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Bachelor in Health Promotion and Prevention

“I firmly believe that society benefits from holistic health promotion and situation-specific prevention. We want to provide our students with the skills they need to be effective and meet the diverse challenges in health promotion and prevention in a research-based, practice-oriented, and interprofessional manner.”

Karin Nordström, Head of the BSc degree programme in Health Promotion and Prevention

The Bachelor’s degree programme in Health Promotion and Prevention is practically oriented and unique in Switzerland.

Three good reasons for studying Health Promotion and Prevention at ZHAW

  • The public interest in health promotion and prevention has increased greatly, as has the need for practitioners in this field. Our degree programme is a response to this. The focus is on important societal questions such as: What conditions are conducive to good health? And: How can we motivate people to lead a healthy lifestyle?
  • This unique degree programme is available as a full-time and a part-time course of study. Collaboration with practitioners is a key component, which also facilitates students’ entry into the working world. After completing the programme, graduates have broad practical, theoretical, and scientific expertise.
  • We offer a course of study for people interested in health topics and in social developments and challenges. Health promotion and prevention targets both healthy people and people at risk, with the aim of preventing or reducing diseases and accidents.

Bachelor in Health Promotion and Prevention

Health promotion professionals ensure that people stay healthy. They develop projects and programs aimed at encouraging health-conscious behaviour and creating conditions conducive to good health. They encourage a balanced lifestyle, for example by promoting more exercise, a balanced diet, and stress management. Health risks are addressed before they become a problem. Health promotion and prevention targets people of all ages and is applied in kindergartens, sports clubs, the workplace, as well as family and youth programme settings.

Entry requirements BSc in Health Promotion and Prevention

  • Baccalaureate (gymnasiale Maturität) and additional module
  • Federal Specialised Baccalaureate (Fachmaturität) and additional module
  • Federal Vocational Baccalaureate (Berufsmaturität) and additional module
  • Degree from a College of Higher Education and Training (Höhere Fachschule or another tertiary B qualification) and additional module

More information about the entry requirements

“My workday is a colourful mix of paperwork and contact with people as well as exchange and cooperation with teachers.”

Vanessa Wettstein, graduate of the BSc in Health Promotion, Coordinator, Kantonales Netzwerk Gesunde Schulen Schwyz und Uri
Video clip about Vanessa Wettstein's working life (in German only)

Programme Structure

The programme takes three years to complete as a full-time course and 4.5 years as a part-time course. Classes in the part-time course of study are usually limited to three days a week.

The BSc in in Health Promotion and Prevention offers dual benefits:

  • a licence to practice as a fully qualified health promotion practitioner
  • a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Promotion and Prevention (UAS Zurich)

Study achievements are evaluated using ECTS credits (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System), which make your degree comparable across Europe. The study programme is worth 180 ECTS credits, which equals a workload of approximately 30 hours of study.

Our Bachelor’s degree programme in Health Promotion and Prevention fulfils the required national and international standards and educational requirements. 40 percent consist of classroom teaching and 60 percent of self-directed study. Classes are a combination of presentation-based teaching and independent and action-oriented learning (exercises, case studies, project work, workshops, and role play).

Profession-Specific Modules

  • Theories and models: The programme delivers in-depth knowledge of the fundamentals of health promotion and prevention from disciplines such as sociology, psychology, and epidemiology. You will learn how individual, societal, economic, and cultural issues influence health and disease. In addition, you will reflect on how vulnerable populations can have a better chance of a healthy life, and what roles health policy and health law play in this.
  • Professional and research methods: You will learn various practically oriented methods of public communication and interviewing, project and quality management, and qualitative and quantitative research methods.

Interprofessional modules

The School of Health Sciences offers Bachelor's degree programmes in Occupational Therapy, Health Promotion and Prevention, Midwifery, Nursing Science, and Physiotherapy under one roof. In joint classes, issues are addressed that are important for all five professional fields. The interprofessional modules focus on topics such as health economics, health care management, society, economics, politics, and law. In the process, students learn with, from, and about each other. They learn to think outside their professional boundaries, which will be essential for them in the future.

Practical Experience

Students start by exploring their practice field in their first semester of study. They visit various institutions and organizations in the health promotion and prevention sector.

Towards the end of the programme, full-time students complete a five- to eight-month practical placement, depending on their workload, in an institution or organization involved in health promotion and prevention. For part-time students, the practical placement is extended, again depending on their workload.

Bachelor’s Thesis

In their Bachelor’s thesis, students apply the theoretical knowledge and scientific methods they learned in class.

Part-Time Course of Study: Nine (Instead of Six) Semesters

  • Students choosing the part-time study option take nine instead of six semesters to complete their studies.
  • Classes are limited to three days a week, enabling students to work part-time or take care of their families.
  • The part-time study option is not an independent degree programme. Part-time students attend the same modules as full-time students.
  • The registration date, the start of the course, the aptitude test procedure, and the semester fees are the same as for full-time students.

“My workday varies from one day to the next. What I like about my job is that I get to work with different stakeholders and that I can work both in the field and conceptually.”

Fabrizio Rüegg, prevention officer, Suchtpräventionsstelle Zürcher Oberland
Video clip about Fabrizio Rüegg's working life (in German)

Professional Profile and Educational Objectives

Health promoters work in foundations, associations, non-profit organizations, federal offices, advice bureaus (such as the Swiss Office for Accident Prevention or the Swiss Cancer League), prevention centres, and corporate health management. Positions are also available in sports centres, spas, and leisure centres.

With the appropriate professional experience, they can lead a team or manage a department. Teaching and research are also options.

Competencies in seven roles

This degree programme will enable you to take on a variety of job-specific roles competently and responsibly. In your everyday work, you will apply your theoretical and scientifically based specialist knowledge in a targeted manner.

During your studies, you will acquire competencies related to seven different job roles:

  • As an expert, you assume professional leadership for the planning, implementation, and quality assurance of population-related interventions.
  • As a member of a team, you actively participate in an interprofessional team.
  • As a health advocate, you implement appropriate strategies to promote health equity.
  • As a professional, you continuously reflect on practice, which advances the professionalization of your field.
  • As a communicator, you speak to various stakeholder groups about health promotion and prevention.
  • As a leader, you implement science-based interventions and assess their effectiveness.
  • As a scholar, you are committed to lifelong learning and the development, transfer, and application of knowledge.

At a glance

Degree: Bachelor of Science in Health Promotion and Prevention (UAS Zurich)

Workload: 180 ECTS credits

Duration of study: 6 semesters (full-time) / 9 semesters (part-time)

Course structure: full-time or part-time, practice-oriented Bachelor’s degree programme

Start of the course: September (Calendar week 38)

Registration deadline: March 31

Teaching location: Winterthur

Language of instruction: German

Tuition fees: CHF 720 semester fees + additional study and living expenses