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Study Community Health Care at Otago

Work alongside people living in the community to support their health and well-being

Three women visiting Arai te Uru Marae (large image)

Community Health Care focuses on providing the skills and knowledge required to work in our changing healthcare system and support individuals to live healthy lives.

The major is multidisciplinary, encompassing biological, sociological, cultural, psychological, and developmental perspectives.

Be part of the change in our health care system

“Everything is relevant, everything is applicable. We’re not reading an old textbook; we’re discussing the latest health reform, the newest report the government has released, and talking to people on the front line of our health system.”

— April Oakley
BHealSc Student

Learn culturally responsive and integrated health approaches to navigate the way forward in our changing healthcare system. Our interactive learning opportunities enable students to connect with people and service organisations in community healthcare settings by:

  • Learning about health and well-being from multiple disciplines and perspectives, including hauora Māori, in order to develop an understanding of health at a broader level
  • Focusing on health and well-being, disability, human development and common health problems
  • Becoming knowledgeable about the social and health system context in order to assist people, their whānau, and communities to navigate the health system effectively

Specifically, you will learn about:

  • Social and cultural contexts and explore ways to reduce inequity
  • How to communicate and act in an ethical, professional and compassionate way with a diverse range of individuals and communities, with a particular emphasis on understanding Māori and Pacific values
  • Human health and well-being across the lifespan
  • Health conditions and treatments
  • Disability
  • Assessment and care co-ordination
  • Bioethical principles underpinning health care

Build skills to make a difference

New approaches to health care are required as we face important health challenges.

These include:

  • An increase in the number of older adults and people living with multiple long-term conditions and disabilities
  • Limited health resources and greater demand for services
  • Environmental and social change and the accompanying effects on health

With these challenges comes an increasing need to develop innovative solutions and approaches to healthcare.

The Bachelor of Health Sciences (BHealSc) majoring in Community Health Care is a three-year degree for those who want to be an integral part of these new approaches.

This career-focused qualification focuses on the skills required to work with patients, populations, and communities to promote health and ensure patients are accessing and receiving the most appropriate care.

Career opportunities

As a BHealSc graduate majoring in Community Health Care, you will have a sound multidisciplinary understanding of health, well-being, and the health system. You will be well equipped to gain employment in a variety of community roles within primary and secondary healthcare settings, policy and managerial roles, or in health and disability services.

This is especially important as future healthcare services will be increasingly based in the community.

Graduates will have the expertise to work with a diverse range of individuals and communities across the healthcare sector to improve health outcomes for all.

Student profile – April Oakley

BHealSc student April OakleyUnhappy with her original decision to study for a Bachelor of Science in Human Nutrition, April Oakley met with a course adviser who introduced her to the Bachelor of Health Sciences (BHealSc).

“Health across the life course, disability studies, global health, Pacific and Māori health – it seemed like a happy balance between STEM subjects and the social sciences.

“Yes, we have lectures, but half the time we are having a class kōrero, discussing ideas, concepts and solutions with the lecturer. My lecturer once told me that while we learn from them, they are forever learning from us too.

“All of their content fills the gap they see in the health system right now. Everything is relevant, everything is applicable. We’re not reading an old textbook; we’re discussing the latest health reform, the newest report the government has released, and talking to people on the front line of our health system.”

April is unsure what the future holds, but says, “I know that whatever it is, I will be working with my community to enable everyone to live healthier lives”.

Contact details

Contact your local schools’ liaison officer if you're currently at secondary school in New Zealand.

Or contact the Bachelor of Health Sciences (BHealSc) team:

Tel +64 3 479 7202
Email bhealsc@otago.ac.nz

Qualifications

Please note: The Bachelor of Health Sciences (BHealSc) is not the same as Health Sciences First Year (HSFY).

Programme requirements

Bachelor of Health Sciences (BHealSc) majoring in Community Health Care

Level Papers Points
100-level

EDUC 105  Disability Studies: An Introduction

HUBS 191  Human Body Systems 1

HUBS 192  Human Body Systems 2

PUBH 192  Foundations of Epidemiology  or  POPH 192 Population Health

EDUC 105 can be taken during the second year of study

18

18

18

18

200-level

CMHC 201  Human Health Across the Lifespan

CMHC 211  Disability and Health I

MAOH 201  Hauora Māori in Practice: Working with Individuals and Whānau

PACH 201  Pacific Health: New Zealand and the Pacific Region

at least two of
BITC 201  Bioethics and the Life Sciences
GEOG 210  Social Geography
PATH 201  Foundations in Human Pathology
PUBH 203  Health Policy and Politics
PUBH 211  Epidemiology of Global Health Conditions
SOCI 205  Social Inequality

18

18

18

18

36

300-level

CMHC 301  Applied Aspects of Human Health

CMHC 311  Disability and Health II

MAOH 301  Hauora Māori in Practice: Working with Organisations and Communities

PACH 301  Pacific Health: Advanced Applied Knowledge

18

18

18

18

Plus

108 further points

The following papers are suggested: ANTH 105, BIOC 192, BSNS 113, CELS 191, CHEM 191, MAOR 102, PACI 101, PSYC 111, PSYC 112; ANAT 241, ANAT 242, BITC 201, MAOR 202, MICR 223, PACI 201, PHAL 211, PHSL 251, PSME 201, PSYC 212, PUBH 202; BITC 301, INDV 301, PACI 301, PUBH 311

108
Total   360

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Minor subject requirements

Community Health Care as a minor subject for a BA, MusB, BPA, BTheol, BSc, BAppSc, BCom, BHealSc or BASc degree

Available as a minor subject for a Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Music (MusB), Bachelor of Performing Arts (BPA), Bachelor of Theology (BTheol), Bachelor of Science (BSc), Bachelor of Applied Science (BAppSc), Bachelor of Commerce (BCom), Bachelor of Health Sciences (BHealSc) or Bachelor of Arts and Science (BASc) degree

Level Papers Points
100-level

EDUC 105  Disability Studies: An Introduction

18

200-level

CMHC 201*  Human Health Across the Lifespan

CMHC 211  Disability and Health I

*Prerequisites for CMHC 201 also include HUBS 191, 192

18

18

300-level

CMHC 301  Applied Aspects of Human Health

CMHC 311  Disability and Health II

18

18

Total   90

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