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University of Otago
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Postgraduate Diploma in General Practice (PGDipGP)

This course is available

On-Campus, Online

Level of Study

Postgraduate Certificate or Diploma


1 year

Next start date

Expected Feb 2024


University of Otago


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

a. The programme of study shall consist of the core paper GENA 820, and a further 90 points taken from the schedule of elective papers for the Postgraduate Diploma in General Practice. Other papers to the value of 30 points can be taken with approval from the Board of Studies in Primary Health Care.

b. A candidate who has completed the requirements for the Postgraduate Certificate in General 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 a Postgraduate Certificate programme before proceeding to the diploma.

Duration of the Programme

The duration of the programme shall be one year of full-time study or the equivalent in part-time study. The programme must be completed within five years of admission.

Entry criteria

Every applicant shall i) 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 ii) have commenced or completed formal vocational training for general practice.

Every applicant shall be registered for medical practice in either Australia or new Zealand or have an exemption from this requirement from the Board of Studies in Primary Health Care.

English language requirements

  • IELTS Academic - Score of 6.5 in the academic module (with no individual band below 6.0). IELTS Online is also accepted.
  • Internet-based TOEFL - Score of 90 with a minimum writing score of 21
  • Paper-based TOEFL - score of 587 (TWE 4.5)
  • Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) & Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) - Minimum of 176
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic - Overall score of 58 with no communicative skills score below 50.
  • LanguageCert - International ESOL: C1 Expert (LRWS) with a high pass overall and no less than a pass in each skill OR C2 Mastery (LRWS) with a pass overall and no less than a pass in each skill
  • NZCEL - NZCEL 5 Academic endorsement
  • University of Otago Language Centre ‘English for Otago’, English for Postgraduate Academic Purposes (EPAP) - Grade C or higher
  • University of Auckland English Language Academy (ELA) pathway programmes - Successful completion of the English Pathway for Postgraduate Studies (EPPS) with a B Grade
  • University of Auckland Foundation Certificate in English for Academic Purposes (FCertEAP) - Successful completion of the certificate with a B Grade
  • English NZ's Accredited Pathway Assessment - English NZ’s Accredited Pathway Assessment Level 3 (with no skill lower than Level 2).

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