Occupational Health and Safety – Bachelor of Health Science

Massey’s Bachelor of Health Science (Occupational Health and Safety) will give you essential skills for a career in the health industry.

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
Note: This specialisation includes a compulsory in-person workshop taught over several days on our Wellington campus.

Specialise in Occupational Health and Safety for your Bachelor of Health Science at Massey

Create healthy workplaces

With the Bachelor of Health Science (Occupational Health and Safety), you will learn how to create healthy workplaces by improving the relationships between people at work, the work they do and their working environment. You’ll develop expertise in the identification and control of occupational safety and health hazards.

This major is one of only a few university qualifications in the world to include courses in ergonomics/human factors and occupational hygiene.

Get the skills you need

Your training will include decision-making, problem-solving and management skills. These skills are highly desired by employers. You’ll get a variety of hands-on experiences, including participation in worksite visits. On completion, you’ll be able to facilitate, educate, and promote safety and health in the workplace. The Occupational Health and Safety major includes all aspects of work and health. This includes physical and psychosocial work environments.

Lots of options

You can choose to study this degree full-time or part-time, on-campus or by distance education. You’ll also have the option to select from a wide variety of electives to suit your personal needs and interests.

Further study

You could go on to postgraduate study such as the Postgraduate Diploma in Health Science (Occupational Health and Safety) or Master of Health Science (Occupational Health and Safety) to extend your research and professional practice skills.

A Bachelor of Health Science in Occupational Health and Safety is a good fit if you:

  • want to enter the health industry
  • have an interest in creating healthy workplaces
  • enjoy making a difference to people’s lives.

Planning information

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

Make sure you include courses that are prerequisites for the next level of courses you wish to study.

About this major

Completing a major is compulsory. The Occupational Health and Safety major in the Bachelor of Health Science consists of 120 credits.

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
  • Elective

Semester Two

  • 214102 Applied Sciences for Health Professionals
  • 231107 Social Determinants of Health
  • 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
  • 251271 Occupational Health and Safety I

Semester Two

  • 214212 Research Methods in the Health Sciences
  • 114240 Organisational Behaviour
  • 251272 Occupational Health and Safety II
  • Elective
Year Three

Semester One

  • 251374 Project in Occupational Health and Safety (double semester course
  • 250331 Health of Communities
  • 128300 Ergonomics/Human Factors: Work, Performance, Health and Design
  • 214316 Bio-Physical Effects of Noise and Vibration
  • 251370 Health and Safety Auditing

Semester Two

  • 250303 Systems Thinking and Design for Health
  • 251372 Occupational Hygiene
  • 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: 114240 Organisational Behaviour 15 credits

A theoretical and practical examination of the behaviour of people in the work environment. Students develop a basic understanding of individual behaviour and team dynamics, exploring issues of motivation, communication, leadership, decision making, power and organisational change.

View full course details
Course code: 128300 Ergonomics/Human Factors: Work, Performance, Health and Design 15 credits

An introduction to Ergonomics/Human factors (E/HF) - an inter-disciplinary holistic practice-based approach to integrate work, leisure and people in occupational, organisational, leisure (including sport, equipment, products, design and rehabilitation) environments to optimize matching of human-user-system health, performance, comfort and effectiveness: covering fundamental ergonomics principles, micro-macro-ergonomics, E/HF analytical methods, physical, psychological and social capacity and limitations of individuals and groups/teams in organizational socio-technical work and leisure environments.

View full course details
Course code: 214316 Bio-Physical Effects of Noise and Vibration 15 credits

Sources, propagation, measurement units and effects of noise and vibration on human health. Measurement and assessment of these factors in the community. Instrumentation, procedures, collection of data and interpretation; legislation, standards and guidelines; and requirements for legal action.

View full course details
Course code: 251271 Occupational Health and Safety I 15 credits

An introduction to Occupational Health and Safety and its application to workplaces in New Zealand. The course will explore the complex relationship between health and safety, factors in the working environment affecting health and safety and systems intended to regulate and manage the working environment.

View full course details
Course code: 251272 Occupational Health and Safety II 15 credits

A detailed study of hazards commonly found in the work environment.

View full course details
Course code: 251370 Health and Safety Auditing 15 credits

This course examines issues relating to measuring safety performance in organisations and in health and safety auditing in particular. Emphasis is placed on the use of the commonly utilised management systems audit promoted by the ACC, the Accredited Employer Programme (AEP) audit system. The course also examines other audit frameworks, and critically examines the role of auditing in safety performance evaluation.

View full course details
Course code: 251372 Occupational Hygiene 15 credits

A study of the principles of occupational hygiene and their application to the workplace in New Zealand. Topics include the recognition, evaluation and control of health hazards in the work environment; noise measurement and control; relevant legislation and standards; dust, vapour and gas measurement techniques; ventilation and case studies.

Prerequisites: 251271 and 251272 or 114271 and 114272

View full course details
Course code: 251374 Project in Occupational Health and Safety 15 credits

An applied research course in which the student conducts an extended, systematic enquiry into a particular topic in occupational safety and health.

Prerequisites: 251271 and 251272 or 114271 and 114272

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 (Occupational Health and Safety) can lead to or enhance many careers. Our graduates are working as:

  • health and safety managers
  • staff of Worksafe New Zealand and ACC
  • occupational health and safety consultants
  • occupational health nurses
  • environmental health, air pollution and noise control specialists
  • occupational hygienists
  • ergonomists/human factors specialist
  • design engineers
  • human resource managers and advisers.

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)

Accreditations and rankings

Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH)

Our Graduate Diploma in Occupational Health & Safety and Bachelor of Health Science (Occupational Health & Safety) are the only NZ tertiary qualifications 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.

Related study options