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Master of Health Sciences (MHealSc)

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Overview

The Master of Health Sciences (MHealSc) degree allows study at a postgraduate level across a range of health disciplines, and research experience (thesis, dissertation or project) in the student's area of specialisation.

Normally before embarking upon study within the Master of Health Sciences programme, students would first complete a Postgraduate Certificate in Health Sciences (PGCertHealSc) and/or a Postgraduate Diploma in Health Sciences (PGDipHealSc). Students are normally required to obtain a B average over their Postgraduate Diploma in order to be admitted to Masters study.

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Information for new applicants

The Master of Health Sciences (MHealSc) comprises 120 points. This can be a thesis worth the entire 120 points, a 60 point dissertation and further papers to the value of 60 points, or 30 point research project and 90 points of further papers.

A 30 point research methods paper is a requirement for the Master of Health Sciences. It can be taken as a generic “unendorsed” option or as an "endorsed" option from those listed below.

Each “endorsed” option has different requirements so it is important to seek course advice before you apply. You can obtain information about each endorsement by clicking on the links below.

The Master of Health Sciences is taught from three campuses (Dunedin, Christchurch and Wellington). Contact details at each campus are listed below. Alternatively, contact postgrad-health-sciences@otago.ac.nz for guidance.

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Contact Details

Dunedin
KC Worden
Postgraduate Advisor
Health Sciences Division Administration
University of Otago, Dunedin
Tel 64 3 479 7421
Email postgrad-health-sciences@otago.ac.nz

Christchurch
Ruth Helms
Manager, Academic Programmes
University of Otago, Christchurch
Tel 64 3 364 0527 or 64 3 364 3664
Email ruth.helms@otago.ac.nz

Wellington
Trevor Williams
Postgraduate Liaison Officer
Postgraduate Office
University of Otago, Wellington
Tel 64 4 385 5543
Email trevor.williams@otago.ac.nz

Schedule of Endorsed Options

Endorsements marked with an asterisk are available through Distance Learning.

Each endorsement is based at a particular campus indicated below: D = Dunedin, C = Christchurch, W = Wellington.

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Schedule of Papers

  • CHHE 701 Community Child Health (30 points)
  • EDUC 427 Qualitative Research (30 points)
  • GENA 702 Sexual and Reproductive Health (30 points)
  • GENA 704 Te Tūhauora: Māori Health (30 points)
  • GENA 709 Long-term Condition Management (30 points)
  • GENA 710 Mental Health and Illness in Primary Care (30 points)
  • GENA 720 Refugee and Migrant Health (30 points)
  • GENA 731 Supporting Healthier Lifestyles: Core Principles (15 points)
  • GENA 732 Supporting Healthier Lifestyles: Sleep Management (15 points)
  • GENA 733 Supporting Healthier Lifestyles: Tackling Obesity (15 points)
  • GENA 734 Supporting Healthier Lifestyles: Addiction and Drug Abuse (15 points)
  • GENA 735 Supporting Healthier Lifestyles: Challenging Conversations (15 points)
  • GENA 820 Core Studies in Medical Practice (30 points)
  • GENA 821 Research Methods (30 points)
  • GENA 822 Advanced Nature of General Practice (15 points)
  • GENA 823 Teaching and Learning in Medical Practice (15 points)
  • GENA 824 Ethics in General Practice (15 points)
  • GENA 825 Culture, Health and Society (15 points)
  • LAWS 448 Law and Psychiatry (15 points)
  • PHCY 506 Research Methods (30 points)
  • PHCY 522 Applied Clinical Pharmacy 1 (30 points)
  • PHCY 523 Applied Clinical Pharmacy 2 (30 points)
  • PRHC 701 New Zealand Primary Health Care (30 points)
  • PRHC 702 Wilderness Medicine (30 points)

All papers with the following subject codes:

Notes:

(1) Not all papers are available in Dunedin, Christchurch and Wellington.

(2) This list of papers is not exclusive.

(3) Some papers may be taken only for specific endorsed options.

