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Programme list > Master of Public Health

Master of Public Health


Improve the nation’s health and your career prospects

The Master of Public Health is a research-focused qualification. You will be able to do your own research under the supervision of experienced public health researchers and engage in professional practice opportunities.

  • Level

  • Postgraduate, NZQF Level 9
  • Distance learning

  • Available
  • Credits

  • 240
  • Duration

  • 2 year(s) full-time. Available part-time.

Note: This programme is covered by the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Vaccinations) Amendment Order 2021. Students are required to provide details of their vaccination status on enrolment.

Gain invaluable skills

With the Master of Public Health, you will be able to demonstrate a critical awareness of the public health research literature. You’ll undertake collaborative research and practice within interdisciplinary and inter-sectoral environments.

Follow your research interests

The programme emphasises applied research and practical experience. You will be able to conduct research relevant to your public health work, interests and experiences. You will build on the knowledge gained through your Postgraduate Diploma of Public Health.

Transfer your learning to your workplace

You will learn to reason and act independently as a professional working in public health. You will be able to contribute to policy development at local and national levels. You’ll contribute to public health knowledge through scholarly inquiry and publication. You will also be able to apply your cutting-edge knowledge to solving public health challenges.

You will receive a high quality, comprehensive education and training in public health. This will benefit you, your employer, and the health of New Zealanders in general.

Careers and further study


Graduates of the Master of Public Health make contributions to public health policy development at local and national levels. They contribute to public health knowledge through scholarly inquiry and publication. They also demonstrate competence in planning and conducting research in public health.

Many of our graduates go on to an academic career in teaching and research.

Further study

If you complete the research pathway you may choose to progress to a PhD.

Entry requirements

University admission

All students must meet university entrance requirements to be admitted to the University.

Programme admission


To enter the Master of Public Health you will have:

  • been awarded or qualified for a bachelor’s degree in health sciences with a minimum grade average of B-, or equivalent; or
  • been awarded or qualified for a bachelor’s degree in health sciences or other relevant discipline, and have relevant professional experience, or equivalent; or
  • been awarded or qualified for a Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health with a minimum grade average of B-, or equivalent.

English language requirements

To study this programme you must meet Massey University's English language standards.

Other requirements

Documents you will need to supply to support your application

  • verified copies of all academic transcripts for studies taken at all universities other than Massey University
  • a CV if applying on the basis of a bachelor’s degree and at least two years’ relevant professional experience. 

Prior learning, credit and exemptions

For information on prior learning, exemptions and transfer of credit or other questions:

If you do not have the entry requirements

English language and foundation courses

If you need help with your English language skills before you start university, we have courses and qualifications that may help.

Summer School

If you need to do a course before you start your programme, there may be options for you in Summer School.

Courses and planning

Credit summary

240 credits

  • Part One compulsory courses – 120 credits
  • Part Two elective courses from the Schedule – 30‑60 credits
  • Part Two praxis or thesis – 60‑90 credits

Advanced entry: Those who have already completed specified qualifications in advance of the minimum entry requirements may be able to complete this degree in 120 or 180 credits.

There are regulations around completion of Part One before progressing to Part Two.

Courses for this programme

Part One

Compulsory courses

120 credits
231704 Hauora Māori 30
231725 Foundations of Public Health 15
231726 Health Systems and Policy 15
231727 Epidemiology and Biostatistics 30
231728 Public Health Practice 15
231729 Qualitative and Participatory Research in Public Health 15

Elective courses

No more than 60 credits from
150702 Pae Ora: Māori Health Advancement 30
151717 Selected Topics in Public Health Nutrition 15
231705 Pacific Health 30
231732 Physical Activity Promotion 15
231733 Big Public Health Issues 15
250703 Health Communication 15
250818 Research Report 30

Part Two

Option A

60 credits
231818 Public Health Praxis 1 30
231819 Public Health Praxis 2 30
60 credits of elective courses from Part One

Option B

90 credits
231818 Public Health Praxis 1 30
250817 Research Report 60
30 credits of elective courses from Part One

Option C

120 credits
231818 Public Health Praxis 1 30
231821 Public Health Thesis 90 Pt 1 45
231822 Public Health Thesis 90 Pt 2 45

Planning your programme

Planning overview

This is a parts-based programme of study. That means you need to achieve at a certain level to progress from Part One to Part Two.

For the Master of Public Health, a minimum grade average of B- is required in order to progress to Part Two.


Maximum time limits for completion

There are maximum time limits to complete postgraduate qualifications.  If you do not complete within the maximum time, you may be required to re-apply for the programme if you wish to continue your studies.

Time limits for Honours, Distinction and Merit

Where your qualification is completed within the stated time limit and to a high standard, you may be able to graduate with a class of Honours, Distinction or Merit. 

