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Study Medical Laboratory Science at Otago

Students at Orientation


The internationally recognised four-year Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Science (BMLSc) degree qualifies you to work as a Medical Laboratory Scientist. Graduates can pursue other careers in health-related fields or enter into research and postgraduate study (e.g. Postgraduate Diploma/Master of Medical Laboratory Science and PhD).

Health Sciences First Year (HSFY) course provides details for Medical Laboratory Science.

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Career opportunities

New graduates can provisionally register as Medical Laboratory Scientists, usually gaining full registration after working in a diagnostic medical laboratory for six months. Other examples of career options are medical research, biotechnology, veterinary diagnostics, forensic science, scientific instrumentation, mortuary assistant and laboratory management.

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200-level and beyond

Subjects in Year 2:

  • Anatomy
  • Biochemistry
  • Microbiology / Immunology
  • Physiology
  • Diagnostic Pathology

Subjects in Year 3:

  • Principles of Pathology
  • Chemical Pathology
  • Medical Microbiology
  • Histotechnology
  • Cytology
  • Haematology
  • Transfusion Science

In fourth year, you’ll specialise in two of:

  • Chemical Pathology
  • Clinical Microbiology
  • Clinical Virology
  • Diagnostic Molecular Pathology
  • Cytopathology
  • Haematology
  • Histopathology
  • Transfusion Science
  • Clinical Immunology

You’ll study under supervision in an approved diagnostic pathology laboratory in New Zealand or overseas.

Health and Conduct

The Division of Health Sciences requires all applicants applying for any of its health professional programmes to declare any criminal or disciplinary charges they have faced, or are facing, and any health status issues which could affect their participation in clinical aspects of the programme or their overall fitness to practise.

Contact the Health Sciences Admissions Office for information.

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Contact details

Website Medical Laboratory Science
Department of Pathology

Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Science Course Director
Dr Heather Brooks

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See the full list of Medical Laboratory Science (MELS) papers.

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Programme requirements

Postgraduate Diploma in Medical Laboratory Science (PGDipMLSc)


MELS 510 Advanced Medical Laboratory Practice (60 points)

MELS 580 Research Project (30 points)

HASC 417 Health Sciences Research Methods (30 points);
PHCY 506 Research Methods (30 points);
both PUBH 711 Principles of Epidemiology (15 points) and PUBH 725 Applied Biostatistics 1 - Fundamentals (15 points)

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Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Science (BMLSc)

Year Papers Points
1st year

Health Sciences First Year Course

Note: Students enrolled in the Health Sciences First Year course will be required to achieve a satisfactory mark in a standard diagnostic English test or another approved measure of achievement.

2nd year

MELS 208  Introduction to Diagnostic Pathology

MELS 223  Infection and Immunity (for BMLSc)

MELS 230  Biochemistry (for BMLSc)

MELS 241  Human Biology: Cells to Systems (for BMLSc)

MELS 251  Physiology (for BMLSc)







3rd year

MELS 301  Diagnostic Chemical Pathology

MELS 302  Haematology and Transfusion Science

MELS 304  Principles of Pathology

MELS 305  Elements of Histotechnology

MELS 306  Medical Microbiology






4th year

Two of:

MELS 401  Advanced Diagnostic Chemical Pathology

MELS 402  Clinical Microbiology

MELS 403  Clnical Virology

MELS 404  Diagnostic Molecular Pathology

MELS 405  Cytopathology

MELS 406  Haematology

MELS 407  Histopathology

MELS 408  Transfusion Science

MELS 409  Clinical Immunology

MELS 410  Medical Laboratory Science for Rural Health


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