Master of Public Health – MPH

The Master of Public Health is a research-focused qualification. You'll conduct your own research under the supervision of experienced public health researchers and engage in professional practice opportunities.

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

1 year(s) full-time (240 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

Study a Master of Public Health – MPH

Gain invaluable skills

With the Master of Public Health, you will be able to demonstrate a critical awareness of the public health research literature. You’ll undertake collaborative research and practice within interdisciplinary and inter-sectoral environments.

Follow your research interests

The qualification emphasises applied research and practical experience. You will be able to conduct research relevant to your public health work, interests and experiences. You will build on the knowledge gained through your Postgraduate Diploma of Public Health.

Transfer your learning to your workplace

You will learn to reason and act independently as a professional working in public health. You will be able to contribute to policy development at local and national levels. You’ll contribute to public health knowledge through scholarly inquiry and publication. You will also be able to apply your cutting-edge knowledge to solving public health challenges.

You will receive a high quality, comprehensive education and training in public health. This will benefit you, your employer, and the health of New Zealanders in general.

Further study

If you complete the research pathway you may choose to progress to a PhD.

A MPH is a good fit if you:

  • are a professional wanting a solid grounding in public health
  • already work in public health and want to further your career
  • are looking for professional development.

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 Public Health you will have:

  • been awarded or qualified for a bachelor’s degree in health sciences with a minimum grade average of B-, or equivalent; or
  • been awarded or qualified for a bachelor’s degree in health sciences or other relevant discipline, and have relevant professional experience, or equivalent; or
  • been awarded or qualified for a Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health with a minimum grade average of B-, or equivalent.

English language requirements

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

Documents you will need to supply to support your application

  • verified copies of all academic transcripts for studies taken at all universities other than Massey University
  • a CV if applying on the basis of a bachelor’s degree and at least two years’ relevant professional experience. 

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 be 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 Public Health

This is a parts-based qualification. That means you need to achieve at a certain level to progress from Part One to Part Two.

For the Master of Public Health, a minimum grade average of B- is required in order to progress to Part Two.

 

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

240 credits

  • Part One compulsory courses – 120 credits
  • Part Two elective courses from the Schedule – 30‑60 credits
  • Part Two praxis or thesis – 60‑90 credits

Advanced entry: Those who have already completed specified qualifications in advance of the minimum entry requirements may be able to complete this degree in 120 or 180 credits.

There are regulations around completion of Part One before progressing to Part Two.

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

Compulsory courses (Choose 120 credits from)

Choose 120 credits from
Course code: 231704 Hauora Māori 30 credits

This course provides an overview and analysis of hauora Māori perspectives. Historical and contemporary contexts and challenges are used to discuss Māori approaches in public health, with reference to Māori knowledge and Māori leadership. The course focuses on developing critical consciousness for becoming advocates and champions for Māori health through Te Tiriti o Waitangi-led practice.

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Course code: 231725 Foundations of Public Health 15 credits

This course presents the overarching framework, principles and core functions of public health in Aotearoa New Zealand. It utilises a multidisciplinary lens to investigate the key determinants of health status across population groups in Aotearoa New Zealand and globally. The course provides the necessary foundation for students to engage in advanced approaches essential for public health practice.

Restrictions: 231701

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Course code: 231726 Health Systems and Policy 15 credits

This course uses systems thinking approaches to examine and compare the Aotearoa New Zealand health system within the international context, how it is structured and operates, and how this impacts on public health responses. Health policy and public health advocacy is examined as an instrument to enhance the health system and broader responses to major public health challenges.

Restrictions: 231701

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Course code: 231727 Epidemiology and Biostatistics 30 credits

An exploration of the core principles and practice of epidemiology and biostatistics in assessing and responding to population health need. Students will learn the skills necessary to analyse and interpret data, disseminate information, and critically appraise quantitative literature. The focus of the course is on the application of epidemiology and biostatistics for policy development and decision-making across the health system.

Restrictions: 231730 and 231731

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Course code: 231728 Public Health Practice 15 credits

This course aims to provide students with the conceptual, analytical and strategic planning basis for effective public health practice. The course focuses on the theory and practice of designing, developing, implementing and evaluating practice. It draws upon analysis of determinants, stakeholders, Te Tiriti o Waitangi-led and community development approaches, and intervention research.

