New Zealand Education - Think New Logo


University of Otago
University of Otago logo

Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Science (BMLSc)

This course is available


Level of Study

Bachelor's Degree


4 years

Next start date

Expected Feb 2024


University of Otago


The Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Science (BMLSc) degree was introduced in 1992, to meet the needs of the medical diagnostic laboratory profession for a science-based academic qualification. The four-year programme includes a comprehensive grounding in health sciences and specialised training in the various laboratory testing disciplines, such as microbiology, biochemistry, and haematology.

Graduates can expect to gain early recognition and registration as medical laboratory scientists in New Zealand, and can also work in most other countries. Medical laboratory scientists play a major part in helping to diagnose and treat diseases. There is an increasing shortage of medical laboratory scientists worldwide. There are also many opportunities for postgraduate study, either in medical laboratory science, or in one of the related health sciences such as forensic pathology, or molecular pathology.

Medical Laboratory Science:

Medical laboratory scientists are important members of the health services, and the Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Science (BMLSc) four year degree course is designed to provide the qualification necessary to work as a medical laboratory scientist. It also allows possible to a wide range of other laboratory-based jobs, including research, and postgraduate academic study, e.g. Master of Medical Laboratory Science (MMLSc).

Programme Requirements

1st year

Health Sciences First Year Course

Note: Students enrolled in the Health Sciences First Year course will be required to achieve a satisfactory mark in a standard diagnostic English test or another approved measure of achievement.

2nd year

  • MELS 208 Introduction to Diagnostic Pathology
  • MELS 223 Infection and Immunity (for BMLSc)
  • MELS 230 Biochemistry (for BMLSc)
  • MELS 241 Human Biology: Cells to Systems (for BMLSc)
  • MELS 251 Physiology (for BMLSc)

3rd year

  • MELS 301 Diagnostic Chemical Pathology
  • MELS 302 Haematology and Transfusion Science
  • MELS 304 Principles of Pathology
  • MELS 305 Elements of Histotechnology
  • MELS 306 Medical Microbiology

4th year

Two of:

  • MELS 401 Advanced Diagnostic Chemical Pathology
  • MELS 402 Clinical Microbiology
  • MELS 403 Clinical Virology
  • MELS 404 Diagnostic Molecular Pathology
  • MELS 405 Cytopathology
  • MELS 406 Haematology
  • MELS 407 Histopathology
  • MELS 408 Transfusion Science
  • MELS 409 Clinical Immunology

Entry criteria

Applications for admission may be made under the following categories: Health Sciences First Year, Two or More Years of University Study, Graduate, Alternative

We recognise many other qualifications as equivalent to the New Zealand qualification for entrance.

We also accept the following international qualifications:

  • International Baccalaureate: IB Diploma with a minimum of 24 points.
  • Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) GCE Advanced Levels: minimum Numerical Score of 8

English language requirements

  • IELTS Academic - IELTS score of 6.0 in the academic module (with no individual band below 5.5). IELTS Online is also accepted.
  • Internet-based TOEFL - Score of 80 (writing 20)
  • Paper-based TOEFL - Score of 550 (TWE 4.5)
  • Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) & Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) - Overall score of 176 (with no individual band below 169)
  • CIE - E grade or higher in any one of AS English Language, AS Literature in English or AS Language & Literature in English; OR meeting the NCEA literacy requirements
  • GCE A or AS English Language, Literature in English, Language and Literature in English & GCE AS level General Paper (English) - Grade C or higher
  • IB - English at Higher or Standard level in Language A: literature, Language A: language and literature, or at Higher Level in Language B
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic - Overall score of 50 with no communicative skills score below 42.
  • LanguageCert - International ESOL: C1 Expert (LRWS) with a pass overall and no less than a pass in each skill
  • NZCEL - NZCEL 4 Academic endorsement
  • University of Auckland English Language Academy (ELA) pathway programmes - Successful completion of the English Pathway for Undergraduate Studies (EPUS) with a C Grade

Studying in NZ

Border reopeningPlan your study experience

Share this course

Share this course