HLTH213-21S1 (C) Semester One 2021

Health Systems and Policy

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 22 February 2021
End Date: Sunday, 27 June 2021
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 7 March 2021
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 14 May 2021


This course introduces students to the history and organisation of health services and public health, with particular relevance to New Zealand. Students will develop an understanding of the structure and function of the New Zealand health system, including the provision, planning, and funding of health services.

Students will develop an understanding of the structure and function of the New Zealand health system, including the provision, planning, and funding of health services.

Students will learn how health systems and health policy can influence health status. Students will be able to identify strengths and weaknesses of the New Zealand health system compared with systems in other countries. This provides students taking the Public Health major with an essential understanding of health systems, policy, legislation, and regulation, and to meet the relevant competencies required for the public health sector workforce.

Learning Outcomes

  • By the end of the course students will be able to:

  • Describe the history of the New Zealand health system
  • Identify how health systems influence health status
  • Explain how policy is developed and how policy can influence health
  • Describe characteristics of health systems worldwide
  • Recognise and explain the similarities and differences between the New Zealand health system and other health systems


Any 60 points at 100 level from any subject, or
any 30 points at 100 level from HLTH or SPCO

Timetable Note

Lectures and Lecturers:
The course will be taught by staff from the School of Health Sciences and a number of guests invited from within the University and the health sector.

Course Coordinator

Kaaren Mathias

The structure of the course will be a weekly two-hour lecture and fortnightly two-hour laboratory/ tutorial.

The course builds on and complements concepts introduced in HLTH101 Introduction to Health Studies, HLTH110 Epidemiology, HLTH201 Health Promotion, HLTH202 Health in New Zealand, and HLTH106 Nga Take, Te Wero: Māori Health Issues and Opportunities.

Class Topics/Modules (indicate number of lectures)
1. Introduction to health systems: primary care, secondary care, tertiary care, public health
2. The history of the New Zealand health system
3. Key health sector organisations in New Zealand
4. Examples of health systems (USA, UK, Australia, Scandinavian health systems)
5. How health systems influence health status
6. Access to health care and unmet need for care
7. Health systems funding
8. Health information
9. Health policy
10. Policy development – barriers and enablers
11. Corporations, the media and health policy


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
Health Systems Essay 30% This is due by 11.55pm via the Learn course assignment dropbox.
Tutorial Participation 30% Six fortnightly tutorials will take place. Each tutorial will award participation marks worth up to 6% of the course grade. Participation will be based on attendance, class involvement and work completed in class. The best 5 tutorial grades will count toward the course mark.
Exam 40% To be held during the official UC Mid Year Examination period (end of Semester 1). Check the UC examination timetable for date, time and room venue. Keep up to date through this link: http://www.canterbury.ac.nz/exams/

Textbooks / Resources

There are no Required Texts for this course.

Required Reading:
Each session will have assigned readings that will be referenced on LEARN, the University’s online course support website http://www.learn.canterbury.ac.nz/, or sourced by students from the UC library databases. Students are expected to have read these prior to each session.

Students will be required to access and download PDF files of journal articles from UC Library.

Additional material/information is available from

Additional Course Outline Information

Academic integrity

All forms of cheating and dishonest practice are taken seriously and penalties will result. Students should refer to Regulation J of the General Course and Examination Regulations.

Assessment and grading system

Assessment for HLTH213 will comprise completion of two assignments. A student will be expected to spend at least 5 hours per week in addition to lectures and tutorials in preparation for classes and completion of course assessments.

Assignments are graded on the University of Canterbury Grading Scale:  

Grade    GPA Value        Marks

A+              9            90 – 100
A                8            85 – 89.99
A-               7            80 – 84.99
B+              6            75 – 79.99
B                5            70 – 74.99
B-               4            65 – 69.99
C+              3            60 – 64.99
C                2            55 – 59.99
C-               1            50 – 54.99
D                0            40 – 49.99
E               -1             0 – 39.99

A pass is 50 marks or over.