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Course code: 231729 Qualitative and Participatory Research in Public Health 15 credits

This course provides a foundation in qualitative and participatory research methodologies, and the different approaches to knowledge that inform qualitative and participatory research. Students will develop competencies in qualitative and participatory research processes including design, data collection, analysis, dissemination, and critique of existing literature. The course foregrounds social, cultural, political and ethical considerations in the practice of public health research.

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Elective courses (Choose no more than 60 credits from)

Choose no more than 60 credits from
Course code: 150702 Pae Ora: Māori Health Advancement 30 credits

Strategies for the advancement of Māori health will be explored with a particular focus on health planning, national Māori health related strategies, health funding, the delivery of health services, and the link between Māori health strategies and positive Māori development.

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Course code: 151717 Selected Topics in Public Health Nutrition 15 credits

Public health nutrition is the promotion of good health through the prevention of nutrition-related illness in the population. This course will examine a selection of nutrition-related public health problems and describe how research-based evidence is used to develop effective promotion strategies.

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Course code: 231705 Pacific Health 30 credits

This course provides an overview and analysis of Pacific health. Topics include: Pacific concepts of health; health effects of migration, urbanisation, demographic transition and economic development on Pacific people in Aotearoa and the Pacific; Pacific health promotion models and Pacific health policies. Pacific case studies will illustrate how providers can contribute effectively to Pacific development and improved Pacific health outcomes.

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Course code: 231732 Physical Activity Promotion 15 credits

This course draws on the disciplines of epidemiology, health promotion, policy analysis and exercise science to develop public health competencies specific to physical activity promotion at a population level, including knowledge of the relationship between physical activity and health, and skills in population-based physical activity assessment, determinants analysis and intervention design and evaluation.

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Course code: 231733 Big Public Health Issues 15 credits

This course critically examines the big public health issues globally using an analytical framework and case study approach that considers burden of disease, epidemiology, determinant analysis, health and other system responses and evidence of intervention effectiveness. Issues and case studies covered include major infectious diseases, obesity, smoking, alcohol consumption, injury prevention and mental health.

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Course code: 250703 Health Communication 15 credits

This course examines the primary factors that influence the effective communication and adoption of positive health behaviours by individuals and communities. Students will review: micro and macro-level theories of health communication; audience engagement and persuasion; the impact of evolving public attitudes to health knowledge; innovative methods for health communication.

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Course code: 250818 Research Report 30 credits

Candidates are required to conduct a piece of independent research under supervision and to produce a report of the research for examination.

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Part Two

Option A (Choose 60 credits from)

Choose 60 credits from
Course code: 231818 Public Health Praxis 1 30 credits

A capstone practicum in the public health environment involving supervised and team-based work on defined and contemporary public health issues.

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Course code: 231819 Public Health Praxis 2 30 credits

An integrative capstone practicum in the public health environment involving supervised and team-based work on defined complex contemporary public health issues.

Corequisites: 231818

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60 credits of elective courses from Part One

Option B (Choose 90 credits from)

Choose 90 credits from
Course code: 231818 Public Health Praxis 1 30 credits

A capstone practicum in the public health environment involving supervised and team-based work on defined and contemporary public health issues.

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Course code: 250817 Research Report 60 credits

Candidates are required to conduct a piece of independent research under supervision and to produce a report of the research for examination.

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30 credits of elective courses from Part One

Option C (Choose 120 credits from)

Choose 120 credits from
Course code: 231818 Public Health Praxis 1 30 credits

A capstone practicum in the public health environment involving supervised and team-based work on defined and contemporary public health issues.

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Course code: 231821 Public Health Thesis 90 Pt 1 45 credits

A supervised and guided independent study designed to lead to a published work.

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Course code: 231822 Public Health Thesis 90 Pt 2 45 credits

A supervised and guided independent study designed to lead to a published work.

Corequisites: 231821

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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.

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

Graduates of the Master of Public Health make contributions to public health policy development at local and national levels. They contribute to public health knowledge through scholarly inquiry and publication. They also demonstrate competence in planning and conducting research in public health.

Many of our graduates go on to an academic career in teaching and research.

What our students say

“I chose to study at Massey because of the high calibre of supervisors in the Master of Public Health programme. My decision proved to be right as I had a supervisor who had the knowledge and expertise to effectively support my academic journey.”
Josette McAllister

Master in Public Health

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