Start date

3 year(s) full-time


Program Code


Assumed Knowledge

AUD$ 34,300 per annum (per 1.0 EFTSL) for students enrolled in 2024

English Language Requirements
  • IELTS total [6.5]
  • IELTS reading [6.5]
  • IELTS writing [6.5]
  • IELTS speaking [6.5]
  • IELTS listening [6.5]
Equivalent English qualifications (PDF)

International Admission by Country
See full entry requirements


Degree overview

  • Play a critical role in planning, managing and influencing health care policy, and graduate ready to address globally significant health challenges.
  • Learn how to address the social and cultural, commercial, and environmental factors across the lifespan to reduce risk of diseases, manage chronic conditions, and improve the health and wellbeing of communities and populations.
  • Become an expert non-clinical health practitioner with skills transferable across government, community-based roles, healthcare and advocacy roles.
  • Gain real-world experience while you study with more than 200 hours of industry-relevant experience and placements in the public health sector and with community organisations.
  • Create an industry-standard portfolio of work which can be presented to future employers.
  • Learn from experienced academics and industry professionals in public health and the health sector.
  • Tailor your studies with a minor or elective courses to match your future career goals.  
  • Join South Australia’s No.1 university for graduate careers in health.1
  • Study at a university with above world-class research in public health and health services.2
  • Study course content specifically mapped to align with the Foundation Competencies for Public Health Graduates in Australia and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Curriculum Framework.
  • UniSA is an unstoppable university for unstoppable people. As one of the World’s Top Young Universities,3 we’ll ensure you get the experience your future profession demands so it’ll feel like you’re studying one minute and in a career the next.

1ComparED (QILT) Graduate Outcomes Survey 2020-22, Health Services and Support – Overall Employment Indicator (Domestic Undergraduate). SA public universities. 22018 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA). 3Ranked #52, 2023 THE Young University Rankings.


Health Science students on City East plaza.jpg

Start your unstoppable career in improving the health of people and populations. A degree in public health prepares you to be at the forefront of disease prevention and health promotion.

Public health practitioners address social and cultural, commercial and environmental factors which prevent disease and prolong the lifespan of the greater public. With an emphasis on advocacy and equity, you’ll work with individuals, groups, communities and organisations across public and private sectors to engage with meaningful health issues, and become equipped with skills to address global health challenges.

You’ll learn diverse approaches including policy development; data analysis and reporting; media and advocacy; public events; community-based education and preventative interventions to create positive change. These methods may be used to tackle complex global health issues such as infectious diseases, heart disease, cancer and mental health.

You'll engage with 200 hours of industry-relevant experience with local advisory groups, industry groups, local councils, and similar, giving you valuable insight into your future career and allowing you to build your industry networks while studying.

With its strong focus on research, further study opportunities may include a Master of Research, Master of Health Services Management, or Master of Physiotherapy (Graduate Entry).

What you'll need

Students who undertake activities where interaction with patients/the public is required for their degree, such as field or clinical placements/visits and in University clinics and gyms, must demonstrate they meet mandatory pre-placement conditional requirements. These include criminal history clearance, a Working with Children Check and immunisation requirements.

Please visit the Clinical Placement Unit for information on key requirements, and to access the full student checklists.

What you'll learn

What you Learn

You’ll become equipped with the knowledge, skills and attributes to contribute as a dynamic and forward-thinking generalist public health practitioner.   

Your studies will equip you with an understanding of the social and commercial determinants of health and wellbeing. You will learn how to engage with communities and populations to promote wellbeing through locally-relevant information and activities. You will learn the principles and purpose of evaluation in public health, the importance of lived-experience perspectives, the role of advocacy, and the responsible dissemination of public health information. You’ll also learn epidemiological techniques to identify patterns in population health, such as the prevalence of mental health conditions or cardiovascular disease, novel associations between risk factors and diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and COVID-19.

During your first year you’ll understand core areas of practice and in your second year you’ll get to apply that knowledge. In the final year, there will be an emphasis on becoming a public health practitioner and entering the workforce, and career development. You will also have the opportunity to showcase your industry project and placement experiences at the annual student conference.

Throughout the degree, you’ll focus on equitable access to health programs and services for priority population groups such as, but not limited to, people experiencing homelessness, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, culturally and linguistically diverse people, veterans, people living in rural and remote locations, young people, and older adults.

