Public Health


Bachelor of Health Sciences

Public Health


The purpose of the major in Public Health is to produce graduates with 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 well-being through disease prevention, health promotion, and health service planning, delivery and evaluation.

The major in Public Health aims to:

  • provide students with a strong foundation in health sciences, with detailed knowledge in public health;
  • equip students to meet the New Zealand generic competencies for public health and is endorsed by the Health Promotion forum to provide foundation knowledge and understanding of Nga Kaiakatanga Hauora mo Aotearoa Health Promotion Competencies for New Zealand;
  • provide students with 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.


See all Public Health courses

Career opportunities

Students with the Bachelor of Health Sciences in Public Health will be able to function effectively as members of multidisciplinary teams in the health sector. Examples of career pathways include community roles in public health units, district health boards, non-governmental organisations, local government, health promoters, public health analysts, and a research career in public health.

Graduates might also go on to postgraduate study to further their specialisation in the field.

More information

School of Health Sciences

School of Health Sciences
College of Education
University of Canterbury
Private Bag 4800
Christchurch 8140
New Zealand

Phone +64 3 343 9606 ext 44606

Julia O'Sullivan

Julia O'Sullivan

'I have become particularly interested in infectious disease trends and pre-hospital emergency medicine...'

Suli Tuitaupe

Suli Tuitaupe

'I would love to work within the Pacific community focusing on health and wellbeing...'