Introduction to Public health
Get ready for a change-making career in the public health sector. Through Open Universities Australia, you can compare and enrol in online public health courses from across the country.
Help our most vulnerable and disadvantaged access quality healthcare. Prevent disease outbreaks. Develop wellbeing programs for the greater good. Play a vital role in the future of our healthcare system.
Whether you’re looking to switch careers or pursue a long-held interest in public health, we’re here to guide you there.Explore public health courses
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Public health study FAQs
A public health degree qualifies you to protect and intervene in the health of communities within the public system. Since public health is such a diverse field, you can choose to focus on many different specialisations during your studies, including research, policy development, epidemiology, global health, adolescent health, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ health.
A public health degree can lead to a range of careers across health agencies, government departments, hospitals, primary care health organisations, community health centres and universities.
Roles you could explore include:
- Health promotion officer
- Public health consultant
- Community health and wellbeing officer
- Women’s health officer
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health worker
- Data analyst
- Clinical trials coordinator
- Public health nutritionist
- Primary health manager
- Program manager
- Project manager
Not only are career opportunities quite varied within public health, leaving you lots of room for movement—but jobs are also on the rise.
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic increased the need for more health workers, the Australian Government projected that the wider industry will need another 250,000 workers by 2023. This makes public health a stable industry where you can enjoy considerable job security. It’s also a career where you can make an impact on those in need, which can be very fulfilling.
There are benefits to studying a course in public health online, particularly if you already work in the healthcare industry. You can build your expertise in your spare time, without being locked into in-person lectures and tutorials. When you study your course through Open Universities Australia, you can also control how many subjects you take per term, and scale your study load up and down as you need to. This makes it easier to fit your readings and assessments around your lifestyle.
If your public health course includes a supervised industry placement, you will be able to organise this through your university the same as you would if you studied on campus.
It depends on where are in your career—and where you want to be.
If you’re new to university study, then it may be best to start with an undergraduate qualification in public health, where you will develop your foundational knowledge. You can choose a Bachelor of Public Health to learn about the Australian healthcare system, or a Bachelor of International Public Health to focus on both local and global issues.
If you’re making a career change, you might like to consider a Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma in Public Health, which will introduce you to public health at a more advanced level.
And if you already work in public health, then you should consider a Master of Public Health, or a graduate course that allows you to upskill in a specialisation such as health promotion, epidemiology and public health policy. Courses at this level will be more research and project based, and require existing public health knowledge.
Unlike when you study through a traditional university, you can enrol you in most of the undergraduate subjects available through our website instantly. Enrol in the subjects you’re interested in, and as soon as your study materials arrive, you can start learning online.
As you start completing your subjects, you’ll eventually need to apply to your uni to formally enter your degree. Enrolling in subjects is a great way of becoming eligible and applying successfully. Check out the Registering in this degree section on the degree page you're interested in for more information.
Postgraduate subjects are different. Most of them are restricted, meaning you’ll have to apply for entry and be accepted before you can start studying online. You’ll find information about the application process on the postgraduate degree page that you’re interested in.
Before starting an enrolment, it’s important to read the entry requirements for your chosen course to ensure that you’re eligible to apply. If you don’t quite meet the requirements, we may be able to help you find a pathway into your course through open-entry subjects, which anyone can study.
Chat with us to find out more.
There are a lot of reasons to study your course online through us.
- You can enrol without entry requirements
We have a unique open-door policy that makes it possible for everyone to enrol in university study, no matter their academic history. If you don’t meet the entry requirements for a degree, we’ll help you get in through single undergraduate subjects and transition into a qualification from there.
- You have total control over how you study
Upskill without committing to a whole degree upfront. Or enrol in a full degree, but take it a subject at a time. We’ll introduce you to flexible study options you didn’t even know about, so you can fit uni around what matters to you.
- You’ll graduate with the same qualification as an on-campus student
Once you enrol through us, you’ll study online with the university that provides your degree. This means that when you complete your qualification, you’ll graduate with the same degree as on-campus students.
- We’ll help you navigate the university world
Our friendly student advisors will be your guide every step of the enrolment journey. They'll help you compare universities, choose a course, provide documentation and understand your finance options.
- You can enrol without entry requirements
What do you learn in a public health course?
Choose an undergraduate qualification to learn about the major areas of public health practice, which will qualify you for a career in local and international healthcare. Choose a postgraduate qualification to build on your existing knowledge and pursue leadership or research roles.
Major areas of focus across degrees in public health include:
- Health challenges across different community groups
- Health advocacy and promotion
- Disease control and prevention
- Research and data gathering methods
- Public health law, ethics and policy
- Health leadership
Student stories and study advice
We’re here to guide you to the right uni course
Open Universities Australia is a not-for-profit organisation helping every Australian to access thousands of university courses.
Over 509,000 students have enrolled in university through us since 1993.
How we can help you
Studying through Open Universities Australia means we take care of the guesswork and administration of university study, so you can focus on learning.
You don't need a strong academic history to go to uni
We make it possible for everyone to start university through single subjects, regardless of ATAR or study experience. These subjects are covered by government loans, and can be used to upskill or gain entry into a qualification.
You have the flexibility to start at multiple points during the year
We’re not restricted by a traditional academic calendar, so you can enrol when it suits your life. You also have total control over how you study. You can scale up (or down) your study load and even pause your course if you need to.
You can rely on us as an unbiased destination for online tertiary education
As a not for profit, we have your best interests at heart. Our advisors are here 7 days a week to guide and support you. It’s our priority to get you qualified with the university of your choice.