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Courses - Faculty of Medical And Health Sciences

Population Health

Stage I

15 Points

Introduction to Health Systems

Provides an overview and understanding of the New Zealand health system, including: history of health and health service delivery in New Zealand; the role and functioning of hospitals; primary care; purchasers and funders of health services; the role of insurance and private healthcare providers.

15 Points

Social Determinants of Health

A description and analysis of health within a social context. Discusses different models of health and provides a range of explanations for how social factors influence health. Options for addressing these issues are also explored.

15 Points

Epidemics: Black Death to Bioterrorism

Epidemics have devastated human populations and will continue to do so. This course looks at how epidemics can run rampant through society and how we can control them. It will include examples from the past and present, as well as outline future threats. A diversity of epidemics will be covered, from the plague, gambling, depression, pandemics, nun-biting and alien abduction.

15 Points

Population Health

To introduce frameworks and tools for measuring and understanding and improving the health of populations, both locally and globally. These frameworks and tools are derived from epidemiology, demography, public health, environmental health and global health sciences.

Stage II

15 Points

Research Methods in Health

Examines the different ways of approaching, designing and undertaking population health science research, covering research paradigms and methodologies, including both quantitative and qualitative methods.

15 Points

Health Promotion: Philosophy and Practice

Explains in detail the theoretical basis of health promotion; calling on current practice examples to bring the theory to life. Introduces international and New Zealand health promotion concepts and tools. Explains how health promotion practice rests on particular approaches, values and ethical considerations which directly link to a political analysis of deprivation and powerlessness.

15 Points

Health Care Ethics

An introduction to healthcare and medical ethics. A theoretical foundation of ethics in addition to the practical ethical issues relevant to healthcare professionals.

15 Points

Life Cycle Nutrition

Provides students with a general background and introduction to: the New Zealand diet; food preparation and meal patterns; dietary requirements during pregnancy and lactation, childhood and adolescence, lifestyle changes, maturity and ageing.

15 Points

Community and Cultural Development

An introduction to the study of community and cultural development as both philosophical approach and programme of practice for building active and sustainable communities from grassroots. Real world examples of effective practice will demonstrate the interdependence of theory, research and practice in health development. Emphasis is placed on collaboration and participation.

Prerequisite: POPLHLTH 102

15 Points

Mental Health Development

The importance of mental health to overall health and well-being is explored. Major threats to mental health are reviewed, and contemporary responses to mental ill health are placed in historical perspective. Current theory, research and practice related to mental health development, which includes both recovery-based approaches and mental health promotion practice (i.e., promotion of well-being) at the community and population levels are reviewed.

Prerequisite: POPLHLTH 102

15 Points

Equity and Inequalities in Health

Investigates the way in which social determinants lead to particular distributions of health in populations. Draws on a social epidemiological approach to explore ways in which inequalities in health (based on factors such as age, gender, ethnicity and socio-economic status) are created, then maintained or eliminated.

Prerequisite: POPLHLTH 102

Restriction: POPLHLTH 201

15 Points

Introduction to Environmental Health

Provides students with concepts and knowledge necessary to understand the influence of the environment on health, and also to understand how human activity affects the environment. Local, regional and global examples of environmental health issues, as well as success stories, are explored. The course introduces approaches that may be taken to identify, understand and reduce environmental hazards.

15 Points

Bio-behavioural Aspects of Drug Use

An introduction to the ways drugs exert their effects on the body, why drug dependence (addiction) occurs and what factors may predispose individuals to the development of drug dependence, including the aetiology of drug dependence and ways in which the study of bio-behavioural aspects of drug use has influenced public health interventions to reduce drug dependence.

15 Points

Special Topic: Positioning Pacific Health

Introduces Pacific perspectives and worldviews of health and wellbeing and examines the social, structural, economic and political determinants of health for Pacific peoples in New Zealand.

Prerequisite: POPLHLTH 101, 102, 111

15 Points

Special Topic

15 Points

Dynamics of Health Systems

Examines ways in which approaches to quality and efficiency can be understood to examine changes in health systems, in response to the environment. The influence of key players is a key focus throughout this course.

Prerequisite: POPLHLTH 101

15 Points

Quantitative Methods in Health

An introduction to and application of epidemiological and social science-based, quantitative principles, methods and skills used in health sector research.

Prerequisite: POPLHLTH 111, 202

Stage III

15 Points

Health Sector Professional Competencies

Develops core skills in areas of project management, financial management, communication, leadership, team development, and cultural competence. An integrated project development approach is used to expose students to the key principles in these areas and to enable them to build a development plan.

