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.
Why study Health Sciences 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).
- There are many different paths that you can go down at UC, and the good thing about the BHSc is that it has a wide variety of courses, which allows 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 offer the opportunity for practical placement and skills development in health-related workplaces.
- The 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 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 New Zealand.
The compulsory first-year courses for the Bachelor of Health Sciences are:
- HLTH101 Introduction to Health Studies
- HLTH106 Nga Take, Te Wero: Māori Health Issues and Opportunities
- HLTH110 Epidemiology
- BIOL116 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
For BHSc required and recommended courses by major, go to the regulations website.
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 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.
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 master's and a joint opportunity (through UC and the Ara Institute of Canterbury) to gain a Nursing degree and a 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 which 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 those who already have clinical or other health-related qualifications 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.
Waimairi Building, Level 2
School of Health Sciences
College of Education
University of Canterbury
Private Bag 4800