Health Promotion major: Bachelor of Health Science

Therese Lam
The desire to address the issues that affect the health and wellbeing of Pacific people is what drove Therese Lam to study health promotion.

Read more about Therese and our other health promotion and psychology students

Health promoters understand the link between people's health and wellbeing and where they live and work, how they learn, eat and play, their background and their lifestyle. 

Health promoters work with communities and services across cultural settings to ensure health services are accessible and affordable, and advocate for policies that improve health.

Through the Health Promotion major you address major health and social issues including child poverty, smoking, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, depression, alcohol and drug harm, and family violence.

You explore how to empower communities, schools and workplaces to pursue healthier lifestyles. You also learn to create effective communication plans, education resources, events and campaigns. This major is committed to human rights, health equity and social justice principles centred around Te Tiriti o Waitangi Hauora.

Key features:

  • Focused on addressing major health and social issues
  • Includes 150 hours of workplace experience related to health promotion
  • Complete a double major with Psychology within 3 years


Want to enrol in a programme? Apply online


Structure and content

Below is a summary. For a comprehensive overview of the Health Promotion major, please refer to the Academic Calendar.

Year 1

In your first year, you develop an in-depth understanding of general healthcare, learning alongside other health science students. In Semester 1 you complete four core papers:

HEAL505 Human Anatomy and Physiology I
HEAL506 Knowledge, Enquiry and Communication
HEAL504 Lifespan Development and Communication
MAOH501 Māori Health, Development and Environment OR
HEAL507 Health and Environment

Health Promotion papers:
HPRM604 Health Promotion

PSYC503 Introductory Research Methods
PSYC602 Social Psychology
NUTR501 Nutrition, Activity and Health

Year 2

This year you focus on developing practical skills while deepening your understanding of the values and approaches of health promotion.

HPRM602 Theories and Models in Health Promotion
HPRM601 Fonua Ola Pasifika Health
HPRM701 Health Promotion Evaluation
EPMY501 Epidemiology
HPRM705 Tobacco Control
You also select three elective papers.

Year 3

The final year prepares you to make the transition to working within the wider sector. At the heart of your final year is the Health Practice Co-operative paper - 150 hours of workplace experience in the health promotion sector.

HPRM706 Health Promotion of Communities

MAOH701 Māori Health Promotion
HLAW701 Health Law and Policy
HPRM702 Health Practice Co-operative
 (only offered at South Campus)
HEAL610 Methods of Research and Enquiry

HEAL708 Professional Practice and Ethics
You also select one elective paper.


Te Ara Hauora Māori papers

There’s a growing need for health professionals to work with Māori. That’s why you can include Māori health papers as part of your study and develop the skills to work more effectively with Māori, an essential skill in New Zealand’s diverse health sector. Through these papers you gain access to Māori networks and become comfortable working with whānau and Māori communities.

We encourage all students to include at least one Māori health paper. You don’t need to know te reo to enrol in the Māori health papers.

MAOH501 Māori Health, Development and Environment
MAOH701 Māori Health Promotion
MAOH702 Applied Primary Māori Mental Health
HEAL710 Utilising Supervision in Practice

Double major option

You can complete the Health Promotion major as a double major with Psychology within three years.


Career opportunities

  • Working with non-governmental organisations and community groups
  • Working within central and local government in planning and funding and community development
  • Working with Iwi and Māori organisations doing grassroots community work, community economic development, whānau ora case management, research and evaluation
  • Working for district health boards and other Crown agencies
  • Health promotion and public health teaching and researching

Last updated: 25-May-2017 3.01pm

The information on this page was correct at time of publication. For a comprehensive overview of AUT qualifications, please refer to the Academic Calendar.