have achieved 14 credits and higher in NCEA Level 2 Physics or General Science, or have a pass in Sixth Form Certificate Physics or Science, will not be accepted except with the approval of the Head of Department.

Application date: 8 December 2019 (to be confirmed)

Foundation Studies

Foundation Studies are recommended for students with little or no Physics background, or who are missing more than one of the recommended subjects for HSFY.

Application date: Prior to class starting (but the earlier the better)

Bachelor of Science (BSc)

A three-year BSc allows you to spread the HSFY papers across your degree, and then apply for the Health Sciences professional programmes via other pathways.

Contact AskOtago for more information about other pathways.

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If you did not study NCEA Level 3 (or equivalent) Biology

HUBS 191 pre-reading

NCEA Level 3 (or equivalent) Biology is recommended preparation for HUBS 191. If you have not completed NCEA Level 3 (or equivalent) Biology, we recommend you prepare for HUBS 191 by reading the first six chapters of the HUBS 191 textbook:

  1. Organisation of the Body
  2. The Chemical Basis of Life
  3. Anatomy of Cells
  4. Physiology of Cells
  5. Cell Growth and Reproduction
  6. Tissues

In 2020, the HUBS 191 textbook is: Visual Anatomy & Physiology, Global Edition + Martini's Atlas of the Human Body 3E.

CELS 191 pre-reading

You do not require NCEA Level 3 (or equivalent) Biology for CELS 191, however NCEA Level 2 (or equivalent) Biology is useful.

If you did not study NCEA Level 2 (or equivalent) Biology, we recommend you purchase an NCEA Level 2 Biology study guide. Work through the material before the start of first semester.

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Minimum specifications for student computers

Owning a personal computer is not a requirement for our courses, but many students like to have their own device. If you are considering buying technology for your studies, we recommend you follow these recommendations.

If you do not plan to buy a computer or already have a computer that is different to those recommended we will work with you to ensure you can complete any tasks that are not compatible with your computer.

If you need more help checking your laptop meets the requirements, please contact AskOtago:

Phone: Freephone 0800 80 80 98 (within New Zealand)
Freephone 1800 46 82 46 (Australia)
+64 3 479 7000 (International)
Email university@otago.ac.nz
Online chat: otago.custhelp.com/app/chat/chat_launch

Financial hardship

If you need help to pay for study materials (e.g. books, stationery, computer items), you may be able to get a Student Loan for course-related costs.

In case of financial hardship due to COVID-19, please see the University's information regarding Pūtea Tautoko.

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Further resources

  • NCEA study guides
  • HSFY textbooks (available from the University Book Shop)

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