Programme list > Graduate Diploma in Environmental Health

Graduate Diploma in Environmental Health


Protect community health

If you’re interested in protecting people’s health and wellbeing at a local community level, the Graduate Diploma in Environmental Health is for you.

  • Level

  • Graduate, NZQF Level 7
  • Distance learning

  • Available
  • Credits

  • 120
  • Duration

  • 1 year(s) full-time. Available part-time.
  • Other

  • Some distance courses have compulsory contact workshops.

Note: This programme may have an on-campus or in-person requirement and therefore requires that students submit a current My Vaccine Pass on enrolment.

Massey’s Graduate Diploma in Environmental Health is designed to give you the training needed for a professional career in human health protection. You will learn how to protect people and communities from threats to health from our built and natural environments. Environmental health roles often require your initiative to devise workable solutions to problems.

What is environmental health?

Environmental health is focused on all aspects of the environment that may affect human health. Threats to human health may be biological, physical or chemical. These may come from natural processes, human activity, or a combination of the two. You’ll study important environmental health topics including:

  • food safety
  • infectious disease transmission
  • drinking water quality
  • urban air pollution
  • the hazards of excessive noise
  • exposure to toxic and other hazardous substances
  • workplace monitoring
  • medical geochemistry
  • contaminated site assessment
  • waste management and climate change.

What isn’t environmental health?

Environmental health does not mean the health of the wider environment – this is environmental science. However, there is a complex range of inter-relationships between the two areas. Climate change is a good example of an environmental impact that will have major direct and indirect impacts on human health.

This qualification prepares you for many roles, including entry into the two key environmental health occupations:

  • Environmental Health Officer (EHO)
  • Health Protection Officer (HPO).

Entry to the EHO role is possible because Massey’s Graduate Diploma in Environmental Health is formally recognised under the Environmental Health Officers Qualifications Regulations 1993.

Find out more in the Careers section on this page.

Careers and further study


Environmental health jobs typically include a mix of indoor and outdoor work. Most involve working with people to promote a healthier environment in which to live.

EHOs and HPOs

Massey’s Graduate Diploma in Environmental Health will prepare you for a wide range of roles, but more specifically for entry into the two key environmental health occupations:

  • Environmental Health Officer (EHO)
  • Health Protection Officer (HPO).

As with any environmental health career, your training and expertise will continue to grow after you’re employed.

As an HPO you will work with District Health Boards. As an EHO you will work in City or District Councils, or with the New Zealand Defence Force.

Entry to the EHO role is possible because Massey’s Graduate Diploma in Environmental Health is formally recognised under the Environmental Health Officers Qualifications Regulations 1993.

Fields of work

Local, regional and central government

Become an Environmental Health Officer (EHO) or Public Health Officer (HPO) involved in a range of areas that can include:

  • public health advice
  • outbreak management
  • food safety
  • building inspection
  • border control
  • risk assessment
  • liquor licensing
  • resource management
  • disaster and emergency response
  • air quality
  • drinking water quality
  • contaminated sites investigation
  • waste management.

Graduates working in regional councils and central government agencies have had roles such as:

  • technical advisors
  • resource consent officers
  • environment officers
  • policy analysts
  • programme managers.
Private sector

You could work in consultancies or industry and be involved in:

  • food quality assurance
  • workplace and environmental safety
  • waste management
  • food safety auditing
  • environmental quality assurance.

Entry requirements

University admission

All students must meet university entrance requirements to be admitted to the University.

Programme admission


To enter the Graduate Diploma in Environmental Health you will have been awarded or qualified for a relevant degree in applied science, health science, nursing, science or technology.

Applicants who have other qualifications and considerable work experience will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

You will provide verified copies of all academic transcripts for studies taken at all universities other than Massey University.

English language requirements

To study this programme you must meet Massey University's English language standards.

Prior learning, credit and exemptions

For information on prior learning, exemptions and transfer of credit or other questions:

If you do not have the entry requirements

English language and foundation courses

If you need help with your English language skills before you start university, we have courses and qualifications that may help.

Summer School

If you need to do a course before you start your programme, there may be options for you in Summer School.

Courses and planning

Credit summary

120 credits

  • Compulsory courses – 120 credits

Ensure that you also have 75 credits at 300 level.

Courses for this programme

Compulsory courses

120 credits
214213 Toxic Substances, Human Health and the Environment 15
214215 Food Safety and Human Health 15
214216 Environmental and Public Health Law 15
214301 Environmental Health Risk Management for Disasters 15
214311 Epidemiology and Communicable Diseases 15
214312 Environmental Monitoring and Investigative Methods 15
214314 Water and Waste Treatment 15
214316 Bio-Physical Effects of Noise and Vibration 15

Planning your programme

Planning overview

If you study full-time, in your first year, you’ll take eight 15-credit courses, making a total of 120 credits.

If you wish to study over two semesters, you should aim for 60 credits per semester. You may be able to take some courses at summer school. Make sure you include courses that are prerequisites for the next level of courses you wish to study.

Five of the eight courses involve a single contact workshop component where you will travel to Wellington, meet staff and other students in the programme and learn specific skills. These range from two to five days in length, depending on the course.

