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Graduate Entry from Engineering - First Year Papers

Vexthebesk

New Member
Hi all,

I'm applying for graduate entry after a engineering degree I did at UoA (Civil & Environmental).

Now the environmental engineering pathway made us take a whole bunch of papers involving applied organic chemistry and some cellular microbiology. On top of that, in first year engineering everyone takes ENGGENG140 - Engineering Biology and Chemistry.

So if my application is successful, I'm really hoping on skipping 2 out of the 4 core papers (leaving pophealth and organ systems). I understand I won't have the opportunity to show how those papers can cross off a lot of the chem/bio FY core papers and that the admissions board or similar would make that decision?

Can anyone weigh in on this? Anyone else applying through engineering or know someone who has? What about other degrees that weren't relevant to bio/chem - what FY papers did they have to do?

Thanks!
 

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WellyOnAGoodDay

MBChB II UoA
Hi all,

I'm applying for graduate entry after a engineering degree I did at UoA (Civil & Environmental).

Now the environmental engineering pathway made us take a whole bunch of papers involving applied organic chemistry and some cellular microbiology. On top of that, in first year engineering everyone takes ENGGENG140 - Engineering Biology and Chemistry.

So if my application is successful, I'm really hoping on skipping 2 out of the 4 core papers (leaving pophealth and organ systems). I understand I won't have the opportunity to show how those papers can cross off a lot of the chem/bio FY core papers and that the admissions board or similar would make that decision?

Can anyone weigh in on this? Anyone else applying through engineering or know someone who has? What about other degrees that weren't relevant to bio/chem - what FY papers did they have to do?

Thanks!
If you're applying postgrad you don't have to first year. They send you an email with recommendations on what to learn over summer but there's no formal way you have to prove you have a similar knowledge to undergrads.
 

frootloop

House Surgeon
Moderator
If you're applying postgrad you don't have to first year. They send you an email with recommendations on what to learn over summer but there's no formal way you have to prove you have a similar knowledge to undergrads.
Really? Is that a new policy at UoA or something? Because both unis at least used to hold pretty strongly to the idea that if it's entry to *second* year, one must first have completed first year.

I can't imagine it'd actually be that hard to pick it all up - calling the NZ entry years 'first year med' is pretty dicey - but still, significant change in tune
 

WellyOnAGoodDay

MBChB II UoA
Really? Is that a new policy at UoA or something? Because both unis at least used to hold pretty strongly to the idea that if it's entry to *second* year, one must first have completed first year.

I can't imagine it'd actually be that hard to pick it all up - calling the NZ entry years 'first year med' is pretty dicey - but still, significant change in tune
it was labelled preparation advice for 'non science graduates.' basically they said they assumed knowledge of courses from first year and that if you don't have this then you should do additional personal study before the course starts in february.

no idea how long they've done that for but that's what they sent out to everyone.
 

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frootloop

House Surgeon
Moderator
it was labelled preparation advice for 'non science graduates.' basically they said they assumed knowledge of courses from first year and that if you don't have this then you should do additional personal study before the course starts in february.

no idea how long they've done that for but that's what they sent out to everyone.
Huh, maybe it's always been like that, and we just all assumed they'd actually check whether or not you'd done it. I mean, Otago are definitely very anally retentive over it, but I'm fairly confident that's just so they can bill people for the HSFY course fees
 

Vexthebesk

New Member
If you're applying postgrad you don't have to first year. They send you an email with recommendations on what to learn over summer but there's no formal way you have to prove you have a similar knowledge to undergrads.
Thanks for the reply - when was this sent out specifically? I see you're 2019 II so I assume this year?

This has definitely given me more motivation to smash the UCATs - not getting any younger here.

it was labelled preparation advice for 'non science graduates.' basically they said they assumed knowledge of courses from first year and that if you don't have this then you should do additional personal study before the course starts in february.

no idea how long they've done that for but that's what they sent out to everyone.
And also should I ask what did you do for undergrad? Thanks!
 
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WellyOnAGoodDay

MBChB II UoA
And also should I ask what did you do for undergrad? Thanks!
Basically you apply with your graduate degree, and if you get in, you directly enter into MBChB II. When I say I am an undergrad I mean that I did the first year of BSc Biomedical Science, and then used those grades to apply for entry into the medical school. That's what all high school leavers do who are trying to get into med. Those who don't get in after first year biomed tend to do a full BSc and then apply again under the postgrad route. There are two options for you. If your bachelors is recent enough, you should be able to apply through the post grad route. Otherwise, since you don't have a BSc in something related to biology that much, you would be able probably to do the first year biomed entry pathway. That would mean you'd do the pathway that all the people who get in through undergrad do. The reason some people do this is because a) if they're a non-bio grad AND they think their GPA is too low to get into med school through post grad entry or b) their bachelors is from too long ago to be able to apply for post grad.
 