Graduates meet a broad range of industry-relevant public health competencies across six key areas including:

  • health monitoring and surveillance
  • disease prevention and control
  • health protection
  • health promotion
  • health policy, planning and management
  • evidence-based professional population health practice

You’ll study either one minor or choose from four elective courses. Your minor can be made up from UniSA’s wide list of majors and minors, allowing you to develop a unique combination of knowledge and skills. Alternatively, the four elective courses can be selected from a specific list of courses related to the degree.

The curriculum is aligned to the Foundation Competencies for Public Health Graduates in Australia and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Curriculum Framework. This provides you with transferable skills which can be applied across all levels of government, community-based organisations and programs, as well as in a variety of organisations like the Australian Red Cross, the Heart Foundation, the Royal Society for the Blind, and the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI).

Degree structure

Course name Area and cat no. Units Reference  
First Semester (Study Period 1, 2 or 3)
Introduction to Public Health HLTH 1038 4.5
Health Systems and Services HLTH 1040 4.5
Aboriginal Health: Culture, Community and Country HLTH 1063 4.5
Physiology Essentials 100 BIOL 1051 4.5
Second Semester (Study Period 4, 5 or 6)
Health Promotion Concepts HLTH 1041 4.5
Introduction to Evidence Based Practice and Research in Health Sciences HLTH 1049 4.5
Human Anatomy 100 HLTH 1020 4.5
UO First Peoples' Health HLTH 1051 4.5
First Semester (Study Period 1, 2 or 3)
Marketing for Health and Wellbeing MARK 2031 4.5
Evaluation in Public Health HLTH 2045 4.5
Sociological Perspectives in Public Health HLTH 1042 4.5
Building Healthy Public Policy HLTH 2040 4.5
Second Semester (Study Period 4, 5 or 6)
Designing and Managing Health Projects HLTH 2023 4.5 Rule(s): 1
Science and Politics of Preventive Health HLTH 2041 4.5
Aboriginal Public Health Practice and Research HLTH 2039 4.5
Minor Course 1 or Elective 4.5 Note(s): 1 Rule(s): 2
First Semester (Study Period 1, 2 or 3)
Epidemiological Principles and Methods HLTH 3046 4.5
Public Health and Wellbeing Practice HLTH 3048 4.5
Minor Course 2 or Elective 4.5 Note(s): 1 Rule(s): 1
Minor Course 3 or Elective 4.5 Note(s): 1 Rule(s): 1
Second Semester (Study Period 4, 5 or 6)
Applied Public Health Practice and Research HLTH 3072 9
Public Health Ethics HLTH 3086 4.5
Minor Course 4 or Elective 4.5 Note(s): 1 Rule(s): 1

Study hours

For each course you study, you will need to allocate time for various classes such as lectures, tutorials, workshops, seminars and practicals. Plus you will need additional hours to study in your own time to complete assignments, readings and projects, as well as to contribute to online discussion forums (independent study). So as a general rule, if you are studying full-time you would need to allocate 12–26 hours of study when at university and 14–28 hours of independent study per week.



Your studies will incorporate authentic, practical, professionally focused and research-based learning, so assessment types will vary. You can expect them to include:

  • group assignments
  • quizzes
  • essays
  • project proposals
  • case studies
  • examinations
  • presentations.

Global opportunities

Enrich your studies and your life – make overseas study part of your qualification. You may have the option to undertake an exchange, short-term program or study tour overseas while you study. We have links with universities worldwide, as well as a range of travel grants available to make going overseas much more accessible.

You can choose short-term or semester-long study from a range of universities and countries depending on your area of study and cultural interests.

Take a look at the global opportunities available.

Global opportunities

Why Bachelor of Health Science (Public Health)

Why this Degree

This degree is a great choice for those interested in pursuing a non-clinical health career, and are interested in shaping the health and wellbeing of our society.

The Bachelor of Health Science (Public Health) pays particular attention to the environments in which we are born, grow, live, work, and play; how they influence health and wellbeing, and how they are changing.

The impact of public health is far reaching. Its scope ranges from vaccines to prevent disease; campaigns and laws which reduce the impacts of tobacco and substance use; access to prenatal services for healthy babies and families; media that provides evidence-based information and recommendations; research that explores mental health, cancer, diabetes, and other chronic conditions; safety advances such as seatbelt laws, which have saved millions of lives; sun-safety messaging; access to contraception; education to prevent sexually transmitted disease; environments that promote wellbeing; and community programs that promote physical activity and social engagement.

With its broad scope, you can focus on areas of public health that matter to you.

