Master of Health Sciences Professional Practice


The Master of Health Sciences Professional Practice is a 180-point, professionally focused, coursework-based master's degree. This degree will appeal to those already employed in the health sector or those wishing to enter health-related employment, with students examining a range of significant issues in health sciences, and looking to improve their professional practice as a result.

Students are taught by some world-leading researchers in the School of Health Sciences.

MHealScProfPr students may either follow a general programme, or focus on a specialisation and receive their qualification endorsed in one of several areas:

  • Environment and Health
  • Health and Community
  • Health Behaviour Change
  • Health Information Management
  • Nursing
  • Palliative Care.

Note: UC also offers a research-inclusive (240-point) Master of Health Sciences.

Entry requirements

Normally the minimum requirement is a three-year bachelor’s degree from a New Zealand university, with application to the health sector. If you gained your qualifications overseas, these will need to be assessed to make sure they are of an equivalent standard.

You are also required to meet UC’s English language requirements.

Qualification specific requirements

There are a few pathways for entry available to students:

  • Relevant bachelor's degree or appropriate health professional qualification with good grades (normally a B average or better). Note: some conditions may be waived by the Dean if the candidate can show practical or professional experience.
  • This new master's is an ideal extension for those who have studied or are studying the Postgraduate Certificate in Health Sciences or Postgraduate Diploma in Health Sciences.
  • Nursing and Health Sciences – UC offers a unique qualification combination in conjunction with Ara Institute of Canterbury (Ara) allowing graduates to gain two qualifications, a Bachelor of Nursing and a Master of Health Sciences Professional Practice, in just two years. See the College of Education, Health and Human Development for more details. 

For full entry requirements see the Regulations for the Master of Health Sciences Professional Practice or use the admission requirements checker.

Qualification structure and duration

The Master of Health Sciences Professional Practice is a 180-point coursework-based master's and can be completed with or without an endorsement. 


Completing the master's in 18 months is usual for full-time students. If completing the Bachelor of Nursing from Ara consecutively with the MHealScProfPr, students then enrol full-time at Ara for 6 months.

Part-time study is possible.

Students can begin their studies in either February or July.

Subjects and courses

All students should complete:

Remaining points should be chosen from the Master of Health Sciences Professional Practice schedule for each endorsement. For the up-to-date schedule of courses for each endorsement, visit our University Regulations website. There is also more detailed information on the scope and structure of each endorsement on the College of Education, Health and Human Development web pages: Develop your own Research PathwayEnvironment and HealthHealth and CommunityHealth Behaviour ChangeHealth Information ManagementNursingPalliative Care.

How to apply

Find out how to apply for graduate and postgraduate qualifications

Further study

UC offers a Doctor of Philosophy in Health Sciences.

Career opportunities

Postgraduate study can bring many career benefits eg, specialist skills and enhanced knowledge, entry into specific occupations, higher starting salary/progression rates, research capability/achievement and evidence of high academic attainment/self-discipline. 

Useful resources:

More information

For full requirements see the Regulations for the Master of Health Sciences Professional Practice.

See the booklet produced by the School of Health Sciences

For study planning help contact the School of Heath Sciences or:

College of Education, Health and Human Development
University of Canterbury
Private Bag 4800
Ōrakipaoa Building
Christchurch 8140
New Zealand

Phone +64 3 343 7737
Email educationadvice@canterbury.ac.nz

Suli Tuitaupe

Suli Tuitaupe

'I would love to work within the Pacific community focusing on health and wellbeing...'