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Study Biomedical Sciences at Otago

The web of life

The Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences at Otago provides a broad, interdisciplinary approach to understanding the science of health and disease. You will have the opportunity to study your own unique combination of biomedical subjects within one of six majors.

This flexible programme of study will equip you with a comprehensive grounding in the principles and ideas that underpin current biomedical science.

Why study Biomedical Sciences?

The key answer is because you are interested in, and motivated by, the science that will allow us to improve human health. Our BBiomedSc students have a reputation for excellence and are sought- after by a wide range of employers both here in New Zealand and overseas. Your working life might begin with a company in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, biomedical or agricultural sectors.

Alternatively, you might be employed by a research institute, in a university, government agency or local authority and use the scientific skills you have learned during your studies to provide policy, technical or diagnostic advice.

Many of our BBiomedSc graduates continue on to further study in biomedical research or gain postgraduate entry into professional health programmes such as Dentistry, Medicine, and Pharmacy.

Background required

Taking chemistry and biology to Year 13 is recommended. Students who have not done chemistry are strongly advised to complete Introductory Chemistry (any time) or Concepts in Chemistry ( Summer School), prior to their first year of study.

How do I structure my BBiomedSc degree?

In your first year you will take seven papers, including Cell and Molecular Biology (CELS 191), The Chemical basis of Biology and Human Health (CHEM 191), Foundations of Biochemistry (BIOC 192) and Human Body Systems (HUBS 191 and 192) by enrolling in Health Sciences First Year or Biomedical Sciences First Year. You choose your major at second year, with each major offering an interdisciplinary and coherent programme of study.

BBiomedSc majors

Is the BBiomedSc degree different from a BSc?


The BBiomedSc allows you to retain an interdisciplinary diversity throughout your three years of study. In the final year of a BSc, most students are required to take four 300-level papers in one subject. In contrast, final year BBiomedSc students have the opportunity to select their required papers from two or more subjects.

Postgraduate study options

The School of Biomedical Sciences offers a comprehensive suite of postgraduate programmes in specialised areas of biomedical science, suitable for bachelors’ graduates seeking the next step, through to those with existing postgraduate experience looking to undertake PhD study.

All programmes are excellent stepping stones to PhD study and towards a career in health research in a range of areas including genetics, biochemistry, cancer biology, infectious diseases, molecular biology and pharmacogenomics.



Explore your study options further. Refer to enrolment information found on the following qualification pages:

Key information for students

Contact us

Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences Academic Administrator
School of Biomedical Sciences
Tel +64 3 479 4205