Health Promotion – Bachelor of Health Science

Study for a meaningful career with Massey's Bachelor of Health Science (Health Promotion). Be prepared to address the big health challenges facing the nation and the world in the 21st century.

Where you can study

Distance and online

International students

International students are not New Zealand citizens or residents.

Definition of New Zealand citizens and residents

Not open to international students

Specialise in Health Promotion for your Bachelor of Health Science at Massey

Make a difference to the nation’s health

The Bachelor of Health Science (Health Promotion) will give you the skills you need to enable people to improve their health.

New Zealand has a range of public health challenges including:

  • high rates of poverty
  • increasing housing insecurity and homelessness
  • poor mental health
  • high rates of non-communicable diseases
  • disparities in access to health care
  • inequitable Māori and Pacific health outcomes.

By studying health promotion you will learn that solutions to contemporary health challenges require attention to a wide range of factors including structural inequalities, environmental factors, government policy and community settings.

This qualification moves beyond individual behaviour to examine this wide range of social and environmental interventions. It takes an integrated approach to the science of good health. It also highlights the importance of nutrition, exercise and sleep to achieving and maintaining good health throughout the life cycle.

Using a holistic approach to health, you’ll be able to communicate accurate and informed advice to produce a positive impact on health. You’ll have an opportunity to apply this knowledge in the areas of community development, health education and policy development.

Get the skills employers need

Your learning meets the necessary public health skills defined by the Public Health Association of New Zealand and the Health Promotion Forum of New Zealand. You’ll graduate with the knowledge to critically evaluate evidence of health promotion prevention and intervention strategies. These include community development, participation, social change, social marketing and advocacy. You’ll be able to apply your new knowledge to the design, implementation and evaluation of health promotion activities.

Further study

You may wish to consider further study once you have completed your degree:

A Bachelor of Health Science in Health Promotion is a good fit if you:

  • want to improve health outcomes for communities and populations
  • are keen to pursue a career in health promotion or health advocacy
  • already work in an area relevant to health promotion.

Planning information

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

Make sure you choose 147102 Whakapiri: Engagement in Mental Health and Addiction Work in your first year because it is the pre-requisite for one of your 200-level compulsory major courses.

About this major

To complete the Health Promotion major in the Bachelor of Health Science you must pass 120 credits in specified areas.

This major is primarily available via distance learning (online), however note that some courses are available on campus. Check details on each course page when you enrol.

Full-time study plan

This includes compulsory core courses, major courses, prerequisite courses and recommended electives

Year One

Semester One

  • 231106 Introduction to Public Health
  • 250100 Health Communication
  • 214101 Human Bioscience: Normal Body Function
  • 147102 Whakapiri: Engagement in Mental Health and Addiction Work (prerequisite for Year Two course)

Semester Two

  • 214102 Applied Sciences for Health Professionals
  • 231107 Social Determinants of Health (recommended to be taken in Semester Two only)
  • 150112 Hauora tangata: Foundations of Māori Health
  • Elective
Year Two

Semester One

  • 250205 Principles and Practice of Human Epidemiology
  • 214201 Human Bioscience: Impaired Body Function
  • 150202 Mauri ora: Māori Wellbeing and Vitality
  • 150201 Te Kawenata o Waitangi: The Treaty of Waitangi in New Zealand Society

Semester Two

  • 214212 Research Methods in the Health Sciences
  • 147202 Mental Health Promotion
  • 179230 Tangata Moana Perspectives and Practices for Transformation
  • 231200 Theories and Models of Health Promotion
Year Three

Semester One

  • 250331 Health of Communities
  • 150302 Whānau Ora: Principles of Flourishing Whānau
  • 231307 Intervention Research and Design
  • Elective

Semester Two

  • 250303 Systems Thinking and Design for Health
  • 231306 Public Health Evaluation
  • 231308 Health Promotion Advocacy
  • Elective

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.

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 Get advice button on this page if you have any questions.

Courses you can enrol in

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.

Compulsory courses

Choose 120 credits from
Course code: 147202 Mental Health Promotion 15 credits

The course covers the rationale and principles of promoting mental health in Aotearoa New Zealand and globally. Attention is given to key concepts and frameworks underpinning this area of practice.

Prerequisites: 147102

View full course details
Course code: 150201 Te Kawenata o Waitangi: The Treaty of Waitangi in New Zealand Society 15 credits

A study of the Treaty of Waitangi background, texts, principles, and application to contemporary New Zealand. There is a particular focus on land, legislation, court decisions, social policies, the environment, constitutional matters, claims to the Waitangi Tribunal and Treaty settlements. Differing perspectives of hapū/iwi/Māori and the Crown, as well as opportunities for resolution, are explored.

Restrictions: 269274

View full course details
Course code: 150302 Whānau ora: Principles of Flourishing Whānau 15 credits

Approaches for the advancement of Māori health will be reviewed with a particular focus on health promotion, whānau ora and the link between Māori health initiatives and positive Māori development.

Prerequisites: 15 credits from 1502xx (and 45 credits at 200 level)

View full course details
Course code: 179230 Tangata Moana Perspectives and Practices for Transformation 15 credits

Examining Tangata Moana (Pacific/Pasifika) perspectives and how they inform social practice and policy towards transforming individual, family and community outcomes.

View full course details
Course code: 231200 Theories and Models of Health Promotion 15 credits

An opportunity for students to explore the theoretical foundation of community and population-based health promotion and mental health promotion. The course emphasises the application of models and theories to public health programmes and policies.

View full course details
Course code: 231306 Public Health Evaluation 15 credits

An introduction to approaches for evaluating public health and health promotion programmes and systems change.

View full course details
Course code: 231307 Intervention Design 15 credits

A practical exploration of approaches and tools for designing interventions in public health and health promotion.

Prerequisites: 214212

View full course details
Course code: 231308 Health Promotion Advocacy 15 credits

An analysis of approaches to advocacy in health promotion with a particular focus on practical facilitation, engagement and reflection.

View full course details

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, outside of university admission regulations. 

English language requirements

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

English language skills

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

Can't meet the entry requirements?

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

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 (Health Promotion) can lead to many rewarding careers. You could find work in any of the following fields:

  • health promotion
  • community health workers, outreach and advisors
  • policy advisors and analysts in government, district health boards, NGOs or PHOs
  • programme managers, coordinators and evaluators.

What our students say

“Studying a Bachelor of Health Science with a new born was deemed impossible, but my lectures made this possible by providing high quality academic support.”
Claudia Bowman

Health Promoter at Best Care Whakapai Hauora

Bachelor of Health Science (Health Promotion)

“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)

Accreditations and rankings

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.

Learn more

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