Prerequisite: POPLHLTH 204

15 Points

Strengthening Health Systems

The New Zealand health system in an international context. Health system reform, priority setting and rationing. Managed care and health integration. The future of healthcare in New Zealand.

Prerequisite: POPLHLTH 202, 215

15 Points

Health Services Placement

The placement with a health service organisation provides students with the opportunity for experiential learning and the development of competencies needed in the workplace. Theory and skills learned in previous courses are integrated and extended as students apply prior knowledge to a local health organisation and carry out tasks asked of them.

Prerequisite: HLTHPSYC 122, MAORIHTH 201, POPLHLTH 101, 102, 111, 202, 204, 210, 216

15 Points

Health Informatics

Students will explore the development and management of information systems in contemporary New Zealand healthcare services. Health informatics concepts, conceptualised in different healthcare settings, are critically reviewed in terms of their practical application.

Prerequisite: POPLHLTH 101, 202

15 Points

Principles of Applied Epidemiology

The application of an epidemiological approach in population health, including study of the principles of epidemiological thinking, epidemiological study design and analyses, and the application of these findings to population health. Modules will be taught through specific themes for example, a life course approach or injury prevention.

Prerequisite: POPLHLTH 111, 202, 216

15 Points

Community Nutrition

This course builds on POPLHLTH 206 ‘Life Cycle Nutrition’ by providing students with a general overview of the determinants of population eating behaviours and the implications of current dietary behaviours and patterns on health.

Prerequisite: POPLHLTH 111, 206

15 Points

Health Promotion 2

Builds on the theory and practice in POPLHLTH 203, and examines in depth the relationship between economic and political processes and health status. The course also looks at the most effective strategies to put health promotion theory into practice. Mixed in with this will be an in-depth introduction to some of the emerging issues in health promotion, and a look at some of the specific areas of health promotion practice.

Prerequisite: POPLHLTH 203

15 Points

Communities and Addictions

Examines how addictions such as tobacco, alcohol, drugs and gambling seriously undermine the health of individuals and the communities in which they live and/or work. Case studies are used to understand the primary elements of community and cultural health development.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage II in Population Health

15 Points

Shaping Health Policy

Investigates recent changes to the ways in which governments seek to intervene to improve a population's health. NZ case studies will be used to illustrate the interrelationships between research, policy and practice in a devolved health system and the changing relationships between government agencies and health providers.

Prerequisite: POPLHLTH 202

15 Points

Health and Pacific People in NZ

An overview of the major health issues facing Pacific peoples, including analysis of the key determinants of health status, focusing on approaches to improving health for Pacific peoples through research, policy, public health programmes and health services. A critique of dominant paradigms of health and well-being in relation to Pacific communities in Aotearoa New Zealand is included with consideration of their effect on health outcomes.

Prerequisite: POPLHLTH 210

Restriction: POPLHLTH 201

15 Points

Health in Asian Communities

An overview of Asian health issues, including, the biological, ecological cultural, economic social and psychological factors that determine health for Asian New Zealanders is provided. Current practice, policy development and research priorities for Asian communities are included.

Prerequisite: POPLHLTH 210

15 Points

Special Topic: Systematic Reviews and Meta-analysis

The principles of interventional systematic reviews and meta-analysis and their role in evidence-based health practice. Topics include understanding the population of interest, developing search strategies, appraising quality of included studies, data extraction, understanding synthesis (meta-analysis) and interpretation of results in the health context.

Prerequisite: POPLHLTH 111 and 216

15 Points

Translating Health Information

To lead to improvements in health, information needs to be translated appropriately to influence decision makers. Builds the skills and knowledge to be able to both critique and synthesise existing health information as well as to apply analytical methods and presentation approaches to data in order to effectively communicate findings to different decision-making communities.

Prerequisite: POPLHLTH 202

Postgraduate 700 Level Courses

15 Points

Community Health Development

Provides a comprehensive overview of the principles, theories, and frameworks for undertaking community-level health development. Special emphasis on empowering and critical perspectives and the implications for health and determinants at a community-level of focus. Informed by current research and a comparative case study approach, the paper examines the opportunities and challenges in the delivery of health for, and by, diverse communities in New Zealand and globally.

Corequisite: POPLHLTH 722

15 Points

Research Methods in Health

A comprehensive overview, in relation to health, of theoretical underpinnings of research; the asking of research questions; literature reviews; the design, implementation and appraisal of qualitative and quantitative research; and the writing up and dissemination of research.

Restriction: CLINED 714, NURSING 768, POPLHLTH 202

15 Points

Undertaking Qualitative Health Research

Provides practical experience in the appraisal and use of qualitative methods in research in health. The development of studies from research questions through design, conduct, and analysis and interpretation of such studies are examined in detail. Students are required to prepare a portfolio examining the use of a specific methodological approach in qualitative health research.

