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Master of Biomedical Sciences (MBiomedSc) 

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The University of Otago has a strong international reputation for biomedical research.

The Master of Biomedical Sciences ( MBiomedSc ) is a one‑year thesis‑only postgraduate degree. It provides an excellent foundation for an academic or research career, and an internationally-recognised stepping stone for entry into a PhD programme.

Study in Christchurch, Dunedin or Wellington

The MBiomedSc is available at our Christchurch, Dunedin and Wellington campuses. It involves a period of supervised research in any area of biomedical science, which can include:

  • 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

The University of Otago Postgraduate website has general information and resources for postgraduate research students:

Learn more about postgraduate research study at Otago

Entry requirements

Admission to the MBiomedSc programme requires you to have successfully completed an honours degree (such as the BBiomedSc(Hons)), or a postgraduate diploma in a biomedical subject which contained a research component of at least one‑qaurter of the programme. You will normally be expected to have achieved an average grade of at least B+, with a B+ or better in the research component.

The BBiomedSc(Hons), available at our Christchurch, Dunedin, and Wellington campuses, is an eight-month full‑time postgraduate programme which provides an excellent foundation for the MBiomedSc.

How to apply

Find a supervisor

Your first step towards the MBiomedSc at Otago is finding a supervisor and a research project. You can find resources for this on the University of Otago Postgraduate website:

Find a supervisor or a research opportunity

Apply through eVision

Once you have confirmation of your supervisor and research project, use the "Apply" button at the top of this page to apply through eVision, your personalised application portal. You will need to choose a qualification to select your preferred campus.


As a master's student, you have the opportunity to apply for a variety of financial scholarships:

Scholarships available to masters' students

Regulations for the Degree of Master of Biomedical Sciences ( MBiomedSc )

  1. Admission to the programme

    1. Admission to the programme shall be subject to the approval of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences).
    2. Every applicant must either
      1. be a graduate of an Honours programme or a Postgraduate Diploma programme in a biomedical subject  containing a research report, thesis preparation, or dissertation of at least one quarter of the programme, or
      2. have alternative qualifications or experience acceptable to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences).
    3. Applicants must normally have achieved an average grade of at least B+ in the entry qualification with at least a B+ in the research component.

  2. Structure of the programme

    1. The degree may be awarded in any of the subjects listed in the MBiomedSc Schedule. With the approval of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences) the degree may be awarded in a subject not listed in the MBiomedSc Schedule.
    2. The programme of study shall consist of the preparation and submission of a thesis embodying the results of supervised research.
    3. Prior to commencement of the thesis, the topic and supervisors of the thesis shall be approved by the Head of Department concerned and then the Director of the Biomedical Sciences programme (or nominee).
    4. A candidate may not present a thesis which has previously been accepted for another degree.

  3. Duration of the programme

    1. A candidate for the degree shall usually follow a programme of one year of full-time study or the equivalent in part-time study.
    2. A candidate for the degree will be expected to meet the requirements for the degree within two years of admission to the programme.

  4. Examination of the thesis

    1. The Director of the Biomedical Sciences Programme (or nominee) shall appoint a Convener of Examiners to oversee each thesis examination.
    2. The thesis shall be assessed by at least two examiners, at least one of whom shall be external to the University.
    3. The candidate's supervisor shall not be an examiner but may make a report on the work of the candidate to the Convener of Examiners.
    4. Each examiner shall supply a written report on the thesis and recommend a mark and grade on the basis of the work submitted, and an overall result selected from the options specified in clause (e) below.
    5. The examiners may recommend that a thesis:
      1. be accepted without requiring amendments;
      2. be accepted subject to minor corrections made at the discretion, and to the satisfaction, of the Convener of Examiners;
      3. does not meet the criteria for the award of the degree, but may be revised and resubmitted for examination;
      4. does not meet the criteria for the award of the degree, and should be rejected without the right of resubmission.
    6. Amendments (regulation 4(e)(ii)) and revisions (regulation 4(e)(iii)) shall be completed by a specified date to be determined by the Convener of Examiners, in accordance with established procedures.
    7. A candidate shall be permitted to revise and resubmit a thesis for examination once only.
    8. If a revised and resubmitted thesis is finally accepted, the result shall be either a 'Pass' or 'Fail' (i.e. ungraded) and without eligibility for the award of the degree with distinction or credit.
    9. Where examiners cannot agree on a result, the Convener of Examiners shall engage in established mediation procedures, and if unresolvable, so report to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences) who shall arrive at a decision after consulting a referee who shall normally be external to the University.
  5. Level of award of the degree

    The degree may be awarded with distinction or with credit.

  6. Variations

    The Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences) may in exceptional circumstances approve a course of study which does not comply with these regulations.

This information must be read subject to the statement on our Copyright & Disclaimer page.

Regulations on this page are taken from the 2024 Calendar and supplementary material.

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