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Otago Graduate Entry Chat/Enquiry

Fencess

lil doggo
In my opinion you should just go for alternative. I think you have a good shot of getting an offer through that pathway. The only risk of applying through graduate I can see is the potential to ’waste’ a year and then reapplying the following year. I’d jump on the alternative category chat and see what the people say over there.
 

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Pobears

Lurker
Hi, I'm in my 3rd year at otago studying pharmacy, I did nearly no work and lucked my way through health sci and second year leaving me with a measly 3.6 gpa out of 9. I've recently done placements and have come to the realisation that pharmacy isn't for me and that medicine is what I want to be doing. I don't know what steps to take from here on. Whether I should just continue with pharmacy and apply via the graduate or alternative pathway. Or if I should drop pharmacy and pick up another degree (bsci). Suggestions?
 

Fili

Dentistry Student
Valued Member
Hi, I'm in my 3rd year at otago studying pharmacy, I did nearly no work and lucked my way through health sci and second year leaving me with a measly 3.6 gpa out of 9. I've recently done placements and have come to the realisation that pharmacy isn't for me and that medicine is what I want to be doing. I don't know what steps to take from here on. Whether I should just continue with pharmacy and apply via the graduate or alternative pathway. Or if I should drop pharmacy and pick up another degree (bsci). Suggestions?
You might want to ask the uni if you could do a BSc then apply since they usually look at the first degree you do BUT it has to be finished at the minimum years given to apply. Technically, if you were to do a BSc (which is 3 years long), you would have taken longer than 3 years to do it since you did HSFY lomg ago.

Defs get it checked since if this is the case, I don't think you'll be able to apply under graduate category

Do you have any special schemes e g. Rural or MAPAS for your application?
 
Hi, I'm in my 3rd year at otago studying pharmacy, I did nearly no work and lucked my way through health sci and second year leaving me with a measly 3.6 gpa out of 9. I've recently done placements and have come to the realisation that pharmacy isn't for me and that medicine is what I want to be doing. I don't know what steps to take from here on. Whether I should just continue with pharmacy and apply via the graduate or alternative pathway. Or if I should drop pharmacy and pick up another degree (bsci). Suggestions?
You could complete your pharmacy degree, practice pharmacy for a couple years, and then try for the alternative pathway - this way you'll have a very useful experience and degree and a better chance of studying medicine
 

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Pobears

Lurker
Hi, I'm in my 3rd year at otago studying pharmacy, I did nearly no work and lucked my way through health sci and second year leaving me with a measly 3.6 gpa out of 9. I've recently done placements and have come to the realisation that pharmacy isn't for me and that medicine is what I want to be doing. I don't know what steps to take from here on. Whether I should just continue with pharmacy and apply via the graduate or alternative pathway. Or if I should drop pharmacy and pick up another degree (bsci). Suggestions?
You might want to ask the uni if you could do a BSc then apply since they usually look at the first degree you do BUT it has to be finished at the minimum years given to apply. Technically, if you were to do a BSc (which is 3 years long), you would have taken longer than 3 years to do it since you did HSFY lomg ago.

Defs get it checked since if this is the case, I don't think you'll be able to apply under graduate category

Do you have any special schemes e g. Rural or MAPAS for your application?
No, I don't
 

Fili

Dentistry Student
Valued Member
No, I don't
Chances wise, it might be best for you to finish your pharmacy degree then work for a few years and apply under the alternative category.

Tbh I don't think you can simply stop pharm and do a BSc since BSc degrees need to be finished in 3 years including health sci, for them to be allowed for use in applications under the graduate pathway.

Do try talking to the Uni first and see if you can stop doing pharmacy and do a BSc and still apply though.
 

amo10

Member
i know someone who did Physiotherapy for a year and stopped. Then went back to do biomed degree. I think that person had good HSFY marks , then two more years in the biomed degree. The Physio year, not counted.
 

Fencess

lil doggo
It is certainly possible to stop Pharm/Physio and go into a BSc/Bbiomed and apply as a graduate. I know of a few people who've done this. I'm pretty sure you cannot cross-credit your papers, so you end up having to start again in second year. I would recommend finishing and applying under alternative. It's probably the same length of time and you can enjoy your life a bit more, earn some money etc.
 
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Hi, I'm in my 3rd year at otago studying pharmacy, I did nearly no work and lucked my way through health sci and second year leaving me with a measly 3.6 gpa out of 9. I've recently done placements and have come to the realisation that pharmacy isn't for me and that medicine is what I want to be doing. I don't know what steps to take from here on. Whether I should just continue with pharmacy and apply via the graduate or alternative pathway. Or if I should drop pharmacy and pick up another degree (bsci). Suggestions?
What was your GPA in first year, if you dont mind sharing?
 