15 Points

Evaluation Research Methods

Provides a comprehensive outline of the nature of programme evaluation in the health sector and an overview of a variety of approaches to programme evaluation and the appropriate use of research tools. Includes logic models, stakeholder analysis, the development of objectives, indicators, client surveys and interviews. Emphasis on mixed methods evaluation designs involving qualitative and quantitative data gathering.

15 Points

Statistics in Health Science

Provides an overview of statistics and statistical methods for health scientists. Covers a range of methods and tests, including regression.

15 Points


Examines epidemiological study design, measures of effect, screening, appropriate statistics for epidemiology, with a focus on public health epidemiology.

15 Points

Evidence for Best Practice

Evidence based practice uses epidemiological data derived from valid and clinically relevant research. This includes the accuracy of diagnostic tests, the power of prognostic markers and the efficacy and safety of therapeutic, rehabilitative or preventive interventions. This evidence is integrated with relevant contextual evidence such as patient and practitioner values, social, cultural and economic considerations to inform best practice.

15 Points

Systematic Reviews and Meta-analysis

The principles and critical appraisal of interventional systematic reviews and meta-analysis and their role in evidence-based practice. Topics include: protocol development, question formulation, identification of evidence, selection of studies for inclusion, appraisal and quality of included studies, extraction and recording of data, synthesis (meta-analysis) and interpretation of results and application.

Prerequisite: POPLHLTH 708 or 709 or equivalent experience

15 Points

Global Public Health

Explores global health from a public health perspective, with a strong emphasis on health and its determinants in developing countries. Topics covered include the global burden of risk and disease, global environmental challenges to health, international health governance, international healthcare financing and international health promotion.

15 Points

Health and Public Policy

A discussion of policy studies frameworks, and how these can be used to analyse policy issues and processes relevant to health and healthcare.

15 Points

Health Economics

Fundamental economic concepts and their application to healthcare. Provides students with some analytical skills with which to address issues and problems in the funding and organisation of health services.

15 Points

Cost Effectiveness Evaluation

The application of economic methods to the evaluation of health services and programmes. The principles and techniques of economic evaluation, the process of measuring costs and benefits of health services, quality of life measurement.

15 Points

Organisation of Health Systems

The principles, structure, financing and organisation of health systems. Current issues and challenges facing health systems from a national and international perspective.

15 Points

Quality in Health Care

Quality healthcare is examined with an emphasis on strategies that enable individuals, teams, and services within healthcare organisations to implement and sustain performance improvement. Allows students to explore the quality principles to an area of their own choice.

Restriction: NURSING 775

15 Points

Environmental Health

Explores ways in which the environment affects human health. Studies links between industrial and agricultural development, environmental change and public health at local, national and global levels. Topics include the role of policies, legislation and public health actions in reducing environmental health risks.

15 Points

Health Protection

Current issues will be used to illustrate principles of health protection as an element of public health at local and national levels. The main inter-related topic areas within health protection (communicable disease control and surveillance; non-communicable disease control; food safety; alcohol and tobacco; air and water quality) will be discussed, along with identification of health hazards, development of prevention strategies, and field implementation methods.

15 Points

Health Promotion Theory and Models

Examines the values, theories and practice models of health promotion and in particular, an approach to the social determinants of health and health equity that seeks to empower individuals and groups to deal with these issues.

15 Points

Health Promotion Strategies

An overview of key strategies designed to promote health, with an emphasis on healthy public policy, partnerships, community action and advocacy and ways to link local, national and global actions. Practical and creative approaches to health promotion planning are explored through case studies, invited practitioners and the development of a group project with outcomes of empowerment and health gain.

15 Points

Mental Health Development: Theory and Principles

Mental Health Development (MHD) represents an emergent paradigm in the mental health sector, one which emphasises strengths, resilience and positive quality of life. It is applicable to all people, including those with mental illness, and to all aspects of mental health and social services. The course has a particular focus on the treatment and recovery for individuals affected by mental health problems.

15 Points

Mental Health Promotion

Examines the central role that positive mental health and well-being plays in the health of populations. It focuses on understanding the determinants of mental health and the processes by which these determinants affect mental health. The theory and application of mental health promotion practice, encompassing strategies for action at the societal, community and individual level, are discussed.

15 Points

Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Studies

Provides an introduction and overview to studies on alcohol and other drugs. Incorporates theory and research developed within public health, mental health, and specialised treatment frameworks. Topics will include: coverage of historical developments, a review of major theoretical issues and an overview of current trends.

