Certificate in Health Sciences (Intermediate) Level 4 - SIT2LRN Distance Learning

Qualification: Certificate
Level: 4

Intake 1: 29/01/2018 to 20/04/2018 - Applications close 08/01/2018

Intake 2: 12/03/2018 to 01/06/2018 - Applications close 19/02/2018

Intake 3: 07/05/2018 to 27/07/2018 - Applications close 16/04/2018

Intake 4: 18/06/2018 to 07/09/2018 - Applications close 28/05/2018

Intake 5: 13/08/2018 to 02/11/2018 - Applications close 23/07/2018

Intake 6: 24/09/2018 to 14/12/2018 - Applications close 03/09/2018


3 months fulltime

Up to 2 years part-time

Intakes are 12 weeks long

The Certificate in Health Science (Intermediate) (Level 4) is expiring at the end of 2018 and has been replaced with the New Zealand Certificate in Study and Career Preparation (Level 4) (Applied Health Sciences programme of study). In 2018 the Certificate in Health Science (Intermediate) is only available to returning students and must be completed in 2018. All other applicants should go to the New Zealand Certificate in Study and Career Preparation (Level 4) (Applied Health Sciences programme of study) webpage and complete the online application form found there.

Location: SIT2LRN Distance Learning
Credits: 41

Following on from the Level 3 Certificate in Health Science, this certificate provides intermediate skills and knowledge required for further study or work in the health sciences sector.

Students will study the structures and systems of the human body, senses, chemistry and response to disease and infection.

Please note: This programme is made up of local units, rather than unit standards. Local units are written by SIT. They will not show on your NZQA Record of Learning, however the overall course is NZQA accredited.  Upon completion students will receive a SIT qualification/transcript with a list of local units, levels, credits, and grades.

HSC101 Normal human structure and function in a health context (Level 4) 5 credits

This paper introduces you to human anatomy and physiology and provides an overview of the structure and function of the ten major body systems – musculoskeletal, integumentary, respiratory, cardiovascular, digestive, nervous, reproductive, urinary, lymphatic, and endocrine.

  • This paper is a pre/co-requisite for all other papers in the programme. It must be completed in your first enrolment in the programme.

HSC102 Abnormal human structure and function in a health context (Level 4) 5 credits

This paper introduces you to some abnormal conditions for each of the ten major body systems covered in HSC101, and causes for each condition. You will investigate types of complementary and alternative medicine, and a range of health care interventions, including medication, non-medication, invasive, non-invasive, psychological, and spiritual therapies.

IHS103 Cells and tissues of the human body (Level 4) 2 credits

This paper explores cellular structure and function, and the fundamental tissues of the body. You will be able to describe major cellular components, activities (including control, growth, repair, protection, transport, and movement), cellular respiration, cellular reproduction, and the active and passive movement of materials across the plasma membrane. You will also be able to define the structure, function, and location of the four major types, and subtypes, of tissues in the body, and describe different types of membranes.

IHS109 Human reproductive system (Level 4) 2 credits

This paper covers the normal structure and function of both the female and male reproductive systems, including reproductive organs, hormones and puberty, the menstrual cycle, pregnancy and birth, menopause, spermatogenesis and ejaculation, and the effects of aging.

IHS112 Human body defence mechanisms and immunity (Level 4) 2 credits

How does the human body defend and protect itself? This paper investigates how we resist disease, including physical barriers, antimicrobial substances, phagocytosis, inflammation, and the role and effects of fever, vomiting, and diarrhoea. Antigen-antibody reactions, including allergic reactions, are introduced, as well as resistance to disease that occurs through naturally and artificially acquired immunity.

IHS113 Principles of chemistry in the human body (Level 4) 5 credits

This paper covers matter, energy, elements, bonds, atoms, and reactions, and how they are relevant to what happens within the human body. You will investigate the role of both organic and inorganic compounds in the human body, which includes the structure and function of DNA.