Fili

Dentistry Student
Valued Member
If you're confident that you can turn everything around and get a really high GPA in 2nd and 3rd (aka near perfect) then maybe you can try via the BSc or Biomed graduate pathway Pobears .

Personally, I had roughly a GPA of 5.8 in first year (B/B+) and I wasn't confident that I would make it into dentistry. However, my mates convinced me to try again and do a Biomed degree instead of settling at an Oral Health degree. With their help, I managed to get an 8.0 average in 2nd year and ~8.5 gpa average in 3rd year which was enough for dentistry due to the different year weightings.

I'm not sure how your first year was like, but I definitely improved year after year. It just depends if you believe that you can improve as well realistically.
 

Chumley

Lurker
Does anyone know if you can defer a medicine offer after you get in from the waitlist? I will need to defer a year if I get accepted because I didn't do HSFY papers.
 

LMG!

Moderator
Staff Member of the Year 2019
Does anyone know if you can defer a medicine offer after you get in from the waitlist? I will need to defer a year if I get accepted because I didn't do HSFY papers.
Unless I'm getting UoO and UoA mixed up, then I think your graduate entry offer would be conditional, you'd be told which subjects you had to complete and what marks you'd have to achieve, and then you'd start Med proper the following year assuming you met those conditions. You wouldn't have to formally defer anything, I don't think?

ETA: I just saw your waitlist comment. Are you talking about 2020 entry or 2021? What is the relevance of the waitlist part of your comment?
 

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Chumley

Lurker
Unless I'm getting UoO and UoA mixed up, then I think your graduate entry offer would be conditional, you'd be told which subjects you had to complete and what marks you'd have to achieve, and then you'd start Med proper the following year assuming you met those conditions. You wouldn't have to formally defer anything, I don't think?

ETA: I just saw your waitlist comment. Are you talking about 2020 entry or 2021? What is the relevance of the waitlist part of your comment?
Thanks for responding! I'm applying at the end of this year and then will do the health science papers in 2021, so I would start ELM2 in 2022. My grades are good but I'm not really confident I'd get given an offer in the first round, so if I do get in, it would likely be from the waitlist.

When I asked course advisors about graduate entry without HSFY papers, they said that if I got offered a place, I would have to defer my entry for a year to take those papers (they specifically used the word "defer" multiple times).
I read that one needs to request permission for deferral if there are reasons they can't immediately enter ELM2 (e.g. if they don't have the prerequisite HSFY papers).

So my question is:
Do only first-round offers get to "defer" and waitlist admissions are assumed to be able to start ELM2 in 2021? (I thought this make sense since the waitlist is there so that they can fill spots in the immediate 2021 class)

So, if I get in through the waitlist, do I still get a place in the 2022 ELM2 class? (of course, given that I get the minimum grade requirements for the HSFY papers)

Then this would determine whether it is essential for me to get a first-round offer. Let me know if that makes sense, thanks!
 

LMG!

Moderator
Staff Member of the Year 2019
Thanks for responding! I'm applying at the end of this year and then will do the health science papers in 2021, so I would start ELM2 in 2022. My grades are good but I'm not really confident I'd get given an offer in the first round, so if I do get in, it would likely be from the waitlist.

When I asked course advisors about graduate entry without HSFY papers, they said that if I got offered a place, I would have to defer my entry for a year to take those papers (they specifically used the word "defer" multiple times).
I read that one needs to request permission for deferral if there are reasons they can't immediately enter ELM2 (e.g. if they don't have the prerequisite HSFY papers).

So my question is:
Do only first-round offers get to "defer" and waitlist admissions are assumed to be able to start ELM2 in 2021? (I thought this make sense since the waitlist is there so that they can fill spots in the immediate 2021 class)

So, if I get in through the waitlist, do I still get a place in the 2022 ELM2 class? (of course, given that I get the minimum grade requirements for the HSFY papers)

Then this would determine whether it is essential for me to get a first-round offer. Let me know if that makes sense, thanks!
I think we are talking about the same thing but the terminology is misleading. Here in Australia, we'd consider that set-up to be a 'conditional' or perhaps even 'provisional' offer based on you completing further study and needing to reach a specific GPA hurdle in order to continue on to the Medicine degree. A deferment is for someone who is eligible to start medicine immediately, but chooses not to for whatever reason (and this reason needs to be presented to the university for approval in many cases).

