Four students walking on campus
Areas of interest

Study public health , Te hauora tūmatanui

Improve the health and wellbeing of individuals, whānau and communities. Public health (also called population health) includes disease prevention, health promotion and health protection.

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Wellbeing for all

Improve health and wellbeing, reduce inequalities. Careers include case managers, epidemiologists, health officers and analysts.

Walk into a job

Massey public health graduates have great career prospects both in New Zealand and globally.

In great company

Massey's award-winning lecturers and their world-class research will make sure you have the very best training during your study.

Striving to be Tiriti-led

We work to uphold the principles of te Tiriti o Waitangi – and to empower all New Zealanders, especially Māori.

Overview

No one thing can improve the health and wellbeing of a community or demographic group. Many factors come into play. And it's vital to work collaboratively with people, whānau and wider groups.

Learn from lecturers from across the health sciences. Explore new ideas with researchers with expertise in areas such as epidemiology, health literacy or health promotion. Examine contemporary public health challenges in Aotearoa New Zealand and globally. Hone your advocacy, analytical and communication skills. Graduate work-ready, with skills employers need.

Studying public health is a good fit if you:

  • enjoy school subjects such as health and social sciences
  • want to make long-term improvements to health, and to health, wellbeing or disability services
  • like creative problem-solving and collaborating with a wide range of people.

Courses in public health may cover:

  • analysing health data and research
  • developing meaningful relationships with people you'll support – individuals, whānau and communities
  • Māori health
  • mental health and addiction
  • public health systems and functions – examples include health assessments, health promotion and developing capacity
  • rehabilitation
  • social factors that impact health and wellbeing, such as education, environment and housing.

What is public health?

Public health – also called population health – focuses on the health of groups of people. Public health examines patterns of health across different populations and take a systems view of all factors affecting health.

It includes:

  • healthy environments and living conditions
  • partnering with communities
  • promoting good health and preventing illnesses
  • social justice and equity, including causes of health inequalities
  • Te Tiriti o Waitangi-led practice.

How to study public health

Discover what we offer if you’re interested in public health – whether you’re coming to university for the first time, changing direction or returning to advance your study or career.

Undergraduate study

An undergraduate qualification is generally the first thing you’ll study at university.

Bachelor's degrees

Degrees are the standard qualifications you do at university – the most common is called a bachelor’s. Degrees give you enough time to explore your interests, and also focus on specific subjects.

Undergraduate certificates

If you want to study at university, but aren't sure if you want to commit to a degree, try an undergraduate certificate.

Relevant undergraduate subjects to major or specialise in

When you apply to study at Massey, for some undergraduate qualifications you can choose what subject you’d like to specialise in. You can usually change your mind after you get to university, depending on the courses you enrol in.

Postgraduate study

Once you’ve graduated with a bachelor’s degree – or have equivalent experience – you’ll be ready to take on postgraduate study.

Master's degrees

A master's degree normally builds on a main subject of study from your undergraduate degree.

Postgraduate diplomas

Postgraduate diplomas are postgraduate-level qualifications that are longer than a postgraduate certificate. If you’re successful, you might be able to use the credits towards the longer master’s degree.

PhD and other doctoral degrees

Doctoral degrees, including PhDs, are the highest degrees we award. They’re very demanding and their entry criteria reflect this.

Relevant research areas at Massey

Discover research expertise, projects and initiatives relating to public health at Massey.

Public health research

What our students say

“I recommend studying at Massey University because it allowed me to learn about everything that contributes to health and wellbeing, but also the real world application of this knowledge that allows you to work in the health field.”
Maddie Ryan

Bachelor of Health Science (Integrated Human Health)

“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

“The capstone project I did was truly rewarding. It gave me the opportunity to work on real world data, a hands-on experience that is more exciting than just taking exams, or writing reports.”
Shun Xie

Master of Analytics (Health)

Healthspace mapping tool

Explore geographic health and population data for New Zealand in the form of interactive maps, graphs and tables. Dig into data at sub-national levels including:

  • regional council
  • district health board
  • territorial authority
  • local area ward
  • census area unit levels.

Healthspace mapping tool

Jobs in public health

Careers in public health typically focus on improving health and wellbeing, and reducing inequalities. Our graduates develop skills to promote and protect all aspects of health and wellbeing, including mental, physical, spiritual and family health, and the health of the environment.

Careers can include work in local or national government, in iwi and non-government health organisations. Job prospects are good in New Zealand and overseas.

Public health careers include:

  • case managers, who organise rehabilitation or disability care plans
  • health or whānau ora navigators, who help people find suitable support or treatment
  • community health workers
  • epidemiologists, who specialise in the causes or spread of diseases
  • health protection officers, who work with district health boards (DHBs)
  • medical laboratory scientists
  • mental health and addiction practitioners
  • policy analysts or advisers
  • service designers.

Annual salary ranges for jobs

Salary ranges disclaimer

Indicative pay rates are:

Which public health qualification?

Examples of where our qualifications may take you.

Table showing jobs and what you could study to enter them.
Jobs Examples of what you could study
Community health worker or programme co-ordinator Bachelor of Health Science (Health Promotion)
Medical laboratory scientist Postgraduate Diploma in Health Science (Medical Laboratory Science)
Master of Health Science (Medical Laboratory Research)
Mental health and addiction practitioners Bachelor of Health Science (Mental Health and Addiction)
Policy analyst or advisor Bachelor of Health Science
Bachelor of Health Science (Mental Health and Addiction)
Public health officer Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health
Researcher, epidemiologist or programme designer specialising in public health Master of Public Health
Master of Analytics (Health)

Accreditations and rankings

ShanghaiRanking - public health

Massey University is ranked in the top 300 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.

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Medical Sciences Council of New Zealand

The Postgraduate Diploma in Health Science (Medical Laboratory Science) is accredited by the Medical Sciences Council of New Zealand.

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Get an information guide

Download our guide to find out more about studying public health (also called population health) at Massey.

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