close up of group of people sitting in circle

About us

He hapori rapu i te taumata o te mātauranga, me te rangahau. A community of inter-professional learning and research.

If you are committed to improving people’s lives and a vocation where you can make a difference, the opportunities offered by the Centre for Health and Social Practice are endless. As part of this centre, you will be part of a community that is dedicated to social care, health, well-being and protection.

The programmes we offer lead to hands-on careers and our teaching reflects this. You will have access to real-world simulated learning and the latest technology, with opportunities for interprofessional education to learn from other professions and improve all-round care. Our experienced and registered tutors genuinely care about your success and will guide you on your way.

We know the needs of our stakeholders are always changing, so we deliver fit-for-purpose programmes that are responsive to changes in the health and social practice sectors. We value inclusion, diversity, and the achievement of potential in all of our staff and students. We are committed to social justice, and our treaty partnership between Tangata Whenua and Tauiwi underpins everything we do.

Study with us

Now is the time to turn your passion for people into a career.

In the world of health and social practice you will be challenged, inspired, and rewarded – sometimes all at once. We will give you the skills and knowledge to change the world. Be the graduate everyone is looking for.


Click on the images below to see a larger version.

Postgraduate nursing

Health and social practice pathway diagram

Postgraduate nursing

Postgraduate nursing pathway diagram
Please check the entry criteria for each programme to see which course is the best level for you to begin with. The entry criteria information can be found on each of the programme pages here online. You can also contact us directly to discuss the appropriate level for you at

Subject areas



Postgraduate and master's for health and social practice

Short courses/professional programmes

Our facilities

The Centre for Health and Social Practice facilities are designed for students to get the most out of their learning. The latest technology is made available to put theoretical knowledge into practice. Students can expect environments such as a simulated ward with computerised patient models who assume real health issues. We value diversity and inclusion; facilities are designed to encourage interprofessional learning between health and social care, with opportunities for interaction between staff and students.

Get involved

Be part of our community and see how we can work together.

The Centre for Health and Social Practice maintains close relationships with the industry and professional bodies that graduates register with. Our staff are experienced in their fields and are continuously active in health and social practice research. Our students are taught with a focus on the practical elements of healthcare and are encouraged to apply theoretical knowledge to real-world learning environments. Each year students will gain credit for undertaking placements, internships, or volunteer work in their field. 


Our teaching approach is focused on the practical side of learning and we understand the benefits of real-world work environments for our students’ learning. Students in the Centre for Health and Social Practice spend time across their programmes in work placements for credit. The amount of time spent on placement varies according to qualification and year; first year students will spend approximately a quarter of the year doing work placement while third year students will spend most of their time on placement.


Wintec responds to the growing need for more mental health and addiction practitioners

Wintec is responding to the demand for mental health and addictions support roles with a new postgraduate qualification a first for New Zealand

Wintec is responding to the demand for culturally responsive mental health and addictions support roles with a new postgraduate qualification that is a first in Aotearoa New Zealand.

This year, 2020 may be remembered most for COVID-19, lockdowns, rising unemployment and the side effects of that, a significant increase in the numbers of New Zealanders living with mental illness and addiction.

One in five New Zealanders are reported to be living with mental illness and/or addiction* and Wintec is responding to this by developing training that will mean more people can qualify to work in a range of support roles for in-demand areas.

A new strand in the Postgraduate Diploma in Health and Social Practice will make it possible for people with non-applied degrees to study towards careers in mental health and addiction without already being in the industry.

Wintec Director, Centre for Health and Social Practice, Dr Sharon Brownie says this is a first in New Zealand and an opportunity for people to build on their existing education and develop practice skills to support people living with mental health challenges and living with addiction. 

“We’ve looked at the other postgraduate courses that exist which require people to be working in these fields and we’ve developed a qualification that responds to people with base degrees in a broad range of specialties including psychology, science or even teaching  who want to move into people-facing roles to support those with mental health and addiction towards wellness.”

It’s a growing industry. Currently there are more than 100 roles advertised in New Zealand that mention mental health and addiction alone, including roles for clinicians, case workers, counsellors, consultants, managers and directors in this speciality field.

Dr Brownie adds the bicultural focus of the course is in response to the need for greater health, equity and culturally safe delivery for Māori and Pasifika communities, and is an ongoing priority for Wintec.

“Across the health sector an understanding of the importance of respecting culture, tikanga, language and lifestyle can impact positive outcomes. Cultural responsiveness is essential for mental health and addiction support workers at all levels, and to address health inequities including those in rural and remote communities.”

Two Wintec academics, Cassandra Cook and Andre McLachlan who will teach the course, worked with mental health and  addiction partners at  Te Pou te Whakaaro Nui , Matuaraki and the Salvation Army to develop the new bicultural postgraduate strand.

Cook says the delivery of the course has considered location, work and whānau commitments.

“We’re delivering this course in a blended way that makes it more accessible for more people,” she says.

“Our students will be learning online, attending block courses on some weekends at Te Kōpū Mānia o Kirikiriroa Marae on the Wintec Hamilton city campus and they will learn through work placements to get real-world experience.”

Cook, an addiction practitioner has been a strong advocate for bringing the Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment Courts to the Waikato. In December 2019, the Government agreed to set up a court in Hamilton to help break the cycle of addiction driving people’s offending.

“We are adding to the mental health and addiction industry through education and the drug court planned for Hamilton will be another source of employment for our graduates. There are many avenues this course will lead people, but ultimately they will be putting their education to good use to support people where they need it most in our communities.”

This year, the Mental Health Commissioner Kevin Allan released The Monitoring and Advocacy Report of the Mental Health Commissioner 2020  to “show what is possible when you shift from a mainly service-based response to mental distress and addiction to a whole-of community response focussed on wellbeing and recovery”.

The report stresses the need for much more to be done and more support for Māori and people with complex and ongoing needs, harm from substance abuse and care for women and their babies, signalling the need for more people to work in this area.

Application is now open for the one-year Postgraduate Diploma in Health and Social Practice with endorsements in Mental Health and Addiction, Midwifery and Professional Supervision. 

The Postgraduate Diploma in Health and Social Practice Mental Health and Addiction endorsement is currently under the Drug and Alcohol Practitioners’ Association Aotearoa–New Zealand (DAPAANZ) accreditation procedures and once approved, will meet the educational requirements for DAPAANZ registration.

*The Monitoring and Advocacy Report of the Mental Health Commissioner 2020.

Read more:
The drug courts saved my life
Dr Hare Puke Scholarship winners advance Māori leadership in tertiary education
A fresh approach to curriculum design puts learner success first