New health doctorate caters to working professionals

20 September 2021

The University of Canterbury (UC) has created a new doctoral degree specifically designed to suit working professionals with a background in health.

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Associate Professor Cathy Andrew

Associate Professor Cathy Andrew

The Doctor of Health Sciences (DHSc) will have the first intake of students in February of 2022. Designed around a cohort model during the first two years of study, where a group of students who focus on individual topics progress through the programme together, the DHSc caters to those employed in the health sector through a part-time study workload. It combines the opportunity to pursue an area of interest through doctoral study with the collegiality of being in a cohort of other students.

Associate Professor Cathy Andrew, the programme’s designer, says that she hopes the DHSc will provide the opportunity to study a doctoral level qualification to more people.

“We’ve thought really hard about how we can best support people who are in employment through a doctoral degree. The cohort model allows us to support the students through areas related to their study, such as a literature review or methodology, at a pace that is manageable for them.”

Professor Andrew believes the DHSc is likely to be popular with professionals in the health industry. “People who work in health are passionate about making a positive difference. Some of those people will want to pursue a topic for their study that will make meaningful change and positively affect people’s lives. This programme is a perfect opportunity to do that.”

During the first two years, DHSc students are further supported through attending three workshops per year. These workshops provide students with opportunities to present on their study, receive formative feedback and engage with academic leaders who will discuss key research-related topics.

For more information on the DHSc degree, visit

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