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14 September 2023

UC's Master of Health Sciences (Nursing) programme is approved by the Nursing Council of New Zealand. If you want to make a difference in the lives of others in your community and you're looking for an exciting career that builds on your critical thinking skills, nursing could be a great choice for you. Find out about studying Nursing at UC.


The Master of Health Sciences (Nursing) prepares you to sit for the Nursing Council of New Zealand State Final Examination in just two years. Passing the examinationthen enables you to apply for registration as a nurse. With nurses in high demand, nursing is a stable career path that offers excellent opportunities both in Aoteroa New Zealand and overseas.

UC’s Master of Health Science (Nursing) is a blended programme that combines online learning modules with onsite clinical placements, enabling students to enhance their critical learning thinking skills, develop clinical knowledge, and grow their career. Clinical experience of 1100 hours is offered throughout the programme with a consolidated block at the end.


Who is this initiative designed for?

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.


Why choose UC for nursing?

UC’s Faculty of Health | Te Kaupeka 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.


Career opportunities

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 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.


Course information

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 3rdTuesday in November

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

  • Apply at UC Online 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 IELTS requirements, refer below.

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.)
  2. First Aid training - required prior to commencing the first clinical placement. Provide an up to date first aid certificate for a course that covers NZQA unit standards 6401 and 6402 and is a minimum of 8 hours in length. For example, Red Cross Essential First Aid or St John First Aid Level 1 (Student to arrange and cover cost.)
  3. Nursing equipment kit and Student uniform– required prior to commencement of the program. We will send you more information on enrolment.
  4. Complete the Health and Disability Declaration
  5. 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:
    1.  IELTS (Academic) 6.5, with no individual score below 6.5; or
    2. Pearson Test of English (Academic) – overall score 58 and no band below 58. There are also individual requirements for each criteria please speak to our Student Advice team.
    3. An alternative English language assessment, approved by Amo Matua, Te Kaupeka Oranga | Executive Dean of Health or delegate.

Please note: The IELTS requirements for this programme are currently being reviewed. We anticipate confirming the requirements for 2025 applications by 31 March 2024.

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?

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