Health Sciences students are passionate about getting involved in their communities and improving the health of the population. We promote opportunities for volunteering and gaining a well-rounded education.
Health Sciences at UC provides students with a non-clinical degree and a multidisciplinary introduction to a range of important health issues from genetics, to the health of populations, evidence-based decision making, psychology, education, and public policy.
- There are many different paths that you can explore at UC, and the good thing about the BHSc is that it has a wide variety of courses, allowing you to keep your options open and learn about lots of different areas before embarking on your career.
- Some of the majors in the BHSc will offer the opportunity for practical placement and skills development in health-related workplaces.
- Te Kura Mātai Hauora | School of Health Sciences is well-equipped for conducting a wide range of research and projects.
- Thanks to involved academic staff, most of the lecturers know who you are, what your interests are, and will look at ways to help you to achieve your goals.
- Students who complete the Public Health major for the BHSc will be able to meet the generic public health competencies and the health promotion competencies for Aotearoa.
- UC is ranked first in Aotearoa New Zealand for research in Public Health (Te Amorangi Mātauranga Matua | Tertiary Education Commission 2018 PBRF assessment).
The compulsory first-year courses for the Bachelor of Health Sciences are:
- HLTH 101 Introduction to Health Studies
- HLTH 106 Ngā Take, Te Wero: Māori Health Issues and Opportunities
- HLTH 110 Epidemiology
- BIOL 116 Human Biology
As well as the core courses above, students select a BHSc major from the list below:
- Environmental Health
- Health Education
- Māori and Indigenous Health
- Public Health
- Society and Policy
Many students choose to enrol in a double major and this can often be completed in the same length of time as a single major. Students commonly combine majors in Public Health and Society and Policy; Health Education and Psychology; and Māori and Indigenous Health and Public Health. Elective courses may be chosen from Health Sciences or other degrees across the University.
200-level and beyond
Students can continue to study health-related courses at 200, 300, and postgraduate-level. Whether it is looking at technological interventions, health education, sociology behind health and illness, the pros and cons of Aotearoa New Zealand’s health system, how to build resilience, or public and policy issues, there is broad scope to find an area of health that interests you.
The compulsory second-year courses for the BHSc are:
- HLTH 201 Health Promotion
- HLTH 202 Health and Society: Applied research for Aotearoa
- MAOR 270 Te Ao Hauora Tangata: Māori Health Perspectives
In the third year, students also complete HLTH 301 Evidence in Health.
Students who are not enrolled in the Bachelor of Health Sciences and wish to continue examining national and international health issues can consult the Programme Coordinator for advice on which courses they can include in their degree.
Postgraduate health studies at UC
Postgraduate students in Health Sciences come from a range of backgrounds. Students with an interest in the health sector and a good (and relevant) bachelor's degree, or health professional qualification, may apply for entry to a postgraduate certificate, postgraduate diploma or master's programme. Endorsements are available in Health Behaviour Change, Health and Community, Health Information Management, Environment and Health, Nursing, and Palliative Care.
UC also offers a professional practice-based or research master's, and a joint opportunity (through UC and Ara Institute of Canterbury) to gain a Nursing degree alongside a Master of Health Sciences or Master of Health Sciences Professional Practice in just two-and-a-half years.
The health workforce includes a wide variety of clinical roles defined by legislation. There are also many non-clinical roles that make up about one third of the total health workforce.
The undergraduate Health Sciences courses will provide an essential foundation for those seeking non-clinical health sector roles. Depending on the major(s) taken, an interdisciplinary non-clinical Health Sciences background has high prospects of employment in such areas as health promotion, environmental health, health psychology, community health, Māori and iwi health, behaviour change, health policy, administration, health education, health technology assessment, and health research.
These courses will also help experienced health professionals to extend their knowledge and skills, and to prepare for new career opportunities.
Find out more about what you can do with a degree in Health Sciences.
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College of Education, Health and Human Development | Te Rāngai Ako me te Hauora
University of Canterbury | Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha
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