Master of Health Science – MHlthSc

Advance your knowledge and skills in the growing health industry.

Type of qualification

Master's degree

Level of study

Postgraduate study

Once you’ve graduated with a bachelor’s degree – or have equal experience – you can study at the postgraduate level. Doctoral qualifications require additional entry requirements.

NZQF level 9

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

Find out more about NZQF levels

Time to complete

2 year(s) full-time (180 credits)
Up to 5 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: Not all courses available in any one year at all campuses.

Study a Master of Health Science – MHlthSc

Note: This qualification is covered by the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Vaccinations) Amendment Order 2021. Students are required to provide details of their vaccination status on enrolment.

Through advanced studies in a specialised focus subject, the Master of Health Science offers you an opportunity to pursue research in health sciences.

If you have successfully completed an undergraduate degree with a health focus such as a Bachelor of Health Science, Bachelor of Nursing, Bachelor of Sport and Exercise, or any other health-related qualification, then you may wish to consider the Master of Health Science.

If you want to undertake postgraduate study in health science, you’ll need to obtain permission from the Qualification Director of postgraduate health science. Enquire to find out more.

A MHlthSc is a good fit if you:

  • are passionate about health sciences and building on your knowledge at a higher level
  • strive to make a major contribution to peoples health and wellbeing
  • have a bachelor’s degree in a relevant health-related area.

Entry requirements

Admission to Massey

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

Specific requirements

To enter the Master of Health Science you will have been awarded or qualified for:

  • a relevant health-related bachelor’s degree with a major in psychology with a minimum B- grade average over the 200/300 level courses, or
  • a relevant health-related bachelor’s degree with a major in psychology and have extensive professional experience, or
  • a Postgraduate Diploma in a relevant health related discipline or the Bachelor of Health Science with Honours (with a major in psychology), having achieved at least a B grade average, or equivalent.

If you have a postgraduate diploma in a relevant health-related discipline or a Bachelor of Health Science (Honours)  with a major in psychology as outlined above, you may apply for credit towards Part One of the qualification in accordance with the limits specified in the Recognition of Prior Learning regulations.

Specific subject requirements for nursing, psychology and medical laboratory science subjects
  • To enter the Master of Health Science (Nursing) programme you will be a registered nurse with a practising certificate from the Nursing Council of New Zealand.
  • To enter the Master of Health Science (Psychology) subject you will have been awarded or qualified for:
    • a relevant health related Bachelor's degree having achieved at least at least a B grade average in the 300-level level courses, or equivalent; or
    • a relevant health related Bachelor's degree and have extensive relevant professional experience; or
    • a Postgraduate Diploma in a relevant health related discipline or the Bachelor of Health Science with Honours, having achieved at least a B grade average, or equivalent.
  • To enter the Master of Health Science (Medical Laboratory Science) you will hold a current Annual Practicing Certificate (APC) for employment in the Scope of Practice of "Medical Laboratory Scientist" and have been practicing as a Medical Laboratory Scientist in an ISO15189 accredited NZ Diagnostic Medical Laboratory for at least one year.

You must provide verified copies of all 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.

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.

Maximum time limits for completion

There are maximum time limits to complete postgraduate qualifications.  If you do not complete within the maximum time, you may be required to re-apply for the qualification if you wish to continue your studies.

Time limits for Honours, Distinction and Merit

Where your qualification is completed within the stated time limit and to a high standard, you may be able to graduate with a class of Honours, Distinction or Merit. 

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 Postgraduate Degrees, Postgraduate Diplomas, and Postgraduate 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 Master of Health Science

If you study full-time, you’ll take 120 credits per year or 60 credits per semester.

Depending on the subject undertaken, courses may be offered in a combination of internal offerings (on-campus), distance offerings, block courses and blended learning.

The Master of Health Science is a parts-based qualification. That means you must complete the first part, before moving to the second.  You can choose a research pathway or a professional pathway (most subjects).

Professional pathway: For the professional pathway progression from Part One to Part Two, you must have achieved a minimum B- grade in the Part One Core course 168713.

Research pathway: For the research pathway progression from Part One to Part Two, you must have achieved a minimum B grade in the Part One Core course, one of 168711, 179702, 150714, 175738.

