What is it like to study a Bachelor of Health Science at the University of Auckland?


I am considering Biomedicine or Health Science. What is it studying Health Science at University of Auckland?


Medical school admissions at the University of Auckland is a competitive process that is determined to some extent by your academic performance in your first year courses. There are two routes you can take in your first “pre medical” year at University, prior to applying to Medical School. You can either enroll in a Bachelor of Health Sciences or in a Bachelor of Sciences in Biomedical Science (Biomed).

Your first year “pre med” course load is somewhat prescribed. All students intending on pursuing Medical School applications must take 4 core courses, regardless of whether they are doing the Biomed or Health Sciences route. These are Medical Science 142 (MEDSCI 142), Population Health 111 (POPLHLTH 111), Biomedical Science 107 (BIOSCI 107) and Chemistry 101 (CHEM 101).

In you choose to go down the Health Sciences route, you will have to enroll in POPLHLTH 101 (Health Systems I), POPLHLTH 111 (Population Health), BIOSCI 107 (Biology for Biomedical Science: Cellular Processes and Development), CHEM 110 (Chemistry of the Living World), POPLHLTH 102 (Health & Society), HLTHPSYC 122 (Behaviour, Health & Development), MEDSCI 142 (Biology for Biomedical Science: Organ Systems). All Population Health papers, as well as the Health Psychology paper were essay heavy. Internal assessments often had a substantial written component, which I thoroughly enjoyed. To add more context, for 102, my first assignment asked me to analyze models of health that we had learned about lectures (namely, biopsychosocial model and the biomedical model of health) in an essay format. As a second example, for 122, in an assignment we were asked to create a behavioral change program to increase or reduce the frequency of a selected behaviour that we wished to change about ourselves. To complete this assignment, we were asked to record data on the behaviour before and after an incentive or stimulus was added and then write a written report on the findings. The papers in this course, particularly the POPLHLTH ones, have an overwhelming focus on the root causes of poor health. So, for example, you can expect to analyze how factors like income, education level, socioeconomic status and class influence the perpetuation of certain communicable and non communicable diseases.

You will enjoy this route if you consider yourself to have have strong analytical skills and a tendency to consider upsteam causes of poor health (policy, social drivers etc). It also tends to be well liked by individuals who have strong written skills in English.

Hope this helps!

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