School of Health Sciences

The School of Health Sciences is committed to reducing health inequalities, and improving heath and wellbeing for people, communities and in workplaces.


We are a multidisciplinary school focusing on advancing knowledge and practice of health and wellbeing through te Tiriti o Waitangi-led research and teaching. We uphold te Tiriti principles through our practices.

In our teaching and research, we embrace biological and clinical sciences and public health disciplines such as:

  • environmental health
  • occupational health and safety
  • health promotion
  • health services navigation
  • mental health and addiction
  • integrated human health.

Te Tiriti o Waitangi at Massey

We are deeply committed to being a Tiriti-led university, demonstrating authentic leadership in contemporary Aotearoa New Zealand as we uphold te Tiriti o Waitangi, the founding document of our nation, and its principles through our practice. We embrace this not just as an obligation but as a real opportunity for the nation and its people.

Te Tiriti o Waitangi ki Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa – The Treaty of Waitangi at Massey

Study with us

Choose from a range of qualifications in public health or the biological and clinical sciences.

Explore by area of interest

Explore a selection of qualifications relating to your interests.

Study biological & natural sciences

Devise new ideas and technologies for agribusiness, biotechnology, conservation, energy or healthcare. World-class lecturers. Learn more today.

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Study environmental and occupational health

Delve into factors affecting health and wellbeing — from air and water quality to housing, climate change to health and safety at work.

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Study psychology & mental health

Delve into human behaviour and how the brain works. Apply skills in different careers or specialise to be a psychologist or mental health professional.

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Study public health

Improve the health and wellbeing of individuals, whānau and communities. Be part of the next generation of public health professionals, starting now.

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Who we are

Our people make us who we are.

Honorary and adjunct appointees

The School of Health Sciences appoints experts to contribute to students' education.

Dr Janya McCalman, Central Queensland University

Adjunct Associate Professor

Janya McCalman is a Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for Indigenous Health Equity Research at Central Queensland University, Australia. The core of her research resides in Indigenous health. Her expertise includes Aboriginal mental health and wellbeing, youth health, health services research, integrated care, health promotion and implementation research.

Dr Leonie Walker

Adjunct Associate Professor

Leonie Walker was a principal researcher for the New Zealand Nurses Organisation from 2008 to 2017. Her research focuses on health promotion and the nursing workforce. Her expertise includes health inequalities, international health promotion, HIV/AIDS, addictions and diabetes.

Lieutenant Colonel Phil Wright

Adjunct Associate Professor

Phil Wright is a serving officer in the New Zealand Army and internationally recognised expert on health risk management strategies. Appointed to Massey in December 2017, he develops and delivers papers on environmental health risk management in disasters.

He is a fellow of the UK's Institute of Leadership and Management and a member of the International Institute of Risk Safety Management. A qualified environmental health officer, he sits on the National Council of the New Zealand Institute of Environmental Health (NZIEH).

Dr Roger Lentle

Professor Emeritus

Roger Lentle pioneered research methods in the field of digestive biomechanics. He has 140 publications in peer-reviewed journals, with more than 2,000 citations as well as an academic book 'The Physical Processes of Digestion’. He is co-editor in chief of the journal Food Digestion.

Dr Stuart J McLaren, Taiwan's Kaohsiung Medical University

Adjunct Senior Lecturer

Stuart McLaren teaches and conducts research in environmental and occupational health. He is the recipient of the prestigious Taiwan Fellowship 2019 awarded by the Government of Taiwan – an award not usually given to scientists.

He is based at the Kaohsiung Medical University's Research Center for Environmental Medicine, where he is undertaking research into noise and acoustics in early education, the first study of its kind in Taiwan.

In the Sleep / Wake Research Centre

Dr Bronwyn Sweeney – Honorary Research Associate

Dr Lora Wu – Honorary Research Associate

Professor Philippa Gander – Professor Emeritus


Our research focuses on the science of promoting health, improving quality of life and our environment, and reducing health inequalities and disease for individuals, whānau and communities.

Research expertise

Examples of how our academics create and share new knowledge.

Cardiovascular and cerebrovascular health

School of Health Sciences researchers have broad expertise in the metabolic, biochemical, genetic and physiological factors that underlie cardiovascular and cerebrovascular function.

Staff: Blake Perry, Barry Palmer, Rachel Page.

Food and bioactives

Our research demonstrates the health benefits of:

  • bioactive ingredients such as antioxidants and probiotics
  • foods such as milk, fermented products, fruits, beverages.

We examine the bioactive effects on immune function, gut function, blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, maternal health, sports performance and more.

Staff: Kay Rutherfurd-Markwick, Rachel Page, Marlena Kruger, Sharon Henare, Martin Dickens, Kaio Vitzel, Cheryl Gammon, Judy Thomas, Beth Mallard.