IHS114 Human metabolism (Level 4) 2 credits

Metabolism is the series of chemical reactions that enable our body and our cells to maintain their current state. This paper explores the role of nutrients like carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins, plus minerals, vitamins, and water in human metabolism. You will investigate the metabolic fate of glucose, triglycerides and amino acids, and how normal blood glucose levels are maintained. Finally, this paper will introduce you to basal metabolic rate, and factors that influence this, as well as how body temperature is maintained.

  • IHS120 is a pre/co-requisite for this paper.

IHS117 Describe the human cardiovascular system (Level 4) 3 credits

This paper expands on the introductory knowledge of the cardiovascular system, introduced in HSC101. You will discover the basic composition of blood, including leukocytes, erythrocytes, platelets, and plasma, and the individual function of each of these components. You will also explore the normal structure and function of the heart, its chambers, and blood vessels (arteries, veins, and capillaries) which make up the circulatory system. You will also develop knowledge of how the functions of components of the cardiovascular system contribute to the maintenance of homeostasis.

IHS118 Describe the human respiratory system (Level 4) 3 credits

This paper expands on the introductory knowledge of the respiratory system, introduced in HSC101. You will investigate the normal structure and function of the organs that are involved in respiration, including the nose, pharynx, larynx, lungs, trachea, bronchi, bronchioles, and alveoli. You will discover the protective mechanisms of the respiratory system, and the mechanics of breathing. You will also develop knowledge of the physical, emotional, and chemical factors that influence the rate and depth of respiration, and how this contributes to maintaining homeostasis.

IHS119 Describe the human musculoskeletal system (Level 4) 2 credits

This paper expands on the introductory knowledge of the musculoskeletal system, introduced in HSC101. You will explore the normal structure and function of bones, joints, and muscles, including the axial and appendicular skeletons; fibrous, cartilaginous and synovial joints; and skeletal, smooth, and cardiac muscle.

IHS120 Describe the human digestive system (Level 4) 2 credits

This paper expands on the introductory knowledge of the digestive system, introduced in HSC101. You will cover the normal structure and function of each component of the digestive tract, from the mouth to the anus. You will explore the processes of mechanical and chemical digestion, absorption, storage, and elimination in relation to carbohydrates, amino acids, fatty acids, alcohol, drugs, vitamins, and minerals.

IHS121 Describe the integumentary system of the human body (Level 4) 1 credit

This paper expands on the introductory knowledge of the integumentary system, introduced in HSC101. You will cover the normal structure and function of skin, hair, and nails, including layers of the epidermis, the dermis, the hypodermis, and how the structure of the skin contributes to sensation, protection, heat regulation, and Vitamin D synthesis.

IHS122 Describe the urinary system of the human body (Level 4) 2 credits

This paper expands on the introductory knowledge of the urinary system, introduced in HSC101. You will explore the main components of the urinary system, including the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra, and how they contribute to water balance, electrolyte balance, and the removal of waste products. You will study in detail the structure of the nephron (the functional unit of the kidney) as well as the formation, composition, storage, and excretion of urine.

IHS123 Describe the special senses of the human body (Level 4) 4 credits

This paper explores the ear, eye, nose, and tongue, and how they contribute to our hearing, balance, sight, smell, and taste senses. You will investigate the structure of the ear, how hearing occurs, and how the ear contributes to maintaining our balance and sense of space. You will describe the structure of the eye, its accessory structures, and how they combine to allow us to see. You will explore the nose and its components, and how each of them contribute to our sense of smell, along with the structure of the tongue and how it enables us to taste.

IHS124 Applied number and measurement (Level 4) 1 credit

This paper builds on the introductory number and measurement skills introduced in PEH112. You will be able to apply the four basic arithmetic operations to fractional numbers (like and unlike fractions; improper and mixed fractions), and be able to read a graduated measurement scale. You will apply your consolidated knowledge to real life medical scenarios and calculate tablet quantities to administer a prescribed dosage of a medication.


Additional elective paper:

This paper is available only to students who are cross crediting HSC101 and HSC102 into the programme from the Certificate in Health Sciences (Pre Entry) (Level 3), and wish to be considered as full time students for Studylink, or other purposes. This paper is not compulsory and does not need to be completed in order to complete the Certificate.

