Public health courses

Earn a qualification that empowers you to keep communities healthy and safe

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.

Melissa studied public health with Curtin University through Open Universities Australia.

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

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.

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.

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. 

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
  • Epidemiologist
  • 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.   

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 can help you find a pathway into your course through open-entry subjects, which anyone can study. Chat with us to find out more.

Here at Open Universities Australia, we make enrolling online as straightforward as possible. To get started, find the course for you by browsing the options on this page. You can also compare different qualifications using our handy comparison tool, or request help from one of our student advisors.

When you’ve made your choice, click ‘Apply now’ on the relevant course page and follow the prompts to begin your enrolment. We’ll ask you to supply some supporting documentation, including proof of your identity, your tax file number, and a unique student identifier (USI) during this process.

Your university will get in touch with you via email to confirm whether or not your application has been successful.

If you get stuck at any time, reach out to us and we’ll talk you through it.

You can also take a look at our online self-service enrolling instructions.

Why study online through Open Universities Australia?

Find the right course for you

Explore and choose from thousands of degrees, subjects and short courses from leading Australian unis.

Start studying, regardless of academic history

We offer entry without requirements through single undergraduate subjects from full degrees.

Gain credit towards your degree

Apply for credit for past study, or your work experience, and finish your studies faster.

Graduate with a degree from a leading uni

Enrol through us and graduate with exactly the same qualifications as on-campus students.

Feel supported from start to finish

Our student advisors can guide you in the right direction and help with your enrolment.

We're here to guide you there

Our student advisors can assist you with enrolment, help you plan your studies, and answer questions about how studying through Open Universities Australia can get you from where you are today, to where you want to be tomorrow.

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