Cathay

Med Student Turned Train Driver
Emeritus
If you're applying postgrad you don't have to first year. They send you an email with recommendations on what to learn over summer but there's no formal way you have to prove you have a similar knowledge to undergrads.
Really? Is that a new policy at UoA or something? Because both unis at least used to hold pretty strongly to the idea that if it's entry to *second* year, one must first have completed first year.
Official information on the Auckland uni website is still that first year is required. The entry requirements say "Depending on your previous study, you may need to undertake some or all of the First Year courses before commencing Part II."
Source: Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery - The University of Auckland (there's a "Entry Requirements" tab about 2/5 of the way down the page)

When I say I am an undergrad I mean that I did the first year of BSc Biomedical Science, and then used those grades to apply for entry into the medical school.
Doesn't that mean you got in via the First Year entry pathway then?

---------------------------------------------

Back to the OP... Vexthebesk (Disclaimer: I went to Otago, not Auckland, so I'm just applying practical intelligence and trying to help out.) This seems to be quite a specific situation, and I'm not sure whether we actually have someone in a similar situation on the forums here. If no one in the same shoes as yourself appear in a reply in the next couple of days, I'd say it might be worth enquiring with the university directly. I have quoted their contact details below to save you looking.
UoA MBChB Entry Requirements said:
For further information, refer to our FAQs or contact the Faculty directly on fmhs@auckland.ac.nz.
 

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Vexthebesk

New Member
Basically you apply with your graduate degree, and if you get in, you directly enter into MBChB II. When I say I am an undergrad I mean that I did the first year of BSc Biomedical Science, and then used those grades to apply for entry into the medical school. That's what all high school leavers do who are trying to get into med. Those who don't get in after first year biomed tend to do a full BSc and then apply again under the postgrad route. There are two options for you. If your bachelors is recent enough, you should be able to apply through the post grad route. Otherwise, since you don't have a BSc in something related to biology that much, you would be able probably to do the first year biomed entry pathway. That would mean you'd do the pathway that all the people who get in through undergrad do. The reason some people do this is because a) if they're a non-bio grad AND they think their GPA is too low to get into med school through post grad entry or b) their bachelors is from too long ago to be able to apply for post grad.
I think you misunderstood my question - based on this comment I will have to do the whole first year anyway whereas your first comment made it sound like you don't have to do first year.

Official information on the Auckland uni website is still that first year is required. The entry requirements say "Depending on your previous study, you may need to undertake some or all of the First Year courses before commencing Part II."
Source: Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery - The University of Auckland (there's a "Entry Requirements" tab about 2/5 of the way down the page)


Doesn't that mean you got in via the First Year entry pathway then?

---------------------------------------------

Back to the OP... Vexthebesk (Disclaimer: I went to Otago, not Auckland, so I'm just applying practical intelligence and trying to help out.) This seems to be quite a specific situation, and I'm not sure whether we actually have someone in a similar situation on the forums here. If no one in the same shoes as yourself appear in a reply in the next couple of days, I'd say it might be worth enquiring with the university directly. I have quoted their contact details below to save you looking.
Thanks for the reply. I actually contacted them and they said that the four core papers must be taken depending on what you studied. Guess I just wanted to more insight on a.) if you have to only take the 4 core papers and b.) if anyone has ever gotten a core paper excluded because they studied something similar.

Guess it would just suck if the committee in charge of it all only saw the degree title and didn't dig any deeper to what papers were taken.

I think you misunderstood my question - based on this comment I will have to do the whole first year anyway whereas your first comment made it sound like you don't have to do first year.
it was labelled preparation advice for 'non science graduates.' basically they said they assumed knowledge of courses from first year and that if you don't have this then you should do additional personal study before the course starts in february.

no idea how long they've done that for but that's what they sent out to everyone.
Reading your comment again you definitely understood what I meant - apologies. I'm still confused though - you said 'non science graduates' were addressed but they sent this out to everyone (i.e. including you guys)?
 
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Cathay

Med Student Turned Train Driver
Emeritus
Thanks for the reply. I actually contacted them and they said that the four core papers must be taken depending on what you studied. Guess I just wanted to more insight on a.) if you have to only take the 4 core papers and b.) if anyone has ever gotten a core paper excluded because they studied something similar.

Guess it would just suck if the committee in charge of it all only saw the degree title and didn't dig any deeper to what papers were taken.
Ah, I see. I have a sneaking suspicion that those committees will tend to want to play it safe and make you do the course even if you already know some of it, rather than assuming you have all the knowledge and causing you grief later when you're assumed to know something but you don't.

