Certificate in Public Health – CertPH

If you have a passion for public health and need a formal undergraduate qualification, Massey’s Certificate in Public Health is for you.

Type of qualification


Level of study

Undergraduate study

An undergraduate qualification is usually the first one you study.

NZQF level 5

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

Find out more about NZQF levels

Time to complete

1 year(s) full-time (60 credits)

Study a Certificate in Public Health – CertPH

Join a large and growing workforce in New Zealand

Understand public health issues

If you want to contribute to the health of all New Zealanders, this certificate will give you a critical understanding of public health issues.

You will focus on developing a critical awareness for public health initiatives and health promotion qualifications. These include those aiming to improve population health outcomes. And, those who address health inequities for Māori, Pacific peoples and other specific population groups.

You will also gain an understanding of public health issues from a Treaty of Waitangi perspective and other key public health agreements.

Improve your public health practice

  • Learn to apply different ideas and ways of promoting population health.

  • Identify opportunities to promote and protect population health through the development and implementation of community-based health interventions.

  • Contribute effectively to better community health outcomes through an analysis of health inequalities.

The Certificate in Public Health is an undergraduate entry-level qualification designed to be completed in two semesters.

You can achieve this certificate if you’re already working in the public health sector, either in primary care or in community health roles. Or, you may be starting university and aspire to a career in public health.

Further study

You could go on to study the Bachelor of Health Science.

A CertPH is a good fit if you:

  • want to improve population health and promote health equity
  • are a public health worker keen to achieve an accessible entry-level qualification
  • want to develop a career in public health.

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.

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 programme 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 programmes go to the Massey University Calendar.

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

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

60 credits

  • Compulsory courses – 60 credits

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.
Choose 60 credits from
Course code: 150112 Hauora Tangata: Foundations of Māori Health 15 credits

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

View full course details
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.

View full course details
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.

View full course details
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.

View full course details

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.

Targeted Training and Apprenticeship Fund (free trades training)

The Diploma in Dairy Technology is covered under the Tertiary Education Commission’s Targeted Training and Apprenticeship Fund (TTAF). If you are eligible for funding, TTAF will cover your fees automatically. You do not need to apply to access the funding. Fees will be covered from 1 July 2020 until 31 December 2022.

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

With the Certificate in Public Health you will possess the knowledge and transferable skills to work within a range of health settings.

Roles may include:

  • health promoter
  • kaimahi
  • community health worker
  • adviser
  • youth worker
  • educator
  • public health worker
  • family violence worker.

You may work within:

  • District health boards
  • Primary health organisations
  • non-government organisations
  • local and central government
  • iwi social services and Māori health organisations
  • culturally-specific services
  • government agencies
  • the disability sector
  • the aged care sector
  • public health units
  • the education sector
  • community organisations.

What our students say

“The convenience of distance learning and flexibility gave me the opportunity to excel in my career path as an Outreach Community Health Worker. With Massey University, I was able to achieve the desired outcome, the completion of my ‘tohu’ in Public Health and Health Promotion.”
Marlene Whaanga-Dean

Ngāti Kahungungu, Rangitāne ngā iwi

Certificate in Public Health

“I chose Massey University to do my studies due to the fact that I could do my course via distance learning, and still work full-time. Juggling mahi and study had its moments but with the support of the tutors and support services, I got through.”
Michelle Martin

Ko te Rarawa me te Aupōuri, ko Ongaroa te maunga, ko Rotokakahi te awa, ko Kurahaupo te waka, ko Morehu te marae, Te Uri o Tai Ngāpuhi te hapū

Certificate in Public Health

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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