15 Points

Biology of Addiction

Explores the genetic and neurobiological factors that predispose individuals to develop addiction. The neuropharmacology of the main drugs of abuse and factors that are responsible for the variability in drug response (i.e. pharmacokinetics) will be presented. Current neurobiological models of addiction will be considered.

15 Points

Pacific Health

Examines a wide range of health issues related to Pacific health. Provides an in-depth analysis with evidence of the global, regional and local issues that determines the health of the Pacific population both in the Pacific region and in New Zealand.

15 Points

Ethics, Culture and Societal Approaches to Death

Approaches to death by Māori and other cultures. Resource and legal issues in the New Zealand context. Ethical issues: euthanasia versus palliative care, privacy, living wills and end of life medical decision-making; particularly treatment abatement. Duties after death, the nature of teamwork, the multidisciplinary nature of palliative care, the role of volunteers, emotional self care for palliative care providers, and home versus residential care.

15 Points

Special Studies

15 Points

Theoretical Concepts of Health

A number of theoretical explanations of public health are considered in order to address health issues in diverse communities. An ecological perspective of health will be explored and the specific models of population health will be critiqued.

15 Points

Principles of Public Health

Consideration of the principles underlying the modern practice of public health. Students examine the major core concepts in public health, including determinants of health, health equity, environments and health, health promotion and health systems.

Restriction: POPLHLTH 300, 302

15 Points

Human Vaccinology

Provides an examination of vaccinology as applied to humans and its application in the health sector. Includes consideration of immunology, vaccine form and function and vaccine design; through to vaccine development and manufacture, vaccine safety, immunisation controversies, policy and schedule. A core theme throughout the course will be communication of vaccine science including risk communication to different audiences including health professionals and the community.

Restriction: POPLPRAC 755

15 Points

Nutrition Interventions in Public Health - Level 9

Explores the use of community-based nutrition interventions to reduce nutrition-related health inequalities, and focuses on the use of appropriate theories to understand the nutrition issue; the use of data and research in the design of evidence based nutrition interventions; and the design of rigorous evaluation plans to determine the effectiveness of the intervention.

15 Points

Special Topic

15 Points

Health Services Research Methods

Focuses on teaching the knowledge and practical skills to conduct health services research. The course follows through the typical research process drawing on a range of different methodologies and methods, both quantitative and qualitative, to develop and answer research questions relating to the accessibility, quality and cost of health care and the improvement of health outcomes.

Restriction: POPLHLTH 702

15 Points

Special Studies in Addiction and Mental Health

30 Points

Interpersonal and Family Violence

Explores the magnitude and consequences of the problem of, and contributing factors to, interpersonal and family violence. Examines some of the major violence prevention and intervention activities currently undertaken in New Zealand. Considers how effective practices and policies might be disseminated at the individual, community, and national levels. Themes include: the epidemiology of violence, causes of violence, developing and evaluating interventions, and violence as a health issue.

Restriction: SOCHLTH 751

30 Points

Special Topic - Level 9

15 Points

Addictive Consumptions and Public Health

Focuses on the extensive health impacts of addictive consumptions, particularly in relation to the legalised consumptions of tobacco, alcohol and gambling. Outlines applications of public health principles to reducing harm from these consumptions. Critically examines the role of corporate industrial complexes in promoting these consumptions and in preventing policy and legislative reforms.

Restriction: POPLPRAC 709

15 Points

Public Health in Practice

Students will apply population health concepts, principles and methodologies from formal course work to current public health problems, and develop skills in communicating their solutions to a range of diverse audiences, while critically reflecting on their own position.

Prerequisite: 45 points from Master of Public Health Schedule

30 Points

Ethics, Culture and Societal Approaches to Death and Dying

Covers the approaches to death of different cultures, exploring resource and legal issues. Addresses ethical issues: euthanasia versus palliative care, privacy, living wills and end of life medical decision-making, treatment abatement, duties after death, the nature of teamwork, the multidisciplinary nature of palliative care, the role of volunteers, self-care for palliative care providers and home versus residential care.

Restriction: POPLHLTH 746

60 Points

30 Points

30 Points

Dissertation - Level 9

To complete this course students must enrol in POPLHLTH 780 A and B, or POPLHLTH 780

60 Points

30 Points

30 Points

Dissertation - Level 9

Restriction: COMHLTH 790

To complete this course students must enrol in POPLHLTH 790 A and B, or POPLHLTH 790

60 Points

60 Points

Thesis - Level 9

Restriction: COMHLTH 796

To complete this course students must enrol in POPLHLTH 796 A and B