That being said, I think once you get offered (and accept) a place in medicine, you should then be able to access someone in charge to discuss in depth whether you have to take all the papers.

Keep in mind of course that the medicine programme itself (Year 2 onwards when you are actually enrolled in the MBChB programme) is full-year only (same as Otago - i.e. you can only start at the beginning of the year) so it may well be that you get offered a place in MBChB for 2021, and are required to spend 2020 doing the 1st year papers. This means the main benefit of being able to skip some papers will be a lighter workload and the ability to pursue other things during that year like part-time work (the opportunity for part-time work on the side diminishes greatly once you're in the actual MBChB programme - assuming the Auckland programme has similar contact hours and workload as the Otago one.)

If you end up having to do a full 1st year course, though, given your engineering background (and what you've said you have studied), perhaps the Yr1 BHSc option with the papers "Health Systems 1" "Health and Society" and "Behaviour, Health and Development" might overlap with your existing study less (and therefore be of more interest) than the Yr1 BioMed option with "Essential Biology" "Foundations of Biochemistry" and "Physics for the Life Sciences".
(Again with the disclaimer that I studied medicine at Otago, I've had a quick browse through the course outlines of those papers, but have not studied those exact Auckland papers.)
 

Vexthebesk

New Member
Ah, I see. I have a sneaking suspicion that those committees will tend to want to play it safe and make you do the course even if you already know some of it, rather than assuming you have all the knowledge and causing you grief later when you're assumed to know something but you don't.

That being said, I think once you get offered (and accept) a place in medicine, you should then be able to access someone in charge to discuss in depth whether you have to take all the papers.

Keep in mind of course that the medicine programme itself (Year 2 onwards when you are actually enrolled in the MBChB programme) is full-year only (same as Otago - i.e. you can only start at the beginning of the year) so it may well be that you get offered a place in MBChB for 2021, and are required to spend 2020 doing the 1st year papers. This means the main benefit of being able to skip some papers will be a lighter workload and the ability to pursue other things during that year like part-time work (the opportunity for part-time work on the side diminishes greatly once you're in the actual MBChB programme - assuming the Auckland programme has similar contact hours and workload as the Otago one.)

If you end up having to do a full 1st year course, though, given your engineering background (and what you've said you have studied), perhaps the Yr1 BHSc option with the papers "Health Systems 1" "Health and Society" and "Behaviour, Health and Development" might overlap with your existing study less (and therefore be of more interest) than the Yr1 BioMed option with "Essential Biology" "Foundations of Biochemistry" and "Physics for the Life Sciences".
(Again with the disclaimer that I studied medicine at Otago, I've had a quick browse through the course outlines of those papers, but have not studied those exact Auckland papers.)
All great points and things I've definitely considered. I wouldn't mind doing first year at all if its just the 4 core papers. Besides labs and tutorials I don't think I'll have an issue even doing them working something near full-time hours. Considering I actually really like my job at the moment its definitely a good way to build up some more bank. One year in the grand scheme is really nothing for pursuing what you're really interested in I guess?

This may all be worry in vain as I may not even get in! Hoping RRAS and decent GPA does the job. Guess I should just be thankful for being in a better spot than most others - don't get in -> still have a job I love and worthwhile career. Get in -> get to decide.
 

Cathay

Med Student Turned Train Driver
Emeritus
Guess I should just be thankful for being in a better spot than most others - don't get in -> still have a job I love and worthwhile career. Get in -> get to decide.
Sounds like an enviable position to be in! All the best - and hopefully someone with a bit more insight than myself will show up in due course and share their experience!
 

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LMG!

Moderator
Most Helpful Member and Staff Member of the Year 2017-2018
Guess it would just suck if the committee in charge of it all only saw the degree title and didn't dig any deeper to what papers were taken.
You may have to apply for Recognition of Prior Learning (or whatever the Auckland terminology for this is - it can vary). At UTas, where I'm enrolled, a unit has to be at least 70% identical in content to the unit you're applying to be able to skip, and you have to have completed the unit within the last 5 years. Most universities have policies around this.
 

Vexthebesk

New Member
You may have to apply for Recognition of Prior Learning (or whatever the Auckland terminology for this is - it can vary). At UTas, where I'm enrolled, a unit has to be at least 70% identical in content to the unit you're applying to be able to skip, and you have to have completed the unit within the last 5 years. Most universities have policies around this.

Yeah they are purposely very vague regarding crossover. They just say 'these core paper or their equivalent'. Although I have 100% heard/read the above somewhere, a search for something similar you describe doesn't get much luck unfortunately -nothing I can find regarding specific papers.

