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University of Canterbury
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Bachelor of Health Sciences (BHSc) in Maori and Indigenous Health

This course is available


Level of Study

Bachelor's Degree


3 years

Next start date

Expected Jul 2023


University of Canterbury


The BHSc is a three-year programme that provides a comprehensive overview of health and health care. It is a multidisciplinary qualification and our graduates are using their skills in the health sector and beyond.

Aotearoa New Zealand's health and disability sector is characterised by a diverse workforce made up of many occupations. This diversity is essential to be able to provide the range of services required to meet population health outcomes. Enables graduates to improve health and well-being through disease prevention, health promotion, and health service planning, delivery, and evaluation.

The purpose of the Maori and Indigenous Health major is to prepare culturally competent graduates who are able to use, apply and integrate Maori, bicultural and indigenous knowledge and practices in their chosen health and social services-related careers.

The holistic Maori view of health and well-being is an important component of the major, which includes knowledge and skills in the following areas:

  • Te Ao Tangata - Engaging with Maori: understanding, respect, te reo, interpersonal and cross-cultural communication/dialogue, and Maori health-based experiences;
  • Te Ao Hauora - Working with health professionals: promoting students' understandings of the multiple disciplines and roles involved in delivering health care to Maori, including clinicians (eg, pharmacists, doctors, physiotherapists and psychologists), the cultural/community/clinical interface, and interprofessional/interdisciplinary collaboration;
  • Nga Ratonga Hauora - Working with health services and health systems: providing students with a thorough grounding in socio-historical health developments and current health system structures, including Maori and iwi community-based health and social services.

How do I plan my degree?

The BHSc requires a total of 360 points:

  • 135 points of compulsory courses
  • at least 90 points of major courses
  • the remaining points from Health Sciences or from other degrees.

At least 225 points must be from courses above 100-level, with at least 90 points at 300-level.

Career opportunities

Career options for students who major in Maori and Indigenous Health include research and policy analysis or advice, health promotion, and community health liaison roles in non-governmental organisations focused on health and well-being, Maori and iwi health and development organisations, District Health Boards, and local government.

Students interested in progressing to postgraduate study will be well prepared as a result of this major, particularly in relation to Maori and Indigenous Studies, and/or Health.

Entry criteria

Applicants must have completed New Zealand University Entrance through NCEA; or Cambridge International Examinations (CIE); or International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB) or any other equivalent overseas qualification.

Applicants must also satisfy our English language entry requirements:

  • IELTS (Academic): Minimum overall score of 6.0, with no band score lower than 5.5.
  • TOEFL (IBT): Minimum overall score of 80, with a minimum score of 19 in Reading, Listening and Writing.
  • PTE (Pearson Test of English - Academic): Overall score of 50, and no communicative skills score below 42.

Undergraduate application deadline: Semester 1 (February start) by 31 October; Semester 2 (July start) by 30 April.

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