Maximum time limits for completion

There are maximum time limits to complete some undergraduate and all postgraduate qualifications. If you do not complete within the maximum time, you may be required to re-apply for the programme if you wish to continue your studies.

Time limits for Honours, Distinction and Merit

If you complete this programme within the stated time limit and to a high standard, you may be able to graduate with Distinction.

Look for further information under ‘Student Progression’ in the regulations for this programme.

More information

  • Read the regulations for this programme thoroughly
  • Contact us through the Enquire button on this page if you have any questions.

Fees and scholarships

Fees and finance

Fees, student loans and free fees scheme

Your tuition fees may be different depending on the courses you choose. Your exact fees will show once you have chosen your courses.

There will also be some compulsory non-tuition fees and for some courses, there may also be charges for things such as study resources, software, trips and contact workshops.

Already know which courses you're going to choose?

You can view fees for the courses that make up your qualification on the course details pages.

Student loans (StudyLink) and Fees Free scheme

You may be eligible for a student loan to help towards paying your fees.

The New Zealand Government offers fees-free tertiary study for eligible domestic students. Find out more about the scheme and your eligibility on the Fees Free website. To use the site's eligibility checking tool, you will need your National Student Number.

Current and returning Massey students can find their National Student Number in the student portal.

A good fit if you:

  • would like to play a key role in community health protection
  • are comfortable with applied science and love a technical challenge
  • hold a relevant bachelor’s degree or equivalent.

Key information for students

Compare qualifications and academic information across different New Zealand institutions.


Review this important information before you apply for this programme. This gives you full details of the rules and regulations about what you need to study and what you must achieve in order to graduate with this qualification. That includes structure, courses and requirements. These regulations should be read in conjunction with all other Statutes and Regulations of the University including the below.

Undergraduate programmes

General Regulations for Undergraduate Degrees, Undergraduate Diplomas, Undergraduate Certificates, Graduate Diplomas and Graduate Certificates.

Regulations for this programme

Applying and enrolling

Applying for the programme

Check you are ready

If you are ready to apply, have a look at our application checklist. It will help you get prepared with what you need. Please also check the entry requirements carefully before you apply.

Choose your programme and click on Apply now

You will apply for the programme using the Apply now button on this page. You’ll also choose your specialisation (major, subject or endorsement) if applicable.

Some programmes have additional requirements such as the submission of a portfolio or CV. Click on Apply now and you will be able to submit those documents as part of the application process.

Receive and accept an Admission Offer of Place

You will receive an Admission Offer of Place when you have been accepted into the programme. You need to accept this before you can enrol in your courses. International students also need to pay their fees at this point.

Enrolling in courses

You’ll then get access to your own student homepage (also known as the student portal). This is where you can enrol in courses. Any updates on your application or enrolments will also be on your student homepage. Make sure you check this regularly.

When you choose courses, ensure you check for any requirements that apply including:

  • prerequisites (courses you have to do before the one you are enrolling in)
  • corequisites (courses you have to do at the same time as the one you are enrolling in)
  • restrictions (courses that you cannot enrol in if you are completing or have completed another identified similar course)
  • location – for instance some distance-based courses still have an on-campus element, so double check that the way the course is taught is suitable for your situation.

Each of our courses has its own webpage where you can find this information. You can use our course search to find course pages.

More information on courses is in the ‘Courses for this programme’ section on this page.

You can find information on application due dates and semester dates on the key dates page.

We look forward to welcoming you to Massey!

If you have any questions, contact us through the Enquire button on this page.

What are courses and credits?

What are courses and credits?

Each Massey programme is made up of courses (in some tertiary institutions they are called ‘papers’).

You will have some compulsory courses and some you can choose from.

Each course is worth a certain amount of credits (often 15 credits, but this does vary). You must gain a set number of credits to be able to graduate from this programme.

There may also be some rules about which courses you need to pass to progress to the next year, or stage, of your study (known as progression). There are also courses you must pass to graduate with a specialisation.

  • See the ‘Courses for this programme’ section for the list of courses.
  • Courses search

Understanding course numbers

The first three digits of our course numbers show you which subject the course is about.

The second three digits show you the level and course ID number. For instance:

  • sub-degree courses are '0' (i.e. xxx.0xx)
  • undergraduate study begins at 100-level, (i.e. xxx.1xx)
  • as you progress through 200- and 300-level courses this number changes to 2 and 3 respectively. The higher the number that starts the second three digits, the higher the level of study.
1 6 2 . 3   0 1
Subject area   Level   Course ID number

About electives

Electives are courses that are not compulsory. Certain guidelines are usually provided on courses you may take. Elective courses contribute to the programme, but not to your major or specialisation.

Workload and time management

Use this tool to help determine how much time you will need each week to complete your studies.

Estimate workload

Returning students

For returning students, there may be changes to the majors and minors available and the courses you need to take. Go to the section called ‘Transitional Provisions’ in the Regulations to find out more.

In some cases the programme or specialisation you enrolled in may no longer be taking new enrolments, so may not appear on these web pages. To find information on the regulations for these programmes go to the Massey University Calendar.

Please contact us through the Enquire button on this page if you have any questions.

Scholarships and awards

There are a number of scholarships available for new and current students. They could relate to your situation, achievement or interest.

Find and apply for scholarships