NCEA Level 3 Health Education

Course Description

Teacher in Charge: Mrs E. Davison.

Why study health education?

Health education supports the curriculum’s vision for our young people, by enabling students to develop the values, knowledge, and competencies to live full and satisfying lives.

Through their engagement with health education, students develop the competencies to become confident, connected, actively involved, lifelong learners, ready to contribute to the future well-being of New Zealand.

Through learning and by accepting challenges in health-related and movement contexts, students reflect on the nature of well-being and how to promote it. As they develop resilience and a sense of personal and social responsibility, they are increasingly able to take responsibility for themselves and contribute to the well-being of those around them, of their communities, of their environments (including natural environments), and of the wider society.

This learning area makes a significant contribution to the well-being of students beyond the classroom, particularly when it is supported by school policies and procedures and by the actions of all people in the school community.

Health Education is based around these four interdependent Key Health Concepts which underpin learning at all levels of the Health Curriculum.

Learning in health education

Supports personal growth

Health education encourages students to:

  • manage their own well-being; make health-enhancing choices, and plan, and action goals
  • support the well being of others; learn how to communicate effectively and see issues from different perspectives
  • be resilient learn to identify and minimise risks, develop strategies for coping with adversity, and access and use support, for themselves and others
  • understand the attitudes and values that impact on well-being, such as respect, care and concern for others, and social justice
  • contribute meaningfully and responsibly to the well-being of communities; look critically at well-being issues affecting communities, and plan and take collective action

Challenges thinking about what is fair and just

Students learn to analyse, evaluate, and, where appropriate, take action to enhance the well-being of individuals, communities, and society. Students are challenged to think critically about a range of personal and societal health-related perceptions and practices.

Builds resilience and explores issues

Health education explores current issues relevant to adolescents, such as sexuality and relationships, drug and alcohol use, and how to build resilience in order to manage change and stressful situations.

Creates learning pathways

Learning in senior health education provides the foundation for pathways to the social and health sciences (education, psychology, sociology, philosophy, politics, law, economics, medicine, health, justice, and social services).

Develops skills for health promotion

By looking critically at issues that affect individual and community well-being, students learn to process information and develop skills that can be used to take health-promoting action.

What is covered in Year 13 Health?

Level 3 Health Education is a holistic approach to health and wellbeing. The learning in this course aims to develop students' critical thinking and research skills to explore attitudes and values, and knowledge of rights and responsibilities of self, others and society across a range of health issues. Emphasis is placed on looking at ‘real world’ and current societal health issues. The course gives students the opportunity to investigate and analyse a variety of national and international health issues.

Health Practices: This unit focuses on the three different Health practices (WSM) Western Scientific Medicine, Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) and Traditional Medicine (TM). It explores each Health Practice, their underlying philosophy and how they are used in the treatment of various medical conditions.

New Zealand Health Issue: This unit requires students to perceptively analyse drug use by young people in New Zealand. Students will research and investigate the influencing factors on drug use in New Zealand and think critically about the implications on persona, interpersonal and societal wellbeing. Strategies and Recommendations to enhance wellbeing and reduce harm will be discussed and analysed. 

International Health Issue: In this unit, Students will be asked to investigate and research an international health issue of concern. Students will draw on learning from across the year to identify the major influencing factors on the issue and the implications for wellbeing that are a result of these complex issues. Recent topics have included, Poverty, Reproductive and Sexual health issues, Disease and Life Expectancy.  

Ethical Issues: In this unit,  students will investigate a contemporary ethical issue of their choice in order to write a report which analyses the opposing perspectives of the issue and the implications for well-being of these differing perspectives.

Recommended Prior Learning

While there is no prior learning required for this course, if you are a student who is interested in developing a deeper understanding for real-life issues, investigating topics of concern within society and who wants to be more informed about how to make a difference then this course could be for you!

We offer a balance of conversational and interactive activities whilst being a literacy rich course that can develop your critical thinking, problem solving abilities and exposure to new perspectives, ideas and information.

Contributions and Equipment/Stationery

Workbook $10.00


Health Promoter
Health Researcher
Health Policy Analyst
Health Navigator
Health Information Technology
Health Sector Roles (Psychology, Counselling, Wellbeing, Medical professions)

Career Pathways

Credit Information

You will be assessed in this course through all or a selection of the standards listed below.

This course is eligible for subject endorsement.

This course is approved for University Entrance.

Total Credits Available: 19 credits.
Externally Assessed Credits: 5 credits.
Internally Assessed Credits: 14 credits.

Internal or
L1 Literacy Credits
UE Literacy Credits
Numeracy Credits
A.S. 91461 v2
Health 3.1 - Analyse a New Zealand health issue
Level: 3
Internal or External: Internal
Credits: 5
Level 1 Literacy Credits: 0
University Entrance Literacy Credits: 5r *
Numeracy Credits: 0
A.S. 91462 v2
Health 3.2 - Analyse an international health issue
Level: 3
Internal or External: External
Credits: 5
Level 1 Literacy Credits: 0
University Entrance Literacy Credits: 5r,5w *
Numeracy Credits: 0
A.S. 91463 v2
Health 3.3 - Evaluate health practices currently used in New Zealand
Level: 3
Internal or External: Internal
Credits: 5
Level 1 Literacy Credits: 0
University Entrance Literacy Credits: 5r *
Numeracy Credits: 0
A.S. 91464 v2
Health 3.4 - Analyse a contemporary ethical issue in relation to well-being
Level: 3
Internal or External: Internal
Credits: 4
Level 1 Literacy Credits: 0
University Entrance Literacy Credits: 4r *
Numeracy Credits: 0
Credit Summary
Total Credits: 19
Total Level 1 Literacy Credits: 0
Total University Entrance Literacy Credits: 19
Total Numeracy Credits: 0

Approved subject for University Entrance

Number of credits that can be used for overall endorsement: 19

Only students engaged in learning and achievement derived from Te Marautanga o Aotearoa are eligible to be awarded these subjects as part of the requirement for 14 credits in each of three subjects.