Bachelor of Health Sciences

Health is an enduring issue for society; it concerns everybody at every stage in life. Health Sciences at UC prepares you to contribute in a meaningful way to the health issues that face our communities. Health Science students have the opportunity to develop a comprehensive overview of health and heath care, inclusive of a range of approaches and understandings, and the practical application of knowledge and skills in health settings.

The multidisciplinary Bachelor of Health Sciences (BHSc) degree programme covers important and timely topics such as mental health and wellbeing, sexual health promotion, environmental health, communicable and non-communicable diseases, Māori and indigenous people’s health, health through the life-span, and evidence-based policy and decision-making.

  • BHSc graduates are increasingly in demand from Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB), primary health organisations, and other regional and further afield organisations.
  • The BHSc includes a wide variety of courses, allowing you to keep your options open and learn about many different areas before embarking on your career.
  • UC is ranked first in Aotearoa New Zealand for research in Public Health (Te Amorangi Mātauranga Matua | Tertiary Education Commission 2019 PBRF assessment).
  • Some BHSc majors offer the opportunity for practical placement and skills development in health-related workplaces.
  • It provides a broad foundation for working in the wider health sector, pursue postgraduate opportunities for a specific health career, or future work as a health and wellbeing researcher.
  • Te Kura Mātai Hauora | School of Health Sciences is well-equipped for conducting a wide range of research and projects.
  • Involved and attentive academic staff will look for 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 Aotearoa.

Many Health Sciences courses may be taken as part of the BHSc, or included in a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science.

The minimum prerequisite is University Entrance but NCEA Biology is recommended.

UC offers Headstart preparatory programmes for students who do not have the required background.

You will complete the compulsory courses below, alongside the specific course requirements from your selected major and minor.  

Year 1

100 Level
 
100 Level
 
100 Level
 
100 Level
 
Year 2
 
 
200 Level
 
200 Level
 
200 Level
 
200 Level
 
100 Level
 
Year 3
 
300 Level
 
300 Level
 
300 Level
 
300 Level
 
200 Level
 
200 Level
 
  •  
    Compulsory courses
  •  
    Major courses
  •  
    Courses from minor or other degrees
This diagram is an example only - other combinations are possible. For full course requirements go to the Regulations for the Bachelor of Health Sciences.

The BHSc requires a total of 360 points:

  • 135 points of compulsory courses
  • at least 120 points of Health Sciences courses
  • the remaining 105 points from Health Sciences or from other degrees

At least 225 points must be from courses above 100-level, with at least 90 points at 300-level.

The degree takes three years of full-time study, or can be studied part-time for up to 6 years.

Compulsory courses

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Majors and minors

You have the option of completing either:

  • a major
  • a major and a minor
  • two majors (a double major)

Each major has specific course requirements, but all consist of a minimum 120 points, with at least 45 points above 100-level, and at least 30 points at 300-level. 

If you are completing a double major you may need to complete additional points (ie, more than 360 points) to meet the requirements of both majors.

BHSc students may also choose to complete a minor subject in their degree. A minor consists of a minimum 75 points, including at least 45 points above 100-level, in a single subject chosen from the Bachelor of Health Sciences, Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Sport Coaching, or Bachelor of Youth and Community Leadership.

Double degrees

It is possible to combine Health Sciences degree with other degrees such as the Bachelor of Science or the Bachelor of Youth and Community Leadership.

Find out more information about Double degrees.

The BHSc degree leads to careers in health and public policy, public health, health management, health research and other non-clinical roles. Graduates play an important role in improving public health through disease prevention, health promotion, and health service planning, delivery, and evaluation. Our graduates have been employed as health promoters, case managers, policy analysts or in health management and research. 

It is ideal preparation for working in settings such as district health boards, government ministries, local government, non-government organisations, Māori provider organisations, hospices, aged residential care, schools, primary care organisations, universities and polytechnics.

The health sector is one of New Zealand’s biggest employers with a wide range of career opportunities. In New Zealand’s increasingly diverse and ageing society, health needs and health workforce opportunities will continue to expand.

