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University of Otago
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Bachelor of Health Sciences (BHealSc) Majoring in Community Health Care

This course is available


Level of Study

Bachelor's Degree


3 years

Next start date

Expected Jul 2024


University of Otago


Health systems in the future will see more initiatives in the community.

New health roles will be developed to deliver these initiatives and help individuals negotiate the jigsaw of health services available. Public health approaches will become increasingly important to address the broad health issues facing us in the future.

This career-focused qualification concentrates on the skills required to work with people and communities to promote health and ensure they access and receive the most appropriate care.

Navigate changing global health systems

As our world becomes more interconnected, new challenges are impacting the health and well-being of our communities.

These challenges include:

Populations and people living for longer, and often with multiple long-term conditions and disabilities

Limited health resources and greater demand for services

Environmental and social change and their effects on health

With these challenges comes an increasing need to develop innovative approaches to health care.

The Bachelor of Health Sciences (BHealSc) is a three-year degree for those who want to be an integral part of these new healthcare approaches, with the opportunity to major (specialise) in four different areas.

Community Health Care

Learn culturally responsive and integrated health approaches to navigate the way forward in our changing healthcare system.

Our interactive learning opportunities enable students to connect with people and service organisations in community healthcare settings by:

Learning about health and well-being from multiple disciplines and perspectives, including hauora Maori, in order to develop an understanding of health at a broader level

Focusing on health and well-being, disability, human development and common health problems

Becoming knowledgeable about the social and health system context in order to assist people, their whanau, and communities to navigate the health system effectively

Specifically, you will learn about:

Social and cultural contexts and explore ways to reduce inequity

How to communicate and act in an ethical, professional and compassionate way with a diverse range of individuals and communities, with a particular emphasis on understanding Maori and Pacific values

Human health and well-being across the lifespan

Health conditions and treatments


Assessment and care co-ordination

Bioethical principles underpinning health care

Career opportunities

As a BHealSc graduate majoring in Community Health Care, you will have a sound multidisciplinary understanding of health, well-being, and the health system. You will be well equipped to gain employment in a variety of community roles within primary and secondary healthcare settings, policy and managerial roles, or in health and disability services.

This is especially important as future healthcare services will be increasingly based in the community.

Graduates will have the expertise to work with a diverse range of individuals and communities across the healthcare sector to improve health outcomes for all.

Note: July commencement may be possible, although the duration of the qualification may be longer, or paper selection may be limited.

Entry criteria

We recognise many other qualifications as equivalent to the New Zealand qualification for entrance.

We also accept the following international qualifications:

  • International Baccalaureate: IB Diploma with a minimum of 24 points.
  • Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) GCE Advanced Levels: minimum Numerical Score of 8

English language requirements

  • IELTS (Academic module) (including IELTS Online) - Overall score of 6.0, no individual band below 5.5.
  • TOEFL iBT - Overall score of 80 and a writing score of 20.
  • C1 Advanced (previously Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE)) or C2 Proficiency (previously Cambridge English Proficiency (CPE)) - Overall score of 169 (with no individual band below 162)
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic - Overall score of 50 with no communicative skills score below 42.
  • LanguageCert - International ESOL: C1 Expert (LRWS) with a pass overall and no less than a pass in each skill
  • NZCEL - NZCEL 4 Academic endorsement
  • English New Zealand's Accredited Pathway Assessment - Assessment Level 2 (with no skill lower than Level 1)
  • APIEL Advanced Placement International English Language Examination - Grade 3 or higher

July commencement may be possible, although the duration of the qualification may be longer, or paper selection may be limited.

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