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Study Pacific health at Otago

The University of Otago has a unique and enduring history of providing a highly-qualified workforce in the health professions and in leading research and academic advancement in the areas of health and biomedical science. In the broad field of Pacific health we have opportunities to study at undergraduate, postgraduate and professional levels.

Centre for Pacific Health

Centre for Pacific Health bird logo The Centre for Pacific Health was launched in 2018 to house the research and teaching activities of the Va’a o Tautai. It is now home to a dedicated team of Pacific and non-Pacific researchers working in areas of importance to Pacific communities in New Zealand and internationally.
Va’a o Tautai

Alongside research, the Centre for Pacific Health also provides leadership in teaching Pacific health across Health Sciences professional programmes, the Bachelor of Health Sciences, and other areas of health curricula where Pacific perspectives are important:


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Pacific Islands support staff at the Division of Health Sciences

Rose and colleagues welcoming guests imageThere are many services available to support you in your study.

Associate Dean (Pacific) Faumuina Associate Professor Fa'afetai Sopoaga and her team at the Pacific Islands Research and Student Support Unit (PIRSSU) aim to recruit, retain, and ensure a high completion rate for Pacific students in the Division.

Pacific Islands Research and Student Support Unit website

There are Pacific support staff throughout the University of Otago's Division of Health Sciences. Please feel free to contact them directly:

List of Division of Health Sciences contacts

Alternatively, you are welcome to contact the PIRSSU office.

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Pacific students talk about their experiences

Pacific Island student of medicine talking about her study imagePacific students, in Health Sciences, were asked to talk about their experience of studying at Otago—in 60 seconds! You can watch their videos in the PIRRSU website home page, scroll down to find the heading:
Pacific students experiences in Health Sciences at Otago

Student's mention a range of support people and programmes, these links provide more information:

Health Sciences postgraduate programmes

Blue human anatomical figures imageAre you a graduate or health professional interested in further study? The University of Otago's Health Sciences postgraduate programmes cover a wide range of subject areas and disciplines, and are spread across our three campuses in:

University of Otago graduates go on to produce both nationally and internationally renowned research.

Postgraduate programmes
Read about postgraduate scholarships at Otago

Completed research theses

Our Pacific health research postgraduates have successfully completed theses in a wide range of disciplines, read more about their research:

Pacific health research postgraduate theses

Opportunities for postgraduates to present their research

Read about the Pacific Postgraduate Reference Group support meetings and the Pacific Voices Postgraduate Symposiums:

Pacific postgraduate students (Pacific Islands Centre website)

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Health Sciences undergraduate study

Registry courtyard, University of Otago imageA University of Otago Health Sciences degree can take you places.

Are you looking for a career in health, or maybe you would like to explore the biological sciences? Perhaps you are planning to apply for entry to one of Health Science’s professional programmes?

Whether you are planning to use your Health Sciences degree as a base for a professional career as a researcher, specialist, or a job related to the health science field, the University of Otago offers a range of courses to suit.

Take a look at our subject information pages to get a taste of each subject:

Health sciences subjects

Health Sciences First Year (HSFY) is a foundation year for the five professional programmes:

  • Dentistry
  • Medical laboratory science
  • Medicine
  • Pharmacy
  • Physiotherapy

It is also an excellent way to begin a degree in biomedical science or any of the broad range of biological sciences at Otago.

Health Sciences undergraduate programmes has more about the professional programmes, other careers in health, biological sciences and biomedical sciences.

Read about the Pacific Islands Summer Studentship (HRC) research projects undergraduates completed:
Pacific health future researchers
Information on how to apply for a summer scholarship (Health Sciences website)

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Health Sciences professional programmes

Laboratory bench with equipment and students imageDo you dream of being a dentist, dental technician, dental therapist, oral hygienist, medical laboratory scientist, doctor, pharmacist, physiotherapist or a radiation therapist? If so, then one of our Health Sciences professional programmes might be right for you.

Health Sciences professional programmes

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Health Sciences research

The University of Otago's Division of Health Sciences is home to many established, internationally recognised research programmes.

Health Sciences research

Health Sciences specialty websites