Health Sciences - College of Education, Health and Human Development - University of Canterbury - New Zealand

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Postgraduate Diploma in Health Sciences (Health and Community)

Health and Community sceneUC School of Health Sciences draw on their public health expertise to prepare graduates of the Health & Community major with the skills and knowledge to design and implement evidence-based health interventions in community settings. Increasingly, public health interventions target groups whose wellbeing is considered at-risk, such as young people (bullying), the elderly (avoiding falls at home), and Māori (smoking reduction). Some recent studies indicate that public health programmes targeted at the population or risk-group level may have moderate effectiveness, and may need strengthening. This appears particularly true for hapū and whānau (Cram et al, 2003).

The social model of health strongly identifies the contributions of communities and social networks to health and wellbeing. This major helps students understand how communities contribute to health and wellbeing to increase the effectiveness of health promotion. Fry and Zask (2016) describe the need to strengthen community action by “expanding the resources and capacity of communities to make decisions and take collective action” through networking, advocacy, programme development and building healthy public policy. Current and future workers within the fields of primary health, health promotion, public health and not-for-profit health organisations will benefit from this course of study.

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

You can start in either February (Semester 1) or July (Semester 2). 

For specific information about courses, when you get to the general course page, please click on the red link for the course occurrence.

The table below is a suggested pathway for this programme. Please note there are further optional courses available from Schedule to the Regulations for the Postgraduate Diploma in Health Sciences. Please check course availability.


Semester 1

Semester 2

Required courses
60 pts

HLTH463 Whanau and Community Health
(30 pts)

HLTH469 Health Issues in the Community
(30 pts)
60 pts from the schedule or GEOG401
(Normally one per semester)

GEOG401 Well-Being, Community and Place
(30 pts)

HLTH403  Environmental Health
(30 pts)

HLTH401 Health and Health Systems
(30 pts)

HLTH407 Bioethics
(30 pts)

HLTH430 Motivating Behaviour Change I
(30 pts)

HLTH409 Health and Culture
(30 pts)

HLTH460 Health Intervention Research Methods
(15 pts)

HLTH467 Mental Health and Addictions
(30 pts)

HLTH464 Research Approaches for Health
(30 pts)

HLTH468 Acute and Long Term Health Care
(30 pts)

  HLTH472 Quantitative Methods in Health Research (Introductions to Psychometric Theory and Administration)
(15 pts)
  HLTH408 (C) Qualitative Health Methodologies (Special Topic: Independent Study)
(15 pts)

Students are encouraged to take the core papers for their qualification first.

Part-time students would usually complete one or two courses per semester to total 30 points.

Full-time students would usually complete two to four courses per semester to total 60 points.

Please refer to individual course webpages for further details regarding course dates, workshops and other attendance requirements.