Postgraduate Health and Professional Development
If you already have a degree, UC has health-related postgraduate options that will develop your specialist knowledge.
If you have the passion for health, we have the qualifications to take you where you can make a difference. Join our inspiring health graduates in helping to make positive and meaningful change in people’s lives, engaging with whānau, workplaces and communities.
Our postgraduate programmes offer flexibility, with courses offered through a range of delivery methods with block courses, campus and/or distance options available. Both part and full time pathways are avaliable.
For those wanting to add counselling theory and skills to their health or education profession, the Postgraduate Certificate in Counselling Studies (PGCertCounSt) will provide the knowledge and practice to enhance your professional helping skills with a range of clients, students, or colleagues.
The PGCertCounSt is also an ideal pathway into applying for the Master of Counselling, a degree which enables graduates to obtain provisional membership with the New Zealand Association of Counsellors (NZAC).
The Postgraduate Certificate in Health Sciences gives health professionals, non-clinical members of the health workforce, and others interested in the health sector the chance to critically examine a range of significant issues in health sciences, and where relevant to improve their professional practice.
The Postgraduate Certificate in Health Sciences is a suitable introduction to the health science sector. It can also be a pathway to other postgraduate qualifications at UC.
The PGCertPC develops health practitioner’s skills in palliative care and introduces palliative care as a research field. Students gain the knowledge and understanding needed to provide a holistic approach to the assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation of the needs of patients, family and whānau living with a life-limiting condition.
Palliative care has emerged as a speciality that incorporates inter professional health care provision for people who are living with and dying from active, progressive diseases or conditions that are not responsive to curative treatment. Palliative care embraces the physical, social, emotional and spiritual elements of well being (tinana, whānau, hinengaro and wairua) and embraces a person’s quality of life while they are dying. This field involves people throughout the life span from children through to the elderly and continues on to support the bereaved family/whānau.
The Certificate is made up of the following two courses:
These two palliative care papers support the entry to speciality practice knowledge in palliative care, offering anholistic approach to caring for the person, family and whānau living with a life limiting illness; the practice of palliative care (therapeutic interventions and treatment modalities); understanding and caring for self, and others; and creating and maintaining a culture of excellence. These papers are grounded in clinical practice and support the beginning of your post graduate study.
The Postgraduate Certificate in Science (PGCertSc) is an ideal option for those wanting professional development in their scientific field, and for those with other commitments who cannot complete an extensive science programme.
Subjects with a health focus:
The postgraduate Child and Family Psychology programme is unique within New Zealand and taught by academic and clinical staff from the University of Canterbury’s School of Health Sciences with other teaching staff as appropriate. The Postgraduate Diploma in Child and Family Psychology was designed to meet market demand for registered psychologists specifically trained to work with children, adolescents and families.
The Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Psychology is a professional qualification in Clinical Psychology. It is made up of a strong practical component, which facilitates a greater understanding of real people and their experiences.
The Postgraduate Diploma in Health Sciences is aimed at people who are currently employed in, or seeking employment in, a health-related field, the social services, or local or central government. Postgraduate Diploma in Health Sciences (Unendorsed pathway) gives you the flexibility to deisgn your own pathway. If you wish to complete your Postgraduate Diploma in Health Sciences with an endorsement, check out our Specialist endorsement in Health page to find out the compulsory and recommended courses.
The Postgraduate Diploma in Science offers those with some background in science the opportunity to undertake more advanced and in-depth study in a subject. Over 20 subjects are available, and some can only be studied at postgraduate level, which can allow for specialisation and career pathways for graduates.
Subjects with a health focus:
The Master of Arts or Master of Science in Child and Family Psychology (or an approved Master of Education) are postgraduate degrees which can be completed alone or in combination with the limited entry Postgraduate Diploma in Child and Family Psychology (PGDipChFamPsyc). The limited entry PGDipChFamPsyc can be started after the first year of the masters is completed and has been designed for students who wish to become registered psychologists working with children, adolescents and families.
The Master of Audiology (MAud) at UC focuses on training professional clinical audiologists with an emphasis on the development of clinical and administrative skills relating to the practice of audiology. This degree was developed to address the shortage of trained audiologists. It comprises coursework, clinical practice in a variety of settings, and audiological research experience.
The Master of Counselling degree comprises five postgraduate papers and a three-paper professional research portfolio or thesis. A solution-focused model of counselling forms the basis of the Master of Counselling at UC. You will learn about the theoretical underpinnings of solution-focused counselling; social constructionism and become skilled in using appropriate solution-focused thinking and techniques.
Graduates work as school counsellors, family therapists, health counsellors, career counsellors, tertiary counsellors, consultants, managers and counsellor educators. They work in community agencies, private practice, medical centres and schools.
The Masters of Health Sciences is aimed at people who are currently employed in, or seeking employment in, a health-related field, the social services, or local or central government. An inter-disciplinary programme, students will complete a programme of advanced study in the Health Sciences choosing from courses in over twenty disciplines, with the option of a particular focus in environment and health, early intervention, health behaviour change or health information management.
The Master of Health Sciences and Bachelor of Nursing joint initiative between the University of Canterbury (UC) and Ara gives the opportunity for students who already hold a degree relevant to health sciences to gain two further qualifications in just two years. Students will be full-time UC Master of Health Sciences (MHealSc) and part-time Bachelor of Nursing (BN) students for the first 18 months after which they will be full-time Ara students for the remaining part of the programme. Students will be eligible to attend graduation ceremonies with both institutions. This initiative will be of interest to anyone who wishes to become a nurse. Students are normally required to have a recognised degree which is considered relevant to health sciences and the proposed course of study or an appropriate health or allied professional qualification requiring at least three years equivalent full-time tertiary study at an appropriate level.
For more information download the Master of Health Sciences and Bachelor of Nursing brochure.
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 will be asked to critically reflect, to link theory to policy and practice in their own work contexts, and to develop strategies and skills that will help them to identify improvements to their own health practices.
Students may either follow a general programme, or focus on a specialisation and receive their qualification endorsed in Environment and Health, Health Behaviour Change, Health and Community, Health Information Management, Nursing or Palliative Care. These endorsements allow professionals to gain a highly specialised, discipline-specific knowledge related to their work or area of interest.
The 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.
The Master of Speech and Language Pathology (MSLP) is a graduate-entry professional qualification to practice as a speech language pathologist/therapist. Students generally have a background in science, linguistics, engineering, psychology, education, or health sciences, and this programme provides an opportunity to enter the speech-language profession.
The Master of Science usually consists of two parts: coursework and a thesis, allowing for students to investigate areas of interest to them and conduct independent and original research. Over 30 subjects are available, and some can only be studied at postgraduate level, which can allow for specialisation in academic and career pathways.
Subjects with a health focus:
The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is a research-only degree carried out under expert supervision and using world-class facilities. At UC you can complete a PhD in over 70 subjects, joining over 1000 students from more than 60 nations. For more information go to our postgraduate research page.
If you are a current health practitioner in New Zealand you may be entitled to Health Workforce NZ Funding for these courses. Please contact your local DHB for application details.
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