School of Health Sciences - University of Canterbury - New Zealand

Apply Now

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.


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.

*Subject to CUAP Approval December 2016

ERSKINE PROFILE – ROBERT WILTON from McMaster University, Canada – Semester 2 2016

Professor Rob Wilton

26 August

"Much of my research over the past two decades has been concerned with the challenges that people with disabilities face in their efforts to participate in social life.  While these challenges stem in part from people’s impairments, they are also linked to enduring social, economic and attitudinal barriers that many people confront.  At McMaster, I regularly teach undergraduate and post-graduate courses on the social dimensions of disability, social inequality and North American urban geography." 

"My main role at UC this term has been to help with the development and delivery of a qualitative research methods course for postgraduate students in the School of Health Sciences. I’ve also given a guest lecture to undergraduate health sciences students on different models or ways of understanding disability. Later this term, I will give a research seminar on my current research, which looks at the role of social enterprises in creating work opportunities for people living with psychiatric disabilities." Read more

Have the Olympics lost their way?

Professor Ian Culpan

28 July

Professor Ian Culpan from the College of Education, Health and Human Development talks to Radio NZ about the commercialisation of the Olympics and the disconnect between high performance sport and the public. He says "The divide is really created by high performance sport being captured by the political economy. Athletes are now bought and sold as commodities. They're traded on the open market and with that comes the notion of money and reward for good performances and with that comes the temptation to gain unfair advantage."
Read more

Health Precinct off to a great start

23 June

As a world-class hub for health education, research and innovation, Te Papa Hauora/Health Precinct will help drive activity in the city centre. The Precinct will bring together a network of world class researchers, students and clinicians all located in one central space and all contributing to a vibrant and stimulating environment. A flagship entity for the Precinct will be the planned Health Research Education Facility (HREF). This will be a single facility where education and research activities of the Canterbury District Health Board, University of Canterbury, and Ara are co-located to share infrastructure and to benefit from the synergies created by collaboration. The Precinct will attract national and international research talent and associated funding.
Read more here on the new Health Precinct website

UC Nursing students impress Pegasus Health

Suli Tuitaupe

26 May

Suli Tuitaupe and Jai Chung from the Master of Health Sciences and Bachelor of Nursing programme have been awarded scholarships from Pegasus Health. "The applicants this year were absolutely impressive. We were mind blown about what's going on in their lives and their overwhelming stories"; says Georgina Hunter from Pegasus Health. Suli Tuitaupe told his motivational story of making the transition from an obese teenager to a group fitness instructor.

Suli hopes to inspire others in the Pacific community and wants to work in illness prevention, health and wellbeing.

World Champ in our sporting midst

Dr Jenny Clarke

22 May

Sport Coaching lecturer, Dr Jenny Clarke, and her husband, Chris Clarke, paired for New Zealand as they clinched the golf croquet world teams championship in London. The Canterbury pair were undefeated as New Zealand claimed the title 7-5 over the heavily favoured Egypt team, in the final on Sunday (NZT). It was a reversal of the previous final four years ago when Egypt beat New Zealand at the Johannesburg Country Club in South Africa. Read more

Source: The Press

Student profile - Blake West

Blake West

'Thanks to the partnership with UC, the Crusaders Academy came and talked to us about the internship...'

A keen rugby player and aspiring coach, Blake is focusing on Strength and Conditioning as he works towards his degree in Sport Coaching at UC. It's a field he plans to specialise in as he develops his coaching career.

'I want to become a high-performance strength and conditioning coach with an industry-specific business,' he says. For Blake, coaching is all about being hands-on and he has made a dream start on his plan by landing an internship with the Crusaders Academy. This position gives him the opportunity to work with players at a senior level, which is a huge boost to his practical experience. Read more

Students get warm welcome back to university

Raesha Ishmail and Megan Whitelaw

8 March

Canterbury University students were warmly welcomed into the Riccarton community last Sunday.

Connect '16 was an event organised by two health and practice internship students to help them get to know their neighbours and other locals in the area. Canterbury Students Ashley Walker and Shannon Clark were behind the event held at Harington Park which was supervised by lecturer for Health Science and Education Raesha Ismail. Read more in the Western News, March 8 2016

Lack of counselling for Christchurch PTSD children

Lack of counselling for Christchurch PTSD children

15 February

Hundreds of young Christchurch children are suffering post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) linked to the earthquakes, but fewer than one in ten has access to counselling. Associate Professor Kathleen Liberty spoke with TV3's Story about top tips for helping our community's children. Watch here

Kathleen was also interviewed on Radio New Zealand about her research on children's struggles post earthquake. Up to 60 per cent of children aged 5 to 7 in the study are exhibiting PTSD symptoms, with 20 per cent showing six or more symptoms. Read more here

New one year 180 point Masters degree 2016 - 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

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 and 15th, 16th  September.

For more information please contact Dr Sarah Lovell

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

Online Videos

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