IHS116 Statistics and data analysis (Level 4) 6 credits

This paper will introduce you to the basics of statistics and data analysis. You will investigate collecting, presenting, and interpreting data, how to compute and understand numerical summaries of data, understand and use the concept of probability, learn how to use binomial and normal distributions, and where they are appropriate to use, use the chi-square distribution to test goodness of fit, and develop an understanding of how these principles of statistics can be integrated.

The Zero Fees Scheme applies to this course, so there are no tuition fees as long as you are a New Zealand citizen, resident/permanent resident (residing in NZ), BUT there is a student direct material cost per credit of study undertaken, plus a non-refundable administration cost of $50.00 for each application processed, and the required textbook/s listed below. You must maintain satisfactory academic progress to retain your Zero Fees Scheme entitlement.

Zero Fees Scheme – applies to NZ citizens and residents/permanent residents (residing in NZ). 2018 Cost (NZ$) $7.00 per credit + admin cost $50.00 per application (e.g. $700 for 100 credit course) - includes GST

International Students $100 per credit

Payments must be paid by the due date shown on the invoice. 

Withdrawals & Transfers

  • Early withdrawals within the first week of the intake starting are entitled to a full refund of the Student Direct Material Costs but not the non-refundable administration cost of $50.00.
  • Withdrawals have to be requested within 75% of the intake, withdrawals after the early withdrawal date are not eligible for a refund.
  • Transfer requests have to be within the first two weeks of the intake starting and will incur a $50.00 transfer fee. Transfers can only occur to a subsequent intake within the same calendar year.

All SIT2LRN courses are approved by Studylink. Any queries regarding Studylink allowances, loans, and terms and conditions should be made directly to Studylink on 0800 88 99 00 or www.studylink.govt.nzThis link is to an external site and opens in a new window.

After completing both Health Science certificates, students could pursue further study (at diploma or degree level) in health and science related subjects, such as NursingMassageSport and Exercise, and Midwifery (not available at SIT).

All applicants should demonstrate a keen interest in the health sciences, and have academic attributes that demonstrate that applicants have a reasonable likelihood of successful completion of the programme.

  • A minimum of 18 years of age, with a minimum of three years secondary education is required
  • School leavers should have attained a minimum of 12 credits in each of four subjects at NCEA Level 2

Mature students are welcome to apply. It is recommended that the Certificate in Health Sciences (Pre Entry) (Level 3) is completed prior to applying for this programme. Direct entry into the Certificate in Health Sciences (Intermediate) (Level 4) is at the discretion of the Programme Manager, and in most cases will only be approved for applicants who are currently working, or have previous experience in, the health sector, or who have an existing health or science qualification.

Language Requirements

Applicants from countries with an annual student visa approval rate of at least 80 percent, whose first language is not English, or who come from a country where the language of instruction in schools is not English, are required to provide evidence of having passed an NZQA approved English Proficiency Assessment, or one of the following tests of English language competence, in accordance wit the NZQA rules below:

  • IELTS test - General or Academic score of 5.5, with no band score lower than 5
  • TOEFL Paper-based test (pBT) - Score of 530 (with an essay score of 4.5 TWE)
  • TOEFL Internet-based test (iBT) - Score of 46 (with a writing score of 20)
  • University of Cambridge English Examinations - FCE, or FCE for schools, with a score of 162. No less than 154 in each skill
  • NZCEL - Level 3, with an endorsement of either General, Workplace, or Academic
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic) - PToE (Academic) score of 42
  • City & Guilds IESOL - B2 Communicator with a score of 42

Applicants from countries with an annual student visa approval rate below 80 percent, whose first language is not English, or who come from a country where the language of instruction in schools is not English, must provide evidence that they:

  • Have gained NCEA Level 3 and met New Zealand University Entrance requirements, or
  • Hold a bachelor's degree of at least 3 years from New Zealand, Australia, Canada, The Republic of Ireland, South Africa, United Kingdom, or United States of America, or
  • Have achieved a Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults, CELTA, or
  • Have achieved one of the English Language competence tests specified above.

