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Master of Health Sciences (Environment and Health)

This course is available


Level of Study

Master's Degree


2 years

Next start date

Expected Jul 2024


University of Canterbury


UC's Health Sciences qualifications give health professionals, non-clinical members of the health workforce, and others interested in the health sector or health issues the opportunity to examine critically a range of significant issues in health sciences, and where relevant to improve their professional practice.

The Master of Health Sciences allows you to put together a postgraduate programme of study across health-related disciplines, such as the functioning of the health system, from the management of health information, to health in communities. The increasing focus on prevention and lifestyle change provides enormous potential for a refocusing of health strategies and allied areas such as education, sport and recreation, and local government.

This gives you considerable flexibility, and the opportunity to plan a programme to suit your interests, current employment, or career goals, providing opportunities for interdisciplinary postgraduate study for students already working in health or related services who wish to extend their knowledge and skills, or recent graduates seeking employment in these sectors.

The Master of Health Sciences (MHealSc) is a research-inclusive qualification worth 240 points. You will be supervised by some world-leading researchers in Te Kura M?tai Hauora | School of Health Sciences.

You may either follow a general programme, or focus on a specialisation and receive your qualification endorsed in one of several areas:

Environment and Health

UC's postgraduate endorsement in Environment and Health is the only qualification in the South Island that qualifies graduates to work as Environmental Health Officers.

Environmental Health Officers work for councils, public health organisations, and within the private sector. Their role includes investigating and monitoring food safety, infectious diseases, and environmental health risks. Environmental Health Officers protect public health through the development of health policy, health promotion initiatives, and the enforcement of public health legislation.

Completing a UC postgraduate qualification in Environment and Health will prepare you with the practical skills you require to work in environmental health including taking environmental samples, collecting and preparing evidence for a hearing, engaging with local iwi, and using Geographic Information Systems. You will develop an understanding of risk assessment and exposure, public health investigation, and study design in order to reliably assess environmental risks. You will also be prepared with an understanding of relevant legislation including the Health Act and Resource Management Act.

Further study

UC offers a Doctor of Health Sciences and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Health Sciences.

Career opportunities

Postgraduate study can bring many career benefits eg, specialist skills and enhanced knowledge, entry into specific occupations, higher starting salary/progression rates, research capability/achievement, and evidence of high academic attainment/self-discipline.

Entry criteria

To enrol in the MHealSc, you must have completed either a relevant bachelor's degree, an appropriate health professional qualification, or the Postgraduate Diploma in Health Sciences (or equivalent) with at least a B Grade Point Average.

Students with a Postgraduate Diploma in Health Sciences (or equivalent) can complete Part II only (a full year of research – 120 points – in a pre-approved topic is recommended, although other options may be available).

Applicants must also satisfy our English language entry requirements:

IELTS (Academic): An average score of 6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 in reading, writing, listening, and speaking.
TOEFL (IBT): Total minimum score of 90, minimum score of 19 in reading, writing, and listening.
PTE (Pearson Test of English - Academic): PTE with an overall score of 58 and no PTE communicative skills score below 50.

Applications after the deadline date (8 December) will be considered if places are available.

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