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Master of Health Sciences (MHealSc)


Course Description

The Master of Health Sciences (MHealSc) degree allows study at a postgraduate level across a range of health disciplines, and research experience (thesis, dissertation or project) in the student's area of specialisation.

Normally before embarking upon study within the Master of Health Sciences programme, students would first complete a Postgraduate Certificate in Health Sciences (PGCertHealSc) and/or a Postgraduate Diploma in Health Sciences (PGDipHealSc). Students are normally required to obtain a B average over their Postgraduate Diploma in order to be admitted to Masters study.

Information for new applicants

The Master of Health Sciences (MHealSc) comprises 120 points. This can be a thesis worth the entire 120 points, a 60 point dissertation and further papers to the value of 60 points, or 30 point research project and 90 points of further papers.

A 30 point research methods paper is a requirement for the Master of Health Sciences. It can be taken as a generic “unendorsed” option or as an "endorsed" option from those listed below.

Each “endorsed” option has different requirements so it is important to seek course advice before you apply. You can obtain information about each endorsement by clicking on the links below.

The Master of Health Sciences is taught from three campuses (Dunedin, Christchurch and Wellington). Contact details at each campus are listed below. Alternatively, contact for guidance.

Structure of the Programme

The programme of study shall consist of either:
-Approved papers at 400-level or higher worth at least 120 points, and a thesis (120 points) embodying the results of one year of full-time or equivalent part-time supervised research.
OR
-Approved papers and other course components at 400-level or higher worth at least 240 points (at least 40 points of which will be at NZQF Level 9), including a research method paper or papers to the value of 30 points, and either a research project (30 points) or a dissertation (60 points). Where the programme includes a research project, the research methods paper must be one of the approved 800-level options.

The papers shall constitute a coherent and integrated programme, shall prepare the candidate for the research study, and shall normally include an approved research method paper or papers to the value of 30 points. With approval, papers worth up to a maximum total of 120 points which have been completed at a tertiary education institution other than the University of Otago may be credited to the programme and/or used as the basis for exemptions in terms of regulation 2(c) below.

Where the degree is to be awarded with an endorsed option in an area of specialisation the programme of study must conform to the requirements specified in the schedule for that option.

A candidate whose qualification for entry to the programme is an Honours degree or postgraduate diploma or equivalent may be exempted from some of the required papers, provided that this previous study is directly relevant to the candidate's proposed and approved programme of study, to a maximum of 120 points.

A candidate may not present a thesis which has previously been accepted for another degree. The programme of study and the topic and supervisors of the thesis shall be approved by the Programme Academic Co-ordinator (or nominee).

Other admission requirements

Applicants for admission where non-standard research methods requirements apply (i.e. for the Bioethics endorsement, or where a NZQF Level 9 research methods paper is required in the Masters’ programme, or where an exemption from a research methods requirement has been granted, or in other approved exceptional circumstances) shall normally be required to satisfy all of the following:
-Be a graduate in a health-related field or possess an appropriate health professional qualification requiring at least three years of full-time tertiary study.
-Have completed the Postgraduate Diploma in Health Sciences or equivalent with grades averaging B+ or better.
-Provide evidence of ability for advanced level academic study.

Visit the Master of Health Sciences (MHealSc) page on the University of Otago website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Every applicant, except those falling under section 1(c) should: be a graduate in a health-related field or possess an appropriate health professional qualification requiring at least three years of full-time tertiary study; have completed the Postgraduate Diploma in Health Sciences or equivalent with grades averaging B or better; have completed 30 points of research methods at NZQF Level 8 with a grade (or average grade if more than one paper is used to complete the 30 points) of B+ or better; and provide evidence of ability for advanced level academic study. See course description for further admission details.

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