Study in Christchurch, Dunedin, or Wellington
The University of Otago has a strong international reputation for biomedical research. The Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences with Honours (BBiomedSc(Hons)) is an eight-month full‑time postgraduate programme which provides an excellent foundation for a career in biomedical research.
You will join your supervisor's research team and be based in their home department. Your supervisor and their team will provide training on all necessary scientific techniques.
The research focus of the BBiomedSc(Hons) provides an excellent foundation for employment in a research laboratory and pursuing master's or PhD studies in a wide range of biomedical sciences.
The BBiomedSc(Hons) is a thesis‑only qualification, comprising 85 per cent research and 15 per cent coursework. There are no final exams.
The coursework includes journal clubs and workshops, such as:
- Human and animal ethics
- Māori context to research
- Mental health and maintaining wellness
- Presentation skills
- Thesis writing skills
- Writing techniques
3 campuses, 6 biomedical fields
Available at our Christchurch, Dunedin, and Wellington campuses, the BBiomedSc(Hons) programme involves supervised research in one of the following departments and schools:
Your BBiomedSc(Hons) degree is awarded in one of 6 specialisations that reflects the subject of your research project:
- Drugs and Human Health
- Functional Human Biology
- Infection and Immunity
- Molecular Basis of Health and Disease
- Nutrition and Metabolism in Human Health
- Reproduction, Genetics and Development
After completing your BBiomedSc(Hons) year, you will have developed key career-ready attributes:
- Critical thinking with the ability to access, analyse, integrate, and apply information
- Grounding in the basic disciplines of biomedical science, coupled with advanced research experience in a specific area of interest
- Understanding of the principles of experimental design, and the application of quantitative methods
- Understanding of the broad mechanisms underlying normal and abnormal human biology, and the ability to apply scientific principles to biomedical problems
- Recognition that lifelong learning is required to remain informed in the rapidly-changing field of biomedical sciences
- Self-motivated learning with the ability to work independently, while recognising the value of teamwork
Visit the University of Otago postgraduate scholarship database – you may be eligible to apply for multiple scholarships.
The database includes four scholarships particularly suited to BBiomedSc(Hons) students:
- Barbara Heslop Memorial Scholarship (for students in the fields of immunology or pathology)
- Elizabeth Jean Trotter 400-level Scholarship in Biomedical Sciences
- School of Biomedical Sciences Māori Postgraduate Scholarship (for Māori students)
- School of Biomedical Sciences Pacific Peoples' Postgraduate Scholarship (for Pacific students)
You must have completed the requirements for the degree of Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences (BBiomedSc), or an equivalent qualification, with an average grade of at least B+ for the appropriate four 300‑level papers of the major subject, and have passed one further paper at 300‑level to make a total of 90 points at 300‑level. You must normally have passed papers worth at least 108 points, at 200‑level or above, during your third year of study.
Regulations for the Degree of Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences with Honours (BBiomedSc(Hons))
Admission to the programme
- Admission to the programme shall be subject to the approval of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences).
- Every applicant must have completed the requirements for the degree of Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences, or an equivalent qualification recognised by the Board of Studies for Biomedical Sciences, with an average grade of at least B+ for the appropriate 300-level papers of the major subject and have passed one further paper at 300-level to make a total of 90 points at 300-level.
- Applicants must normally have passed papers worth at least 108 points, at 200-level or above, during the third year of study for the degree of Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences (or equivalent).
Subjects of study
The degree of Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences with Honours may be awarded in any one of the following subjects:
- Drugs and Human Health;
- Functional Human Biology;
- Infection and Immunity;
- Molecular Basis of Health and Disease;
- Nutrition and Metabolism in Human Health;
- Reproduction, Genetics and Development.
Structure of the programme
- The programme for the degree shall comprise preparation and submission of a satisfactory thesis embodying the results of a supervised investigation and the successful completion of any prescribed assignments or examinations.
- The course of study and the topic of the research thesis will be approved by the Board of Studies.
- One or two supervisors from members of the academic staff will be appointed by the Board of Studies on the recommendation of the Heads of Departments concerned.
- No candidate may take any paper additional to the programme without the approval of the Board of Studies.
Prerequisites, corequisites, and restrictions
Every programme of study shall satisfy the requirements for prerequisites, corequisites, and restrictions set out in the Prescriptions (published in the Guide to Enrolment).
Duration of the programme
A candidate shall complete the requirements for the degree in one academic year of full-time study following admission to the Honours programme. All requirements for the degree, including submission of the thesis, shall be completed no later than 1 November of the year of enrolment.
- Examination is by thesis and oral examination but a candidate may be required to take written and/or practical examinations or assessment.
- One internal examiner and one external examiner for the thesis will be appointed by the Board of Studies. The candidate's supervisors shall not be examiners but may make a report on the work of the candidate for the examiners to consider.
Standard of award of the degree
The degree may be awarded with First Class Honours, with Second Class Honours (Division I), with Second Class Honours (Division II), or with Third Class Honours.
The Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences) may in exceptional circumstances approve admission criteria or a course of study, acceptable to the Board of Studies for Biomedical Sciences, which do not comply with these regulations.