Graduate Diploma in Environmental Health – GradDipEH

If you’re interested in protecting people’s health and wellbeing at a local community level, the Graduate Diploma in Environmental Health is for you.

Type of qualification

Graduate diploma

Level of study

Graduate study

Graduate qualifications normally involve study in a different area to your first undergraduate qualification. Some are stepping stones to postgraduate-level 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

1 year full-time (120 credits)
Up to 8 years part-time
Part-time available

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: Some distance courses have compulsory contact workshops.

Study a Graduate Diploma in Environmental Health – GradDipEH

Massey’s Graduate Diploma in Environmental Health is designed to give you the training needed for a professional career in human health protection. You will learn how to protect people and communities from threats to health from our built and natural environments. Environmental health roles often require your initiative to devise workable solutions to problems.

What is environmental health?

Environmental health is focused on all aspects of the environment that may affect human health. Threats to human health may be biological, physical or chemical. These may come from natural processes, human activity, or a combination of the two. You’ll study important environmental health topics including:

  • food safety
  • infectious disease transmission
  • drinking water quality
  • urban air pollution
  • the hazards of excessive noise
  • exposure to toxic and other hazardous substances
  • workplace monitoring
  • medical geochemistry
  • contaminated site assessment
  • waste management and climate change.

What isn’t environmental health?

Environmental health does not mean the health of the wider environment – this is environmental science. However, there is a complex range of inter-relationships between the two areas. Climate change is a good example of an environmental impact that will have major direct and indirect impacts on human health.

This qualification prepares you for many roles, including entry into the two key environmental health occupations:

  • Environmental Health Officer (EHO)
  • Health Protection Officer (HPO).

Entry to the EHO role is possible because Massey’s Graduate Diploma in Environmental Health is formally recognised under the Environmental Health Officers Qualifications Regulations 1993.

Find out more in the Careers section on this page.

A GradDipEH is a good fit if you:

  • would like to play a key role in community health protection
  • are comfortable with applied science and love a technical challenge
  • hold a relevant bachelor’s degree or equivalent in qualifications and experience.

Entry requirements

Admission to Massey

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

Specific requirements

To enter the Graduate Diploma in Environmental Health you will have been awarded or qualified for a relevant degree in applied science, health science, nursing, science or technology.

Applicants who have other qualifications and considerable work experience will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

You will need to provide copies of all official academic transcripts for studies taken at all universities other than Massey University.

English language requirements

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

This qualification is classified as NZQF Level 7 and requires the same English language standard as most undergraduate bachelor degrees, diplomas and certificates.

Time limits for Honours, Distinction and Merit

If you complete this qualification within the stated time limit and to a high standard, you may be able to graduate with Distinction or Merit.

Look for further information under ‘Student Progression’ in the regulations for this qualification.

More information

  • Read the regulations for this qualification thoroughly
  • Contact us through the Get advice button on this page if you have any questions.

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

Structure of the Graduate Diploma in Environmental Health

If you study full-time, in your first year, you’ll take eight 15-credit courses, making a total of 120 credits.

If you wish to study over two semesters, you should aim for 60 credits per semester. You may be able to take some courses at summer school. Make sure you include courses that are prerequisites for the next level of courses you wish to study.

Five of the eight courses involve a single contact workshop component where you will travel to Wellington, meet staff and other students in the qualification and learn specific skills. These range from two to five days in length, depending on the course.

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

120 credits

  • Compulsory courses – 120 credits

Ensure that you also have 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.

Compulsory courses (Choose 120 credits from)

Choose 120 credits from
Course code: 214213 Toxic Substances, Human Health and the Environment 15 credits

A study of the interactions of key groups of toxic substances with the human body and the ecosystem. Provides an overall understanding of the terminology, principles, concepts and methodologies. Discusses applications to human or environmental toxicological risk assessment.

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Course code: 214215 Food Safety and Human Health 15 credits

Introduces students to the key issues surrounding the preparation, handling and delivery of safe food, and applications of food safety, HACCP, inspection and assessment techniques, food legislation and common problems, will be examined. Will include a study of relevant organisations involved in the food industry.

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Course code: 214216 Environmental and Public Health Law 15 credits

Legislative, judicial and administrative aspects of the New Zealand legal system as they apply to environmental health. Examination of statutory and common law legal issues, collection of evidence and prosecutions, management of cases, negligence and potential liability. Special focus on the RMA (1991) and Health Act (1956).

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Course code: 214301 Environmental Health Risk Management for Disasters 15 credits

Advanced theory and practice in environmental health risk management applicable to typical disaster and humanitarian relief scenarios encountered in New Zealand/Pacific Rim.

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Course code: 214311 Epidemiology and Communicable Diseases 15 credits

The nature of important communicable diseases and the factors that influence the occurrence, prevention and control of infectious diseases. The microbiology of common agents of communicable diseases. Examination of the major reasons for disease emergence and resurgence. Concepts and applications of epidemiology in relation to infectious and non-infectious agents.

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Course code: 214312 Environmental Monitoring and Investigative Methods 15 credits

Exploration of approaches used to sample and test air, water, soil or food for human health protection purposes; from sampling design to techniques used, and from data validation to the interpretation and regulatory use of results.

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Course code: 214314 Water and Waste Treatment 15 credits

Water treatment for drinking water supplies and public bathing facilities, the treatment and disposal of liquid (e.g. sewage) and solid wastes for the provision and maintenance of public health, with particular reference to common systems.

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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.

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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.

Scholarship and award opportunities

Search our scholarships and awards

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

Environmental health jobs typically include a mix of indoor and outdoor work. Most involve working with people to promote a healthier environment in which to live.

EHOs and HPOs

Massey’s Graduate Diploma in Environmental Health will prepare you for a wide range of roles, but more specifically for entry into the two key environmental health occupations:

  • Environmental Health Officer (EHO)
  • Health Protection Officer (HPO).

As with any environmental health career, your training and expertise will continue to grow after you’re employed.

As an HPO you will work with Health New Zealand - Te Whatu Ora. As an EHO you will work in City or District Councils, or with the New Zealand Defence Force.

Entry to the EHO role is possible because Massey’s Graduate Diploma in Environmental Health is formally recognised under the Environmental Health Officers Qualifications Regulations 1993.

Fields of work

Local, regional and central government

Become an Environmental Health Officer (EHO) or Public Health Officer (HPO) involved in a range of areas that can include:

  • public health advice
  • outbreak management
  • food safety
  • building inspection
  • border control
  • risk assessment
  • liquor licensing
  • resource management
  • disaster and emergency response
  • air quality
  • drinking water quality
  • contaminated sites investigation
  • waste management.

Graduates working in regional councils and central government agencies have had roles such as:

  • technical advisors
  • resource consent officers
  • environment officers
  • policy analysts
  • programme managers.
Private sector

You could work in consultancies or industry and be involved in:

  • food quality assurance
  • workplace and environmental safety
  • waste management
  • food safety auditing
  • environmental quality assurance.


Ministry of Health logo

Environmental Health Officers Qualifications Regulations 1993

Our environmental health qualifications are recognised by the Ministry of Health as meeting qualification requirements for environmental health officers. Our qualifications are also recognised as suitable background for employment of Environmental Health Officers in Australia.

Learn more

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