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Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MB ChB)

  • Bachelor

The Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MB ChB) degree is commonly referred to as the 'medical degree'. School leavers enrol at Otago for the common Health Sciences First Year course and then apply for admission to second year medicine.

Key details

Degree Type
Bachelor
Course Code
MB ChB

About this course

The Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MB ChB) degree is commonly referred to as the 'medical degree'. School leavers enrol at Otago for the common Health Sciences First Year course and then apply for admission to second year medicine.

Graduates may also apply for admission at second year. If successful, students will complete a further five years, then after graduation work for another year under probation in order to gain general registration.

There is a wide range of specialisation available in the public and private sectors, involving research, academic medicine, public health, clinical medicine and other areas. Specialties include Cardiology, Oncology, Paediatrics, Psychological Medicine, Surgery, Pathology, Public Health, General Practice and many others. Most doctors complete postgraduate training in their chosen specialty.

Medicine is a respected, rewarding, and truly international career.

More detailed information about the MB ChB can be found on the Otago Medical School website:

Entry requirements

Note: For specific enquiries about admission to the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery programme, intending students should make an appointment with the Health Sciences Admissions Office (health-sciences@otago.ac.nz).

  1. Admission to the second year of the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery programme shall be determined by the Medical Admissions Committee.
  2. Admission to the second year of the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery programme is limited to a number, determined annually, of Domestic students (but see regulation 1(i) regarding International student admissions).

    Note: 'Domestic student' is defined in the Admission to University Statute 2011, clause 3.3.

  3. Applications for admission may be made under the following categories:
    Health Sciences First Year (see 1(f))
    Graduate (see 1(g))
    Alternative (see 1(h))
  4. Graduates who have already completed a qualification in medicine, and for whom pathways exist to obtain registration through the Medical Council of New Zealand, are not eligible to apply for admission to the MBChB program under any category.
  5. The University of Otago is committed to promote and facilitate academic equity for Maori students, and for students from other under-represented groups, who have the potential to succeed academically.
    Applicants in any category (see regulation 1(c)) who have fulfilled the criteria as described in the Mirror on Society Policy and associated admissions entry requirements, may be considered in one or more of the Mirror on Society Category Groups.
  6. To be considered for admission under the Health Sciences First Year category an applicant must:
    1. be enrolled in the Health Sciences First Year course at the University of Otago (see also 1(i));
    2. pass all of the papers prescribed for the University of Otago Health Sciences First Year course, with a minimum mark of 70% in each paper (but see 1(e));
    3. meet any other requirements as determined by the Medical Admissions Committee. See Guidelines for Admission for current requirements.

    Selection of applicants who have met these criteria will be based on their marks in all of the Health Sciences First Year papers.

    Note:
    (i) If an additional optional paper from the approved list is taken, and provided all of the prescribed papers are passed at or above the required minimum standard, the results in the highest scoring seven papers will be counted for admission purposes.
    (ii) To be admitted to the Health Sciences First Year course, the applicant must not have studied any university degree-level papers that include a subject that is the same, similar to, or contains significant portions of any of the prescribed Health Sciences First Year papers. Prior university degree-level study in any subject areas must not comprise more than one year of equivalent full-time study.

  7. To be considered for admission under the Graduate category, an applicant must:
    1. have completed, normally in the minimum academic time, at least one of the following qualifications awarded by a university in New Zealand:
      - a bachelor's degree; or
      - a bachelor's honours degree; or
      - a bachelor's degree, followed by a postgraduate diploma;

      Note:
      (i) The qualifying degree for the Graduate category will be the first university degree awarded to that applicant.
      (ii) The grades obtained in a bachelor's honours degree (if separate from the qualifying degree) or postgraduate diploma will be included in the GPA calculation, along with the qualifying degree.

    2. meet any other requirements as determined by the Medical Admissions Committee. See Guidelines for Admission for current requirements.

    Applications must be received within three years of completion of the qualifying degree. Normally, the date of completion will be taken as the end of the teaching period in which the final paper or papers included in the programme are undertaken. Repeat applications within the eligibility period are allowed.

    Selection of applicants who have met these criteria will be based on their grade point average (GPA), as calculated by the Division of Health Sciences.

    Notes:
    (i) For guidance on how average grades are calculated, see the Guidelines for Admission into the Health Sciences Professional Programmes at otago.ac.nz/healthsciences
    (ii) For purposes of admission into the second year of the programme, a second attempt in a First Year paper in the Schedule in which a pass has already been achieved will not be considered.
    (iii) Applicants offered a place under the Graduate category may be required to pass prescribed papers, to a standard determined by the Medical Admissions Committee, before being admitted to second year classes.

  8. To be considered for admission under the Alternative category, an applicant must be a Domestic student and:
    1. hold a degree from a New Zealand university, and no longer be eligible under the Graduate category;
      or
      have completed a degree at an overseas university at a standard of at least NZQF Level 7 no less than three years prior to the application;
      or
      hold a master's or doctoral degree;
      or
      demonstrate health-related professional experience in a relevant field to a standard acceptable to the Medical Admissions Committee.

      Note: Applicants seeking admission to Medicine with health-related professional experience will be required to demonstrate academic and/or professional experience in the relevant field, to a standard acceptable to the Medical Admissions Committee, as part of the selection process.

    2. have provided a statement of interest and current curriculum vitae, and have achieved at least a minimum academic standard, to be determined by the Medical Admissions Committee from year to year, in the course of study on which the application for admission is based. An applicant may be required to attend an interview.

    Selection of applicants who have met these criteria will be based on academic merit and a possible interview. An applicant may apply only once under the Alternative category.

    Notes:
    (i) Applicants offered a place under the Alternative category may be required to pass prescribed papers, to a standard determined by the Medical Admissions Committee, before being admitted to second year classes.
    (ii) For purposes of admission into the second year of the programme, a second attempt in a First Year paper in the Schedule in which a pass has already been achieved will not be considered.

  9. The Medical Admissions Committee shall have discretion to offer a limited number of places in second year classes to International students who meet all the requirements determined by the Medical Admissions Committee. (See Note (i) below.)
  10. Admission to the programme shall be subject to applicants' meeting an English language requirement as determined by the Medical Admissions Committee.
  11. Notwithstanding any of the above provisions, the Medical Admissions Committee shall have discretion to consider any applicant who, not having satisfied these regulations in a particular aspect, warrants admission to the programme for exceptional reasons.
  12. Any applicant who
    1. is, or who has been, the subject of criminal charges; or
    2. is, or has been, subject to disciplinary proceedings of a tertiary institution or professional body; or
    3. has been found to have an issue (whether in connection with their mental or physical health, or their professional attributes or conduct, or otherwise) that compromises or is likely to compromise their fitness to practise; or
    4. is found to have failed to declare a matter covered by (k)(i)-(iii),

    may be declined admission to the programme by the Medical Admissions Committee on the recommendation of the Health and Conduct Review Group. Any offer of admission made before responses to medical tests or requests for information regarding an applicant's health status or past conduct have been received is conditional on the information received confirming the applicant's suitability for admission.

Notes:
(i) See the Guidelines for Admission into the Health Sciences Professional Programmes at otago.ac.nz/healthsciences.
(ii) The due date for Alternative category applications is 1 May in the year before admission into the second year course; the due date for applications under the Health Sciences First Year and Graduate categories is 15 September in the year before admission.

Study locations

Dunedin