Postgraduate Health Sciences


Our postgraduate qualifications allow you to put together a postgraduate programme of study across health-related disciplines. This gives you considerable flexibility, and the opportunity to plan a programme to suit your interests, current employment, or career goals.

Kickstart your career

Our programmes meet current and emerging workforce needs. They provide opportunities for interdisciplinary postgraduate study for students already working in health or related services who wish to extend their knowledge and skills, or recent graduates seeking employment in these sectors. The PGCertHealSc, PGDipHealSc, MHealSc and MHealScProfPr may be completed with or without an identified area of specialised endorsement.

Our courses provide advanced education and skill development directed towards enhanced health and wellbeing through the lifespan, from early intervention in childhood to palliative care. Another focus is on the functioning of the health system, from the management of health information to health in communities. The increasing focus on prevention and lifestyle change provides enormous potential for a refocusing of health strategies and allied areas such as education, sport and recreation, and local government.

If you are a current health practitioner in New Zealand you may be entitled to Health Workforce NZ Funding for these courses. Please contact your local DHB for application details.


Postgraduate qualifications

The PGCertHealSc generally comprises two approved courses from the HLTH schedule with a total weighting of 60 points (0.5 EFTS).

You may choose to enrol in:

The combination of chosen courses must equate to a total course weighting of 120 points (1.0EFTS). It will generally consist of four courses chosen from the Postgraduate Diploma in Health Sciences Schedule each with a course weighting of 30 points (0.25EFTS).

You may choose to enrol in:

The Master of Health Sciences is a 240-point, research-focused Masters degree. You may be permitted to enter the MHealSc at Part II if you have been awarded a Postgraduate Diploma in Health Sciences or equivalent appropriate qualification at a B+ average. This would require the completion of 120 points. A full year of research (120 points) in a pre-approved topic is recommended although other options may be available in certain circumstances. Coursework is normally completed prior to thesis or dissertation enrolment. Students should either complete HLTH690 (120 points) or HLTH697 (90 points), except those enrolled in the Nursing endorsement, who should complete HLTH695 (60 points).

You may choose to enrol in:

If you are applying for the thesis part of your Masters please complete the Master's Thesis Enrolment Application Form as well as apply online with myUC.

A PhD involves extensive, sustained and original research and study in your chosen subject, with the results being presented in a thesis that will contribute to intellectual knowledge of the field. It is a mark of intellectual ability, self-discipline and commitment. A PhD prepares you for a number of careers, including as an academic.

Areas of special interest can be seen at the Postgraduate Research website under Health Sciences, and include health systems, health care delivery, prevention and early intervention, health information management, health behaviour change, indigenous health issues, and family nursing.

Planning your studies

To put together a coherent programme of study for the PGCertHealSc, PGDipHealSc, MHealScProfPr or MHealSc you will first need to consider whether to create your own course of study or choose a specialised endorsement. If your aim is to attain the Postgraduate Diploma or Masters Degree with a specialised endorsement, you will need to enrol in the required courses for that endorsement.

Some HLTH courses relate to specialised endorsements. Eligibility to enrol in some courses will depend on prior academic experience, in the agreement of the appropriate course coordinator or Head of School.

Before enrolling in the PGCertHealSc, PGDipHealSc, MHealSc(ProfPrac) or MHealSc, you must first obtain the approval of the Joint Board of Studies: Health, and the Dean of Education, Health and Human Development.

If you are seeking admission to any of the above you normally need a three-year bachelors degree or equivalent with Health related courses, or extensive experience in a health related sector.

Students applying for the Nursing endorsement must also concurrently apply and be accepted for the Bachelor of Nursing at Ara.

Students applying for Part II of the Masters of Health Sciences (240 points) must have completed a research methods course and have an approved concept plan and supervisor prior to applying. For more information email Health Sciences Postgraduate Coordinator.

Transfer of credit

It may be possible to transfer credit from courses completed through other NZ tertiary institutions towards your Postgraduate Diploma or Masters Degree. Students are encouraged, if possible, to apply for credit in advance.

More information

If you have any queries regarding your eligibility, please contact a Student Advisor in the College of Education, Health and Human Development.

Many of our postgraduate courses are delivered in block mode. Block courses are an alternative delivery method to weekly lectures and suit distance and part-time students. Assignments are completed during the semester at home along with attending a block programme delivered over several days on campus.

Semester one block courses 2018

Course code  TitleCourse dates
HLTH 401

Health and Health Systems

Mar 19, 20, 21 & May 7, 8, 9
HLTH 430

Motivating Behaviour Change I

Feb 26, 27, 28 & Mar 26, 27, 28
HLTH 448

The Foundation of Hospice Palliative Care

Feb 26, 27, 28 & April 30, May 1, 2
HTLH 460

Critical Appraisal in Health Research

Feb 28, Mar 1 & Mar 28, 29 & May 9, 10
HLTH 463

Whanau and Community Health

Mar 7, 8, 9 & May 16, 17, 18
HLTH 464

Research Approaches for Health

Feb 21, 22, 23 & May 2, 3, 4
HLTH 466

Health Assessment, Physiology and Pharmacology for Clinical Practice

Feb 26, 27, 28 & Apr 5, 6 & Apr 13 & May 4 OSCE’s & May 7, 8 & May 14

Semester two block courses 2018

Course code  TitleCourse dates
HLTH 403

Environmental Health

 Aug 29, 30, 31 & Sept 26, 27, 28

HLTH 407


 August 1, 2, 3 & Sept 12, 13, 14

HLTH 431 Motivating Behaviour Change II July 16 & Sept 10
HLTH 433

Bioethics A

August 1, 2, 3
HLTH 434

Bioethics B

Sept 12, 13, 14
HLTH 449 Praxis in Hospice Palliative Care July 30, 31, Aug 1 & Sept 24, 25, 26
HLTH 450 Palliative Care: Advanced Theory and Practice July 16, 17, 18 & Oct 15, 16, 17
HLTH 467 Mental Health and Addictions July 23, 24, 25 & Aug 20, 21, 22 & Sept 10
HLTH 468 Acute and Long Term Health Care July 18, 19, 20 & Aug 13, 14, 15 & Sept 13, 14 & Oct 8 (exam 9-12)
HLTH 482 Group Work: Process and Practice July 31, August 1,2 & September 10,11

Whole year block courses 2018

Course code  TitleCourse dates
HLTH 481

Counselling and Psychology: Theories and Skills

March 7, 8 & May 2, 3 & July 23, 24 & August 21, 22




Credit for other study

Courses completed through other tertiary educational organisations may be credited toward the Postgraduate Diploma or Masters Degree. Students are encouraged, if possible, to apply for credit in advance.

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