Workforce Restrictions for Children's Workforce

If you have a criminal conviction, and you are studying (or considering studying) toward a qualification that will lead to a job in the state funded sector (including teaching or providing youth services) working directly with children, you need to check whether your conviction could prevent you from working in some roles in your chosen field.

This is because new legislation, the Vulnerable Children's Act 2014, will prevent state sector agencies and government-funded service providers from hiring people with convictions for specified offences to work with children in some roles. The restrictions came into effect on 1 July 2015.

You can read the list of the specified offences online here.

You can get more information (including FAQs) here.

This information has been supplied by the Children's Action Plan Directorate and the Tertiary Education Commission.

Full time study

Full time study is completing all fifteen papers (41 credits) in one 12 week intake. This requires around 35 hours of study per week for the duration of the intake.

Full time acceptance in to the programme is at the Programme Manager’s discretion, and is not guaranteed.

Part time study

The number of papers you select to study per intake should depend on work, family, and other commitments. Aside from HSC101, which must be completed in your first enrolment, you may enrol in the papers in any order that you wish to study them.

 All work for a paper must be completed during the intake in which you are enrolled in it. If you do not complete the paper within the intake, you must re-enrol in the paper in a later intake.

 The example study plans beside are guides only; you are free to select fewer, or more, papers per intake, as time allows. Use the ‘Study Load Calculator’ table on the following page to calculate approximately how many hours per week you will require for your chosen study plan.


Light study load (2 years to complete

Average study load (1 – 1.5 years to complete

Full time study load

First enrolment



10 credits






16 credits
















41 credits

Second enrolment




6 credits





13 credits


Third enrolment



7 credits







12 credits


Fourth enrolment



6 credits


Fifth enrolment





7 credits


Sixth enrolment



5 credits


Additional information

  • As a guideline, one credit equates to approximately 10 hours study within an intake period.  Click HERE to download a Study Load Calculator (spreadsheet).
  • All papers selected within a particular intake must be completed within that intake unless a transfer is requested (conditions apply; see FAQs).
  • Online enrolments are on a year by year basis and students are welcome to apply for multiple intakes in one enrolment.  Further enrolment is the responsibility of individual students.  There is no automatic enrolment rollover. 

Cross Credits

If you have completed the Certificate in Health Sciences (Pre Entry), you can cross credit HSC101 and HSC102 into this programme. This is done by filling in a cross credit application form and attaching proof of achievement. If you wish to apply for a cross credit, please attach the completed form to your application. Forms can be found at:

Credit Transfers

Some NZQA unit standards meet the requirements for their corresponding paper in this programme. If you have previously completed a unit standard with a similar title and/ or content to one of the papers listed above, please contact SIT2LRN administration to see if that unit can be credit transferred into the programme to replace its corresponding paper.

All SIT2LRN courses require you to have a computer and internet access. Students are required to use their SIT webmail only for all SIT2LRN communications. All course materials and information, including assessments and due dates, are located on the online Blackboard system. Once you have been accepted into a programme you will receive an Important Information Booklet that includes information that you can use to familiarise yourself with our online Blackboard learning environment. From the intake start date you will have access to the online course materials to work through.

Facilitator Assistance:  During the enrolled intake period, students have email access to Facilitators, who endeavour to respond to emails within 48 hours (week days only).  All students are required, within the first two weeks of an intake, to send an email to their Facilitator confirming their start on the programme of study.  Students who have not emailed their facilitator or embarked upon their course of study by the end of the 2nd week of an intake, will be Faculty Withdrawn from the programme.  Such withdrawals may impact on future access to SIT Zero Fees Scheme and Student Direct Material Costs are still liable for payment.

Progress reports are sent out 6-8 weeks after the end of each intake.

We recommend students new to SIT2LRN read through the Frequently Asked Questions section of our website for further study and enrolment information.

Please use the following checklist to ensure that all relevant information and documentation has been included. Remember, your application will be assessed based on the information that you provide us with.  Processing of your application will be delayed if we need to come back to you for missing information.