Part One of the 180 credit qualification consists of a compulsory 30 credit core course or a research methodology course specific to your subject area.

Courses and specialisations

Key terms

Courses
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).
Credits
Each course is worth a number of credits. You combine courses (credits) to meet the total number of credits needed for your qualification.
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.

Credit summary

180 credits

Professional Pathway

  • Part One compulsory course – 30 credits
  • Part One subject courses – 90 credits
  • Part Two research – 60 credits

Research Pathway

  • Part One compulsory course – 30 credits
  • Part One subject courses – 30-60 credits
  • Part Two research courses – 90-120 credits

A specialisation (subject) is compulsory.

Advanced entry: Those who have already completed specified qualifications in advance of the minimum entry requirements and have been granted credit for it, may be able to complete this degree in 60 - 120 credits.

Course planning key

Prerequisites
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.
Corequisites
Courses that must be completed at the same time as another course are known as corequisite courses.
Restrictions
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.

Part One

Core courses: Professional Pathway

Course code: 168713 Evidence-Based Practice 30 credits

Evidence based practice (EBP) is an approach to problem solving and service provision based on the integration of “best evidence” with expert opinion and client/consumer perspectives. Students will develop EBP skills needed to critically evaluate information available from research findings, professional consensus statements and other sources of information, as well as communicating the results.

View full course details
or (Psychology specialisation only)
Course code: 175738 Psychological Research: Principles of Design 15 credits

An advanced study of the principles of research design in psychology. The course will provide a conceptual orientation to the integrated components of the design process. Through a meta-theoretical framework, various approaches to design will be explored to enable advanced engagement with psychological research from scientific, interpretivist and/or indigenous perspectives.

View full course details

Core courses: Research Pathway

Course code: 168711 Health Research Design and Method 30 credits

Philosophical, ethical and methodological issues in relation to health research are examined. Selected quantitative and qualitative methods are explored in depth, in preparation for developing a research proposal for a thesis, or research project.

Restrictions: 168810, 168710

View full course details
Course code: 179702 Advanced Research Methods 30 credits

An examination of research methods, traditions and techniques used in social and health research. The course is designed to assist the planning of Master and Doctoral theses.

View full course details
or (Māori Health specialisation only)
Course code: 150714 Ta Te Māori Rangahau Korero: Māori Research Methodologies 30 credits

An examination of methodologies appropriate for research within Māori communities, iwi, hapu and whanau. Emphasis will be placed on accessing relevant information held in public repositories, on the internet and on computerised databases. The identification of frameworks for research in Māori contexts, ethical issues, and research design form important aspects of the course.

View full course details
or (Psychology specialisation only)
Course code: 175738 Psychological Research: Principles of Design 15 credits

An advanced study of the principles of research design in psychology. The course will provide a conceptual orientation to the integrated components of the design process. Through a meta-theoretical framework, various approaches to design will be explored to enable advanced engagement with psychological research from scientific, interpretivist and/or indigenous perspectives.

View full course details

Subjects

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.

A subject is compulsory. Subjects require 150 credits, except for Psychology which requires 165 credits.

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

This is a great qualification that will help you progress to an exciting and rewarding career. You could work in any of the following, depending on your subject area:

  • athlete strength and conditioning
  • careers in quality assurance
  • clinical exercise prescription consultant
  • consultancy and advisory positions
  • corporate health and fitness
  • exercise for elderly care homes
  • fitness centres
  • health promotion
  • iwi authorities
  • medical centres and hospitals
  • prison service
  • public health positions
  • research
  • sports teams and national sporting bodies
  • track for further advanced study
  • health and safety managers
  • WorkSafe New Zealand and ACC employees
  • occupational health and safety consultants
  • occupational health nurses
  • environmental health, air pollution and noise control specialists
  • occupational hygienists
  • human resource managers and advisors
  • research assistant; research associate.

What our students say

“Studying extramurally at Massey University enabled me to pace my study within other commitments and gave me access to experienced supervisors. I could largely independently pace my work providing I stayed within our set timelines. The knowledge I gained has contributed largely to my governance and director roles.”
Grant Plumbley

Master of Health Science

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