Attendance at class sessions is expected throughout the course. Students must attend and participate in the course sufficiently to meet the learning outcomes. Tutorial participation marks make up 30% of the course grade; students are advised to attend and participate in all tutorial sessions Students and staff are expected to behave in a professional manner during class i.e. arrive on time, refrain from mobile phone use and inform the lecturer if they must leave early.

Late submission of work

Work handed in after the due date with no extension granted is considered late. Late work will incur a penalty of 2% mark reduction per day after the specified deadline. Days late include weekend and holidays. Lecturers reserve the right not to mark late work, and no work will be accepted after assignments have been returned.

Other specific requirements

Written assignments must be word processed. Assignments will be submitted electronically. Keep a copy of all assignments.

Requests for extensions

Under exceptional circumstances (eg illness, accident, bereavement or critical personal circumstances) individual students may be granted an extension of the due date for an assignment. Requests for extensions should be emailed to the lecturer at least two days prior to the due date for the assignment. Relevant evidence such as a medical certificate or a letter from a counsellor may be required.


Resubmissions of assignments are not permitted in this course.

Academic Liaison

Annabel Ahuriri-Driscoll and Raesha Ismail are in charge of liaison with students in the undergraduate health sciences courses as the BHSci programme coordinator in the School of Health Sciences. Your class will appoint a student representative to the liaison committee at the start of the semester. Please feel free to talk to the Academic Liaison or the student rep about any problems or concerns that you might have.

Disability Support

Students with disabilities may access the University’s Disability Resource Service to access support. Further information can be found on their website: http://www.canterbury.ac.nz/disability/

Reconsideration of Grade

Students should, in the first instance, speak to the course co-ordinator about their grades. If they cannot reach an agreeable solution, students should then speak to the Head of School, Health Sciences. If you remain unhappy with the result of any of your examination or your final course grade, you may appeal against that result. See: http://www.canterbury.ac.nz/exams/results.shtml

For up to four weeks after the release of results a candidate may apply to the Examination Arrangements Senior Co-ordinator for a Reconsideration of Grade. The reconsideration will normally consist of a re-marking and re-counting of the final exam script, together with a recount of the marks awarded for any other items of work. If you have extenuating circumstances which affected your performance in your examination, you should view the information on Special Considerations.

Special Consideration of Assessment Items

Students may apply for special consideration if their performance in an assessment is affected by extenuating circumstances beyond their control.

Applications for special consideration should be submitted via the Examinations Office website http://www.canterbury.ac.nz/exams/ within five days of the assessment.

Where an extension may be granted for an assessment, this will be decided by direct application to the Course Co-ordinator and an application to the Examinations Office may not be required.

Special consideration is not available for items worth less than 10% of the course.

Students prevented by extenuating circumstances from completing the course after the final date for withdrawing, may apply for special consideration for late discontinuation of the course. Applications must be submitted to the Examinations Office within five days of the end of the main examination period for the semester.

Missing Tests

In rare cases a student will not be able to sit a test. In such cases, the student should consult with the course co-ordinator to arrange alternative procedures. This must be done well in advance of the set date for the test.

Where to submit and collect work

Students will be expected to submit their assessment via the online assessment system in the Learn class site by 5.00 pm on or before the due date.  The lecturer may also require student assessments be processed through the software Turnitin, to check for plagiarism.

It is the responsibility of the students to check their Internet access and ability to submit their work via the online system.  Any technical difficulties should be notified well in advance of the due date so that assistance can be provided or alternative arrangements can be negotiated. If you require assistance, please email ictservicedesk@canterbury.ac.nz, or phone 366 7001 ext 6060.

Assignments not collected in class may be collected from the College of Education, Health and Human Development’s Assignment Room located in the College Office – Level 2, Rehua.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $785.00

International fee $3,500.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

Minimum enrolments

This course will not be offered if fewer than 20 people apply to enrol.

For further information see School of Health Sciences .

All HLTH213 Occurrences

  • HLTH213-21S1 (C) Semester One 2021