Top Three Medicine Courses in New Zealand

Last updated: 22 January 2024 Medicine

The standard medical degree offered in New Zealand is the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBChB), and students interested in pursuing medicine usually start with a bachelor's degree, often in a science-related field. The MBChB program is typically a five- or six-year undergraduate degree program in New Zealand, providing a comprehensive education in medical sciences, clinical skills, and practical experience. The latter years of the MBChB often involve clinical rotations, where students gain hands-on experience in hospitals and other healthcare settings.

Medical education in New Zealand was commenced first at the University of Otago in 1875 and at the University of Auckland in 1968, which shows a long history of medical education in the country. According to a Medical Council of New Zealand 2022 report, the number of practising doctors has increased by 2.9% and is expected to expand more by the end of 2025. 

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best medical schools new zealand

Best Universities for Medicine in New Zealand

Below are the top three medical universities in New Zealand (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2024: Medicine).

1. The University of Auckland

The University of Auckland School of Medicine is based at the Grafton campus. The Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBChB) is a six-year undergraduate degree accredited by the Australian Medical Council on behalf of the Medical Council of New Zealand. To pursue MBChB at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, is competitive. You will be selected based on your academic performance and the University Clinical Aptitude Test for Australia and New Zealand (UCAT ANZ) performance, followed by personal interviews. 

There are two application categories for entry into the MBChB: first-year entry, where applicants can apply from either the BHSc or BSc (Biomedical Science) at the University of Auckland, and Graduate Entry. The curriculum comprises topics and subjects such as health systems, behaviour, health and development, population health, and medical humanities. After completing the course, you can opt for primary health care and work in general practice or look for further study options, like Doctor of Medicine or Doctor of Philosophy. 

2. University of Otago

The University of Otago Medical School provides programs emphasizing equitable health outcomes where medical graduates are committed to high-quality, patient-centered, and evidence-based medical care. 

The Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MB ChB) are referred to as medical degrees. School leavers at Otago apply for the standard Health Sciences First Year course and then apply for admission to second-year medicine. Graduates can also apply for admission in the second year in various specializations, such as cardiology, oncology, pathology, and surgery. 

The 2nd and 3rd years of medicine comprise an integrated course based on various body system modules and core clinical cases. The 4th and 5th years focus on increased interaction with people and are centred around clinical work in hospital wards and clinics, teaching, rural practices, and general practices. Lastly, the 6th year is the Trainee Intern year, dedicated to apprenticeship. The final year includes a three-month elective involving a project or clinical work.

3. Auckland University of Technology

Auckland University of Technology offers a Bachelor of Health Sciences in Medical Laboratory Science. The course aims to provide knowledge and skills in laboratory medicine, clinical microbiology, haematology, transfusion science, and immunology. The degree is accredited by the New Zealand Medical Laboratory Science Board, and you will be eligible to apply to become a medical laboratory scientist in New Zealand. 

The course lasts three years, comprising lectures, laboratory sessions, and clinical placements. In your final year, you can undertake a research project of your interest. 

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Universities featured in this article:

  • University of Otago
  • University of Auckland
  • Auckland University of Technology
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