You’ll be taught by industry-experienced academics and researchers, from a university producing above world-class research in public health and health services.1

2018 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA)

Real-world connections

You’ll build important industry connections throughout your degree with over 200 hours of industry-relevant experience and placements in the public health sector. In the first year, you’ll gain exposure to the evolving public health sector, hearing from industry guest speakers. In your second year, you can consult industry professionals to complete group work in project management. Field placements in your final year are a great way to continue networking. You’ll get to complete a Public Health and Wellbeing practice-based placement in a real-world organisation, demonstrating your career-readiness.

As a renowned research institution, UniSA has strong relationships with industry and more than 500 clinical placement partners. Students are encouraged to take up volunteering experiences with relevant organisations to kickstart their industry networking opportunities from the outset. Students are also encouraged to engage with professional associations such as the Public Health Association of Australia, the Australian Health Promotion Association, and the Australian Epidemiological Association, as well as UniSA’s Public Health Student Society.

UniSA also hosts regular University-wide alumni eventsemployee master classes and employment expos in Australia and overseas.

What is public health?

UniSA Video

Career outcomes

Your career

Careers in health are on the rise. In Australia, healthcare and social assistance is projected to make the largest contribution to employment growth over the next five years.1

Public health practitioners can work in various roles in Australia and overseas, including:

  • Public health research officer: source, analyse and report on research data and information to inform public health policies or health promotion programs; collaborate with other researchers to develop research methods and interview techniques; possess extensive knowledge of local population and health trends; contribute to the delivery of research planning, policy, reporting and quality management processes in an organisation.
  • Health promotion officer: plan and develop policies, strategies and projects which promote health locally, regionally or nationally; grow health awareness among individuals, groups and organisations; run community training courses and workshops; write and produce leaflets, posters, videos and brochures to aid health promotion in different environments; and ensure work is underpinned by up-to-date knowledge of health promotion theory.
  • Epidemiologist/data analyst: research, monitor and analyse infectious diseases; collect and analyse health data using a variety of statistical software; educate policy makers, healthcare workers and the community to contain or prevent disease outbreaks.
  • Wellness and lifestyle coordinator: design, evaluate and execute lifestyle programs; contribute to the social and emotional life of populations; establish relationships and networks to promote a healthier life.
  • Community development officer: deliver innovative programs and community engagement plans; identify and leverage funding opportunities; develop consultation activities; engage with stakeholders to deliver activities aimed at improving community health outcomes.
  • Women’s health officer: address the social, political and environmental causes of gender inequities impacting the health and wellbeing of women through research and advocacy for systemic change; deliver training and education programs on women’s health issues and gender awareness; raise awareness of health and wellbeing issues experienced by women.
  • Aboriginal health officer: deliver high quality, comprehensive and culturally appropriate primary health care services in urban, regional, rural and remote locations across Australia; educate and train non-Aboriginal organisations; advocate for culturally respectful and needs based approaches to improving health and wellbeing outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
  • Clinical trials coordinator: conduct and implement clinical trials through site set up, ongoing liaison and data monitoring for quality control, project management and monitoring of participants.
  • Health policy analyst: research, report and manage healthcare policies and programs, with a focus on evaluating and improving current policies that consider the health of the public.
  • Public health manager: maintain healthcare standards, manage finances, coordinate treatment programs, and provide an efficient healthcare operation.

Depending on your results, you may also be eligible to continue onto postgraduate study. You can take your career to the next level with a Master of Research, Master of Health Services Management, Master of Physiotherapy (Graduate Entry) or Master of Occupational Therapy (Graduate Entry).

1Australian Government National Skills Commission Employment Projections 2021

Industry facts


Employment for occupational and environmental health professionals is projected to increase by 15.9% by November 2026.

Australian Government National Skills Commission Employment Projections 2021


To November 2026, healthcare and social assistance is projected to make the largest contribution to employment growth in Australia – an increase of 301,000 jobs.

Australian Government National Skills Commission Employment Projections 2021


Healthcare and social assistance has been the primary provider of new jobs in the Australian labour market since the 1990s.

Australian Government National Skills Commission Employment Projections 2021

How to apply

How to apply for international students will give you helpful information about the application process at the University of South Australia. When you are ready, apply through our International Application System. If you would like to talk to someone near you about studying at the University of South Australia, we have agents all over the world who can assist you. Find an Education Agent in your country.

Alternative Pathways

There are other pathways you can follow to study this degree, including:

There are other pathways you can follow to study this degree, including:


Every year, over 2,500 UniSA students are supported in their studies through scholarships and grants worth millions of dollars. Check out the scholarships below. One of them may be perfect for you. Visit our scholarships page for more.

