The Course

Course Content
Courses consist of about 110 hours of lectures/tutorials/practical anatomy sessions and 18 hours of MCQ tests. The topics covered in the course reflect their importance in the FRACS examination, and/or their relative difficulty.

MCQ Tests
Three tests (120 questions each) are held in the last week of the course, and comprise three “subject” papers (anatomy, physiology, pathology) and 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 result is supplied as a print-out at the completion of each paper. Graphs showing the distribution of marks for the whole class are available before the end of the course, 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 Basic Sciences Examination (SSE) 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.

  • $NZ3,100 (includes GST)

Course fees and the accommodation deposit (where relevant), minus a $NZ75 administration fee, will be refunded to those withdrawing before 16 March 2011.  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 and accommodation deposit are payable on application. FRACS

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. Please note that we do not have credit card facilities.

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

Surgical Sciences and Clinical Examination Entries
These 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. Many candidates attending Dunedin courses have found it convenient to sit the FRACS examination here. This avoids last minute interference with study routines.

Those who propose to sit both the Clinical Examination (CE) and the Surgical Sciences Examination (SSE) in May and June 2011 should note that the RACS restricts the number of candidates sitting the CE at any one time or place.  Thus, the College will allow no more than 20 candidates to sit the CE in Dunedin in May 2011.  There is, however, no restriction on the number of candidates who can sit the SSE here.  Those who wish to take both examinations in Dunedin in May and June 2011 are advised to make early application to the RACS to avoid any cut that might be made in relation to the CE.

Please note that once the RACS has registered the centre in which a candidate proposes to sit the examination, this cannot be changed at short notice. In deciding where to sit the FRACS exam, it may be prudent to consider the possibility of unforeseen travel difficulties (eg natural disasters, strikes) that could interfere with travel from Dunedin to another destination.    

Those sitting the FRACS SSE in Dunedin will need to supply the RACS with a Dunedin address. This is:

Dunedin Basic Medical Sciences Course
C/o Department of General Practice
Dunedin School of Medicine
University of Otago
PO Box 913
Dunedin 9054
New Zealand



Link to More Information
University of Otago FRACS Basic Sciences Examination Course