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The basics
New Zealand: Subject Guides

Studying medicine in New Zealand: A complete guide

There is a constant need for professionals in the Health Care and Medicine sector in New Zealand. Here we look at the courses on offer and the jobs and salaries international students could go on to have in the country.

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With an increasing and aging population there will always be a demand for healthcare professionals worldwide. Technology is rapidly advancing in all fields and industries. In the past three years healthcare technology has advanced and is at the heart of health care delivery models (Deloitte: Perspectives: 2022 Global Health Care Outlook)* with remote monitoring of patients, electronic medical records on cloud servers and telemedicine to name but a few. Finding doctors and other healthcare professionals who can work in this changing world is a priority.



In New Zealand professionals in the healthcare sector are on the government’s Green List of highly in-demand roles in the country; from Anaesthetists and Cardiologists to Intensive Care Specialists and Registered Nurses, the list is quite extensive.


According to the New Zealand immigration website, the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS) estimates shortages at 24 per cent shortage with psychiatry, anaesthetics, dermatology and neurology particularly affected.’


What are the basic requirements?

To study medicine in New Zealand you could opt for starting at undergraduate level or if you already have a bachelor’s degree in medicine, you could consider a postgraduate degree in New Zealand.

  • Undergraduate degree – Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS), (MBChB)
  • Postgraduate degree – Doctor of Medicine and Surgery (MChD), Doctor of Medicine (MD)


You will also need to take the University Clinical Aptitude Test for Australia and New Zealand (UCAT ANZ). This is an admissions test / entrance exam that all international students must sit. New Zealand also accepts the Graduate Medical School Admissions Test (GAMSAT) for postgraduate study. At this level you will also need to have successfully completed the required core modules such as Chemistry of the Living World, Biology for Biomedical Science and Health and Society among others.


Best universities for Medicine in New Zealand

You can study medicine at some of the top-ranking universities in the country:



The table below shows an overview of undergraduate and postgraduate medicine courses available at the two universities.





Fees NZD – per year

University of Auckland

Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery MBChB

6 years full-time


University of Otago

Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery MBChB

6 years full-time

1st year 37,723

2-3 year 84,364 (per year)

4-6 year 96,415 (per year)

University of Auckland

Doctor of Medicine

3-4 years full-time


University of Otago

Master of Medical Science

1 year full-time



Other universities in the country such as the University of Waikato and Victoria University of Wellington also offer other Health Care degrees at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. There are many medical specializations to choose from anesthesiology to neurology and paediatrics. During the course of your studies, you will develop an idea of which area you’d like to pursue.


Once you graduate you will need to register with the Medical Council of New Zealand (MCNZ).


Medical graduate employment and salaries

As already discussed at the beginning of this article, healthcare professionals in New Zealand are in high demand. Providing you have the necessary requirements and registration, securing a job after you graduate shouldn’t be a problem. The University of Auckland ranked 68th place on the QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2022 .which ranks universities around the world based on the ones that are producing the most employable graduates. At the University of Otago 95 per cent of graduates go on to find employment.


The table below gives an idea of the health care salaries that could be earned in New Zealand. (Data from  careers.govt.nz).


Trainee Salaries in NZD





Physician – medical specialist


Registered Nurse




1 NZD = 0.62 USD *correct at time of writing


Useful resources

You may also find the following useful further reading:

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