Taught course

Rural and Provincial Hospital Practice

University of Otago · Division of Health Sciences

Entry requirements

Admission to the programme shall be subject to the approval of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences).

Every applicant shall

  • be a graduate or possess an appropriate health professional qualification requiring at least three years' full-time tertiary study;
  • have experience of or be currently working in the relevant field of health care;
  • present evidence of ability for advanced level academic study.

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 Postgraduate Certificate in Rural and Provincial Hospital Practice (PGCertRPHP) is targeted at doctors practicing or training in rural and remote general practice and / or rural hospital medicine. It is distance-taught and makes it possible to undertake relevant study while continuing to live and work in a rural community.

The papers are clinically focused with a lot of case-based small group work. There is one 4–6 day residential workshop per paper. The distance learning tools employed include videoconferencing (Zoom) and an interactive web-based teaching platform (Moodle). The papers are convened by doctors actively working in rural practice. The teaching staff are spread across rural and remote NZ, and is in fact the most geographically-dispersed faculty within the University. The Certificate consists of a total of 60 points.

The papers are components of the RNZCGP Rural Hospital Medicine Training Programme and the Cook Islands General Practice Training Programme. Trainees enrolled in these papers are given preference if places are limited. The papers are also open to practicing rural GPs, rural hospital doctors, and other medical practitioners with an interest in rural medicine. The Diploma was originally developed with these doctors in mind. Practicing rural doctors find the papers useful as targeted continuing medical education (CME), and the experience they bring greatly adds to the education of the whole class. Even if you have completed a paper in the past it may be possible to repeat the content as a CME exercise. GP trainees are welcome to do one or more papers. They are particularly useful to anyone considering rural general practice.

Programme Requirements

Papers to the value of 60 points from:

  • GENA 723 Trauma and Emergencies in Rural Settings (30 points)
  • GENA 724 The Context of Rural Hospital Medicine (15 points)
  • GENA 725 Communication in Rural Hospital Medicine (15 points)
  • GENA 726 Obstetrics and Paediatrics in Rural Hospitals (15 points)
  • GENA 727 Surgical Specialities in Rural Hospitals (15 points)
  • GENA 728 Cardiorespiratory Medicine in Rural Hospitals (30 points)
  • GENA 729 Medical Specialties in Rural Hospitals (15 points)

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 $21,348

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • PGCert(RPHP)
    part time
    24 months
    • Distance learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details