Postgraduate Degrees - UC Health - University of Canterbury - New Zealand

Postgraduate Degrees

Master of Audiology

The Master of Audiology (MAud) degree is a two-year post-graduate programme that includes course work, clinical, and research experience. The degree is also available part-time over three or four years. Academic coursework focuses on training professional clinical audiologists with emphasis on the development of clinical and administrative skills relating to the practice of audiology. The programme is fully endorsed by the New Zealand Audiological Society (NZAS). No prior training in Speech and Language Therapy is required for admission. A number of scholarships are available to MAud students.

Master of Counselling 

The Master of Counselling (MCouns) is a degree comprising five postgraduate papers and a three paper professional research portfolio or thesis. A solution-focused model of counselling forms the basis of the Master of Counselling at UC. You will learn about the theoretical underpinnings of solution-focused counselling; social constructionism and become skilled in using appropriate solution-focused thinking and techniques.

Graduates of the Master of Counselling may work as school counsellors, family therapists, health counsellors, career counsellors, tertiary counsellors, consultants, managers and counsellor educators.  They work in community agencies, private practice, medical centres and schools.

Master of Engineering (ME) in BioEngineering

The Masters of Engineering (BioEngineering) has an aim to provide postgraduate students capable of employment in a number of different areas. They will have been exposed to cutting edge scientific and engineering problems related to both the Biotech and health sectors. Within New Zealand and Australia, there is a growing industrial requirement for postgraduates able to provide immediate benefits for the commercial arena.the main goal will be for the the Masters programme to supply a well trained workforce to the New Zealand economy. In contrast to their PhD colleagues these postgraduates, although highly skilled in research methodology, will be employed in the marketplace at an earlier stage and therefore able to give their skills to the new and mature companies in the health and biotech sector.

Master of Health Sciences

The MHealSc is aimed at people who are currently employed in, or seeking employment in, a health-related field, the social services, or local or central government. An inter-disciplinary programme, students will complete a programme of advanced study in the Health Sciences choosing from courses in over twenty disciplines, with the option of a particular focus in environment and health, early intervention, health behaviour change, health information management, Men's Health or Palliative Care.

Master of Health Sciences Professional Practice

The MHealScProfPr is a 180-point, professionally focused, coursework-based master's degree. HLTH463 and HLTH464 are compulsory. Remaining points should be chosen from the Master of Health Sciences schedule as shown for each endorsement. Students can pick from a number of exciting specialisation areas, including Environment and Health, Health Behaviour Change, Health and Community, Health Information Management, Nursing (taught in conjunction with Ara) and Palliative Care.

Master of Education endorsed in Inclusive and Special Education

The Master of Education (Inclusive and Special Education) is designed to give students interested in inclusive and special education the opportunity to develop their research skills, investigate theories and practices in a number of areas in inclusive and special education, improve their professional knowledge, practice, and ability to critically examine significant issues in inclusive and special education. Students will have the opportunity to study in relation to their particular interests and to undertake a three or four-paper thesis. The specific goals of the endorsed programme are to enable participants to:

  1. Systematically analyse and engage in research in the field of inclusive and special education.
  2. Understand controversies in the fields of inclusive and special education.
  3. Critically examine policies and procedures in inclusive and special education.
  4. Work effectively with children and young people with special education needs, professionals, parents, and whanau in inclusive and special education.

Master of Health Sciences and Bachelor of Nursing

The Master of Health Sciences and Bachelor of Nursing joint initiative between the University of Canterbury (UC) and Ara gives the opportunity for students who already hold a degree relevant to health sciences to gain two further qualifications in just two and a half years. Students will be fulltime UC Master of Health Sciences (MHealSc) and part-time Bachelor of Nursing (BN) students for the first two years after which they will be fulltime Ara students for the remaining part of the programme. Students will be eligible to attend graduation ceremonies with both institutions. This initiative will be of interest to anyone who wishes to become a nurse. Students are normally required to have a recognised degree which is considered relevant to health sciences and the proposed course of study or an appropriate health or allied professional qualification requiring at least three years equivalent full-time tertiary study at an appropriate level.  

MA in Child and Family Psychology
MSc in Child and Family Psychology

The MA or MSc in Child and Family Psychology (or an approved MEd) are postgraduate degrees which can be completed alone or in combination with the limited entry Postgraduate Diploma in Child and Family Psychology (PGDipChFamPsyc). The limited entry PGDipChFamPsyc can be started after the first year of the masters is completed and has been designed for students who wish to become registered psychologists working with children, adolescents and families.

