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The Master of Health Sciences (Nursing) is a Nursing Council of New Zealand approved  programme that prepares you  to apply for registration as a  Nurse.

If you want to make a difference in the lives of others in your community, either locally or internationally and are looking for an exciting career that builds on your critical thinking skills, nursing could be a great choice for you.

With nurses in high demand, nursing is a stable career path that offers limitless opportunities in New Zealand and overseas. UC’s Master of Health Science (Nursing) enables students to build on previous learning, skills, and life experiences to become a registered nurse in just two years.

The combination of onsite and online learning has been designed to help you balance your study with your other commitments. Clinical experience of 1100 hours is offered throughout the programme with a consolidated block at the end.

This postgraduate programme is ideal for students who have already completed a Bachelor’s degree in a health related discipline. It is a great option for both those looking to make a career change into nursing or looking to progress their nursing career by continuing to build on prior health or science knowledge or experience.

*If you do not have a heath-related degree, or it has been some time since you studied, we are happy to discuss study pathways with you.

The degree will be of interest to anyone seeking a challenging yet rewarding and fulfilling career in healthcare.


UC’s Faculty of Health | Te Kaupekaa Oranga provides the opportunity to learn from an experienced, highly skilled nursing team and passionate researchers who are leaders in their field. The Faculty works closely with students to provide personal support and guidance that fosters their career goals and aspirations.

As a major tertiary learning institution, UC offers access to a wide variety of clinical placements within Canterbury and beyond. Students will undertake more than 1100 hours of clinical learning across a range of different practice settings that will not only help them become well-rounded, but will also help inform their decisions when choosing where they want to focus in their career.

UC nursing students will also undertake simulated learning via the Simulation Centre at the Manawa campus, where they can acquire skills and build confidence without the high pressure and risk of a fast-paced clinical environment.

The Master of Health Science (Nursing) is underpinned by UC’s values of manaakitanga (extending care and empowering others), whanaungatanga (valuing people and working as a team), and tiakitanga (enhancing and nurturing our resources). These philosophies help produce nursing graduates that are socially conscious, critical thinkers who contribute to the advancement of nursing knowledge, policy, and health outcomes.

Having successfully completed the MHealSc(Nursing) programme, graduates will be eligible to apply for registration with the Nursing Council of New Zealand and seek employment as registered nurses in New Zealand. NZ-registered nurses can automatically register in Australia and apply for registration to work in many other countries.

Once registered, graduates will be able to apply to work across the lifespan in a range of nursing roles in hospitals, clinics, primary care practices, and other healthcare services. Holding a Master’s degree in nursing also provides future possibilities for graduates to progress to roles such as clinical educator, clinical nurse specialist, charge nurse, teaching and leadership.

The tables below outline the combined structure.

Year 1

Semester 1

HLTH465 Professional Frameworks for Nursing Practice

(Includes 90 clinical hours)

HLTH466 Health Assessment, Physiology and Pharmacology for Clinical Practice

(Includes 90 clinical hours)

Semester 2


HLTH467 Mental Health and Addictions

(Includes 176 clinical hours)

HLTH468 Acute and Long Term Health Care

(Includes 176 clinical hours)

Year 2

Semester 1

HLTH463 Whānau and Community Health

(Includes 176 clinical hours)

HLTH464 Research Approaches for Health and Sport

(Includes 40 clinical hours)

Semester 2

HLTH699 Professional Portfolio; Nursing 

(Includes 360 clinical hours)

NCNZ registration examination 3rd Tuesday in November

For more details see the degree regulations for the Master of Health Science (Nursing).

  • Check that you meet the requirements for admission at UC.
  • Apply to UC using the online application process.
  • If you are accepted to the MHealSc(Nursing) programme, you will receive a formal offer.
  • International students applying for admission to UC, you will need to provide evidence of your English language proficiency with your application. For more information. Check out our english language requirements.

The Master of Health Science (Nursing) endorsement requires students to undertake placements in the community, including in schools/kura, early childhood centres, or health/medical facilities. For this qualification you will be required to meet police vetting and other health requirements.

  1. Evidence of Immune Status* - required prior to commencement of the program. Cost of a GP/health professional fee, and cost (if any) for serology tests. (Student to arrange.)
    1. * Hepatitis B, Varicella (Chicken pox), Measles, Pertussis (Whooping cough) and Tuberculosis (TB).
  2. COVID-19 vaccination
    1. Please follow workplace guidelines
  3. First Aid training - required prior to commencing the first clinical placement. Cost of comprehensive first aid training which covers NZQA unit standards 6400, 6401 and 6402 for example Red Cross Comprehensive First Aid or St.John Aid Level 2 (Student to arrange.)
  4. Nursing equipment kit and Student uniform– required prior to commencement of the program. We will send you more information on enrolment.
  5. Complete the Health and Disability Declaration
  6. International students applying for admission to UC, will need to provide evidence of your English language proficiency with your application. For this programme you will need to supply evidence of:

      i. IELTS (Academic) 6.5, with no individual score below 6.5; or

    ii. Pearson Test of English (Academic) – overall score 58. There are also individual requirements for each criteria please speak to our Student Advice team.

    iii. An alternative English language assessment, approved by Amo Matua, Te Kaupeka Oranga | Executive Dean of Health or delegate.

Fees include tuition fees, administration fees, additional course-related costs (text books, equipment), the New Zealand Nursing Council examination fee, and student services levies from UC.

Need more information?

Dr Isabel Jamieson

Senior Lecturer Above the Bar
Rehua 304
Internal Phone: 91808

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