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Welcome to the School of Health Sciences


We offer undergrad qualifications in Health Sciences as well as postgraduate Health Sciences, Counselling, Child and Family Psychology, Nursing, Specialist Teaching and PhD in Health Sciences.

Student Profiles

Read about the successes of some of our current students, recent graduates, as well as the inspirational research being conducted by our postgraduate students.


Change to 'antiquated' adoption law needed - researcherAnnabel Ahuriri-Driscoll

University of Canterbury lecturer Annabel Ahuriri-Driscoll was adopted and said it was important to know where you came from. "Not growing up with your birth family does put you at a disadvantage," she said. Read more at

Congratulations to Dr Arin Basu - Overleaf Advisor of the Month (November 2015)

Congratulations and thanks to Dr. Arindam Basu and the Research Committee of the College of Education, Health, and Human Development (CoEHHD) for organizing an interactive Overleaf overview presentation at the University of Canterbury at Christchurch in New Zealand. Read more from this blog.

National Health Protection Agency panel of experts

Congratulations to Ray Kirk and Arin Basu (from Health Sciences), Simon Kingham & Malcom Campbell (from Geography) for being selected by the Australian National Health Protection Agency to serve on their panel of experts.

New one year 180 point Masters degree 2016 - Master of Health Sciences Professional Practice (Subject to Universities New Zealand CUAP approval, due December 2015)

The Master of Health Sciences Professional Practice (MHealScProfPr) is a 180-point, professionally focused, coursework-based master's degree. This degree will appeal to those already employed in the health sector or those wishing to enter health-related employment, with students examining a range of significant issues in health sciences, and looking to improve their professional practice as a result. Students will be asked to critically reflect, to link theory to policy and practice in their own work contexts, and to develop strategies and skills that will help them to identify improvements to their own health practices.

Students may either follow a general programme, or focus on a specialisation and receive their qualification endorsed in Early Intervention, Environment and Health, Health Behaviour Change, Health Information Management, Men’s Health, Nursing or Palliative Care. These endorsements allow professionals to gain a highly specialised, discipline-specific knowledge related to their work or area of interest. 

More information is available here

New Course 2016 - HLTH408 Independent Study (Qualitative Methodologies for the Health Sciences) (15pts) S2

Students will examine qualitative methodologies with an emphasis on theory and rigour in qualitative research. Students to develop a robust research proposal that may inform a qualitative thesis or dissertation. With a focus on interviewing, the course will examine practices rigour in qualitative data collection. Students become proficient in the theory and techniques of interviewing and will be equipped to apply these concepts to other qualitative methods.
Upon successful completion of this course, students will have:

  1. A critical understanding of qualitative methodologies commonly adopted in the health sciences.
  2. Applied core concepts in qualitative health research to best answer a research question.
  3. Demonstrated awareness of the methodologies and challenges surrounding qualitative research within their health discipline.

The course will be taught in blocks of two days on the:

11th and 12th August
15th, 16th  September

For more information please contact Dr Sarah Lovell

School of Health Sciences PHA Scholarship students attend PHA Conference

School of Health Sciences under-graduate and post-graduate students were awarded scholarships to attend this year's NZ Public Health Association Conference in September held in Dunedin. Pictured below are (L to R) Amelia, Charlotte, Suzanne and Thomas.

SHS students at PHA conference

In the news

School of Health Sciences staff member Annabel Ahuriri-Driscoll was on Radio NZ talking about her research into Māori traditional healing practices. Read more

Master of Counselling applications for 2016 now open

Applications for limited entry papers close on October 1 2015.  Check out the website now

Application forms for limited-entry papers
Master of Counselling Application Form (DOC, 40KB)
Master of Counselling Personal Statement (DOC, 129KB)
Master of Counselling Referee Report (DOC, 32KB)

Please note: if you want to enrol in open-entry papers (HLTH 481, COUN 678, COUN 679) you can do this anytime from now.

Annabel Ahuriri-Driscoll joins the executive of the Canterbury West Coast Division of the CanceAnnabel Ahuriri-Driscollr Society

School of Health Sciences staff member, Annabel Ahuriri-Driscoll has recently been elected as an Executive Member of the Canterbury West Coast Division of the Cancer Society for a 3 year term. Annabel will perform a  variety of tasks within this role, but initially will focus on her appointment to the Research and Grants subcommittee.


In the news

Associate Professor Kathleen LibertyAssociate Professor Kathleen Liberty was on Radio NZ talking about her research into post-traumatic stress in children. The study indicated if children experienced a chronic period of stress while their brain was developing during the age of two and three, their ability to respond to stress was altered.

"We call them stress-sensitive children, for example a small thing like loosing their sun-hat becomes a big deal to them, they are becoming stressed over something that they otherwise wouldn't have."

Read more

Research Aims to Improve Elderly Patient CareProf Philip Schulter

Canterbury District Health Board is teaming up with key experts from South Island universities, including Prof Philip Schluter from the School of Health Sciences, to conduct research aimed at better understanding aging to help improve patient care.


Graeme Davey Doctoral Scholarship in Cancer Epidemiology

The School of Health Sciences is delighted to be able to offer the Graeme Davey Doctoral Scholarship for Doctoral study in Cancer Epidemiology. Below is the application form and regulations for your information. If you require further information please contact Professor Ann Richardson

Graeme Davey Doctoral Scholarship Application

Graeme Davey Doctoral Scholarship Regulations

Pukemanu-Dovedale Child and Family Psychology Centre.

Congratulations to Associate Professor Karyn France & Suzi Hall, and the rest of the team for obtaining a $180,00 donation from Sir Campbell and Lady Leita Wylie Foundation to support the Pukemanu-Dovedale Child and Family Psychology Centre. The donation is a recognition of the quality and value of service provided to the community. The money will be distributed over a 3-year period.