Bachelor of Health Science (Health Promotion)

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Study for a meaningful career

With a Massey Bachelor of Health Science (Health Promotion) you’ll be prepared to address the big health challenges facing the nation and the world in the 21st century.

Find out more about the Bachelor of Health Science parent structure

What is it like?

Massey’s Bachelor of Health Science is the first undergraduate degree in New Zealand that lets you combine a comprehensive, interdisciplinary suite of health majors and minors.

Make a difference to the nation’s health

The Bachelor of Health Science (Health Promotion) will give you the skills you need to enable people to improve their health. This programme moves beyond a focus on individual behaviour towards a wide range of social and environmental interventions. It takes an integrated approach to the science of good health, and highlights the importance of nutrition, exercise and sleep to achieving and maintaining good health throughout the life cycle.

Using this holistic approach to health, you’ll be able to communicate accurate and informed advice to produce a positive impact on health.

Learn from the best

Your Bachelor of Health Science lecturers have received awards for their research and teaching. Our teaching excellence is acknowledged by the AKO Aotearoa National Centre for Tertiary Teaching Excellence.

Follow your interests

Massey has a wide range of minors that you can do alongside your health promotion major. It’s easy to build a degree that caters to your interests and your future career path.

Get the skills employers need

Our curriculum meets the public health competencies defined by the Public Health Association of New Zealand and the Health Promotion Forum of New Zealand, so you’ll get the skills employers demand. Graduate with the knowledge to critically evaluate evidence of health promotion prevention and intervention strategies. These include community development, participation, social change, social marketing and advocacy. You’ll be able to apply your new knowledge to the design, implementation and evaluation of health promotion activities. From day one in the workplace, you’ll contribute to more effective health promotion in New Zealand and internationally.

The Health Promotion Forum of New Zealand says:

Health promoters work with communities, within different settings and across different sectors to improve health and reduce health inequities. Massey University’s Bachelor of Health Science (Health Promotion) provides an exciting opportunity for students to gain the knowledge and skills required to improve health outcomes. The Health Promotion Forum of New Zealand - Runanga Whakapiki Ake i te Hauora o Aotearoa (HPF) - supports this opportunity that contributes to developing an effective health promotion workforce.

Karen Hicks
Senior Health Promotion Strategist (Sector and Workforce Development)
Health Promotion Forum of New Zealand Runanga Whakapiki ake i te Hauora o Aotearoa

A good fit if you:

  • Want to improve health outcomes for communities and populations
  • Are keen to pursue a career in health promotion, health advocacy or programme evaluation
  • Already work in an area relevant to health promotion and want to further your career


The Bachelor of Health Science (Health Promotion) can lead you to many rewarding careers. You could find work in any of the following fields:

  • Health promotion
  • Community health workers, outreach and advisors
  • Policy advisors and analysts in government, district health boards, NGOs or PHOs
  • Programme managers, coordinators and evaluators

You could go on to postgraduate study and become involved in health research.

Lecturer profile

Dr Anna Matheson

I am passionate about reducing inequalities in health. In New Zealand, if you look at almost any trend in health - from cancers to respiratory illnesses - you will see that Maori and Pacific people and those on low incomes have more and earlier sickness and death than other groups of New Zealanders. When you see these patterns across populations, you realise that the causes are about how society as a whole interacts with these groups and just how incredibly unfair it is.

There are many examples of inequities in health outcomes for different groups in our community. Increasingly we know that there are no quick-fix solutions, but we can intervene in various ways to change health outcomes for individuals, communities and nations. This is what health promotion is about.

Both problems and their possible solutions are different when you lift your gaze and take a look at the bigger picture. Meningococcal, for example, may be caused by bacteria, but an epidemic can come about because a community has high rates of overcrowding in their homes. By the same token, cancer might be caused by cells that mutate, but inequalities in cancer can be caused by different groups having different access to cancer services. We can most effectively intervene to improve people’s health when we are able to look at patterns like these across populations.

Training in health promotion provides knowledge of intervention tools such as behaviour change, community empowerment and social marketing, but it also provides ways to think about how these approaches relate to each other and their effectiveness. As well as health promotion aimed at communities for risk factors such as tobacco, alcohol, and poverty, there are also wider challenges that are threats to public health and require innovative solutions - think of climate change, global population growth and social inequalities within and between countries.

My team are a bunch of teachers and active researchers passionate about health promotion and about ensuring that our work makes a difference in improving lives.

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