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Programme Requirements

Master of Health Sciences (MHealSc) endorsed in Aeromedical Retrieval and Transport

Thesis option
  • Three of:
    • AVME 717 Medical Logistics in Aeromedical Transport,
    • AVME 718 Operational Aspects of Aeromedical Transport,
    • AVME 719 Aeromedical Studies for Nurses and Paramedics,
    • AVME 720 Clinical Analysis in Aeromedical Retrieval and Transport,
    • AVME721 Clinical Care in the Air,
    • AVME 722 Organisation of Aeromedical Systems; and
  • An approved research method paper(s) to the value of 30 points; and
  • A thesis (120 points).
Coursework Option
  • AVME 717 Medical Logistics in Aeromedical Transport,
  • AVME 718 Operational Aspects of Aeromedical Transport,
  • AVME 719 Aeromedical Studies for Nurses and Paramedics,
  • AVME 720 Clinical Analysis in Aeromedical Retrieval and Transport,
  • AVME 721 Clinical Care in the Air,
  • AVME 722 Organisation of Aeromedical Systems; and
  • An approved research method paper(s) to the value of 30 points; and
  • A research project (30 points).

Note: A candidate, with approval of the Board of Graduate Studies in Health Sciences, may substitute alternative papers to the value of 60 points.

The Master of Health Sciences (MHealSc) endorsed in Aeromedical Retrieval and Transport is available through Distance Learning.

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Master of Health Sciences (MHealSc) endorsed in Aviation Medicine

Thesis option
  • Three of:
    • AVME 711 Aviation Physiology,
    • AVME 712 Aircrew Health and Performance,
    • AVME 713 Airport and Travel Health,
    • AVME 714 Clinical Aviation Medicine,
    • AVME 715 Principles of Occupational Medicine,
    • AVME 716 Clinical Occupational Medicine,
    • AVME 717 Medical Logistics in Aeromedical Transport,
    • AVME 718 Operational Aspects of Aeromedical Transport; and
  • An approved research method paper(s) to the value of 30 points; and
  • A thesis (120 points).
Coursework Option
  • AVME 711 Aviation Physiology,
  • AVME 712 Aircrew Health and Performance,
  • AVME 713 Airport and Travel Health,
  • AVME 714 Clinical Aviation Medicine; and
  • An approved research method paper(s) to the value of 30 points; and
  • Further approved paper(s) to the value of 60 points; and
  • A research project (30 points).

The Master of Health Sciences (MHealSc) endorsed in Aviation Medicine is available through Distance Learning.

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Master of Health Sciences (MHealSc) endorsed in Bioethics

Thesis option
  • BITC 401 Theories of Biomedical Ethics; and
  • Papers to the value of 60 points chosen from:
  • Further approved paper(s) to the value of 30 points; and
  • A thesis (120 points).
Coursework option
  • BITC 401 Theories of Biomedical Ethics,
  • BITC 404 Ethics and Health Care,
  • BITC 405 Bioethics in Clinical Practice; and
  • Further approved BITC or BITC paper(s) to the value of 30 points; and
  • Further approved papers(s) to the value of 90 points; and
  • A research project (30 points).

Note: A candidate, with the approval of the Board of Graduate Studies in Health Sciences, may substitute alternative papers to the value of 30 points.

The Master of Health Sciences (MHealSc) endorsed in Bioethics is available through Distance Learning.

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Master of Health Sciences (MHealSc) endorsed in Clinical Education

  • HEDU 501 Critical Reflection on Higher Education,
  • HEDU 502  Learning Theory and Practice in Higher Education,
  • HEDU 503  Research in Higher Education,
  • HEDU 510  Special Topic;
  • A thesis (120 points)

Note: Candidates would normally be expected to complete the required papers component as a Postgraduate Diploma in Tertiary Teaching Endorsed in Clinical Teaching.

