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

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Master of Health Sciences Professional Practice - choose your own pathway

The Master of Health Sciences Professional Practice (MHealScProfPr) is a 180-point, professionally focused, coursework-based 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.

The Master of Professional Practice in Health Sciences, without any specialisation or endorsement, is an interdisciplinary programme; students complete advanced study in Health Sciences and other courses they can select from around the University’s other post-graduate offerings, choosing from courses in over twenty disciplines. Students  follow a general programme, guided by their professional and inquiry-based interests, with approval by the Masters Coordinator.

In addition to the courses required for the PGDipHealSc, the Masters of Professional Practice (without specialisation) incudes HLTH463 Whanau and Community Health and HLTH464 Research Approaches for Health which gives you additional depth for your practice.  

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). This degree normally takes 3 semesters full time or 6 semesters part time. 

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 C: All courses for the Degree of Master of Health Sciences Professional Practice. Please check course availability.


Semester 1, Year 1

Semester 2, Year 1

Semester 1, Year 2

Required courses
60 pts

HLTH463 Whanau and Community Health
(30 pts)


HLTH464 Research Approaches for Health
(30 pts)

120 pts from the schedule

HLTH401 Health and Health Systems
(30 pts)

HLTH402 Health Information Management 
(30 pts)

HLTH430 Motivating Behaviour Change 1
(30 pts)

HLTH403 *Environmental Health (30 pts)  

HLTH460 Critical Appraisal in Health Research (30 pts)

HLTH407 Bioethics
(30 pts)

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

HLTH409 Health and Culture
(30 pts)


HLTH465 Professional Frameworks for Nursing Practice
(30 pts)

HLTH431 Motivating Behaviour Change 2 
(if previously taken HLTH430)
(30 pts)
HLTH466 Health Assessment, Physiology and Pharmacology for Clinical Practice
(30 pts)

HLTH467 Mental Health and Addictions
(30 pts)


HLTH468 Acute and Long Term Health Care
(30 pts)


HLTH469 *Health Issues in the Community
(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)

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.

* Subject to CUAP approval due late 2016