Bachelor of Health Science – BHlthSc

Discover your path in health science at Massey University.

Type of qualification

Bachelor's degree

Level of study

Undergraduate study

An undergraduate qualification is usually the first one you study.

More about study levels

NZQF level 7

Our courses follow the New Zealand Qualification Framework (NZQF) levels.

Find out more about NZQF levels

Time to complete

3 years full-time (360 credits)
Up to 8 years part-time
Part-time available

International students

International students are not New Zealand citizens or residents.

Definition of New Zealand citizens and residents

Not open to international students
Note: Some courses contain on-campus contact workshops

Study a Bachelor of Health Science – BHlthSc

Massey's Bachelor of Health Science (BHlthSc) is your gateway to making a meaningful impact in health care. This comprehensive qualification prepares graduates to innovate and enhance the well-being of individuals, communities and nations.

The health industry needs you

There’s growing demand for professionals who can navigate and address personal, workplace and community health challenges in today’s complex, interconnected world.

The interdisciplinary approach promotes a thorough understanding of the biological and social foundations of contemporary health issues. You’ll explore solutions and create innovative, effective interventions for better health outcomes on national and global scales. 

The BHlthSc will hone your communication and critical-thinking skills, equipping you with knowledge in research methods and the principles and practices of epidemiology. You’ll gain an understanding of the many dimensions of personal and population health. Your expertise will contribute to the improvement of health outcomes, addressing pressing challenges facing populations both in Aotearoa New Zealand and around the world.

With a solid grounding in health science, you’ll be perfectly positioned to make meaningful contributions to enhancing health outcomes right from the outset of your career. Skills for today, solutions for tomorrow: embark on a journey to shape the future of health.

Follow your interests

Massey's BHlthSc offers a comprehensive suite of health majors, offering choices to align your degree with your interests. 

In the final semester of your study, you have the option to gain practical experience by taking the elective course 250320 Work Integrated Learning in Health Sciences.

Further study

Consider furthering your expertise and impact in health science with postgraduate opportunities such as:

Embark on a journey at Massey University where education meets innovation, preparing you to make a lasting difference in health care.

A BHlthSc is a good fit if you:

  • want to improve the health and lives of the population
  • have a particular interest you want to explore
  • are keen to work in the growing health industry.

Entry requirements

Admission to Massey

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

Specific requirements

There are no specific entry requirements for this qualification (most specialisations), outside of university admission regulations. 

Entry to the Mental Health and Addiction specialisation is by selected entry (please see the specialisation page). 

English language requirements

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

Prior learning, credit and exemptions

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

English language skills

If you need help with your English language skills before you start university, see our English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses.

Official regulations

To understand what you need to study and must complete to graduate read the official rules and regulations for this qualification.

You should read these together with all other relevant Statutes and Regulations of the University including the General Regulations for Undergraduate Degrees, Undergraduate Diplomas, Undergraduate Certificates, Graduate Diplomas and Graduate Certificates.


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

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

Structure of the Bachelor of Health Science

If you study full-time you’ll take eight 15-credit courses each year.

For some majors, you will need to take specific 100-level core courses from Schedule A to ensure you have the necessary pre-requisites for 200-level major compulsory courses.

Check the regulations for your chosen major. 

Courses and specialisations

Key terms

Each qualification has its own specific set of courses. Some universities call these papers. You enrol in courses after you get accepted into Massey.
Course code
Each course is numbered using 6 digits. The fourth number shows the level of the course. For example, in course 219206, the fourth number is a 2, so it is a 200-level course (usually studied in the second year of full-time study).
Each course is worth a number of credits. You combine courses (credits) to meet the total number of credits needed for your qualification.
Some qualifications let you choose what subject you'd like to specialise in. Your major or endorsement is what you will take the majority of your courses in.

Credit summary

360 credits

  • Compulsory courses – 180 credits
  • Compulsory course selection – 30 credits
  • Major courses – 120 credits
  • Electives from Schedule C – 30 credits

Ensure that overall, you have:

  • Not more than 165 credits at 100 level
  • At least 75 credits at 300 level

Course planning key

Courses that need to be completed before moving onto a course at the next level. For example, a lot of 200-level courses have 100-level prerequisite courses.
Courses that must be completed at the same time as another course are known as corequisite courses.
Some courses are restricted against each other because their content is similar. This means you can only choose one of the offered courses to study and credit to your qualification.

Schedule A: Core courses (Choose 210 credits from)

Compulsory courses (Choose 165 credits from)

Choose 165 credits from
Course code: 150112 Hauora Tangata: Foundations of Māori Health 15 credits

An introduction to understanding Māori health within Aotearoa/New Zealand.

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Course code: 150202 Mauri ora: Māori Wellbeing and Vitality 15 credits

Cultural understandings of health form the basis for an exploration of cultural, biological, social, economic, environmental and political interactions and their impacts on Māori health.

