What is Health Informatics?

Health Informatics is the study of the use of Information Technology in Healthcare. The term covers a very wide range of applications and research, all dedicated to the improvement of patient care and public health. Applications range from computer controlled bedside monitors to regional or national health databases. The users and developers of such systems include all health professionals as well as administrators, computer and information Scientists and the public.

Electronic information systems are revolutionising health-care practice, research and education. Efficient management of information improves patient satisfaction and makes time available for new aspects of practice and for learning. Many health-care professionals realise they need skills in finding and using information, and in assessing information systems.


Post Graduate Diploma, Masters and Doctorate courses are run by the Department of Information Science of the University of Otago New Zealand. The Diploma course began in July 1998 and the Masters and Doctorate courses became available a few years later. Members of health professions and others interested in health informatics are invited to apply. The courses are run using the internet as well as conventional distance learning materials and techniques.

To participate you will need a computer that can run Microsoft Office 2010 Professional and access to the Internet.

Postgraduate Diploma in Health Informatics (PGDipHealInf)

The Postgraduate Diploma in Health Informatics (PGdipHealInf) is intended for health care professionals whose prime focus may be in clinical care delivery, management, education, quality assurance, information systems, or research. Admission may be possible for those with significant health-care work experience but without an undergraduate qualification.


A list of papers included in the Health Informatics diploma course for 2015 are listed below. Click on the paper code for more detailed information about each paper.

Code Title Points Semester Pre-requisites
HEIN701 Essential Information Management Skills 30 1 none
HEIN702 Principles of Health Informatics 30 1 701 (Co-requisite)
HEIN703 Health Information Systems 30 2 701
HEIN706 Research Methods for Health Informatics 30 2 none
HEIN707 Ethics and the Internet 30 2 none
HEIN708 Health Data Management 152

For further details about the Diploma of Health Informatics you can down load a pdf version of the Prospectus from here.

To apply for the Postgraduate Diploma in Health Informatics (PGDIPHEALIN) follow this link click on the yellow button Apply Now.

Master of Health Sciences

For full information of the administration and regulations for the Masters degree, check the Masters' Degrees Handbook.

Doctorate Programme

You may decide to go on to a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) course, which generally takes three years or more (full-time). The PhD Handbook is also available in downloadable PDF format, this website also has links to other useful PhD-related information on the web.