Infectious diseases

Our research focuses on molecular epidemiology of sexually transmitted diseases, molecular diagnostics, human papilloma virus and cervical cancer, environmental drivers of antimicrobial resistance (AR) and AR detection, and antibiotic stewardship.

Staff: Collette Bromhead, Barry Palmer.

Public health and health promotion

Our researchers advocate for improved health outcomes for individuals, whānau and communities. Our work influences national and international health agendas.

Our expertise includes disability and rehabilitation, food security, environmental health, hauora Māori, maternal and child health, mental health and addiction, and occupational health and safety.

Staff: Andy Towers, Suzanne Phibbs, Christina Severinsen, Linda Murray, Geoff Kira, Bevan Erueti, Gretchen Good, Christine Roseveare, Watt Page, Nick Kim, Carol Stewart, Ian laird, Ravi Reddy.

Research centres

Our research centres seek innovative solutions to contemporary issues.

Sleep/Wake Research Centre

The centre advances and applies scientific knowledge about sleep, waking and how these are regulated by the circadian body clock. As well as academic research and teaching, we offer consultancy services and expert advice to government, industries and unions.

Centre for Metabolic Health Research

The centre facilitates interdisciplinary research in metabolic health, with key aspects being the prevention of metabolic diseases such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and the maintenance of mobility and functionality throughout the lifecycle. 

Meet our graduates

“Studying extramurally at Massey University enabled me to pace my study within other commitments and gave me access to experienced supervisors. I could largely independently pace my work providing I stayed within our set timelines. The knowledge I gained has contributed largely to my governance and director roles.”
Grant Plumbley

Master of Health Science

“I chose to study at Massey because of the high calibre of supervisors in the Master of Public Health programme. My decision proved to be right as I had a supervisor who had the knowledge and expertise to effectively support my academic journey.”
Josette McAllister

Master of Public Health

“The combination of my work experience and a health and safety qualification has enabled me to really engage with people across the hierarchy of organisations I have been associated with. It has benefited me in terms of career development and acceptance in workplaces.”
Greg Dearsly

Graduate Diploma in Occupational Safety and Health

Accreditations and rankings

Medical Sciences Council of New Zealand

The Postgraduate Diploma in Health Science (Medical Laboratory Science) is accredited by the Medical Sciences Council of New Zealand.

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Environmental Health Officers Qualifications Regulations 1993

Our environmental health qualifications are recognised by the Ministry of Health as meeting qualification requirements for environmental health officers. Our qualifications are also recognised by Environmental Health Australia (EHA).

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Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH)

Our Graduate Diploma in Occupational Health & Safety and Bachelor of Health Science (Occupational Health & Safety) are accredited by IOSH, a global professional body based in the UK. Completing this qualification meets the academic requirement for Graduate Membership to IOSH. Membership leads to registration as an OHS practitioner.

ShanghaiRanking - public health

Massey University is ranked in the top 400 universities in the world and fourth in New Zealand in the subject area of public health by the ShanghaiRanking's Global Ranking of Academic Subjects.

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New Zealand Performance-Based Research Fund Rankings

In the latest PBRF Rankings 2018, Massey achieved research excellence relative to other New Zealand universities in the subject area of other health studies.

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DAPAANZ - Drug and Alcohol Practitioners Association of Aotearoa New Zealand

The Addiction Practitioner Pathway in the Bachelor of Health Science (Mental Health and Addiction) is accredited by the Drug and Alcohol Practitioners Association of Aotearoa New Zealand (DAPAANZ). Graduates are eligible to apply for provisional registration to work in the sector as addiction practitioner.

APHEA Validated Curriculum

The Agency for Public Health Education Accreditation (APHEA) has validated Massey's Master of Public Health as adhering to international standards for a modern comprehensive degree in public health.

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What our students say

“Massey has provided me with the course I want to do, at the place I want to do it. With all the support provided, I don't feel like a distance student and I never feel like I'm in it alone.”
Kelcie Mills

Bachelor of Health Science (Occupational Health and Safety)

“My studies have taught me that you don’t need to be a veterinarian to help animals; Physiology is a broad degree with many possible routes which all have a focus on improving the health of humans and animals.”
Sophia Holdsworth

Bachelor of Science (Physiology)

“I recommend studying at Massey University because it allowed me to learn about everything that contributes to health and wellbeing, but also the real world application of this knowledge that allows you to work in the health field.”
Maddie Ryan

Bachelor of Health Science (Integrated Human Health)

Contact the School of Health Sciences

We teach online and by distance, and on all three Massey campuses: Auckland, Manawatū (Palmerston North) and Wellington.

School of Health Sciences – Auckland campus

School of Health Sciences – Manawatū campus

School of Health Sciences – Wellington campus

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