The government has announced new vaccination requirements for the health and education sectors. At UC our programmes are strongly connected to our communities of practice. For many of our programmes, you will not be able to complete research or practice-oriented courses if you are not vaccinated. This is due to research/practice taking place in health centres and schools/kura where all employees and volunteers are required to be vaccinated. For these courses you will be required to be vaccinated in line with the NZ Government regulations, and supply evidence of your vaccination status.

Majors

Our four majors were designed to fill identified gaps in skills in New Zealand's health sector. You can choose to combine your chosen major with one of the minors below. Students may take up an internship as part of their degree.

The Health Education major prepares you with the knowledge, skills, and understanding to work with individuals and groups in a range of health settings. Students develop extensive facilitation skills and gain confidence in presenting to a range of people. 

Experiential learning in a variety of contexts (e.g. mental health, sexuality, and nutrition) supports your ability to recognise the factors that influence health and the consequences for wellbeing. You will develop an extensive toolbox of pedagogical strategies that can be used to enhance wellbeing at the personal, interpersonal, and community level.

This major engages in debate and critical reflection on a range of contemporary health issues. Through this, you will develop an in-depth understanding of ethical issues and principles, a respect for the autonomy and choice of both individuals and groups, and cultural competency in collaborative and consultative ways of working.

Career options for students who major in Health Education include employment in health-related institutions and agencies such as community and public health (in nutrition, sexuality, health promoting schools, and mental health teams), drug and alcohol agencies, Family Planning, Mental Health Foundation, nutrition advisories, and Red Cross.

When planning your Health Education major, please select the following courses along with the compulsory courses for the Bachelor of Health Sciences. Find out how to plan your Bachelor of Health Sciences. 

Health Education Major courses 

100-level

200-level

300-level

E ngā mana, e ngā reo, nāia te reo pōwhiri ki a koutou. Tēnā koutou katoa.

The purpose of the Māori and Indigenous Health major is to prepare culturally competent graduates who are able to use, apply, and integrate Māori, bicultural, and indigenous knowledge and practices in their chosen health and social services related careers.

The holistic Māori view of health and wellbeing is an important component of the major that includes knowledge and skills in the following areas:

  • Te Ao Tangata — Engaging with Māori: understanding, respect, te reo, interpersonal and cross-cultural communication/dialogue, and Māori health-based experiences
  • Te Ao Hauora — Working with health professionals: promoting students' understanding of the multiple disciplines and roles involved in delivering health care to Māori, including clinicians (eg, pharmacists, doctors, physiotherapists, and psychologists), the cultural/community/clinical interface, and interprofessional/interdisciplinary collaboration
  • Ngā Ratonga Hauora — Working with health services and health systems: providing students with a thorough grounding in sociohistorical health developments and current health system structures, including Māori and iwi community-based health and social services.

Career options include research and policy analysis or advice, health promotion and community health liaison roles in non-governmental organisations focused on health and wellbeing, Māori and iwi health and development organisations, District Health Boards and local government.

When planning your Māori and Indigenous Health major, please select the following courses along with the compulsory courses for the Bachelor of Health Sciences. Find out how to plan your Bachelor of Health Sciences. 

Māori and Indigenous Health Major courses

100-level

200-level

300-level

Health psychology is concerned with understanding human behaviour in the context of physical health and illness. As such the field is a large one and this course aims to introduce students to a range of topics in the field. Topics include health promotion and prevention, determinants of health-related behaviours (e.g. smoking, diet, exercise), stress and coping, patient-practitioner communication, pain and its management, and management of chronic and serious illness.

Health psychology applies theories from various psychological sub-disciples and as such has a natural affinity with several other courses at the undergraduate and graduate level including abnormal, social, personality, developmental and industrial-organisational psychology.

The BHSc major in Psychology is a pathway to the postgraduate qualifications required for professional or research careers. Those who exit after a BHSc majoring in Psychology will look for work in areas resembling those open to other Psychology majors, but with a particular bias to health-related jobs. These will generally be in some kind of human service organisation or in roles such as health and safety trainers/promoters. We anticipate that most BHSc graduates majoring in Psychology will seek postgraduate qualifications.

When planning your Psychology major, please select the following courses along with the compulsory courses for the Bachelor of Health Sciences. Find out how to plan your Bachelor of Health Sciences. 

