Master of Spatial Analysis for Public Health*


The new Master of Spatial Analysis for Public Health (MSAPH) combines expertise on public health issues with GIS technologies. Spatial health data is fundamental to assess hazards from environmental exposure and the impact of health intervention towards the well-being of communities.

Geospatial analysts can use spatial data to determine important health demographics such as disease causation and spread prevention, disaster risk factors, genetic disease likelihood, physical and mental behavioural trends, and economic affect. These issues are on the rise and experts are needed globally. 

Why study an MSAPH at UC? 

  • UC has the top ranked research department in New Zealand for ‘other health studies’ (the most recent Tertiary Education Commission 2012 PBRF Assessment).
  • UC is ranked in the top 150 universities in the world for Geography, and in the top 200 for Computer Science and Information Systems (QS World University Rankings by Subject, 2017).
  • The only programme of its kind in Australasia.
  • UC hosts both the GeoHealth Laboratory/Te Tai Whenua o te Hau Ora and UC has extensive research strengths and strategic partnerships in the field of geospatial technology, such as the Geospatial Research Institute.
  • Scholarships for students in this master’s will be available through GeoHealth Laboratory and the Ministry of Health.
  • Geospatial science, particularly from a public health focus, is recognised on Immigration NZ’s current Long-Term Skill Shortage List.

* Subject to Universities New Zealand CUAP approval, due December 2017.

Entry requirements

Normally the minimum requirement is a three-year bachelor’s degree from a New Zealand university, or a qualification or combination of qualifications considered to be equivalent.

If you gained your qualifications overseas, these will need to be assessed to make sure they are of an equivalent standard.

Qualification specific requirements

Students should have achieved at least a B average in 300-level courses in their undergraduate degree.

Some basic previous experience in statistics, programming and/or GIS is an advantage.

For the full entry requirements see the Regulations for the Master of Spatial Analysis for Public Health or use the admission requirements checker. 

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

Qualification structure and duration

The MSAPH contains 180 points of coursework, plus a 60-point community project.

The master’s can be completed in 12 months full-time, and 24-36 months part-time.

Students can begin their studies in February. 

Subjects and courses

The MSAPH includes seven compulsory courses, and a project over the summer at a workplace or with direct relevance to a community.

Compulsory Courses


How to apply

Find out how to apply for graduate and postgraduate qualifications.

Further study

Students may go onto PhD studies in a large variety of related subjects, for example Geography.

Career opportunities

Graduates with geospatial science and health analytical skills will find themselves well-suited to work as spatial analysts, health policy makers, GIS software developers, environmental health officers, statisticians and administrators in health research groups, DHBs, health ministries and other public health sector organisations.

More information

For full requirements see the Regulations for the Master of Spatial Analysis for Public Health.

For study planning help contact the College of Science:

College of Science | Te Rāngai Pūtaiao
University of Canterbury | Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha
Private Bag 4800
Christchurch 8140
New Zealand

Phone +64 3 369 4141
Email collegeofscience@canterbury.ac.nz