Master of Primary Health Care (MPHC)

University of Otago
2 years
Part time
Master's degree
Scholarships available

About this program

Master of Primary Health Care (MPHC)

The Master of Primary Health Care (MPHC) degree is a nationally-recognised multidisciplinary advanced qualification for health professionals engaged in the delivery of primary health care. It provides an appropriate advanced multidisciplinary qualification for students who have completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Primary Health Care (PGDipPHC).

A Master's research thesis or Master's portfolio program can be designed and completed on a topic chosen by the student in consultation with a supervisory team. There are a total of three different ways of completing this 120 point degree:

  • Solely by thesis - students must have already completed an approved 30 point research methods paper
  • Solely by portfolio - students must have already completed an approved 30 point research methods paper
  • By submitting a shorter (90 point) portfolio and completing an approved 30 point research methods paper

Graduates will have specific skills to enable them to deliver, and if appropriate, to practise safe, effective, and culturally sensitive primary health care. As the students will come from differing backgrounds ( for example, medical, nursing, pharmacy, physiotherapy, management) these skills may be oriented towards management, clinical practice, basic primary care research or a combination of these.

As a consequence of the multidisciplinary nature of the program, the graduate will gain an advanced appreciation of team dynamics in the primary health care setting. The team approach, now so essential to professional practitioners in primary health care, will be fostered and confirmed.

Admission requirements

Admission to the program shall be subject to the approval of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences) on the advice of the Academic Board of the Otago Medical School, which must be satisfied that the applicant has the ability and experience to proceed to the program. Every applicant shall: hold the Postgraduate Diploma in Primary Health Care, or hold an equivalent qualification approved by the Academic Board of the Otago Medical School, or have been admitted ad eundem statum as entitled to proceed to the degree, and have completed the prerequisite papers: PRHC 701 New Zealand Primary Health Care or PRHC 703 Strategy and Leadership in Primary Health Care (30 points); and either HASC 417 Health Sciences Research Methods or equivalent research paper(s) approved by the Academic Board of the Otago Medical School.

If your first language is not English you need to meet our English language requirements as follows: IELTS score of 6.5 in the academic module (with no individual band below 6.0); Internet-based TOEFL: Score of 95 with a minimum writing score of 22, Paper-based TOEFL: score of 587 (TWE 4.5); we also accept a number of other English language tests. Due to COVID-19, we currently accept IELTS Indicator Test, and TOEFL iBT Special home Edition.

Don’t meet the English language requirements? The University of Otago Language Centre "English for Otago" program offers a pathway for Undergraduate and Postgraduate students to meet the English language requirements for undergraduate and postgraduate study.

Does this course require proof of English proficiency?

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Program content

  • The program of study shall consist of one of the following:
    • a thesis on an approved topic (120 points); or
    • a research portfolio (120 points); or
    • a research portfolio (90 points) plus approved research methods papers(s) worth 30 points.
  • A candidate may not present a thesis or research portfolio which has previously been accepted, in whole or in part, for another degree.
  • The program of study including as appropriate, the topic of the thesis or research portfolio and the supervisors of the research, or the component papers shall be approved by the Academic Board of the Otago Medical School.
  • For the thesis, the research should be of a kind that a diligent and competent student should complete within one year of full-time study.

Scholarships & funding

Several scholarship options are available. Please check the university website for more information.

Program delivery

Application details

Applicants must apply online. They should also attach all the necessary supporting documents which includes scanned copies of their previous official academic transcripts (awards gained, marks, grades) with their application, and provide proof of their identity this is usually achieved by providing a certified copy of the personal details page of their passport or a birth certificate (in English). Applicants may also be required to submit an Educational Credential Evaluators report (ECE). As soon as applicants have completed their online application, their proof of identity document must be posted to International Division, University of Otago, PO Box 56, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand. International student applications for semester 1/summer school study close: Oct-31; Semester 2 study close: Apr-30.


International tuition fees per year: 21775 NZD


Level of Award of the Degree

The degree may be awarded with distinction or with credit.

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About this institute

University of Otago

Founded in 1869, the University of Otago is New Zealand's first university. Otago has gained an excellent international reputation for its research and teaching. Ranked among the world’s top 1% of universities according to QS World University Rankings, Otago students...

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Why study at University of Otago

Otago’s approachable, world-renowned teaching staff are dedicated to fostering creativity and independence and helping students achieve their visions for the future.

Otago graduates are globally in demand, with 95 percent of graduates going on to employment or further academic studies. Otago’s Social Impact Studio provides volunteering and leadership opportunities, while programmes like Audacious support start-ups and entrepreneurs.

Otago boasts some of the best completion rates for a doctorate or master’s qualification in the world, with exceptional supervisory support.

At Otago, old meets new, from iconic historic buildings to modern, award-winning laboratories and teaching spaces, on one of the most beautiful campuses in the world.

Contact info

University of Otago

362 Leith Street
9016 Dunedin
New Zealand

Phone no: +64 0800 80 80 98

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