I actually just found out that I have a friend of a friend that knows someone who is now in their final year and did the same degree as me (although not the sub-specialisation which focuses on bio/chem a lot). Hopefully they can help :)
 

Vexthebesk

New Member
I actually just found out that I have a friend of a friend that knows someone who is now in their final year and did the same degree as me (although not the sub-specialisation which focuses on bio/chem a lot). Hopefully they can help :)
So I had a chat to this guy - he didn't actually have to do biomed/first year papers - he admitted it made 2nd year a whole lot more difficult and felt a bit behind but was really happy he didn't do it. Guess I'll (hopefully) find out come December!
 

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WellyOnAGoodDay

MBChB II UoA
So I had a chat to this guy - he didn't actually have to do biomed/first year papers - he admitted it made 2nd year a whole lot more difficult and felt a bit behind but was really happy he didn't do it. Guess I'll (hopefully) find out come December!
As I said - they say that they assume you have prior knowledge, and if not they provide you with resources to learn the first year papers. But they do not make you actually complete first year. You either complete first year and apply as a first year, or apply as an postgrad and get accepted into 2nd year. They don't release offers for the year ahead to postgrads and make them do first year in that gap.
 

Cathay

Med Student Turned Train Driver
Emeritus
As I said - they say that they assume you have prior knowledge, and if not they provide you with resources to learn the first year papers. But they do not make you actually complete first year. You either complete first year and apply as a first year, or apply as an postgrad and get accepted into 2nd year. They don't release offers for the year ahead to postgrads and make them do first year in that gap.
Okay, that's weird, because their website literally says "Depending on your previous study, you may need to undertake some or all of the First Year courses before commencing Part II. If you are required to take Part I courses, you must pass all these courses within one year in order to proceed to Part II. This will be assessed as part of your application for admission."

If someone got grad entry with, say, a BA in English Literature with zero science background, would they not be required to do the core papers from first year?

I'm just saying, Otago has the same information on their website, and for grad applications received in 2019 (where the applicant has not done HSFY or equivalent), they will offer a spot in 2021 conditional upon passing HSFY papers with sufficient grade in 2020.

It sounds really weird to me that Auckland will just let students learn first year material themselves with some resources, without going through the proper teaching and assessment process.

Is it possible at all that there's a misunderstanding in there? You mentioned that you got in via First Year so I take it you didn't do the Grad Entry pathway yourself? I'm just wondering if something got "lost in translation" because this just doesn't fit with what the written information from University of Auckland says, or how it's done elsewhere (i.e. at Otago).

(Source as usual: Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery - The University of Auckland )
 

WellyOnAGoodDay

MBChB II UoA
Okay, that's weird, because their website literally says "Depending on your previous study, you may need to undertake some or all of the First Year courses before commencing Part II. If you are required to take Part I courses, you must pass all these courses within one year in order to proceed to Part II. This will be assessed as part of your application for admission."

If someone got grad entry with, say, a BA in English Literature with zero science background, would they not be required to do the core papers from first year?

I'm just saying, Otago has the same information on their website, and for grad applications received in 2019 (where the applicant has not done HSFY or equivalent), they will offer a spot in 2021 conditional upon passing HSFY papers with sufficient grade in 2020.

It sounds really weird to me that Auckland will just let students learn first year material themselves with some resources, without going through the proper teaching and assessment process.

Is it possible at all that there's a misunderstanding in there? You mentioned that you got in via First Year so I take it you didn't do the Grad Entry pathway yourself? I'm just wondering if something got "lost in translation" because this just doesn't fit with what the written information from University of Auckland says, or how it's done elsewhere (i.e. at Otago).

(Source as usual: Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery - The University of Auckland )
I mean I could be wrong. I don't wanna upload the document they sent us in case they'll penalise me for it but unless they sent out a separate email to the non health-sciency post grads, all they said in that document was that there was the expected knowledge and here are the resources. It does seem strange but that seems to be the correct impression from all we were sent out. Of course, they could have sent out stuff individually for unrelated postgrads.
 

Cathay

Med Student Turned Train Driver
Emeritus
I mean I could be wrong. I don't wanna upload the document they sent us in case they'll penalise me for it but unless they sent out a separate email to the non health-sciency post grads, all they said in that document was that there was the expected knowledge and here are the resources. It does seem strange but that seems to be the correct impression from all we were sent out. Of course, they could have sent out stuff individually for unrelated postgrads.
Strange, and most interesting... Unless those were the resources for grads that technically met the equivalent knowledge requirements but didn't do the actual papers, or ones that did it a while ago, so they could refresh and make sure they're up with the play before classes start?
 

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