Prerequisites: 15 credits from 1501xx

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Course code: 214101 Human Bioscience: Normal Body Function 15 credits

Human body structure and function (anatomy and physiology), including relevant concepts of homeostasis and metabolism and development throughout the lifespan.

Restrictions: 194101, 117155

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Course code: 214102 Applied Sciences for Health Professionals 15 credits

An introduction to the basic scientific concepts that are relevant to the maintenance of human and environmental health.

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Course code: 214201 Human Bioscience: Impaired Body Function 15 credits

An examination of the aetiology of disease and alteration of health status and the relevant scientific clinical tests, including the role of micro-organisms in disease processes.

Prerequisites: (214101 and 214102) OR (162101; and 194101 or 117155 or 214101)

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Course code: 231106 Introduction to Public Health 15 credits

An introduction to public health principles, perspectives, stakeholders and practices that are both internationally recognisable and of local importance to New Zealand.

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Course code: 231107 Social Determinants of Health 15 credits

This course explores the social determinants of health, the complex range of social, cultural and economic interactions that influence individual and population health and help explain health disparities amongst populations.

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Course code: 250100 Health Communication 15 credits

This course examines the key principles, ethics and theories of effective health communication for positive health change in individuals and communities. Students will learn to develop and critically analyse health-related messages and research, engage with culturally diverse audiences, and consider social, biological and environmental determinants in health communication.

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Course code: 250205 Principles and Practice of Epidemiology 15 credits

The course provides an introduction to epidemiology; the study of the distribution and determinants of human health.

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Course code: 250303 Systems Thinking and Design for Health 15 credits

An analysis of ideas and methods from both systems thinking and design for the purpose of understanding health issues in order to create good health experiences for people.

Restrictions: 250301

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Course code: 250331 Health of Communities 15 credits

Strategies for assessing and promoting the health of populations are examined and local, national and international responses to health issues explored.

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Course code: 214212 Research Methods in the Health Sciences 15 credits

Examination of health science research including the research process, research questions, quantitative and qualitative research methods, and the ethics of health research.

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Or Psychology Major only
Course code: 175203 Introduction to Psychological Research 15 credits

An introduction to methods commonly used in psychological research with particular emphasis on measurement, study designs, data analysis, and communicating research results.

Prerequisites: 175102

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Choose 30 credits from
Course code: 147101 Rehabilitation Studies 15 credits

An introduction to the principles and practices of rehabilitation. The processes of rehabilitation are explored with particular reference to the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF). Emphasis is placed on exploring a person-centred approach to rehabilitation.

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Course code: 147102 Whakapiri: Engagement in Mental Health and Addiction Work 15 credits

The course provides an introduction to mental health and addiction with a focus on Aotearoa New Zealand. Attention is given to the social context of mental health and wellbeing. Students are introduced to mental health as a human right, processes of engagement and brief intervention in mental health and addiction work.

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Course code: 151131 Introduction to Food and Nutrition 15 credits

An examination of the effect of social, cultural and psychological factors on food habits; a brief study of the composition of foodstuffs and the basic principles of human nutrition; an introduction to food safety and food preservation. Emphasis will be given to topics of current interest.

Restrictions: 141101, 151232, 151344, 214131

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Course code: 175101 Psychology as a Social Science 15 credits

An introduction to psychology as the scientific study of human behaviour, with emphasis on individual differences and social influences. The course aims to develop an awareness of the issues, terminology, methods and techniques involved in the study of human behaviour.

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Course code: 175102 Psychology as a Natural Science 15 credits

An introduction to methods and findings from the scientific study of psychology and its application to everyday human behaviour. Examination of basic behavioural, perceptual and cognitive processes and how these are influenced by biological mechanisms and cultural context.

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Course code: 179155 A Foundation of Interpersonal Skills for the Helping Professions 15 credits

An introduction to the role of self and the skills required to develop an effective helping relationship that can be applied in a variety of helping professions in Aotearoa/New Zealand.

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Course code: 234121 Functional Anatomy 15 credits

An introduction to the structure and function of the musculoskeletal, neuromuscular and cardiopulmonary systems and their importance to health, movement and exercise.

Restrictions: 214170

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Course code: 234141 Introduction to Human Movement and Hauora 15 credits

An introduction to human movement (Te Ao Kori) and its application to the concept of Hauora (holistic health and well-being).

Restrictions: 274104

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Schedule B: Specialisations


Some qualifications let you choose what subject you'd like to specialise in. Your major or endorsement is what you will take the majority of your courses in.

Completing a major is compulsory. A Bachelor of Health Science major consists of 120 credits of compulsory courses.

Schedule C: Electives (Choose 30 credits from)

Choose 30 credits from
Course code: 145216 Urban Environments 15 credits

An examination of aspects of the social, economic and political geographies of urban life, drawing upon various approaches in Human Geography.