Master of Speech & Language Pathology

UC’s Master of Speech & Language Pathology (MSLP) qualification is a full-time two-year graduate-entry professional qualification to practice as a speech language pathologist/therapist. Students generally have a background in science, linguistics, engineering, psychology, education, or health sciences. In the MSLP, students study the areas of clinical linguistics, evidence-based practice, introductory neuroscience, speech and language development and disorders across the lifespan, typical and atypical hearing, swallowing, fluency and voice, and professional (clinical) practice. Students will graduate as trained speech-language pathologists (therapists). With this hands-on qualification, you will gain clinical experience working with clients of all ages with communication disabilities. There are eight clinics on our campus and you will also go on clinical placements to speech-language therapy clinics at hospitals, schools and other facilities nationwide. There may also be opportunities for overseas clinical placements.

Master of Science (Medical Physics)

Medical Physics is concerned with the application of the concepts and methods of physics to the diagnosis and therapy of human disease. Modern medicine relies heavily on physical tools, techniques and principles developed in the physical sciences. The complexity and precision required in the operation of the related diagnostic and therapeutic equipment as well as the quest to improve these tools has led to the subspecialty of Medical Physics. Typically half of the students enrolled for an MSc in Medical Physics are registrars. The registrar training takes 5 years and is comprised of a 2 year MSc in Medical Physics [Clinical] and 3 years of clinical on-the-job training in a hospital. A limited number of such registrar positions, funded by the Clinical Training Agency (CTA) of the Ministry of Health, are available at accredited radiation therapy departments in New Zealand.

Master of Science (MSc) in Speech and Language Sciences

The Master of Science in Speech and Language Sciences degree is a one-year, full-time postgraduate programme that provides students with specialization in a topic area of their choice. In addition to the completion of a thesis, students have the option of advanced study in clinical theory and supervision or coursework in research design and statistics. A two-year part-time distance learning option is also available for students who, because of work or family obligations, are not able to commit to postgraduate study on a full-time basis or who are not able to relocate to the Canterbury region. Participation in this part-time programme requires prior approval by the Head of Department and the Dean of Science.

Master of Social Work

The Master of Social Work (MSW) degree requires candidates to complete a thesis on a full-time (one to three years) or part-time basis (up tp six years). The MSW qualification is particularly aimed at practitioners with specialist practice, supervisory, management, or policy analysis and development responsibilities. The MSW by thesis is accessible only to those students who have obtained a professional qualification in Social Work. The programme of study and research can be designed to meet each candidate’s professional needs and interests.

Postgraduate Diploma in Child and Family Psychology

The PGDipChFamPsyc is designed for students who wish to become registered psychologists and practice as child and family psychologists. It is offered as an internship year to students who already hold a (MEd) in Child and Family Psychology. It leads to registration as a psychologist with the New Zealand Psychologists’ Board.

Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Psychology

The mission of the University of Canterbury Clinical Psychology Training Programme is to train competent clinical psychologists who can apply and adapt general conceptual and technical skills in diverse professional settings, with clients from diverse cultural backgrounds, and consistent with the Treaty of Waitangi. The aim of the programme is to provide a comprehensive integration of academic and practical work, and produce generalists rather than specialists. There is a need for graduates to continue their education after the Diploma examination, particularly if a specialist area of practice is chosen. However, the programme does allow for an emphasis in criminal justice 

Doctor of Philosophy in Health Sciences

The PhD is offered by thesis, not coursework, and the topic is negotiated/agreed with the supervisor. The supervisory team supporting the candidate's research project may be drawn from a range of health related disciplines and local and overseas institutions. Health areas of special interest include AudiologyHealth SciencesCommunication Sciences and DisordersPyschologyGeography,Medical Physics,SociologySocial Work and Speech and Language Sciences.

In undertaking a PhD would expect to provide a critical analysis and argument of the topic under investigation and make a contribution to knowledge through originality, creativity and a comprehensive and scholarly approach. PhD students would normally have at least two supervisors, share an office, have a PC and access to printer and tea/coffee making facilities.

More Information

More information regarding undertaking a PhD at UC can be found at the PhD Student site. Enrolment details for domestic and international students is at Postgraduate Student Enrolment.

More information about Postgraduate programmes and their courses is available in the PostGraduate Prospectus which can be obtained by emailing or phoning 0800 VARSITY (827 748)

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