If we go with "defer" in the loose way it seems to be being used, then I'd imagine it would be an automatic process in your position. They wouldn't offer you a spot if you weren't eligible, and you already know that you'll only be eligible once you've completed the HSFY papers and received the required grades, so it won't matter when you receive your offer this will be the process that you go through. Nothing else would make any logical sense whatsoever from UoO's point of view! I mean, if they made you an offer, said you have to do HSFY first, but then said you're not eligible for Med because you can't start immediately, that would be... well, ridiculous! And, I'd think, if you were the 'next person' on the offer waitlist and they skipped you to go with someone who could enter immediately, that would be... well, unfair!

I read that one needs to request permission for deferral if there are reasons they can't immediately enter ELM2 (e.g. if they don't have the prerequisite HSFY papers).
When you read that permission needs to be requested, was the actual example given the one you've quoted, or have you added that information there as your own example?

We have a couple of people here at MSO every year who get offers based on them completing papers at the required level. It doesn't seem all that uncommon.

And obviously if you want absolute confirmation then obviously your best bet is to contact the Uni directly. I'm just trying to help you out in the absence of a regular UoO member and am absolutely not Stuart an expert on NZ admissions!

ETA: after a quick look, the UoO website doesn't seem to mention any need for a 'deferral application' under the circumstances you've described, "iii) Applicants offered a place under the Graduate category may be required to pass prescribed papers, to a standard determined by the Medical Admissions Committee, before being admitted to second year classes."

and

"Applicants who are offered a place in second-year Medicine, and are missing the First Year papers (or their equivalent) listed in the MB ChB Schedule, will be required to undertake a prescribed course of study. When the Medical Admissions Committee offer a place, applicants will be advised which papers they must complete, as well as the grades that must be attained in order to be eligible to be admitted to the second year of Medicine."

ETA2: and this on deferrals, "Requests for deferral will be considered only on the basis of unforeseen serious medical grounds or other exceptional circumstances that arise after the application deadline."

IMO, there is no way these are talking about the same thing (ie. if you need to do HSFY papers, you do NOT need to apply for a deferral, it will just happen automatically and it will be made clear what is expected of you at the time of your offer).
 
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Chumley

Lurker
I think we are talking about the same thing but the terminology is misleading. Here in Australia, we'd consider that set-up to be a 'conditional' or perhaps even 'provisional' offer based on you completing further study and needing to reach a specific GPA hurdle in order to continue on to the Medicine degree. A deferment is for someone who is eligible to start medicine immediately, but chooses not to for whatever reason (and this reason needs to be presented to the university for approval in many cases).

If we go with "defer" in the loose way it seems to be being used, then I'd imagine it would be an automatic process in your position. They wouldn't offer you a spot if you weren't eligible, and you already know that you'll only be eligible once you've completed the HSFY papers and received the required grades, so it won't matter when you receive your offer this will be the process that you go through. Nothing else would make any logical sense whatsoever from UoO's point of view! I mean, if they made you an offer, said you have to do HSFY first, but then said you're not eligible for Med because you can't start immediately, that would be... well, ridiculous! And, I'd think, if you were the 'next person' on the offer waitlist and they skipped you to go with someone who could enter immediately, that would be... well, unfair!



When you read that permission needs to be requested, was the actual example given the one you've quoted, or have you added that information there as your own example?

We have a couple of people here at MSO every year who get offers based on them completing papers at the required level. It doesn't seem all that uncommon.

And obviously if you want absolute confirmation then obviously your best bet is to contact the Uni directly. I'm just trying to help you out in the absence of a regular UoO member and am absolutely not Stuart an expert on NZ admissions!

ETA: after a quick look, the UoO website doesn't seem to mention any need for a 'deferral application' under the circumstances you've described, "iii) Applicants offered a place under the Graduate category may be required to pass prescribed papers, to a standard determined by the Medical Admissions Committee, before being admitted to second year classes."

and

"Applicants who are offered a place in second-year Medicine, and are missing the First Year papers (or their equivalent) listed in the MB ChB Schedule, will be required to undertake a prescribed course of study. When the Medical Admissions Committee offer a place, applicants will be advised which papers they must complete, as well as the grades that must be attained in order to be eligible to be admitted to the second year of Medicine."

ETA2: and this on deferrals, "Requests for deferral will be considered only on the basis of unforeseen serious medical grounds or other exceptional circumstances that arise after the application deadline."

IMO, there is no way these are talking about the same thing (ie. if you need to do HSFY papers, you do NOT need to apply for a deferral, it will just happen automatically and it will be made clear what is expected of you at the time of your offer).
Thank you very much for going so deep into it! What you are saying all makes sense. My confusion came from the use of deferral in the vocabulary of the course advisors:
When I asked course advisors about graduate entry without HSFY papers, they said that if I got offered a place, I would have to defer my entry for a year to take those papers (they specifically used the word "defer" multiple times).
But this seems just to be a little bit of miscommunication and mixing up of definitions. I plan to have another appointment with course advice when this covid situation eventually blows over and I'll confirm all this with them.