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Master of Health Sciences (MHealSc) endorsed in Clinical Research

  • BITC 406  Health Research Ethics; and
  • Papers to the value of 30 points from:
    • AVME 785  Research Methods,
    • GENA 821  Research Methods,
    • HASC 417  Health Sciences Research Methods,
    • HEIN 706   Research Methods for Health Informatics,
    • NURS 415  Nursing Research Methods,
    • PHCY 506  Research Methods,
    • PHTY 610 Research Methods,
    • or other approved research methods paper(s); and
  • HEIN 708  Health Data Management; and
  • Approved papers to the value of 60 points from:
    • BITC 407  Advanced Health Research Ethics,
    • HASC 411  Research Design and Evaluation,
    • HASC 413  Biostatistics,
    • HASC 415  Regression Methods: Health Science Applications,
    • HASC 780  Research Project,
    • PHTY 650 Research Project, or other approved Research Project
    • HEIN 702  Principles of Health Informatics,
    • HEIN 703  Health Informatics Systems,
    • PUBH 721  Advanced Epidemiology; and
  • A thesis.
  • Note: alternative papers to the value of 30 points may be substituted with the approval of the Board of Graduate Studies in Health Sciences.

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Master of Health Sciences (MHealSc) endorsed in Gerontology

  • HASC 404  Health Care of the Elderly or NURS 426  Nursing - Gerontology,
  • HASC 409  Social Care of the Elderly; and
  • Approved research method paper(s) to the value of 30 points; and
  • Further approved paper(s) to the value of 30 points; and
  • A thesis (120 points).

The Master of Health Sciences (MHealSc) endorsed in Gerontology is available through Distance Learning.

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Master of Health Sciences (MHealSc) endorsed in Health Management

Thesis Option
Coursework option
  • Four of
    PUBH 713  Society, Health and Health Promotion,
    PUBH 714  Public Policy and Health Systems,
    PUBH 735  The Economics of Health Policy Decision Making,
    PUBH 736  Economic Evaluation,
    PUBH 742  International Health Systems,
    PUBH 744  Healthy Public Policy.

  • Approved papers to the value of 60 points from the schedule of papers for the Diploma in Business Administration; and

  • Further approved papers(s) to the value of 60 points; and

  • A dissertation (60 points).

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Master of Health Sciences (MHealSc) endorsed in Human Nutrition

Thesis option
  • NUTN 401 Principles of Human Nutrition; and
  • Two of:
    • NUTN 402 Nutrition and Health Promotion,
    • NUTN 404 Nutrition and Chronic Disease,
    • NUTN 407 Advanced Sports Nutrition; and
  • Approved research method papers(s) to the value of 30 points; and
  • A thesis (120 points).
Coursework option
  • NUTN 401 Principles of Human Nutrition; and
  • Two of:
    • NUTN 402 Nutrition and Health Promotion,
    • NUTN 404 Nutrition and Chronic Disease,
    • NUTN 407 Advanced Sports Nutrition; and
  • Approved research method papers(s) to the value of 30 points; and
  • Further approved papers to the value of 60 points; and
  • A research dissertation (60 points).

Further information regarding the MHealSc endorsed in Human Nutrition is available from the Department of Human Nutrition website.

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Master of Health Sciences (MHealSc) endorsed in Mental Health

Thesis option
  • Three approved papers from:
    • PSME papers,
    • NURS 403  Mental Health Nursing Practice,
    • NURS 404  Advanced Mental Health Nursing Practice; and
  • Approved research method paper(s) to the value of 30 points; and
  • A thesis (120 points).
Coursework option
  • Five approved papers from:
    • PSME papers,
    • NURS 403  Mental Health Nursing Practice,
    • NURS 404  Advanced Mental Health Nursing Practice; and
  • Approved research method paper(s) to the value of 30 points; and
  • A dissertation (60 points).

Note: A candidate, with the approval of the Board of Graduate Studies in Health Sciences, may substitute alternative papers to a value of 60 points.

The Master of Health Sciences (MHealSc) endorsed in Mental Health is available through Distance Learning.

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Master of Health Sciences (MHealSc) endorsed in Musculoskeletal Management

Thesis option
  • MSME 704  Introduction to Pain,
  • MSME 707  Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation,
  • MSME 708  Introduction to Pain Management; and
  • Approved research method paper(s) to the value of 30 points; and
  • Further approved paper(s) to the value of 45 points; and
  • A thesis (120 points).
Coursework option
  • MSME 704  Introduction to Pain,
  • MSME 707  Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation,
  • MSME 708  Introduction to Pain Management; and
  • Approved research method paper(s) to the value of 30 points; and
  • Further approved paper(s) to the value of 135 points; and
  • A research project (30 points).

