Society and Policy
The Society and Policy major 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.
Graduates of the Society and Policy major have an in-depth knowledge of social issues relating to health, bioethics, and the development and evaluation of public policies, particularly policies with implications for health. Society and Policy majors possess core knowledge and skills relevant to health employment and sector-defined competencies. This includes some of the Aotearoa New Zealand generic public health competencies (PHANZ 2007), and some of the Aotearoa health promotion competencies (Health Promotion Forum 2012), including bioethics competencies that are specific to this major.
UC offers a major in Society and Policy as part of the Bachelor of Health Sciences.
Society and Policy major
To complete a major in Society and Policy within the Bachelor of Health Sciences, you will need to take the following courses throughout the degree:
Plus another three 100-level courses from Health Sciences or other degrees.
- HLTH 213 Health Systems and Policy
- SOCI 243 Sociology of Health and Medicine
- PHIL 240 Bioethics: Life, Death, and Medicine
- POLS 206 Introduction to Public Policy or POLS 216 City Politics and Urban Policy
Plus one course at 100-level (or above) from Health Sciences or other degrees.
- SOCI 311 Mental Health and Society or POLS 307 Policy Issues in Science, Technology and Global Health
Plus another two courses at 200-level (or above) from Health Sciences or other degrees.
This major prepares students for positions in policy analysis, social science research, and the development of public policy. It also prepares them for further research in humanities and the social sciences.
Students who graduate with a BHSc in Society and Policy are well prepared for postgraduate study in Health Sciences, and may be eligible to enrol in the Master of Policy and Governance. Students who take the Sociology option at 300-level, may also go on to postgraduate work in Sociology.
BHSc Society and Policy graduates who do not wish to complete a postgraduate degree may pursue careers in health administration, public policy, health policy, and other non-clinical roles within the broad health sector. This major also provides a foundation for graduate clinical degrees.
Examples of career pathways include:
- careers in health-related institutions and agencies
- community development roles in public health units, district health boards, Māori and iwi health/development organisations, NGOs, and local government agencies
- health policy analysts
- postgraduate studies towards a research career in health
- social and health researchers.
Find out more about what you can do with a degree in Health Sciences.
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