Health Protection Major - Bachelor of Science

Interested in protecting people and communities from pollution, unsafe food, infectious diseases and poor living conditions? Study the Health Protection major in the Bachelor of Science.

Health protection is a growing industry and health protection and environmental health officers are in high demand throughout New Zealand – our students often secure employment before they graduate. This major is a great stepping stone to a career as an environmental health officer or health protection officer.

The Health Protection major explores environmental health, pollution control, food safety, environmental and public health law, risk assessment, toxicology and communicable disease control. You’ll be equipped to keep people safe in their homes, offices and natural environment.


This is part of the Bachelor of Science.

Start date: 2018

Start date: 2019

Year 1

Complete the following papers

CHEM501 Principles of Chemistry
HEAL506 Knowledge, Enquiry and Communication
HEAL507 Health and Environment
BIOL502 Plants and Animals
EPMY501 Epidemiology
MICR501 Microbiology
BIOL501 Biological Sampling and Interpretation

And at least one paper from

CHEM502 Biological Chemistry
ECOL501 Ecology and Evolution
SCIE503 Biophysics
ENVS521 Physical and Human Geography
FOOD502 Food Science

Year 2 and 3

Level 6 papers

MICR601 Environmental Microbiology
ENVS602 Environmental Risk Assessment
ENVS603 Environmental Health
MICR603 Communicable Diseases
FOOD602 Food Microbiology
ENVS621 Geographic Information Systems

Plus 2 elective papers.

Level 7 papers

ENVS721 Geospatial Analysis
FOOD703 Food Industry Legislation
BIOL712 Health Protection

Plus five elective papers, or three electives and the Research Project paper.

Workplace experience

In your final year you can enrol in the Research Project paper (30 points) if you have at least a B grade average in 60 points at level 6. This may involve working on an industry-related project related to your major.

SCIE701 Research Project

  • Inspecting food premises, tattooists, hairdressers, beauty salons or camping grounds
  • Noise control and environmental noise
  • Air quality, drinking water quality and beach water quality
  • Communicable disease investigation
  • Vector control
  • Investigating public health nuisances
  • Biosecurity*
  • Ministry for Primary Industries*

*After gaining experience there is the opportunity to work in biosecurity or the Ministry for Primary Industries

Find out more about industry trends, job descriptions and what employers may be looking for.

Health Protection & Environmental Health Careers

Other majors in the Bachelor of Science

You can combine this major with other majors like Environmental Sciences, Food Science, Food Safety or Microbiology, and complete your Bachelor of Science within three years without doing more than the standard eight papers (120 points) per year.

Postgraduate study options

Key features
  • Skills to keep people safe in their daily lives
  • Graduates are in high demand by employers
  • Opportunity to complete a research project and industry placement
See yourself as
  • Motivated, adaptable and persuasive
  • Able to relate well to people from various groups
  • Interested in health from a community and environmental perspective

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