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Master of Health Sciences (MHealSc) endorsed in Nursing

  • Two approved NURS papers; and
  • Approved research method paper(s) to the value of 30 points; and
  • Further approved paper(s) to the value of 30 points; and
  • A thesis (120 points).

The Master of Health Sciences (MHealSc) endorsed in Nursing is available through Distance Learning.

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Master of Health Sciences (MHealSc) endorsed in Nursing (Clinical)

Research practicum option
  • NURS 405 Health Assessment and Advanced Nursing Practice,
  • NURS416 Nursing - Applied Pharmacology,
  • one further approved NURS paper; and
  • Approved research method paper(s) to the value of 30 points; and
  • A clinically applied research practicum (120 points).
Coursework option
  • NURS 405 Health Assessment and Advanced Nursing Practice,
  • NURS 416 Nursing - Applied Pharmacology;
  • Approved research method paper(s) to the value of 30 points; and
  • Further approved paper(s) to the value of 90 points; and
  • A dissertation (60 points).

The Master of Health Sciences (MHealSc) endorsed in Nursing (Clinical) is available through Distance Learning.

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Master of Health Sciences (MHealSc) endorsed in Occupational Health

Thesis option
  • OCCH 401  Occupational Health,
  • OCCH 402  Occupational Safety; and
  • Approved research method paper(s) to the value of 30 points; and
  • Further approved paper(s) to the value of 30 points; and
  • A thesis (120 points).
Coursework option
  • OCCH 401  Occupational Health,
  • OCCH 402  Occupational Safety; and
  • Approved research method paper(s) to the value of 30 points; and
  • Further approved paper(s) to the value of 90 points; and
  • A dissertation (60 points).

The Masters in Health Sciences (MHealSc) endorsed in Occupational Health is available through Distance Learning.

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Master of Health Sciences (MHealSc) endorsed in Occupational Medicine

Thesis option
  • Three of:
    • AVME 715   Principles of Occupational Medicine or INDH 701 Introduction to Occupational Medicine,
    • AVME 716  Clinical Occupational Medicine or INDH 702 Clinical Occupational Medicine,
    • AVME 723   Managing Occupational Medicine,
    • AVME 724  Health and Industry,
    • INDH 703   Assessment and Control of Occupational Hazards; and
  • Approved research method paper(s) to the value of 30 points; and
  • A thesis (120 points).
Coursework option
  • AVME 715   Principles of Occupational Medicine or INDH 701 Introduction to Occupational Medicine,
  • AVME 716  Clinical Occupational Medicine or INDH 702 Clinical Occupational Medicine,
  • AVME 723   Managing Occupational Medicine,
  • AVME 724  Health and Industry,
  • INDH 703   Assessment and Control of Occupational Hazards; and
  • Approved research method paper(s) to the value of 30 points; and
  • Further approved paper(s) to the value of 30 points; and
  • A research project (30 points).

Note: A candidate, with the approval of the Board of Studies, may substitute alternative papers to a value of 60 points.

The Master of Health Sciences (MHealSc) endorsed in Occupational Medicine is available through Distance Learning.

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Master of Health Sciences (MHealSc) endorsed in Pain and Pain Management

Thesis option
  • MSME 704  Introduction to Pain,
  • MSME 708  Introduction to Pain Management,
  • MSME 711  Pain Assessment,
  • PAIN 701  Neurobiology of Pain,
  • PAIN 702   Biomedical Pain Management,
  • PAIN 703  Psychosocial and Cultural Aspects of Pain; and
  • Approved research methods paper(s) to the value of 30 points; and
  • A thesis (120 points)
Coursework option
  • MSME 704  Introduction to Pain,
  • MSME 708  Introduction to Pain Management,
  • MSME711  Pain Assessment,
  • PAIN 701  Neurobiology of Pain,
  • PAIN 702  Biomedical Pain Management,
  • PAIN 703  Psychosocial and Cultural Aspects of Pain; and
  • Approved research methods paper(s) to the value of 30 points; and
  • Further approved papers to the value of 90 points; and
  • A research project (30 points)

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Master of Health Sciences (MHealSc) endorsed in Rehabilitation

Thesis option
  • REHB 701 Rehabilitation Principles; and
  • Two further REHB papers; and
  • Approved research method paper(s) to the value of 30 points; and
  • A thesis (120 points).
Coursework option
  • REHB 701 Rehabilitation Principles; and<
  • Three further REHB papers; and
  • Approved research method paper(s) to the value of 30 points; and
  • Further approved paper(s) to the value of 60 points; and
  • A research project (30 points).

