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University of Otago
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Postgraduate Diploma in Rural and Provincial Hospital Practice (PGDipRPHP)

This course is available


Level of Study

Postgraduate Certificate or Diploma


2 years

Next start date

Expected Feb 2025


University of Otago


This is an advanced nationally recognised qualification for medical practitioners who staff rural and provincial hospitals. These doctors require broad based specific skills, which may extend beyond that of rural general practice.

Papers in the diploma contribute towards the RNZCGP Rural Hospital Medicine Training Programme.

The Diploma is not only aimed at registrars in this programme but is open to all generalist doctors working in rural and provincial hospitals, whether or not they are vocationally registered in rural hospital medicine.

The Postgraduate Diploma in Rural and Provincial Hospital Practice (PGDipRPHP) is also available through Distance Learning.

Structure of the Programme

a. The programme of study shall comprise papers to the value of at least 120 points; GENA 724 (15 points) and papers worth at least 60 points from the Core Papers in the Schedule, and further approved papers (up to 45 points) normally selected from the Elective Papers in the Schedule.

b. With the approval of the Dean of the Otago Medical School, a candidate may substitute for up to 45 points appropriate papers offered by another university or examining body.

c. With the approval of the Dean of the Otago Medical School, a candidate may be exempt from up to 15 points for work previously satisfactorily completed for a relevant course of study.

d. A candidate who has completed the requirements for the Postgraduate Certificate in Rural and Provincial Hospital 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 the Postgraduate Certificate programme before proceeding to the diploma.

Entry criteria

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

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 Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences), and have commenced vocational training for rural hospital medicine or general practice or have had at least two years of approved experience in rural hospital medicine or general practice.

Every applicant shall be registered for medical practice in the country in which the programme is taught or have an exemption from this requirement from the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences).

English language requirements

  • IELTS (Academic module) (including IELTS Online) - Overall score of 6.5, no individual band below 6.0.
  • TOEFL iBT - Overall score of 90 and a writing score of 21.
  • C1 Advanced (previously Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE)) & (previously Cambridge English Proficiency (CPE)) - Overall score of 176 (with no individual band below 169).
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic - Overall score of 58 with no communicative skills score below 50.
  • Language Cert - 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
  • English New Zealand's Accredited Pathway Assessment - Assessment Level 3 (with no skill lower than Level 2).
  • APIEL Advanced Placement International English Language Examination - Grade 4 or higher.

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