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Bachelor in Health Promotion and Prevention

«Society benefits from holistic health promotion and prevention that is appropriate to the situation. We want to provide our students with the skills they need to effectively meet the diverse challenges in health promotion and prevention in a research-based, practice-oriented and interprofessional manner.»

Matthias Meyer, Karin Nordström, Co-Heads of the BSc degree programme in Health Promotion and Prevention

The bachelor degree programme in Health Promotion and Prevention is a new and unique academic study programme in Switzerland.

Three good reasons for studying at ZHAW

  • With our degree programme, we respond to the growing need for health promotion and prevention in Switzerland. We offer a training that is oriented towards the needs of Swiss practice as well as European frameworks for health promotion and prevention.
  • We are the sole training institution in Switzerland that offers a bachelor degree programme in Health Promotion and Prevention. It is now also possible to complete the course part-time, i.e. in 4.5 years instead of three years. Our mission is to enable undergraduates to contribute to the professionalism of the profession in Switzerland by closely working with pioneers in health promotion and prevention.
  • Our training attracts people who are interested in the topic of «health» and want to realise projects or programmes for populations, specific target groups or in specific contexts. We try to teach how to manage the balancing act between the scientific world and practical everyday professional life. We also teach generalist skills such as project management and communication skills, which help undergraduates in various activities.


Promote health and prevent illness

"Health for all" is the goal of public health-oriented health promotion and prevention. Health is seen as the product of complex interactions between individuals and their environment as well as physical, psychological, social, cultural and material factors.

Public health-oriented health promotion and prevention addresses both the living conditions and the health competencies of people aiming to increase individuals' equal opportunity to benefit from health: whether at work, at school or in their spare time. Health Promotion Practitioners develop measures or programmes for specific populations (e.g. young people, immigrants, elderly people) and in different contexts (e.g. in the kindergarten, sports club or at workplaces). They contribute towards mastering health challenges before they become serious, such as diseases caused by an unhealthy lifestyle, psychological strain due to stress or a danger of addiction. Their interventions encompass the whole system, which distinguishes them from other healthcare professionals who work with individuals on a clinical therapeutic basis.

Entry requirements BSc in Health Promotion and Prevention

  • Baccalaureate + additional module
  • Federal Specialised Baccalaureate + additional module
  • Federal Vocational Baccalaureate + additional module
  • Degree from a College of Higher Education and Training

Additional information on entry requirements

Structure of the study

The full-time course lasts three years and is structured in a modular way. Students can earn 30 ECTS credits each semester.

Our bachelor study programme in Health Promotion and Prevention fulfils the required national and international standards as well as the educational requirements. The study programme is divided into 40 percent of classroom teaching and 60 percent of self-directed study. The teaching consists of a combination of presentation-based teaching and independent and action-oriented learning (exercises, case studies, project work, workshop instruction and role playing).

Profession-specific modules

  • Public Health: theory and fundamentals: epidemiology, health sciences, individual, social, economic and cultural aspects of health promotion and prevention, models on the development of health and illness, health policy and law, ethics
  • Technical and research methods: public communication and techniques for conversing, project and quality management, change processes in various systems and populations
  • Scientific work: qualitative and quantitative research methods, performance management and evaluation

Interprofessional modules

The School of Health Sciences with its various study opportunities in different fields allows for an intensive interprofessional exchange under one roof. The interprofessional modules provide undergraduates with competencies that are important for all health professions  and foster learning with, from and about each other. We seek to inspire students to think beyond their own professional boundaries in view of goal and result-oriented collaboration between various professions and disciplines in practice.

Practical experience

Students are required to do a practical field study during the first semester, attend practical seminars and complete a 5-8 month work placement in an institution in the field of health promotion and prevention during the fifth semester. Work placement options are available in all regions of German-speaking Switzerland.

Bachelor thesis

Students work on their bachelor thesis applying their sound theoretical knowledge and scientific methods from classroom learning. The paper is structured according to internal guidelines.


Part-time in 4.5 years instead of three

  • The part-time study option will extend your studies by a year and a half.
  • The teaching is limited to two to three days a week, thus enabling you to work part-time or care for your family.
  • The part-time study option is not a new degree programme. Part-time students attend the same modules as full-time students.
  • Enrolment date and beginning of the course, the aptitude test procedure and the semester fees are the same as for full-time students.

Professional profile and training objectives

Health Promotion Practitioners work with public authorities, private employers or non-profit organisations such as health services, prevention or counselling centres, associations or foundations, insurance companies or in workplace health management. As an undergraduate of the new study programme, your scope of responsibility may cover the following tasks within an organisation:

  • project management in a team
  • sub-project management in an extensive, complex project
  • programme or project responsibility for a specific area (e.g. health of immigrants or school children) in a larger team
  • cooperation in the planning and development of programmes and projects

Competencies in seven roles

During your studies you will acquire competencies in seven roles:

  • As an expert, you assume professional leadership for the planning, implementation and quality assurance of population-related interventions.
  • As a communicator, you speak with different groups about health promotion and prevention.
  • As a collaborator, you proactively participate in interprofessional team work.
  • As a leader, you implement science-based public-health interventions and evaluate their effectiveness.
  • As a health attorney, you use appropriate strategies to increase individuals' equal opportunity to benefit from health.
  • As a scholar, you are committed to lifelong learning and the development, transfer and application of knowledge.
  • As a professional, you are constantly reflecting on the practice and promoting the professionalism of your professional field.

At a glance

Degree: Bachelor of Science ZFH in Health Promotion and Prevention

Workload: 180 ECTS credits

Duration of study: 3 years (full-time) / 4.5 years (part-time)

Course structure: full-time or part-time, practice-oriented bachelor degree programme

Start of the course: Autumn

Registration deadline: 15 April

Teaching location: Winterthur

Language of instruction: German

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