Our Course

This course aims to prepare candidates for the exam. All specialty training boards have introduced the successful completion of the GSSE as a mandatory eligibility requirement for application to SET. Course Content: A three and a half week course, consisting of approximately 100 hours of lectures/tutorials/practical anatomy sessions plus 9 hours of MCQ tests post-course. There are three weekend practical anatomy sessions. The topics covered in the course reflect their importance in the FRACS examination, and/or their relative difficulty. Candidates must have their own laptop.

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Course Location

Dunedin Leisure Lodge, 30 Duke St. Morning and afternoon tea will be supplied during week days. Saturday/Sunday anatomy sessions will be held in the Anatomy Department, 270 Great King St.

School of Medicine

The University of Otago was founded in 1869, and held its first medical classes in 1875. It remained the country’s only medical school until 1968. The Otago Medical School currently has campuses in Dunedin, Christchurch and Wellington. For purposes of this course, DBMSC has access to the facilities of Dunedin School of Medicine and the Otago School of Medicine Sciences.

MCQ Tests

Three tests (120 questions each) are available after the course, and comprise three “FRACS” papers, in which the distribution of questions is similar to that in the FRACS exam. These tests are computer-based. Once a question has been answered by a candidate, the correct answer is displayed, and in some instances a comment is provided. The candidate’s results are emailed at the completion of all three tests. Graphs showing the distribution of marks for the whole class will also be included, allowing candidates to assess their own standard against that of the whole class. Some idea of the standard that corresponds to a pass in the FRACS exam will be provided.

Preparation for Dunedin Courses

Most medical schools have in recent years reduced the basic sciences content of their undergraduate courses. The syllabus for the FRACS Generic Surgical Sciences Examination (GSSE) requires candidates to know substantially more than is required at undergraduate level. The Dunedin courses aim to revise the relevant material, and to provide an overview, rather than to teach it for the first time. A great deal of information is covered in a relatively short time. Candidates are therefore strongly advised to come reasonably well prepared if they are to get the most out of this course.

Course Fees

These are payable on application. These include internet access at the course venue as well as morning and afternoon tea week days. $5,250 NZ (includes GST)


Course fees, minus a $NZ100 administration fee, will be refunded to those withdrawing before 11 April 2024 for the May course or before 22 August 2024 for the August course. After this date, refunding of either the course fee will be at the sole discretion of the organising committee, and will be subject to the above administration fee.


Your privacy is protected. You may update your personal information held by the Trust. Information is held for statistical purposes; to inform you about your course and other aspects of enrolment; and to inform you of the availability of scholarships;

Application for the Course

You can apply online. Fees are payable on application. Please do not send Australian currency or cheques. Fees can be direct credited to our bank account. Details are shown on application form. Please note that we do not have credit card facilities.

Pandemic Guidelines

– We adhere to the recommendations and safety guidelines published by the Ministry of Health, New Zealand.
– All candidates must adhere to the University of Otago policies in order to be accepted into the course.
– Indoor mask wearing is recommended.
– If, for any reason, the course cannot proceed, we reserve the right to cancel. If this happens we will provide a full refund of fees less administration costs.

Surgical Sciences Examination

Application should be arranged directly with the RACS. Make a careful note of the closing date for the examination that you propose to sit. The RACS does NOT accept late entries.
Note: The Generic Surgical Sciences Exam will be NOT be offered in Dunedin.
Further details regarding all examinations and locations are available on the
RACS website.

Syllabus for FRACS GSSE

This is available on the RACS website. Note that the examinable material is contained within the listed textbooks.