Note: A candidate, with the approval of the Board of Studies, may substitute alternative papers to the value of 30 points.

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Regulations for the Degree of Master of Health Sciences (MHealSc)

  1. Admission to the Programme

    1. Admission to the programme shall be subject to the approval of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences).
    2. Every applicant shall
      1. be a graduate or possess an appropriate health professional qualification requiring at least three years' full-time tertiary study;
      2. present evidence of ability for advanced level academic study.

    Note: Candidates will normally be expected to have completed the requirements for the Postgraduate Diploma in Health Sciences, or equivalent, and to have achieved grades averaging B or better.

  2. Structure of the Programme

    1. The programme of study shall consist of either
      1. approved papers at 400-level or higher worth at least 120 points, and a thesis (120 points) embodying the results of one year of full-time or equivalent part-time supervised research; or
      2. approved papers and other course components at 400-level or higher worth at least 240 points, including a research method paper or papers to the value of 30 points, and either a research project (30 points) or a dissertation (60 points).

      The papers shall constitute a coherent and integrated programme, shall prepare the candidate for the research study, and shall normally include an approved research method paper or papers to the value of 30 points. With approval, papers worth up to a maximum total of 120 points which have been completed at a tertiary education institution other than the University of Otago may be credited to the programme and/or used as the basis for exemptions in terms of regulation 2(c) below.

    2. Where the degree is to be awarded with an endorsed option in an area of specialisation the programme of study must conform to the requirements specified for that option.
    3. A candidate whose qualification for entry to the programme is an Honours degree or postgraduate diploma or equivalent may be exempted from some of the required papers, provided that this previous study is directly relevant to the candidate's proposed and approved programme of study, to a maximum of 120 points.
    4. A candidate may not present a thesis which has previously been accepted for another degree.
    5. The programme of study and the topic and supervisors of the thesis shall be approved by the Board of the Graduate Studies in Health Sciences.

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  3. Duration of the Programme

    1. A candidate for the degree shall usually follow a programme of two years of full-time study or the equivalent in part-time study.
    2. A candidate who was admitted after completing a Postgraduate Diploma in Health Sciences (or equivalent) shall usually follow a programme of one year of full-time study or the equivalent in part-time study.
    3. A candidate for the degree will be expected to satisfy the requirements for the degree within four years of admission to the programme.

  4. Examination of Thesis

    1. Every thesis shall be assessed by at least two examiners, at least one of whom shall be external to the University.
    2. The candidate's supervisors shall not be examiners but may make a report on the work of the candidate to the Convener of the Board of Graduate Studies in Health Sciences.
    3. Each examiner shall supply a written report on the thesis and recommend a mark and grade on the basis of the work as submitted, and an overall result selected from the options specified in clause (d) below.
    4. The examiners may recommend that a thesis:
      1. be accepted without amendments;
      2. be accepted subject to amendments made at the discretion and to the satisfaction of the Convener of the Board of Graduate Studies in Health Sciences;
      3. does not meet the criteria for the award of the degree, but may be revised and resubmitted for examination;
      4. does not meet the criteria for the award of the degree, and should be rejected without right of resubmission.
    5. Any amendments or revisions required shall be completed by a specified date to be determined by the Convener of the Board of Graduate Studies in Health Sciences.
    6. A candidate shall be permitted to revise and resubmit a thesis for examination once only.
    7. If a revised and resubmitted thesis is finally accepted, the result shall be either Pass or Fail (i.e. ungraded) and without eligibility for the award of the degree with distinction or credit.
    8. Where examiners cannot agree on a result, the Convener of the Board of Graduate Studies in Health Sciences should so report to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences) who shall arrive at a decision after consulting a referee who should normally be external to the University.

  5. Level of Award of the Degree

    The degree may be awarded with distinction or with credit.

  6. Variations

    The Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences) may in exceptional circumstances approve a course of study which does not comply with these regulations.

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