1 October 2021
By email: [FYI request #16611 email]
We refer to your request under the Official Information Act dated 3 September 2021 in relation to
application and admission into the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MB ChB)
programme at the University of Otago via the Graduate category.
We set out our responses to your questions below.
Has the admissions office had a fixed number of positions available for students applying
to studying MB ChB via the Graduate category in the past (2021, 2020, 2019)?
There is no fixed number of positions available for applicants to the MB ChB programme via the
Graduate category. Approximately 20% of applicants admitted to the MB ChB programme enter via
the Graduate category. Exact numbers vary yearly.
In case it is helpful, the number of Graduate category applicants admitted to the MB ChB
programme for 2019, 2020, and 2021 are as follows:
Does the admissions office have a fixed number of positions available for students
applying to study MB ChB via the Graduate category in 2022?
No, the Medical Admissions Committee will be following the same procedure as in previous years
Has the Department of Medicine made any alterations to the number of positions
available for students applying to the Graduate category in light of COVID disruptions to
There have been no alterations to the number of seats available for applicants to the MB ChB
programme via the Graduate category in light of COVID-19 disruptions.
Of the total positions available for students to study MB ChB in 2022, are HSFY entry
students and graduate entry students competing for the same positions? What is the order
of selection? Are graduate-entry applicants who meet the academic and UCAT thresholds
offered positions prior to HSFY-entry applicants?
Across the three domestic admissions categories for MB ChB (Health Sciences First Year (HSFY),
Graduate, and Alternative categories) there are 282 available places that are filled each year. The
number of successful Graduate category applicants to the MB ChB programme is determined before
entry via the HSFY category, therefore Graduate applicants and HSFY applicants are not competing
for the same positions.
What has the admissions office done to account for COVID disruptions to two of the three
years graduate students have been undertaking their studies? As the students applying to
medicine via the graduate entry category in 2022 are the first students to face this level of
disruption to their degrees has the academic threshold been altered in any way to account
The University of Otago has accounted for disruptions created by COVID-19 by introducing grade
increases for papers and/or assessments completed under lockdown. These include:
- 5 mark increase to final grades for papers completed in Semester 1 2020;
- Final grades of 47, 48, or 49 bumped up to 50 (pass) for papers completed in Semester 2
- 5 mark increase to students in full year papers to each of their assessments completed in
Semester 1 2020; and
- 5 mark increase to eligible internal assessments completed or submitted between 18 August
2021 and 27 August 2021.
We trust that this information will be helpful.
Official Information and Compliance Coordinator
Office of the Registrar