New Zealand is one of the most popular destinations to get your medical degree and there are a few reasons why. First of all New Zealand’s universities are in the top 3% of the world, meaning that education here is high-quality and diplomas are worldwide recognized. Another amazing fact is that New Zealand as a multicultural country offers a safe environment for students to study and grow. They are one of the friendliest cultures and with almost no crime, thus a perfect opportunity for everyone in search of life experiences and knowledge. In this article, we will be talking about the best medical schools in New Zealand.

Can international students enroll in medical schools in New Zealand?

Yes, according to Otago University, international students can enroll in medical schools in New Zealand. Not only that they can enroll, but this might be the most popular country in the world for international students, as this university states that over 3,000 students from over 100 countries study there.

Being a multicultural, modern, and friendly country, it comes as no surprise why students chose this place in particular. The education is extremely well organized and life is an adventure in New Zealand. To add to all of this, English is used everywhere and classes are also in this universal language.

Check Also: Available Programs for International Students

What is the medical curriculum like in medical schools in New Zealand?

According to Otago University, the medical curriculum in New Zealand consists out of 6 years. The first year is called The Health Sciences First Year or HSFY and all students are required to finish it before moving on with their studies. It’s a general course that will prepare the students for the next five years of medical education and provide a good foundation for degrees called the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MB ChB).

In years 2 to 4, students will broaden their knowledge and enter a clinical part of education, with carefully monitored classes and examples. In the years 4 to 6 students are well on the path of becoming doctors and clinical studies become more serious, as they are in direct contact with patients. The sixth and the last year resemble an internship and it is called Trainee Intern (TI) year.

Best Medical Schools in New Zealand

1. University of Otago

The University of Otago was established in 1869 and is the best medical school in New Zealand. This university has been research-led from the start and even today offers amazing opportunities for students all around the world. The main campus is in Otago, but this university also has 4 other campuses in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, and Invercargill.

Medicine is one of many faculties at the University of Otago, and it represents one of the most competitive ones. Enrolling in the first year is difficult for national and international students, as the available places are limited. After the initial HSFY (Health Science First Year) the student can enroll in one of many medical studies and continue their education. But this is also a hard step to take as the competition becomes fiercer, so grades and extracurricular activities are important. The University of Otago promotes a hands-on and clinical approach to studies, and students will be able to be a part of many research programs.

2. University of Auckland

The University of Auckland was founded in 1883 as a public research university. This top medical school in New Zealand has over 40,000 students on 5 campuses, and it’s always on the top of the list for the best universities in the world.

The medical department of the University of Auckland offers amazing opportunities for learning and research, with dozens of clinics available for practical learning like health and rehabilitation, nutrition, hearing, optometry, psychology, and many other clinics. The university also has a brain bank, only one in New Zealand where over 400 brains are bequeathed for medical school and research. Some of them have rare diseases that can provide vital information on how to prevent them in the future.

3. Massey University

The Massey University, one of the best medical schools in New Zealand, was established in 1927 and there are over 30,000 students there, with over 3,000 of them being international from 100 countries. The medical programs in this university include psychology, nursing, biological sciences, population health and policy, and even Maori knowledge. They are combining old values and modern medicine to ensure the graduates are ready for everyday challenges in the medical profession.


To recap, New Zealand is known for its modern teaching approach, with lots of practice and hands-on experience. As a medical student and a future doctor, this might just be the thing that separates you from your peers who graduate in some other country. One more beneficial thing about the New Zealand universities is the language, as all the classes are in English. This is great for international students who can study and perfect the language at the same time. If we add amazing nature and weather there are plenty of reasons to choose this country to get your diploma.


I hope that this article on the best medical schools in New Zealand was helpful. If you are interested in knowing more, check out the Available Programs for International Students!