2 Best Medical Schools in New Zealand

New Zealand is one of the foremost countries in recent research in the medical field, and it has invested significant resources in ensuring continued excellence in preparing students for the medical profession. As a result, New Zealand universities are among the top medical schools in the world across all ranking bodies.

Studying medicine in New Zealand also means you’ll have access to a great standard of living and a wonderful environment. If you’re visiting as an international student, you can take advantage of the fantastic outdoorsy lifestyle in the country and visit lots of interesting sights, hike, and get involved in lots of outdoor pursuits. It will also be a great cultural immersion.

Let’s have a look at the top medical schools in New Zealand.

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Is it expensive to study medicine in New Zealand?

For domestic students, tuition fees are c. $10,000 per year in the medical school. However, most first-year students can have the first year’s fees waived under a fees-free study scheme.

International students will have to pay c. $23,000 for their first year, then fees go up to c. $54,000 per year for years 2 and 3, and finally c. $59,000 per year for years 4 and 5.

How can you get admission to medical school in New Zealand?

Admission to medical school in New Zealand is very competitive as there are only two universities offering a medical degree. There are no preliminary subject requirements for preparing for admission, but it is recommended that you have a good foundation in Biology, Chemistry, and Physics. Then, you must apply for the Health Sciences First Year program which is the foundation course for all health professional programs.

The majority of spaces in the medical degree are then given to students who have completed this first year, but if you have some work experience or a university undergraduate degree, you can apply to enter the second year of medicine directly.

Top Medical Schools in New Zealand

1. University of Otago

The University of Otago, located in Dunedin, is highly regarded for its research capabilities and the quality of its teaching programs. It was created in 1869 and is also well-known for a great student atmosphere and some of the most beautiful campus settings. The University of Otago is considered the best medical school in New Zealand.

In order to complete a medical degree at the University of Otago, you will first enroll in the Health Sciences First Year (HSFY) program – a general course designed to prepare students to go onto any of the medical degrees, including the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MB ChB) – the equivalent of the MD degree. It is only from selection in this one-year program that you can progress to the rest of the medical degree (with some exceptions), following five more years of study.

There are many research opportunities within the medical program, including the option to take one year off after the third or fifth year to complete a Bachelor of Medical Science with Honours degree.

2. University of Auckland

Founded in 1883 as Auckland University College, the University of Auckland is typically considered the best university in New Zealand. University of Auckland medical school is also one of the top medical schools in New Zealand.

The program for medicine at the University of Auckland is highly challenging and competitive, with a very limited intake for admissions. For first year entry, students must present their academic records and also their score on the University Clinical Aptitude Test for Australia and New Zealand (UCAT ANZ). There is also an admission interview.

During the program, you’ll be taking courses from the Bachelor of Health Sciences or Biomedical Science programs, while by year 4 you’ll be learning mostly in hospital and community environments. You can apply to study on the year-long regional-rural program in the fifth year. In year 6, you can complete an 8-week elective in the area of your choice.


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