HLTH213-23S1 (C) Semester One 2023

Health Systems and Policy

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 20 February 2023
End Date: Sunday, 25 June 2023
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 5 March 2023
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Sunday, 14 May 2023


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 gain skills in the analysis of health policy and 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:
  • Explain how policy is developed and how policy can influence health
  • Analyse health policy and identify the elements of successful policy
  • Describe the history of the New Zealand health system
  • Identify how health systems influence health status
  • Describe characteristics of health systems worldwide and identify indicators of health system performance
  • 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

Course Coordinator / Lecturer

Sarah Lovell

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.

1. What is Health Policy?
2. Understanding the Policy Process | Case Study: COVID-19 in Aotearoa
3. Stakeholders and Lobbying | Case Study: Alcohol Reform
4. Evidence for Healthy Public Policy | Case Study: Fluoride
5. Critical Policy Analysis | Health Sytem Reform
6. Database Searching | Intro to Health Systems
7. Comparative Health Systems
8. Patient Perspectives on Care
9. Financing, Prioritisation & Health System Sustainability
10. Primary Health Care | Assessing Community Health Needs
11. Access to Health Care | Unmet Need for Health care
12. Health Care Ethics | Exam Revision


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
Tutorials 50% Due: fortnightly Tutorials will present you with a problem-based learning scenario. You will work in groups to solve the problem; your own time will be required to complete the oral or written report. The best five of six tutorial grades will contribute to your final mark.
Lecture quizzes 10% Due: fortnightly Grades for the best 3 of 4 quizzes will contribute to the final mark for the course.
Exam 40% To be held in person during the official UC Mid Year Examination period (end of Semester 1). The exam will be 2.5 hours and will be scheduled by the central examination team to ensure it does not clash with other courses.


The APA 7th style of referencing should be used for in-text citations and for the reference list. Citations may be managed with a suitable referencing programme (e.g. EndNote). The UC Library offers a range of resources including referencing guide for APA format https://www.canterbury.ac.nz/library/support/citations-and-referencing/apa-american-psychological-association-style/
Please use peer-reviewed journal articles, review articles, scholarly text-books and/or Government publications and data-sets only to support your opinions and propositions. Please always cite the original publication when possible. Essays should be 12 point Times New Roman font, double spaced and each essay should include the assessment cover sheet (link at bottom of page). You may also include a title page for your essay if you wish.
*All essays must be submitted by 11.55pm on the due date in the preferred MS word format which will automatically be submitted to Turnitin. Essays should be submitted in a word-processing format (e.g. Microsoft Word) not as a PDF file.  Late submission will incur a 2.0% penalty per day. 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.

Textbooks / Resources

There is no prescribed textbook for the course. 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 Course Outline Information

Academic integrity

All forms of cheating and dishonest practice are taken seriously and penalties will result. Students should refer to the Academic Misconduct Regulations. https://www.canterbury.ac.nz/regulations/general-regulations/academic-misconduct-regulations/

Some UC assessments permit the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools. Please read each assessment’s guidelines carefully so you know what AI use is permitted or not, and ensure that you follow the guidance on both usage and how to declare any permitted AI usage in your assignment (e.g., do you explain the AI tools and procedures employed in the assessment Methodology section, in the Acknowledgements, or in another manner). If AI use is not expressly permitted in an assessment, assume is it not allowed. If at all unsure regards AI use and documentation, please ask your course teaching staff.

Assessment and grading system

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. Participation in tutorials is a requirement of the course. 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.
A copy of the lecturer’s email confirming the extension (if granted) and any supporting documentation must be attached to and submitted with the assignment. Extensions will not normally be granted because of pressure of university study, eg several pieces of work being due at about the same time. Students are encouraged to plan their work in a realistic manner and in advance so that they can meet their assessment deadlines.


Resubmissions of assignments are not permitted in HLTH or HLED coded courses.

Academic Liaison

Annabel Ahuriri-Driscoll and Sarah Lovell are in charge of liaison with students in the undergraduate health sciences courses as the BHSc programme coordinators. Please feel free to talk to the Academic Liaison or the student rep about any degree-related matters.

Student Accessibility

Students with disabilities may access the University’s Te Ratonga Whaikaha | Student Accessibility Service for 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 assignments, examination, or your final course grade, you may appeal against that result.

For up to four weeks after the release of results a candidate may apply to the Examination Arrangements Senior Co-ordinator (http://www.canterbury.ac.nz/exams/contacts.shtml) 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. https://www.canterbury.ac.nz/study/examinations/result-dates-and-appeals/

Special Consideration of Assessment Items

Special Consideration for assessment is for students who have covered the work of a course but have been prevented from demonstrating their knowledge or skills at the time of the assessment due to unforeseen circumstances, such as illness, bereavement or other critical circumstances outside of their control at the time of the assessment.

Applications for special consideration should be submitted to the Special Considerations Committee https://www.canterbury.ac.nz/study/special-consideration/ 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.

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 within five days of the end of the main examination period for the semester.

Missing Exams

In rare cases a student will not be able to sit an exam. 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. Where an exam is missed on the day, please contact the Examinations Coordinator.

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 11.55 pm on or before the due date.  Student assessments are 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. For ICT help call our free call number 0508 UC IT HELP (0508 824 843) or on 03 369 5000 Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm (excluding public and university holidays).

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $821.00

International fee $3,750.00

* 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

  • HLTH213-23S1 (C) Semester One 2023