Red X iconGreen tick iconYellow tick icon

Overview of Diploma in Child Health

The Diploma in Child Health is a national distance learning, postgraduate, one year course, divided into two papers:

  1. CHHE 701 Community Paediatrics 30 points
    Convened by the Department of Paediatrics at Dunedin School of Medicine.
  2. CHHE 702 Clinical Attachment in Paediatrics 90 points
    Convened by the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health at the University of Otago, Wellington.
    Course Booklet (PDF)

The two papers cannot be taken concurrently. It is recommended that students enrol for CHHE 701 immediately before or after completing CHHE 702. However, to be eligible for the DCH students can take up to twenty-four months from enrolment to complete both papers. Please note that semester 1 usually begins early to mid February each year and semester 2 begins in July.

Whilst students are completing CHHE 702 it is mandatory to be employed in an approved six-month paediatric position in an approved paediatric centre.

The DCH is suitable for Resident Medical Officers doing a six-month paediatric attachment. Other health professionals, including GPs, child health nurses, physiotherapists, and occupational therapists, who wish to improve their knowledge of community child health are eligible to enrol for CHHE 701 on its own.

Both papers may involve audio-conference and online conference sessions;  these require access to a landline telephone and a good Internet connection respectively. Additional teaching material and readings are also supplied online.

Overview of CHHE 702 – Clinical Attachment in Paediatrics

Academic staff and Senior Clinical Lecturers hold two tutorials per week via online videoconference and candidates follow the PowerPoint presentation during the teaching session.

These are held on Monday and Wednesday evenings at 5:30-6:30pm.

Attendance and active participation during these tutorials are encouraged and expected. Candidates are also put into contact with a local supervisor at their respective paediatric hospitals who take responsibility for local training in the common conditions they see in hospita l /outpatient clinics.

All eligible candidates will hold a medical degree and be a registered doctor with the Medical Council of New Zealand.  Furthermore, they must be working in a Paediatric Department of an approved New Zealand hospital for a minimum 6 month attachment while concurrently enrolled in the CHHE 702 paper.

Examination and assessment

The exam is the only form of assessment for CHHE 702. The exam is held over two days (normally a Thursday and Friday), the first day is written examinations, these are sat on computers, the second day a clinical exam is held.

The location of the exam will be either Wellington, Dunedin or Christchurch (this rotates every six months) and you will be required to arrive the evening before the exams begin.

Regulations for the Postgraduate Diploma in Child Health (DCH)

If you wish to apply for the following programmes, you need to meet the criteria below and enrol with the University of Otago directly. or 0800 808 098

Please note the programmes are only available to students living and studying within New Zealand.

  1. Admission to the Programme
    1. Admission to the programme shall be subject to the approval of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences) on the advice of the Board of the Faculty of Medicine, which must be satisfied that the applicant has the ability and experience to proceed to the programme.
    2. Every applicant shall have been admitted to the degrees of Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery of a university in New Zealand or hold an equivalent medical qualification approved by the Board of the Faculty of Medicine.
    3. Every applicant shall be registered for medical practice in the country in which the programme is taught.
  2. Structure of the Programme
    1. The programme of study for the diploma shall consist of two papers, CHHE 701 (see note below) and CHHE 702, which are normally taken in consecutive semesters.
    2. In order to complete the requirements for CHHE 702, the candidate will normally hold, for a minimum of 26 weeks, a hospital position in paediatrics approved for this purpose.
  3. Duration of the Programme
    The programme requirements shall normally be completed within two years of admission to the programme.
  4. Examinations
    Candidates shall be assessed by written and clinical examinations.
  5. Level of Award of the Diploma
    The diploma 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.

Note: Paper CHHE 701 is taught through the Distance Learning Programme. As well as being a compulsory paper for DCH, it may be taken by other approved health professionals; it is not restricted to medical graduates.

Enrolling in the DCH

You can enrol for the Diploma in Child Health here:

Both papers are offered in each semester, and it does not matter what order you complete these in. Please note that Semester one usually begins early to mid February each year and semester two begins in July.

The programme is only available to students living and studying within New Zealand.

Please note, you need to supply the supplementary documentation form which asks for your Medical Council Number, your place of employment in an approved paediatric centre (the hospital you will be working in) and the dates of this employment. If you do not supply this form, your application will be delayed.

Once you have been offered a place in the course, make sure you have selected your papers, you will then be granted departmental permission. You are not completely enrolled until you have reached 'declaration'.

You can only enrol for one calendar year at a time, so if your course straddles two years, you need to enrol twice.

If you require assistance with planning your course of study, please contact, in the first instance:

Department of Paediatrics, University of Otato, Wellington


The fees are available on request from the Student Enquiries Office, Registry, University of Otago,  PO Box 56, Dunedin.

Telephone +64 3 479 9006


Dr Thorsten Stanley, Course Convenor

DCH Administrator
Tel +64 4 918 6138
Fax +64 4 385 5898

Back to top