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Postgraduate Diploma in Rural and Provincial Hospital Practice (PGDipRPHP)

Key information

Level of study:
Tuition fees:
2 years
Start date: 28-February-2022
University of Otago
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Course details


This is an advanced nationally recognised qualification for medical practitioners who staff rural and provincial hospitals. These doctors require broad based specific skills, which may extend beyond that of rural general practice.

Papers in the diploma contribute towards the RNZCGP Rural Hospital Medicine Training Programme.

The Diploma is not only aimed at registrars in this programme but is open to all generalist doctors working in rural and provincial hospitals, whether or not they are vocationally registered in rural hospital medicine.

The Postgraduate Diploma in Rural and Provincial Hospital Practice (PGDipRPHP) is also available through Distance Learning.

Structure of the Programme

a. The programme of study shall comprise papers to the value of at least 120 points; GENA 724 (15 points) and papers worth at least 60 points from the Core Papers in the Schedule, and further approved papers (up to 45 points) normally selected from the Elective Papers in the Schedule.

b. With the approval of the Dean of the Otago Medical School, a candidate may substitute for up to 45 points appropriate papers offered by another university or examining body.

c. With the approval of the Dean of the Otago Medical School, a candidate may be exempt from up to 15 points for work previously satisfactorily completed for a relevant course of study.

d. A candidate who has completed the requirements for the Postgraduate Certificate in Rural and Provincial Hospital Practice shall be exempted from those papers in the programme for the diploma which have been previously passed for the certificate.

Note: Students should normally enrol initially for the Postgraduate Certificate programme before proceeding to the diploma.

Entry criteria

Admission to the programme shall be subject to the approval of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences) on the advice of the Academic Board of the Otago Medical School, which must be satisfied that the applicant has the ability and experience to proceed to the programme.

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 Academic Board of the Otago Medical School, and have commenced vocational training for rural hospital medicine or general practice or have had at least two years of approved experience in rural hospital medicine or general practice.

Every applicant shall be registered for medical practice in the country in which the programme is taught or have an exemption from this requirement from the Dean of the Otago Medical School.

If your first language is not English you need to meet our English language requirements as follows: IELTS score of 6.5 in the academic module (with no individual band below 6.0); Internet-based TOEFL: Score of 95 with a minimum writing score of 22; Paper-based TOEFL: score of 587 (TWE 4.5), we also accept a number of other English language tests. Due to COVID-19, we currently accept IELTS Indicator Test, and TOEFL iBT Special home Edition.

Don’t meet the English language requirements? The University of Otago Language Centre ""English for Otago"" programme offers a pathway for Undergraduate and Postgraduate students to meet the English language requirements for undergraduate and postgraduate study.


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