Bachelor of Health Science (Environmental Health)

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Excel in the growing health industry

If you’re interested in improving people’s health and wellbeing, and want to make real changes in the community, the Bachelor of Health Science (Environmental Health) is a great career choice.

Find out more about the Bachelor of Health Science parent structure

What is it like?

Massey’s Bachelor of Health Science (Environmental Health) will help you become a multi-skilled professional with a specific focus on protection of human health. You’ll learn to protect people and communities from threats to health from our built and natural environments.

Get a broad education in environmental health

Environmental health is concerned with all aspects of the environment that may affect human health. Threats to human health may be biological, physical or chemical, and may be caused by natural processes, human activity, or a combination of the two. You’ll study important environmental health topics including food safety, infectious disease transmission, drinking water quality, urban air pollution, the hazards of excessive noise, exposure to toxic and other hazardous substances, workplace monitoring, medical geochemistry, contaminated site assessment, waste management and climate change.

The health industry needs you

With a solid grounding in environmental health, you’ll be perfectly placed to contribute to our nation’s health from day one in the workplace. You’ll learn to evaluate scientific knowledge and relevant legislation to act upon threats to human health. These could come from the supply of products and services to consumers, the natural environment, and environmental pollutants. You’ll get a thorough grounding in the relevant sciences and operational practices associated with environmental health.

Be a practical health advocate

With a Bachelor of Health Science with a major in environmental health you’ll gain:

  1. Broad, applied, hands-on environmental health knowledge combining both science and social science
  2. The ability to identify and solve problems
  3. Great communication skills
  4. The capacity to act as both a motivated self-starter and a specialist part of a larger team
  5. The ability to interface with other professionals
  6. An understanding of how to identify key legislation and its significance

Massey’s Bachelor of Health Science (Environmental Health) is recognised under the Environmental Health Officers Qualifications Regulations 1993.

A good fit if you:

  • Enjoy communicating with people and communities with diverse backgrounds
  • Want a job with a wide variety of work, where every day offers different challenges
  • Love analysing and critiquing trends, patterns, information and data
  • Want to play an integral role in improving the health, safety and wellbeing of people and nations
Michelle Campbell
Bachelor of Health Science (Human Health and the Environment)
Environmental Health Officer, Wellington City Council

“I found it easy to find work after my degree…”

I picked my environmental health major after doing a paper on human health and housing. It really got my attention, particularly because I know people who were directly affected by leaky building syndrome.

My experience at Massey was very positive. I found a good group of people to study and socialise with and the paper coordinators were extremely encouraging. They always had an open door policy if we had questions or wanted to know more information.

I found it easy to find work after my degree. You have to be flexible. Work is dependent on which district health boards or territorial authorities are hiring. I started applying for work just before exams in November 2012, had a job secured in December and started in January.

I actually got offered two jobs - an environmental health officer (EHO) position in Whangarei and a health protection officer position in Queenstown, which was a 12-month maternity leave cover contract. I took a risk and took the contract because I wanted to spend the winter skiing!

My current role is as an EHO for Wellington City Council. Food auditing and alcohol licencing is the bread and butter of this role. I cover more than 260 food premises in Eastern and Northern Wellington, which all require inspections and monitoring.

There are also the day-to-day queries and environmental health complaints from the public, land information memorandum (LIM) reporting and also hoarding and squalor situations, which can be extremely challenging but rewarding.

We also occasionally get to monitor events. I have had the opportunity to do alcohol compliance work for Wellington Sevens and World Cup cricket games.

The best part about my career is that it enables me to actively engage with the public. I love that I’m not bound to an office.I meet people from all different backgrounds every day. Each day is different and can change with just one phone call or email.

Careers

With a Bachelor of Health Science majoring in environmental health, you’ll be ready for a wide range of careers. Typically they include a mix of indoor and outdoor work. Most jobs in environmental health involve working with people to promote a healthier environment in which to live. Two key occupations are health protection officers (HPOs) with district health boards, and environmental health officers (EHOs) with local councils.

Here are just some examples of the types and fields of work that await you:

  • Central government - Ministry of Primary Industries; Ministry of Health; Environmental Protection Authority: technical advisors; policy analysts; programme managers
  • Local government - health protection officers or environmental health officers; involved in public health advice, food safety/Food Act compliance; building inspection; liquor licensing work; resource consenting; disaster management and emergency planning; waste management; water quality management
  • Private sector - consultancies and industry; food quality assurance; workplace and environmental safety; waste management; food safety auditing; environmental quality assurance

Employers say

“The need for environmental health professionals in Australia is perhaps greater today than before as we face new challenges from existing and emerging environmental and public health concerns. For example, environmental health professions have a fundamental role of scrutinising environmental impact statements for proposed infrastructure, mining and petroleum projects throughout Australia. These projects have potential to create complex environmental and public health issues requiring assessment by qualified and knowledgeable environmental health professionals. The Bachelor of Health Science degree offered by Massey University would be a requisite qualification for work in this field.”  
Geoffrey Prendergast
Environmental Health Manager and Senior Environmental Health Officer
Northern Sydney Public Health Unit

Join the engine of the new New Zealand

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