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

Apply Now

Postgraduate Diploma in Health Sciences (Health and Community)

Health and Community sceneUC School of Health Sciences has a public health focus, and public health is traditionally aimed at the population level and epidemiological data often drive public health programmes. For example, campaigns targeting smoking reduction, healthy lifestyles and driving while intoxicated are generally disseminated to the populace as a whole. Within the last decades, public health has also sought to promote wellbeing to targeted groups, such as young people (bullying), families (domestic violence) and the elderly (avoiding falls at home). Some recent studies indicate that public health programmes targeted at the population or risk-group level may have moderate effectiveness, but may need strengthening. This may be particularly true for hap? and wh?nau (Cram et al, 2003).

The social model of health strongly identifies the contributions of communities and social networks to health and wellbeing. 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 endorsement helps students understand the intersection in a community -- between individual health, medicine, and population health. 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 to increase their control over the determinants of their health; actions can include developing programmes or networks, and advocacy for service or programme improvements, organizational change and/or for public policy change”.  This endorsement is aimed at supporting students skills to contribute to health at a community level

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.