More scholarships

Your study experience and support

As a UniSA student, you will have unique access to work placement opportunities, overseas study tours and exchanges, networking events, internships, guest speakers and more.

Our campuses are equipped with state-of-the-art facilities including modern lecture theatres, libraries, workshops and laboratories, as well as spaces that simulate real work environments. These are all supported by the latest technologies and a 24/7 online learning platform. We have health services on campus, gymnasiums, technology zones and great student lounges. You will also gain access to a range of community clinics, which provide professional and cost effective services in areas of health, business, law and psychology. There are campus sport activities to keep you active, and if you are keen to explore the social side of university life, there are movies, cooking demonstrations, parties and lots more.

Adelaide also has a variety of accommodation options to suit different requirements and budgets. Options include dedicated student accommodation and private rentals. See our long-term accommodation pages, or explore our student accommodation by Scape on Bank Street in Adelaide’s lively cultural precinct, an ideal location for students. It is within easy reach of UniSA’s city and metropolitan campuses, Rundle Mall shopping, the Central Market, Chinatown, and the West End’s vibrant nightlife. It is also across the road from the Adelaide train station, and on bus and tram routes.

Student services

Student services

Our international student services provide you with all the support you need at university. We want you to succeed, and if you need help, we're here to assist. You can access a full range of support services, including:

  • career advice and mentoring
  • help with student visas and health cover
  • personal counselling
  • academic counselling
  • fees and finance help
  • common rooms
  • prayer rooms
  • security officers
  • accommodation services 
  • as well as services offered through our student association, USASA.

We also offer study support from our Learning Advisers face-to-face or online. They are here to help you develop academically and professionally during your studies, and can offer help with the English language too. When you become a UniSA student, you can also contact Campus Central for help with anything related to your degree. They will help you with your enrolment, ID cards, fees, timetables and more.

24/7 digital environment

Our learnonline facilities include a personal learning environment with virtual classrooms, lecture recordings, emails, learning support, administration, library access and results. The environment is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so you can tailor your learning to your life. We are continually investing in innovative digital technologies for a high-quality student learning experience.

Student services

Your campus

We have six campuses in metropolitan and regional areas, each with modern facilities including lecture theatres, libraries and laboratories, as well as spaces that simulate real work environments.

Location This degree is delivered at the following campus.

Your study spaces

Exercise physiology lab.jpg

As a Health Science (Public Health) student you'll have access to our:

  • anatomy laboratories
  • exercise physiology laboratory

You'll also access a range of on-campus spaces including modern lecture theatres, collaborative teaching rooms, and relaxed student lounges.

Your program director

I am privileged with directing a dynamic and flexible degree in collaboration with a group of dedicated teachers and researchers, all focused on developing capable, industry-ready graduates who will contribute to improving and maintaining the health of communities. As an educator, I seek to provide an environment that supports student engagement, wellbeing, and knowledge development, providing teaching and learning practices that enable students to realise and achieve their potential.

Dr Dannielle Post

Program Director

Portrait image for Dr Dannielle Post
Portrait image for Dr Dannielle Post

Dr Dannielle Post

Program Director


Ask UniSA

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What others are saying

Public health aims to tackle big issues through small changes and influences. The sector helps people learn about their health, influences the way they use spaces, improves access to healthier foods and services, and much more. It’s full of people who want to make a difference to the world around them. My role at the Australian Red Cross focuses on the systems and processes that drive the delivery of essential health services in the aged care industry. Seeing the impact our work has on the health and well-being of our community is extremely rewarding and inspiring.

Lauren Noble

Bachelor of Health Science
Coordinator Administration Function and Quality Systems | Australian Red Cross

Red_Cross-2 crop.jpg

Lauren Noble

Bachelor of Health Science
Coordinator Administration Function and Quality Systems | Australian Red Cross

As an Epidemiologist, I manage, compile and analyse health data which informs research, government policies and campaigns to promote wellbeing behaviours within our communities. Working in Public Health, our aim is to improve the health of the population as a whole. The South Australian State Government’s focus on prevention of disease through healthy living is very positive. Through a variety of initiatives, people are becoming more aware that prevention is a worthwhile long-term investment, resulting in happier, healthier communities and reduced pressure on the health care industry.

Iordan Kostadinov

Bachelor of Health Science
Epidemiologist | SA Health

Iordan, graduate.JPG

Iordan Kostadinov

Bachelor of Health Science
Epidemiologist | SA Health

Student Insight into Public Health