  • I have read all sections of the Programme Information on this page
  • I have read the SIT2LRN Frequently Asked Questions section
  • I have met all admission criteria for the programme (found under Application Criteria)
  • I have met all the criteria for individual papers (found under Course Content).
  • I have selected the paper(s) I wish to study
  • I have selected intake(s) (I have selected alternate intakes rather than overlapping intakes)
  • I know my intended payment method
  • If my organisation/company is paying for my studies, I have a completed and approved purchase order to attach to my online application.  I am aware that should my organisation or company not pay my fees, these will become my responsibility.
  • I have completed and attached a cross credit form (if applying for a cross credit)
  • New students – I have provided an active NSN in the name I am enrolling in or I have verified ID and will attach it to my online application.
  • New students – I will attach academic documentation (NZQA record of achievement/academic transcripts/certificates).  These do not need to be verified. (If you do not have any academic documentation to support your application, please attach a comprehensive CV outlining your education and work experience).
  • I have computer access,  an Internet connection and access to software to create electronic documents e.g. Microsoft Word or Open Office

What is the Zero Fees Scheme?

The Zero Fees Scheme means we do not charge tuition fees. However, there is a Student Direct Material Cost that you need to pay and a non-refundable administration fee. The administration fee is for processing your application and the Student Direct Material Cost gives you secure access to Blackboard® our online learning environment and to student support services throughout your study with us.

Who qualifies for the Zero Fees Scheme?

  • A New Zealand citizen completing the full qualification or 
  • An Australian citizen/New Zealand Resident or Permanent Resident who will be residing in New Zealand for the duration of your enrolment.

Instructions to help you with your application:

  1. Read the Programme Information on this page and the SIT2LRN Frequently Asked Questions and find out if you meet the application criteria for both the programme and the unit/s you wish to study.
  2. Check your eligibility for Zero Fees. If you are not eligible to study under this scheme, please call
    0800 748 257 for further options.
  3. Complete your online enrolment checking that:

If you are a new student …

  • Provide an active NSN number in the name you are enrolling in (contact NZQA on 0800 697 296 to get your NSN number if you do not know it);
  • If you do not have an active NSN, then attach a copy of your verified ID in the name you are enrolling in.
  • If you are a Resident or Permanent resident of NZ, please provide a copy of proof of residency;
  • Attach all academic documentation to support your application including copies of any certificates of courses you have undertaken / NZQA record of achievement / transcripts / CV;

Attach supporting documents as required and outlined on the previous page.

  1. Please check that you have included all the required information and supporting documents.  Your application will be assessed based on the information that you provide.  Missing information will delay the processing of your application.
  2. Please scan and email all additional documentation to

What happens next?

  • You will receive an automatic email confirmation when we receive your online application. Processing may take up to three weeks. However, we will get in touch with you sooner if we require further documentation.
  • Once your application has been accepted you will be sent a conditional offer of acceptance with an invoice and instructions on how to make payment.
  • Once we have received your payment (or if you have opted to pay by Credit Card, Student Loan or Purchase Order) you will be sent an Enrolment Confirmation Letter and Important Information Booklet. Closer to the start of the intake you will receive a Time To Get Started Letter which will give you all the necessary information, tools and guidance to start your study with us.

For students to be considered to have satisfactorily completed this programme, and be eligible for the awarding of the qualification Certificate in Health Sciences (Intermediate) they must have completed all scheduled course work requirements and assessments, successfully completed assessment requirements for all modules/unit standards and or local units, and achieved a total of 41 credits as specified in the programme schedule. The timeframe for completion of this programme is two years.

Assessments for this programme typically include essays, short answer and multi-choice questions. There are no exams for this programme.

The required textbook for Certificate in Health Sciences (Intermediate) (Level 4) are:

  • Marieb, E. N. (2014). Essentials of human anatomy and physiology (11th global ed.). Essex, United Kingdom: Pearson Education Ltd.

For information and advice about purchasing textbooks, see