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The diverse and industry-connected Occupational & Aviation Medicine international distance learning programme was established in 1987, initially with students in New Zealand, then Australia, and now worldwide. The programme recognises the needs of graduates and employers by developing a wide range of competencies to meet the demands of the highly specialised professions of occupational medicine, aviation medicine, and aeromedical retrieval and transport.

At first glance, the wide range of papers and qualifications seems bewildering, but this means that we can tailor a programme that meets YOUR personal and professional development needs. Other than our PhD research programmes, all taught papers are part-time and distance taught, so there is no requirement to come to New Zealand. We do however have a residential component for Diploma and Masters students in a one week, annual Professional Visits Programme (PVP) in September each year. This was held in Dubai in 2017, in Taipei in 2018, and will be held in Lisbon in 2019. Future PVPs in North America and Australasia are planned.

We offer a range of Masters degree programmes, ranging from our flagship Master of Aviation Medicine programme, to the specialised Master of Occupational Medicine, Master of Aeromedical Retrieval & Transport, and Master of Health Sciences (for allied health professionals) programmes that offer a wide range of choices in terms of taught and research papers.

Our Diploma in Occupational Medicine qualification is recognised as meeting the requirements for academic training specified by a number of professional bodies, including the Australasian Faculty of Occupational & Environmental Medicine, Faculty of Occupational Medicine, Royal College of Physicians of Ireland, Canadian Board of Occupational Medicine, and Hong Kong Medical Council.

The Postgraduate Certificate in Civil Aviation Medicine is an introductory one year programme for Aviation Medical Examiners worldwide and fulfils the International Civil Aviation Medicine training requirements. Our graduates qualify for admission to the more complex Class 1 European Aviation Safety Authority approvals programme.

Air ambulance and international assistance Medical Directors receive training in aeromedical retrieval and transport from Occupational & Aviation Medicine at Otago. We offer unique training opportunities for doctors wanting to become involved or upskilled in the field.

In addition to these opportunities for self-development, we offer distinct learning opportunities:

  • Teaching staff are all part-time, and actively engaged in their fields of professional practice; their combined expertise, experience and networks available to students are beyond the scope of any other academic institution.
  • Occupational & Aviation Medicine offers a unique mix of papers in occupational medicine, aviation medicine, and aeromedical retrieval and transport that can be tailored to the needs of a student with any background, any career aspiration and any location within the globe.
  • Our students are busy professionals, who cannot take time out from their busy work commitments for personal and professional development; part time international distance learning gives our students the flexibility to access the education they need (instead of the education a teaching institution wants to provide!).
  • Our students are part of a highly supportive and interactive global classroom, with students from diverse personal and professional backgrounds, but all part of our collegial learning community and international network. These links and the desire for life-long learning last long after the end of your formal study.

Master of Occupational Medicine (MOccMed)

The Otago Master of Occupational Medicine degree (MOccMed) is part of an internationally accredited programme that will enable part-time registered medical practitioners to develop competencies for professional occupational medicine practice at a registered or board certified specialist level in any country in the world.

The master's degree (normally taken part-time by students continuing their usual work) extends the existing Postgraduate Diploma in Occupational Medicine (PGDipOccMed), and students will normally have completed the diploma prior to being accepted into the master's papers. The programme builds on the fundamental principles and clinical practice leading to management and research evaluation of occupational medicine, and ensuring that staff are fit to engage in safe work.

The goal of the programme is to prepare the registered medical practitioner for admission to Fellowship of the appropriate Faculty or College of Occupational and Aviation Medicine in their home country by covering a range of professional development and knowledge areas to an advanced academic level, and inculcating professional behaviours and activities consistent with working at a consultant level.

The Occupational and Aviation Medicine international distance learning programme is based on an interactive learning management system employing Moodle to share tutorials, multimedia materials, online workshops and webinars that are in part student-led, blogs and forums, as well as an annual residential school in a suitable international venue. Second Life exercises where students participate in case studies in a virtual reality environment created in 2014 for group learning activities, examining medical issues on major industrial site scenarios will promote presence and participation.

Study Occupational Medicine at Otago

Occupational medicine practice encompasses the full breadth of clinical medicine, but also requires practitioners to be highly competent in a range of other specialist areas of practice. Managing the health of workers requires not only a good understanding of the hazards that affect the health of workers, and the effect that worker’s health status has on work ability, but also their clinical and operational significance. This requires a good understanding of how to assess the scientific literature and its meaning in terms of application.

Available programmes are:


Visit the Master of Occupational Medicine (MOccMed) page on the University of Otago website for more details!

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