Health Promotion Major - Bachelor of Health Science

Health promoters work with communities and services across cultural settings to ensure that health services are accessible and affordable, and advocate for policies that improve health. Studying health promotion prepares you for this exciting career.

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.

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.


This is part of the Bachelor of Health Science.

Start date: 2018

Start date: 2019

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.

Year 1

Semester 1 papers

You develop an in-depth understanding of general healthcare, learning alongside other health science students.

Semester 2 papers

Year 2

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

Papers you study

Plus 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.

Papers you study

Plus one elective paper

Workplace experience

At the heart of your final year is the Health Practice Co-operative paper, 150 hours of workplace experience in organisations involved with health promotion/related initiatives.

Recent placements included:

  • Health Families: Manukau, Manurewa-Papakura
  • Manurewa Marae: Whare Oranga
  • Counties-Manukau, Auckland and Waitemata District Health Boards
  • Auckland Council

Te ara hauora Māori health 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 the diverse health sector in Aotearoa New Zealand.

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.

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

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

Health Promotion Careers

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
  • Offered at the North and South Campus
  • Part-time study options available
See yourself as
  • Versatile
  • Resourceful
  • Articulate
  • Creative
  • Committed to the promotion of health
  • Capable of making a difference

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