Thanks!
 

Fencess

lil doggo
Yeah course advisors at UoO aren't really that knowledgeable about things. Especially nuances of healths sciences admission. From what I've read LMG! has put you on the right track.

To reiterate: Anyone with a degree can apply for graduate entry. If they get an offer they check that they have the requirements (HSFY papers). If they don't the offer is called 'conditional'. This means rather than offering you a place for ELM2 2021 they offer you a place in ELM2 2022 on the condition that you complete the HSFY papers you need to do during 2021. I think you need to reach a certain grade threshold, it's like a B average or something. They will let you know. (Supergrads usually get an offer and must complete HSFY but then they automatically continue with ELM2)

The papers that you will have to take are essentially all of them unless you have a paper in your degree that you've completed which correlates. Like if you have a biochemistry degree, you won't need to take CHEM or BIOC but you might still have to take PUBH/POPH, Potentially HUBS and CELS.

This process is automatic because a 'conditional offer' is different from an 'offer' regardless of where you are on the admissions list.
A deferral is when the person who gets the offer wishes to continue to study the course but wants to muck around for a year and travel/work. They initiate this by contacting the admissions team. I think they need to specifically apply and they probably need to do this by a certain timeframe.

Good luck !
 

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Stuart

Administrator
Emeritus Staff
Hi there,

I am just going to comment on some technicalities to limit any confusion.

Anyone with a degree can apply for graduate entry.
This applies to university degrees. You can, in fact, study HSFY with other tertiary degrees let alone applying for graduate category. Furthermore, this generally applies to NZ universities (including AUS universities, I believe).

I think you need to reach a certain grade threshold, it's like a B average or something. They will let you know. (Supergrads usually get an offer and must complete HSFY but then they automatically continue with ELM2)
Although they no longer specify the minimum grades one must achieve, historically, B+ was set as the threshold. This also applied to Alternative category applicants. Furthermore, to be precise, one does not "complete HSFY", but simply take only prescribed papers as required. One does not enroll for the HSFY programme. The minimum requirement does not apply to applicants who have already completed the papers during their study.

The papers that you will have to take are essentially all of them unless you have a paper in your degree that you've completed which correlates. Like if you have a biochemistry degree, you won't need to take CHEM or BIOC but you might still have to take PUBH/POPH, Potentially HUBS and CELS.
Historically, it was required that all seven HSFY papers (or equivalent) were completed prior to ELM1 (and meet the minimum grade requirement). They briefly changed the rule so that only six of the seven HSFY papers were required. I believe this has been reverted back since (I need to double check on this). I would like to point out that this does not apply to the BDS programme. The pre-requisite is that all seven HSFY papers (or equivalent) have been completed.

A deferral is when the person who gets the offer wishes to continue to study the course but wants to muck around for a year and travel/work. They initiate this by contacting the admissions team. I think they need to specifically apply and they probably need to do this by a certain timeframe.
One must get in contact with the admissions office and submit the deferral form. A deferral is approved on case-by-case basis for unforeseen circumstances. This means that "wants to muck around for a year and travel/work" is not a legitimate circumstance and application is likely to be rejected.

Finally, I agree that course advisors at AskOtago do not hold all the necessary knowledge to navigate through this. They are not designed to replace the admissions staff to provide us with such specific information or guidance. The main role is to ensure that students do not fall off the track and that regulations are met. However, they have a broad knowledge of various programme requirements and are trained to assist you with completing the course/enrollment without administrative mishaps. It is very understandable that students, especially some of us who care a lot about course requirements and such can become more knowledgeable about particular course regulations. This does not diminish what the course advisors do. In my opinion, they should be called course approvers, rather than advisors. You should seek advice from relevant departments and others who are more involved with papers and courses. As an anecdote, you do not even need to have a lengthy conversation with them to get your course approved if you know the rules well. You can just inform them upfront - tell them exactly what you want, what the regulations are to do what you want and what steps are required. They will just double check that you won't be breaking any rules, then the meeting is over.
 

duftlagl

Member
Hey everyone, I want to know others opinion on UoA scaling up all grades one step e.g. from A- to A. Wondering how this will affect the graduate entry this year..
 

LMG!

Moderator
Staff Member of the Year 2019
Hey everyone, I want to know others opinion on UoA scaling up all grades one step e.g. from A- to A. Wondering how this will affect the graduate entry this year..
We are currently having this discussion in the UoA threads. Please read the posts there then ask questions if you still have any.
 

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