Fees and scholarships

Fees and finance

Fees, student loans and free fees scheme

Your tuition fees may be different depending on the courses you choose. Your exact fees will show once you have chosen your courses.

There will also be some compulsory non-tuition fees and for some courses, there may also be charges for things such as study resources, software, trips and contact workshops.

Already know which courses you're going to choose?

You can view fees for the courses that make up your qualification on the course details pages.

Student loans (StudyLink) and Fees Free scheme

You may be eligible for a student loan to help towards paying your fees.

The New Zealand Government offers fees-free tertiary study for eligible domestic students. Find out more about the scheme and your eligibility on the Fees Free website. To use the site's eligibility checking tool, you will need your National Student Number.

Current and returning Massey students can find their National Student Number in the student portal.

A good fit if you:

  • are a professional wanting a solid grounding in public health
  • already work in public health and want to further your career
  • are looking for professional development.

Meet our students

Key information for students

Compare qualifications and academic information across different New Zealand institutions.


Review this important information before you apply for this programme. This gives you full details of the rules and regulations about what you need to study and what you must achieve in order to graduate with this qualification. That includes structure, courses and requirements. These regulations should be read in conjunction with all other Statutes and Regulations of the University including the below.

Undergraduate programmes

General Regulations for Undergraduate Degrees, Undergraduate Diplomas, Undergraduate Certificates, Graduate Diplomas and Graduate Certificates.

Postgraduate regulations

General Regulations for Postgraduate Degrees, Postgraduate Diplomas and Postgraduate Certificates.

Regulations for this programme

Applying and enrolling

Applying for the programme

Check you are ready

If you are ready to apply, have a look at our application checklist. It will help you get prepared with what you need. Please also check the entry requirements carefully before you apply.

Choose your programme and click on Apply now

You will apply for the programme using the Apply now button on this page. You’ll also choose your specialisation (major, subject or endorsement) if applicable.

Some programmes have additional requirements such as the submission of a portfolio or CV. Click on Apply now and you will be able to submit those documents as part of the application process.

Receive and accept an Admission Offer of Place

You will receive an Admission Offer of Place when you have been accepted into the programme. You need to accept this before you can enrol in your courses. International students also need to pay their fees at this point.

Enrolling in courses

You’ll then get access to your own student homepage (also known as the student portal). This is where you can enrol in courses. Any updates on your application or enrolments will also be on your student homepage. Make sure you check this regularly.

When you choose courses, ensure you check for any requirements that apply including:

  • prerequisites (courses you have to do before the one you are enrolling in)
  • corequisites (courses you have to do at the same time as the one you are enrolling in)
  • restrictions (courses that you cannot enrol in if you are completing or have completed another identified similar course)
  • location – for instance some distance-based courses still have an on-campus element, so double check that the way the course is taught is suitable for your situation.

Each of our courses has its own webpage where you can find this information. You can use our course search to find course pages.

More information on courses is in the ‘Courses for this programme’ section on this page.

You can find information on application due dates and semester dates on the key dates page.

We look forward to welcoming you to Massey!

If you have any questions, contact us through the Enquire button on this page.

What are courses and credits?

What are courses and credits?

Each Massey programme is made up of courses (in some tertiary institutions they are called ‘papers’).

You will have some compulsory courses and some you can choose from.

Each course is worth a certain amount of credits (often 15 credits, but this does vary). You must gain a set number of credits to be able to graduate from this programme.

There may also be some rules about which courses you need to pass to progress to the next year, or stage, of your study (known as progression). There are also courses you must pass to graduate with a specialisation.

  • See the ‘Courses for this programme’ section for the list of courses.
  • Courses search

Understanding course numbers

The first three digits of our course numbers show you which subject the course is about.

The second three digits show you the level and course ID number. For instance:

  • sub-degree courses are '0' (i.e. xxx.0xx)
  • undergraduate study begins at 100-level, (i.e. xxx.1xx)
  • as you progress through 200- and 300-level courses this number changes to 2 and 3 respectively. The higher the number that starts the second three digits, the higher the level of study
1 6 2 . 3   0 1
Subject area   Level   Course ID number

About electives

Electives are courses that are not compulsory. Certain guidelines are usually provided on courses you may take. Elective courses contribute to the programme, but not to your major or specialisation.

Workload and time management

Use this tool to help determine how much time you will need each week to complete your studies.

Estimate workload

Returning students

For returning students, there may be changes to the majors and minors available and the courses you need to take. Go to the section called ‘Transitional Provisions’ in the Regulations to find out more.

In some cases the programme or specialisation you enrolled in may be no longer be taking new enrolments, so may not appear on these web pages. To find information on the regulations for these programmes go to the Massey University Calendar.

Please contact us through the Enquire button on this page if you have any questions.

Scholarships and awards

Scholarships related to this programme

There are a number of scholarships available for new and current students. They could relate to your situation, achievement or interest.

Find and apply for scholarships