Psychology Major courses

100-level

200-level

300-level

Students majoring in Public Health will develop knowledge and skills in science and health, experience in critical appraisal and scientific investigation, an understanding of values and ethics in health and the ability to apply these to improving health and wellbeing. Graduates will meet the knowledge components of the generic public health competencies and the health promotion competencies for New Zealand.

tha major in Public Health aims to:

  • provide a strong foundation in health sciences, with detailed knowledge in public health;
  • equip students to meet the Aotearoa New Zealand competencies for public health, and health promotion (endorsed by the Health Promotion forum)
  • provide the knowledge and skills to operate effectively in health sector organisations (such as district health boards, primary care organisations, public health units, Māori health organisations, and non-governmental organisations)
  • contribute to the health sector workforce by preparing students to work as effective members of multidisciplinary teams in the health sector
  • contribute to meeting national health workforce development goals
  • provide the required foundation for students who wish to undertake postgraduate study in health-related fields.

Graduates are able to work effectively as members of multidisciplinary teams. Examples of career pathways include community development roles in public health units, DHBs, NGOs, local government, health promoters, public health analysts, and postgraduate students studying towards a research career in public health.

When planning your Public Health major, please select the following courses along with the compulsory courses for the Bachelor of Health Sciences. Find out how to plan your Bachelor of Health Sciences. 

100-level

200-level

300-level

Minors

Health Education prepares you with the knowledge, skills, and understanding to work with individuals and groups in a range of health settings. you will develop extensive facilitation skills and gain confidence in presenting to a range of people. Experiential learning in a variety of contexts (eg, mental health, sexuality, and nutrition) supports your ability to recognise the factors that influence health and the consequences for wellbeing. You will develop an extensive toolbox strategies that can be used to enhance wellbeing at the personal, interpersonal, and community level.

You can study a minor in Health Education in the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Health Sciences, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Social and Environmental Sustainability, Bachelor of Sport Coaching, or Bachelor of Youth and Community Leadership 

To complete a Health Education minor choose five courses from below, with at least three above 100-level.

100-level

200-level

300-level

Physical activity enhances our health and wellbeing at all stages of our lives. Regular activity improves our strength, fitness and stamina, supports mental health and boosts our energy for everyday tasks.

The Physical Activity minor focuses on developing the skills and knowledge needed to help people and communities make healthier choices and become more physically active. It includes a wide range of courses and will appeal to anyone interested in teaching, coaching, sport and health.

You can follow up your studies with a one-year teaching degree to become a qualified health or physical education teacher.

You can study a minor in Physical Activity in the Bachelor of ArtsBachelor of CommerceBachelor of Health SciencesBachelor of ScienceBachelor of Social and Environmental SustainabilityBachelor of Sport Coaching, or Bachelor of Youth and Community Leadership 

To complete a Physical Activity minor choose five courses from below, with at least three above 100-level.

100-level

200-level

300-level

Public Health will equip you with knowledge and skills in science and health, experience in critical appraisal and scientific investigation, and an understanding of values and ethics in health. You will have the ability to apply these to improving health and wellbeing through disease prevention, health promotion, and health service planning, delivery, and evaluation.

You can study a minor in Public Health in the Bachelor of ArtsBachelor of CommerceBachelor of Health SciencesBachelor of ScienceBachelor of Social and Environmental SustainabilityBachelor of Sport Coaching, or Bachelor of Youth and Community Leadership 

To complete a Public Health minor choose five courses from below, with at least three above 100-level.

The Society and Policy minor focuses on the relationships between health science, health governance, bioethics, and society. It comprises an interdisciplinary core of courses on the sociology of health, public policy, policy issues in health, and health delivery at the local, national, and global levels, together with research training in qualitative and quantitative social science research methods.

You can study a minor in Society and Policy in the Bachelor of ArtsBachelor of CommerceBachelor of Health SciencesBachelor of ScienceBachelor of Social and Environmental SustainabilityBachelor of Sport Coaching, or Bachelor of Youth and Community Leadership 

To complete a Society and Policy minor choose five courses from below, with at least three above 100-level.

100-level

200-level

300-level

 

For all enquiries about undergraduate study in Health Sciences

talk to a Student Advisor or a Liaison Officer

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