Bachelor of Health Science (Rehabilitation)

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Study rehabilitation for a meaningful career

With a Massey Bachelor of Health Science (Rehabilitation) you’ll get an in-depth knowledge of rehabilitation policy, practice and contexts, preparing you for a rewarding career helping others make the most of their lives.

Find out more about the Bachelor of Health Science parent structure

What is it like?

Rehabilitation practitioners work with individuals experiencing injury, illness, disability and/or social disadvantage to help them return to their desired life roles. Massey’s rehabilitation major adopts a multidisciplinary approach. You’ll gain the knowledge to provide and evaluate functioning, health and job-related rehabilitation and disability services. The rehabilitation major will also equip you to critically consider important national and international policies such as the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Help others make the most of their lives

Massey’s Bachelor of Health Science (Rehabilitation) will give you the skills to optimise rehabilitation outcomes for people within their family and community environments.

You’ll be educated in theories and practice to help people achieve occupational, personal and social goals. Our graduates work to facilitate change both in individuals and their community or work environments. Massey’s Rehabilitation major is unique, with its focus on social, functional and vocational rehabilitation.

Study to suit your lifestyle

Massey’s rehabilitation major is available by distance, and can be studied wherever you live, whether in New Zealand or overseas. You can also fit part-time study in around your career and other lifestyle commitments.

A good fit if you:

  • Are passionate about helping people improve their lives
  • Seek to advocate for accessible and inclusive communities and policies
  • Care about health and wellbeing
  • Are a problem-solver


You could find yourself working in the community not-for-profit sector, for non-governmental agencies, the Accident Compensation Corporation or vocational rehabilitation providers – among others.

The Bachelor of Health Science (Rehabilitation) can lead you to many rewarding careers, whether your passion is working with children and youth, older people, prisoners, or those with mental health difficulties. The demand for qualified rehabilitation health providers is rising, and you could find work in:

  • Community programmes
  • Case work/case management
  • Services for people with intellectual and developmental conditions
  • Services for people with age-related conditions
  • Advocacy and human rights
  • Policy development
  • Rehabilitation or disability research

Lecturer profile

Dr Andy Towers

Senior Lecturer in Rehabilitation Studies

Dr Andy Towers teaches alcohol and drug rehabilitation, health communication, and research methods for rehabilitation contexts. His research covers drug use and quality of life in older adults in general, but he has a particular interest in the international prevalence and predictors of risky drinking in older adults, how older adults are screened for drinking in primary health care settings, and the long-term impact of life-long drinking.

Andy is part of the Health and Ageing Research Team (HART) at Massey University. HART is an award-winning research group investigating the health and wellbeing of ageing New Zealanders.

Andy says, “I’m passionate about teaching in the health sciences because everyone wants to be in good health yet few of us understand the factors that underpin good health. We often fail to realise that tackling health issues means tackling the wider factors that unpin health (eg, poverty, employment and housing). My passion for teaching is particularly in the area of alcohol and drug rehabilitation, where the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities is very clearly linked to wider societal approaches.

I emphasise the use of evidence in everything that my students do because without evidence we simply do not understand what works to improve health.

The Major in Rehabilitation opens students’ eyes to the ways in which people can be disabled either by their injury, by their physical environment, or by the society in which they live. This provides an excellent foundation for students who want to understand what rehabilitation is, the core factors underpinning successful rehabilitation, how to plan effective rehabilitation programmes, and how to undertake new and innovative research to expand our understanding of evidence-based rehabilitation approaches.

The Major in Rehabilitation also provides an excellent platform for those who are passionate about advocating for the rights and welfare of those who are recovering from injury or who have disabilities. Many of the students completing the Major in Rehabilitation are already working in rehabilitation contexts (e.g., as support workers, counsellors) and this qualification provides an excellent platform for them to move into programme management and team supervision roles.

The Major in Rehabilitation also provides all students with an excellent knowledge-base for employment in health policy and health advocacy roles, both in government and non-government organisations, and provides a foundation for further specialisation if paired with key specialist majors/minors in the Bachelor of Health Science programme (e.g., psychology).

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