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Course code: 147204 Whakamahi: Introduction to Mental Health and Addiction Placement 15 credits

A 50-hour supervised placement in a mental health and addiction service, with a focus on understanding and illustrating the Foundation (Essential) Competencies outlined in the Drug and Alcohol Practitioners Association of Aotearoa New Zealand (DAPAANZ) Addiction Intervention Competency Framework.

Prerequisites: 147102 and 150235

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Course code: 147302 Alcohol, Other Drugs and Addiction 15 credits

A focus on alcohol, other drug use and addiction in Aotearoa New Zealand, emphasising harm reduction and health promotion as intervention tools. Students will develop a critical understanding of the aetiology and epidemiology of drug use and addiction, the co-existence of conditions with addictions, and effective legal, public policy and treatment responses to reducing harm.

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Course code: 150103 Nau mai e noho: Engaging with Māori 15 credits

This course will equip students with a range of skills to engage with Māori communities including common expressions in te reo, an understanding of key traditional concepts, customary practices (tikanga), the importance of the Treaty of Waitangi and the nature and structure of Māori social and political organisations.

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Course code: 175303 The Practice of Psychological Research 15 credits

Study of the practice of psychological research. Students undertake a range of exercises and class projects to develop practical research skills.

Prerequisites: 175203

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Course code: 175309 Forensic Psychology 15 credits

The focus of this course is to study the issues and controversies in contemporary relationships between psychology and law. The diversity of the field of forensic practice is reflected in the topics covered, and the themes of violence and justice are used to represent the multidisciplinary influences at the nexus of psychology and law within mental health and legal systems.

Prerequisites: 175203

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Course code: 175311 Psychology of Women 15 credits

A theory and research-based examination of the Psychology of Women as a sub-discipline with particular focus on how research in the field challenges gender biases and social assumptions. The history of the field is illustrated by classic and contemporary examples of research methodologies suitable for critical studies of sexuality, mothering and gender-based violence.

Prerequisites: 175203

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Course code: 175318 Experimental Psychology 15 credits

An examination of cognitive, neuropsychological and electrophysiological techniques of experimental psychology through a hands-on approach.

Prerequisites: 175203

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Course code: 175345 Organisational Psychology 15 credits

An introduction to key concepts within organisational psychology, concentrating on the interplay between theoretical issues and practical concerns. Students will be enabled to critically evaluate the implications which different psychological perspectives have for understanding organisational problems.

Prerequisites: 175203

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Course code: 179320 Community Development 15 credits

An examination of the fundamental theories, principles and definitions of community development. Individual, group and community action is examined with emphasis on the relationship between individual and social change.

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Course code: 234331 Sport and Physical Activity in the Social Context 15 credits

An examination of the social, cultural, political, economic and educational contexts of sport and physical activity.

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Course code: 250320 Work Integrated Learning in Health Sciences 15 credits

This course will provide an experiential environment to gain practical experience within the Health Sciences.

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Approved elective course from the Bachelor of Health Science schedule.

Fees and scholarships

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.

Fees disclaimer

This information is for estimation purposes only. Actual fees payable will be finalised on confirmation of enrolment. Unless otherwise stated, all fees shown are quoted in New Zealand dollars and include Goods and Services Tax, if any. Before relying on any information on these pages you should also read the University's Disclaimer Notice.

Careers and job opportunities

The Bachelor of Health Science is a great qualification to find an exciting and rewarding career. Depending on your major, you could work in any of the following:

  • biosecurity
  • environmental health protection, consultancy and auditing
  • health navigation and case management in rehabilitation and disability support
  • health promotion, community health and policy work in communities, iwi, government and non-government organisations
  • health research in universities, companies, non-profit organisations and research institutes
  • injury prevention
  • mental health and addiction work
  • public health
  • quality assurance
  • secondary school teaching
  • workplace health and safety
  • policy advice and analysis
  • community development
  • whānau ora navigation.

What our students say

“My placement gave me some clinical experience, but my theoretical learning is what really prepared me to do well. Although I studied online, I enjoyed connecting with peers in my final year, as we supported one another through our placements and into the workforce.”
Ehlana Grigg

Case Manager, Te Whare Whakapiki Wairua

Bachelor of Health Science (Mental Health and Addiction)

“Raising a family, whilst studying via distance went from a dream into reality, a very achievable goal. A Bachelor of Health Science in Health Promotion has provided me with a platform to empower communities at the margins of society. Gaining a health science degree is now just the start of an academic journey ahead.”
Francine Whittfield

CARE Center (culture-centered approach to research and evaluation), Massey University

Bachelor Health Science (Health Promotion)

“What I’ve enjoyed most about my studies is the way Massey embraces students and clearly makes an effort to give them the best experience possible. The lecturers and other staff are very supportive of their students.”
Omar Masoud Albalawi

Bachelor of Health Science