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Postgraduate Diploma in Primary Health Care (PGDipPHC)

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The Postgraduate Diploma in Primary Health Care (PGDipPHC) is an interprofessional distance-taught programme available for health, social care and management professionals  engaged in the delivery of primary health care (e.g. medicine, nursing, paramedicine, pharmacy, physiotherapy, primary health care management). It provides a formal nationally recognised primary health care qualification.

The programme is designed to provide a deeper understanding and application of evidence based and translational primary health care practice taught by active practitioners and research academics in an interprofessional Primary Health Care and General Practice Department.

Interprofessional teaching and learning will equip you to understand and apply the key principles and major primary care issues facing you and your workplace or community today: you will cover the policy context of primary care today within the Health and Disability sector, population health, equity and ethics, collaborative care and leadership, quality and safety. You will take way with you the following skills: oral and written presentation, critical thinking, communication, applying evidence, information and research literacy and principles for team working.

The PGDipPHC is constantly updated to keep pace with an ever-changing health care landscape to be sure to meet the needs of the current and future workforce: busy professionals who combine work with personal life. The qualification is set to be refreshed in 2020 and translational changes are underway.
Currently students usually complete the PGCertPHC (including PRHC701 and 30 points of other papers) before they undertake the PGDipPHC. Students then select a further 60 points of papers from a wide range of areas/topics relevant to primary care. At the completion of this qualification, graduates are eligible to apply to continue to the Master of Primary Health Care (MPHC). Students are encouraged to seek course programme advice from the postgraduate coordinator or director at an early stage.

Schedule of papers (not exclusive)

Core Paper

  • PRHC 701 New Zealand Primary Health Care (30 points)
  • PRHC 703 Strategy and Leadership in Primary Health Care (30 points)

Elective Papers

  • GENA 702 Sexual and Reproductive Health (30 points)
  • GENA 704 Te Tühauora: Māori Health (30 points)
  • GENA 710 Mental Health and Illness in Primary Care (30 points)
  • GENA 720 Refugee and Migrant Health (30 points)
  • GENA 737 Obesity Prevention and Management (30 points)
  • HASC 417 Health Science Research Methods (30 points)

With individual application to the Board of Studies in Primary Health Care, other papers may be considered for inclusion in a programme of study.

Note: Such papers, if considered part of a cohesive study plan, could include postgraduate AVMEGENAHUNTNURSPHCY, PSMEPUBH, or REHB papers offered by the University of Otago worth up to 30 points. Postgraduate papers worth up to 30 points offered by other universities or examining bodies may also be considered for inclusion.


Postgraduate Co-ordinator
Department of Primary Health Care and General Practice
University of Otago, Wellington
Website Postgraduate Programmes Department of Primary Health Care and General Practice


Regulations for the Postgraduate Diploma in Primary Health Care (PGDipPHC)

  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 shall be a graduate or possess an appropriate health professional qualification requiring at least three years' full-time tertiary study.

  2. Structure of the Programme

    1. The programme of study shall comprise papers to the value of 120 points as prescribed for the option concerned in Part 1 of the Schedule.
    2. A candidate who has completed the requirements for the Postgraduate Certificate in Primary Health Care shall be credited with those papers in the programme for the diploma which have been previously passed for the certificate.

  3. Duration of the Programme

    The duration of the programme shall be one year of full-time study or the equivalent in part-time study. The programme must be completed within five years of admission.

  4. Level of Award of the Diploma

    The diploma may be awarded with distinction or with credit.

  5. 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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