School of Health Sciences - University of Canterbury - New Zealand

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Welcome to the School of 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.


Student Profile: Neville Rodrigues, studying towards a PhD in Health Sciences

Neville Rodrigues

4 November

'My goal is to find meaning in my work by helping others...'

Neville Rodrigues is studying towards a PhD in Health Sciences. "I have always had this desire to understand people and understand what their stories are." Neville’s PhD study analyses how young adult immigrants deal with the stress of natural disasters, which was inspired by the Christchurch earthquakes and period of uncertainty for refugee groups in the area at the time. Read more

Innovation Medal - work on Psychiatric Scales recognised

Associate Professor Michael Tarren-Sweeney

21 October

Congratulations to Associate Professor Michael Tarren-Sweeney, of the School of Health Sciences, who has been awarded the 2016 University of Canterbury Innovation Medal.

The Innovation Medal recognises Associate Professor Tarren-Sweeney’s work on the development of the Assessment Checklist Series; a set of psychiatric scales which has led to an important breakthrough in the delivery of mental health care for a vulnerable population of children within New Zealand and abroad. Read more

Cricket researcher makes game-changing app

12 October

Dr Carl Petersen

UC Sports Science lecturer Dr Carl Petersen has released an app, XEQT-Pro, which allows bowlers to track where they bowl and how accurate they are.The bowlers receive immediate feedback on their percentage executed as well as bowling figures, plus more detailed information.

“Bowlers are often asked by their captain to deliver a certain type of delivery and pitch it in a certain area. This app allows the captain to set a particular field, to either maximise wicket taking or run-restricting depending on the match situation”. Bowlers are not often effectively tested or trained on this ability during training, he says. Read more

It's about mental health, not mental illness

3 October

All right? AmbleThe All Right? Amble and Canterbury's Digital Detox were held on Sunday 2 October with 600 people attending. The event was organised by Canterbury University health science students and Canterbury District Health Board's (DHB) All Right? wellbeing campaign. UC Health Education lecturer Tracy Clelland says the focus of the event was to encourage people to “stop and take time out, walk around the gardens, and reflect on how people can utilise the five ways to wellbeing to enhance mental health." There were five activity stations in the gardens, each dedicated to one of the "five ways to wellbeing" – to take notice, be active, connect, keep learning, and give. Activities included reading I Spy books, flax weaving, hula hooping, and playing with objects with different textures and smells.

"It's about mental health, not mental illness," said Canterbury University health education lecturer Tracy Clelland.

"It's all about connecting with people." Read more

New Health and Community endorsement from 2017

Health and Community endorsement

23 September

Communities and social networks are crucial to the health and wellbeing of individuals. The understanding of how communities contribute to health and wellbeing, and the inclusion of this understanding to increase the effectiveness of health promotion, is a necessity. This new endorsement helps students understand the intersections in a community -- between individual health, medicine, and population health. This endorsement is aimed at supporting students to contribute to health at a community level.

The new Health and Community endorsement is available within the Postgraduate Diploma of Health Sciences, the Master of Health Sciences Professional Practive and the research focused Master of Health Sciences.

One year 180 point Masters degree - Master of Health Sciences Professional Practice

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

Online Videos

Prestige Lecture: Raising Emotionally Intelligent Children

Watch Professor John Luckner's Prestige Lecture

Prestige Lecture: Treatment of Aggressive Behaviour in Individuals with Mild to Borderline Intellectual Disabilities

Watch Professor Robert Didden's Prestige Lecture online here

Prestige Lecture: Children and young people’s experiences of sport and what it means for them

Watch Professor Richard Light's Prestige Lecture online here

What if... coaching cricket and other sports could get you a great job?

Watch Professor Richard Light's What If Wednesday lecture online here

What if... You were lost in the outdoors?

Watch Chris North's What If Wednesday lecture online here

What if... Cancer screening can cause harm as well as benefit?

Watch Professor Ann Richardson’s What If Wednesday lecture online here

What if... Nutrition could treat mental illness?

Watch Professor Julia Rucklidge’s What if Wednesday public lecture

What if... Critically-ill patients could be helped more?

Watch Professor Geoff Chase’s What if Wednesday public lecture

What if... we could detect type 2 diabetes before it was a problem?

Watch Professor Geoff Chase’s What if Wednesday public lecture