Course Content

Courses consist of approximately 120 hours of lectures/tutorials/practical anatomy sessions and 9 hours of MCQ tests. The topics covered in the course reflect their importance in the FRACS examination, and/or their relative difficulty.

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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 held in the last week of 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.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 these courses.

Course Fees

These are payable on application, and include Internet access to university computers. $NZ4,400 (includes GST)


Course fees and the accommodation deposit (where relevant), minus a $NZ75 administration fee, will be refunded to those withdrawing before 30th March 2020. After this date, refunding of either the course fee or the accommodation deposit will be at the sole discretion of the organising committee, and will be subject to the above administration fee.

Application for the Course

The application form is downloadable from here and should be forwarded to the course administrator at the address given (see Contact Us). Fees are payable on application. No handwritten application forms will be accepted.
Overseas applicants should forward a bank draft in NZ currency. Registered airmail is recommended. Please do not send Australian currency or cheques. Bank drafts and New Zealand cheques should be made out to Dunedin Basic Medical Sciences Course. Fees can also be direct credited to our bank account. Details are shown on application form. Please note that we do not have credit card facilities.

Syllabus for FRACS GSSE

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

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
on 10 & 11th June 2020, or the Clinical on 20th and 21st June 2020.
Further details regarding all examinations and locations are available on the
RACS website.

Contact Address whilst in Dunedin

Those attending the Dunedin Course should provide the RACS with a local (Dunedin) address. This is:

Dunedin Basic Medical Sciences Course
C/o Department of General Practice & Rural Health
Dunedin School of Medicine
University of Otago
PO Box 56
Dunedin 9054, New Zealand