The Wellington Faculty of Health provides innovation in health teaching and research, with the aim of improving the wellbeing of individuals and communities.

There are opportunities to undertake research in a range of health-related areas, under expert supervision from researchers of national and international standing. Research students can also take advantage of Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington’s close relationships with and proximity to many government health agencies and services, including primary health services and local district health boards.

“I chose the University because it has a prestigious and top-ranking reputation in research.”
Ellaine Ete-Rasch, PhD candidate in Nursing

Research strengths

Health promotion

  • infant, child, and youth health promotion
  • health-promoting settings
  • community-driven approaches to health
  • social cohesion, connectedness, and relationships
  • health promotion advocacy and social change
  • youth mental health
  • experiences of breastfeeding

Health psychology

  • people’s experiences of health and illness
  • femininities and masculinities and implications for health-related behaviour
  • social and cultural contexts of behaviours related to health and illness
  • young people’s drinking cultures and the role that social media play
  • consumer culture, health, and wellbeing
  • digital tools for mental health

Health services and policy

  • health sector policy and reform
  • health services evaluation
  • health economics
  • primary health care
  • evidence-informed services
  • effective action on health inequalities
  • Māori health
  • priority setting research and evaluation
  • access research and evaluation
  • pacific health


  • keeping birth normal
  • knowledge translation
  • fetal heart rate monitoring
  • fetal movements
  • water immersion and water birth
  • medico-legal aspects of the provision of care
  • quality improvement and clinical effectiveness
  • continuity of midwifery care
  • standards of midwifery practice
  • models of midwifery


  • health care practice and service provision for people with extreme obesity
  • pneumococcal human infection challenge models
  • post ICU outcomes and post ICU syndrome
  • long term patient care, management, and outcomes
  • quality improvement projects and influencing patient outcomes at the bedside
  • developing in nursing practice
  • health outcomes and health care experiences of population groups
  • primary health care
  • long-term conditions
  • frequent presenters
  • chronic pain
  • patient safety and clinical risk
  • design of medical devices
  • nursing values
  • nurses’ responses to the practice environment
  • safe use of medicines
  • patient experience
  • social prescribing
  • health of older people
  • palliative care


  • epidemiological studies
  • dietary intervention studies
  • the metabolic syndrome
  • diabetes and cardiovascular disease

Population health

  • respiratory disease including asthma, COPD, and influenza
  • medical informatics
  • quality and safety in healthcare
  • advanced data analytics

Women’s health

  • Māori health and inequalities
  • kaupapa Māori research in health
  • sexual and reproductive health
  • menopause
  • clinical trials
  • maternal and infant health

Research degrees

The Wellington Faculty of Health offers a PhD, two research Master’s degrees, and three Professional Doctorates.

Research across disciplines

The Faculty teaches postgraduate health in the broad subject areas of Health, Midwifery and Nursing. However, the University encourages innovation by thinking beyond traditional subject boundaries. You can take an interdisciplinary approach to your research—combining ideas or methods from other subjects within the Faculty or collaborating with another of the University's school outside the Faculty.


All research students have an academic supervisor to guide and mentor them. If you are applying for admission to a research degree, you can start your own search for a supervisor or you can contact the School of Nursing, Midwifery, and Health Practice, the School of Health, the Health Services Research Centre, or the Centre for Women’s Health Research.

Research centres

The Faculty of Health is home to two specialised research centres. The centres provide opportunities for research students to work with institutions of national standing.

Health Services Research Centre

The Health Services Research Centre focuses on the study of the health and disability needs of communities.

Centre for Women’s Health Research

The Centre for Women's Health Research is dedicated to improving the health outcomes of our nation's women and children.