Taught course

General Practice

University of Otago · Division of Health Sciences

Entry requirements

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 or completed formal vocational training for general practice.

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); we also accept a number of other English language tests. Due to COVID-19, we currently accept Duolingo English Test (DET), 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.

Months of entry

February, July

Course content

The discipline of general practice involves comprehensive, continuing, community-based medical care of individuals and families for a defined practice population. There is an emphasis on prevention of disease and the earliest possible identification and intervention. The diploma provides an opportunity to address these issues, while still leaving wide choice of subject content, for example including travel and migrant medicine, rural hospital practice, sexual health, and palliative care.

The Postgraduate Diploma in General Practice (PGDipGP) is now a prerequisite for proceeding to the Master of General Practice (MGP) degree. The Postgraduate Diploma in General Practice can be based in any of the three Schools of Medicine and can include papers offered by any of the Schools.

Graduates of the programme will have undertaken an approved programme that is specifically focused towards the varied needs of the general medical practitioner who wishes to take the opportunity of higher educational achievement. It can be tailored to meet the educational needs of the individual, and the qualification can have either an emphasis on understanding of the traditional philosophical basis of general practice, on facets of teaching and learning, on research, on clinical subjects, or on any combination of these.

Students will gain a sound understanding of the nature and practice of general practice, advanced clinical training in personally selected areas of practice, and experience in working with other doctors involved in the discipline. If adequate grades are achieved, students will be eligible to advance to the Master of General Practice programme.

Structure of the Programme

  • The programme of study shall consist of approved papers from the schedule worth a total of 120 points, including either or both of the core papers, PRHC 701 and GENA 820.
  • With the approval of the Board of Studies in Primary Health Care, one or more appropriate papers taught by a university at an equivalent level may be substituted for those in the schedule, to a maximum value of 30 points.
  • A candidate who has completed the requirements for the Postgraduate Certificate in General Practice, or the Postgraduate Certificate in Primary Health Care, or the Postgraduate Certificate in Travel Medicine shall be exempted from those papers in the programme for the diploma which have been previously passed for the certificate. No such paper may be used for an exemption in any other programme.

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

With the approval of the Board of Studies in Primary Health Care, a candidate may be exempt from up to 15 points for work previously satisfactorily completed for a relevant course of study.

Available at Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin campuses.

Information for international students

Otago offers students an unrivalled campus experience and a vibrant, social student culture. The majority of Otago’s 21,000 students live, work and play in Dunedin - New Zealand’s only true university city. Otago is home to over 3,000 students, from over 100 countries.

Fees and funding

International students
NZ $42,696

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • PGDip(GP)
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details