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About Medical Laboratory Science

Mō te Taiwhanga Pūtaiao Rongoā

Are you interested in finding out what is going on inside the body?

Medical Laboratory Scientists use knowledge ranging from anatomy to molecular biology to help diagnose disease and monitor treatment.

Medical Laboratory Science teaching lab

Why study Medical Laboratory Science?


Medical laboratory science encompasses a wide variety of scientific disciplines and skills, which opens the door to diverse career options. If working in a medical laboratory is your goal, there are nine sub-disciplines to choose from.

Job satisfaction

As a vital part of the medical profession, the test results medical laboratory scientists provide (such as for COVID-19) have an immediate impact on the care of patients, contributing to high levels of job satisfaction.

While a key member of the healthcare profession, medical laboratory scientists work both as a team and independently with individual responsibilities within the laboratory. 

Professional development

With evolving technology, demand for faster, more accurate and less invasive testing, medical laboratory scientists are always at the cutting edge of science. This leads to new opportunities, both within and outside the laboratory, such as point-of-care testing where laboratory testing is taken to the patient's bedside. 


Our degree is an internationally-recognised qualification. If you have a desire to see the world, start your journey here at Otago, and your career as a medical laboratory scientist can take you anywhere. The Otago BMLSc includes hands-on work experience at 4th year, which you can do around New Zealand or overseas. 

Postgraduate study

When you have completed your degree, if scientific research, translational science or forensics is your passion, there are numerous opportunities to further your education in these areas, as your laboratory skills and knowledge are directly transferable.

Our degree is also an excellent platform for postgraduate application to other Health Professional programmes, such as Medicine or Dentistry.