What can I do with a degree in Health Sciences?

What skills have our graduates gained?

Through their Health Sciences degree, graduates develop a valuable set of skills that are transferrable to a range of careers, including:

  • Multidisciplinary understanding and perspectives of health
  • Knowledge of healthcare and related services
  • Understanding of the ethical, social, cultural and political determinants of health
  • Interpretive and analytical thinking
  • Problem solving skills
  • Indigenous and cross-cultural awareness
  • Ability to work in inter-professional teams
  • Oral and written communication

Opportunities to apply your learning outside the classroom through work and other experiences also exist and can deepen your skills set and employability. Work and other experiences can also support and inform learning and skill development in the classroom.

Where have our graduates been employed?

The health sector is one of New Zealand’s biggest employers with a wide range of clinical and non-clinical career opportunities. There are also health-related career opportunities in local government, the voluntary sector, industry and research. In New Zealand’s increasingly diverse and aging society, health needs and health workforce career opportunities will continue to expand.

Health Sciences graduates are employed in district health boards, government ministries, local government, non-government organisations, Māori provider organisations, hospices, aged residential care, schools, primary care organisations, universities and polytechnics.

The health workforce includes a wide variety of clinical roles defined by legislation. There are also many non-clinical roles which make up about one third of the total health workforce. Depending on the undergraduate major taken, an interdisciplinary non-clinical health sciences background can lead to employment in such areas as health promotion, early intervention, environmental health, health and safety, health psychology, public health, Māori and iwi health, behaviour change, health policy, administration, health education, health technology assessment and health research.

UC’s Guide to Job Hunting offers a variety of career resources including employer information.

For more information about UC student and graduate opportunities, go to UC CareerHub

What jobs and activities do our graduates do?

Graduates with this degree are employed in a range of jobs including public health analyst or case manager.

Some of the jobs listed may require further study at postgraduate level. Postgraduate study can contribute to your employability. It enables you to extend your knowledge and skills, indicates your motivation and ability to persevere at a high level academically and can make you more competitive in the job market. Postgraduate study may be a prerequisite for certain jobs.

  • Health promoter
    • Works with a range of groups to identify health concerns and needs
    • Develops strategies to motivate and help people effectively manage their health
    • Assists government and organisations to improve unhealthy conditions
  • Community development worker
    • Recognises problems and concerns within communities
    • Assists in the development of local programmes to address community issues
    • Raises awareness of issues to promote community cohesion
  • Health protection officer
    • Identifies and investigates public health concerns
    • Provides advice and information to health officials and the public
    • Assists with the maintenance of a sustainable and healthy environment
  • Public health programme coordinator
    • Conducts research and plans the development of public health programmes
    • Assists in the implementation of programmes
    • Evaluates the success of programmes
  • Public health policy analyst
    • Develops and implements public health policies and regulations
    • Monitors public health concerns
  • Developmental specialist
    • Assesses children with developmental delays, health problems or disabilities
    • Recommends and coordinates support services, treatment and therapy to prevent more severe problems
  • Green prescription patient support person
    • Supports green prescription patients to increase activity and health
    • Provides patients with goals, motivation, healthy options and resources
    • Reports progress back to the prescription-referring doctor
  • Clinical research assistant
    • Studies the effects, risks and benefits of medical products prior to availability
    • Monitors participants, records information and data, and produces reports of findings
  • Child and family psychologist
    • Works with the complexities of children, adolescents, families, within school, mental health and welfare systems
    • Provides comprehensive assessment and psychological interventions
  • Palliative care worker
    • Provides health care for people who are living with and dying from progressive conditions
    • Embraces the physical, social, emotional and spiritual elements of wellbeing and a person's quality of life while they are dying
    • Supports the bereaved family/whanau

Entrepreneurship and innovation are increasingly becoming an important part of the world of work and should be considered as a career option. For more information about UC student innovation & entrepreneurship, related internships, scholarships, courses and activities go to Careers, Internships & Employment

For further information on job titles, please see the latest UC Graduate Destinations Survey

For additional graduate destination information go to www.graduatecareers.com.au or www.prospects.ac.uk

What professional bodies and organisations do our students and graduates link to?

As they progress in their studies and into a career, our students and graduates often join professional bodies specific to their area of interest. These organisations offer the opportunity to network and collaborate with others within the same community. Other relevant organisations are also listed.

Social media networks, such as LinkedIn (including LinkedIn groups), Facebook and Twitter can provide avenues for students and graduates to keep up-to-date with current industry knowledge and ‘best practice’, networking opportunities, industry-related events and job vacancies.

What further study can I do after my degree?

It is possible to study at postgraduate and graduate level in subjects both directly and indirectly related to your degree. For a list of postgraduate and graduate study options, go to Courses, Subjects and Qualifications

Students with an interest in the health sector and a good bachelor's degree or health professional qualification, may apply for entry to the postgraduate programmes in Health Behaviour Change, Early Intervention, Health Information Management, Environment and Health, Men's Health, Palliative Care. With the appropriate prerequisites students may also specialise in Clinical Teaching, Counselling, Child and Family Psychology or Specialist Teaching. Postgraduate study can also lead to an academic career pathway in teaching and research.

Carefully consider your motivation for study, how it fits in with your long-term career plans and whether it is likely to enhance your employment prospects.

  • Careers, Internships & Employment
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    New Zealand
  • Phone +64 3 364 3310
    careers@canterbury.ac.nz
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