Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health – PGDipPH

Get a high-quality, comprehensive education in public health to boost your career while improving the health of New Zealanders.

Type of qualification

Postgraduate diploma

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.

More about study levels

NZQF level 8

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

Find out more about NZQF levels

Time to complete

1 year full-time (if study commences in Semester 1) (120 credits)
Up to 4 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 Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health – PGDipPH

The Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health will give you leading-edge expertise in many different subjects, such as:

  • epidemiology and biostatistics
  • Māori health
  • health systems and policy
  • environmental health
  • programme planning and evaluation
  • health inequities
  • health promotion
  • health research methods.

Transfer your learning to your workplace

This qualification emphasises applied research and practical experience. You will be able to apply knowledge gained to projects that reflect your work and interests.

If you’re a health professional, policy maker, community worker or researcher, you will benefit from unique shared learning opportunities with others from diverse backgrounds in the health sector.

Get great work skills

You will understand the core functions of public health, which include health promotion, disease prevention, disease surveillance and monitoring, health assessment, and health protection.

You will also be able to identify and critically analyse public health problems and solutions from a range of perspectives.

You can study in a way that best suits your lifestyle – enrol in distance courses and study full or part-time.

Follow your research passions

At Massey, we embrace high-quality research in exciting areas, including:

  • community development
  • mental health and addiction
  • Indigenous health promotion
  • healthy ageing
  • nutrition, sleep and physical activity
  • environmental health
  • reducing health inequities.

Further study

Graduates of the PGDipPH can do further study for a Master of Public Health and progress to doctoral study.

A PGDipPH 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 Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health, you will have been awarded or qualified for a relevant bachelor's degree or equivalent.

You must 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.

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 Distinction or Merit. 

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

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. To find out more, go to the section called ‘Transitional Provisions’ in the Regulations.

In some cases, the qualification or specialisation you enrolled in may no longer be taking new enrolments, so it 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 Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health

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

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 course(s) – 120 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.

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.

View full course details
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

View full course details
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

View full course details
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

View full course details
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.

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 pay 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

There are many employment opportunities that public health training can give both in the health sector and broader government and community sectors. These include:

  • health promotion
  • health protection
  • policy advisors and analysts in the government sector
  • health sector analysts in public health units and non-government organisations
  • programme coordinators and evaluators
  • upskilling for health professionals
  • health community workers
  • public health research and teaching.

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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