Health Promotion

Work with communities to plan and develop ways to help individuals and populations improve and manage their health.

Health promotion focuses on exploring the causes of poor health, and what can be done to advocate for, create, and sustain good health and positive change in individuals, groups, and communities. This is achieved through health research, the development of effective health and public policy, and the application of health promotion initiatives to implement change.

Students develop a unique set of skills and knowledge, especially in the collection and analysis of qualitative and quantitative data using a variety of methods, relationship management, presentation, planning, and organisation.

Roles and career pathways

Graduates with an undergraduate qualification may find work in roles such as health promotion practitioner, Māori health promoter, Pasifika health promoter, youth health leader, or drug information adviser. Experience or additional qualifications in content development, marketing and communications, or web design can be useful to progress into a wider range of roles. Knowledge and understanding of hauora, te Reo, and tikanga Māori or Pasifka cultures and health practice are also important.

Those with a postgraduate qualification or previous work experience may find roles such as programme designers, project managers, or policy analysts.

Graduates may also work in related industries such as social services or education in communication, training, or coordination roles.

Where Health Promotion graduates work

Health Promotion graduates will apply their skills in a range of health and related organisations, including district health boards (DHBs), school or kura kaupapa health services, primary health organisations (PHOs), or non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Here are just a few examples:

Build relevant skills and experience

Part-time work and volunteering during study all help to increase your job prospects when you graduate. Programmes such as Wellington Plus and Wellington International Leadership Programme (WILP) offer opportunities for students from all disciplines to gain diverse voluntary and leadership experience. Volunteering in the health sector will provide valuable experience. Volunteering for wellbeing activities on campus and as leaders in student support space The Bubble at Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington offer good opportunities to gain real-life experience in areas such as health promotion and mental health through peer support initiatives.

The Bachelor of Health offers Research and Enquiry in Health and Health Internship courses, which provide students the opportunity to develop applied research or workplace skills and experience. Places for the health internship are limited. The WFHSS Internship course run by the Wellington Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences for students of all disciplines also helps develop leadership skills and practical workplace experience.

Make career connections

Networking and making connections with individuals and groups while you study can help you learn more about career opportunities. Getting involved with Hauora—Health Promotion Forum of New Zealand, Public Health Association of New Zealand will build connections. Wellington Young Professionals, university clubs, and mentoring programmes such as Alumni as Mentors for final-year students can all enhance your employability while studying.

Graduate career stories

Alexia Ramsay at Graduation

Alexia Ramsay

A part-time job with a primary health organisation while studying led to an exciting digital marketing and communications role for Alexia after graduating.

Man smiling

Ali Leota

Ali started his Bachelor of Health when it first launched in 2018 and now works as a population health advisor for Hawke’s Bay District Health Board.

Woman standing with bike

Anna Gracie

After completing a Bachelor of Health, Anna works from Wellington as a health promoter for Family Planning New Zealand.

Woman standing with graduation cap on

Kiana Sua

Since graduating with a Bachelor of Health Kiana Sua has worked as an advisor in the child and youth wellbeing team at Te Hiringa Hauora/Health Promotion Agency

Kitty Truell looking over shoulder and smiling

Kitty Truell

A research scholarship and learning around hauora Māori helped to prepare Kitty for her current policy advice role at the Ministry of Health.

Katie Sharp (left) with Dr Ally Gibson

Katie Sharp

Katie Sharp was looking for a pathway to help people when she discovered the Bachelor of Health at Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington.