Start date

3 year(s) full-time


Program Code


Assumed Knowledge

2021: AUD$ 31,000 per annum (per 1.0 EFTSL)

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

  • Study at the No.1 University in South Australia for student satisfaction in Health.1
  • Gain experience by completing more than 200 hours of industry placements and projects.
  • Complete a minor or a set of elective courses, with the opportunity to undertake an international study tour.
  • Explore diverse areas such as health promotion, ethics and policy, human biology, epidemiology, as well as global, national and Aboriginal health issues.
  • Develop skills in planning, managing and evaluating health care policy, projects, programs and services.
  • Create an industry-standard portfolio of work that you can present to future employers.
  • Learn from academics who come with many years of experience in public health and the health sector.
  • Study course content that has been specifically mapped to align with the Foundation Competencies for Public Health Graduates in Australia and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Curriculum Framework.

1ComparED (QILT) Course Experience Questionnaire 2019-20, Health Services and Support — Overall Satisfaction Indicator (Undergraduate). Public SA-founded universities only.


Health Science students on City East plaza.jpg

Public health aims to address social and environmental factors that lead to illness or poor health to prevent disease, prolong life and improve the health and wellbeing of populations and communities. Along with addressing determinants of poor health, you will cultivate skills to promote health and wellbeing in healthy populations to maintain health over the lifespan.

The field goes beyond the treatment of disease or poor health in individuals. As a Public Health Practitioner, you will work at a population and systems level and use diverse approaches including policy development; data analysis and reporting; media and advocacy; public events, and community-based education and interventions to address health concerns and promote health and wellbeing within communities. For example, a variety of these methods may be used to assist with global health issues such as COVID-19, heart disease, cancer and mental health, negatively impacting populations. You will also have a focus on equity in access to health programs and services for priority population groups such as the homeless, Aboriginal people and migrants.

Students will benefit from a curriculum aligned to the Australian Public Health Competency Framework and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Curriculum Framework. This will provide you with transferable skills that can be applied across the growing health industry at all levels of government as well as in a variety of organisations such as the Australian Red Cross, the Heart Foundation, the Royal Society for the Blind, and the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI).

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

Through a combination of theoretical and practical learning, you will become equipped with the knowledge, skills and attitudes to contribute as a dynamic and forward-thinking generalist Public Health Practitioner.   

You will develop skills to engage with communities to promote wellbeing through locally-relevant information and activities and contribute to prevention and control of global disease outbreaks such as COVID-19, Influenza and Smallpox. You will also learn epidemiological techniques to identify patterns in population health, such as prevalence of mental health, novel associations between risk factors and diseases such as diabetes or cancer.

During your first year you will develop foundational knowledge in core areas of practice and in your second year you will focus on the application of that knowledge. In final year, there will be an emphasis on becoming a public health practitioner and your transition into the workforce, driving your career development.

Graduates of this degree will 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.

Benefit from the opportunity to study either one Minor or choose from four elective courses. Your Minor can be made up from the University’s wide list of Majors and Minors, allowing you to develop a unique combination of knowledge and skills to your interest and future career, becoming ready to work in either industry or research. On the other hand, your four elective courses can be selected from a specific list of courses related to the degree. For more information please see the Program Structure section.

Degree structure

Course name Area and cat no. Units Reference  
First Semester (Study Period 1, 2 or 3)
Introduction to Public Health Practice and Research 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 practical, professionally focused and research-based learning, so assessment types will vary. You can expect them to include:

  • group assignments
  • quizzes
  • essays
  • 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, shaping the health and wellbeing of our society and the environments in which we live, work and play.

The impact of public health is far reaching – from vaccines that prevent disease, campaigns and laws that reduce the impacts of tobacco and drug use, access to prenatal services for healthy babies and mums, media that raises awareness of mental health issues and services, to safety advances like seatbelt laws that have saved millions of lives, and access to contraception and education to prevent sexually transmitted disease.

With a key focus on practical learning, you will gain exposure to the evolving health sector from your first year, where you will hear from graduates and experienced professionals working in diverse roles. You will also be encouraged and supported to take up volunteering experiences with relevant organisations.

In second year, you will work alongside industry professionals where you will consult and apply public health knowledge to an area of practice, by developing an industry-based project proposal for an organisation in the health sector.        

Finally, in your third year you will complete a Public Health and Wellbeing practice-based placement in a real-world organisation, demonstrating your career-readiness as a public health practitioner.  You may also have the opportunity to incorporate international health experience into your studies by undertaking an overseas study tour. You will then have the opportunity to consolidate your learning and experiences in a final-year capstone project.

You’ll be taught by industry-experienced academics and researchers who are leaders in their field.

Real-world connections

You will build important industry connections throughout your degree by hearing from industry guest speakers, completing group work for consultancies and undertaking field placements. Field placements are completed in your final year and are a great way to build important industry connections. As a renowned research institution, we have strong relationships with industry and more than 500 clinical placement partners – this is great news for health science (public health) students eager to build pivotal industry networks.

We also host regular University-wide employee master classes and employment expos, and alumni events in Australia and overseas.

What is Public Health?

Hear about the Bachelor of Health Science (Public Health) from UniSA’s Professor Katherine Baldock. You can also find out more about the field of Public Health and what kind of careers this degree can lead you to, by viewing the flyer.

UniSA Video

Career outcomes

Your career

Careers in health are on the rise. In fact, the Australian Government National Health and Medical Industry Growth Plan is a $1.3 billion investment aimed at driving a new era of better health care and fuel growth in new firms and industries through research.1

Public Health Practitioners can work in the following areas of public health practice within the health sector in Australia and overseas, and roles include:

  • 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 that promote health at a local, regional or national level; develop the health awareness of 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; develop tailored educational resources and training for community organisations and 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; responsible for human resources within a healthcare system and marketing and promotion of new treatments and healthcare policies to the public.
    Depending on your results, you may also be eligible to proceed to postgraduate study. You could take your career to the next level with postgraduate coursework in Master of Occupational Therapy (Graduate Entry), or by undertaking research studies with a Masters by Research.
    Graduates are also eligible for membership with the Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) and other relevant professional bodies.

1Australian Government Department of Health 2018.

Where can my interest in health take me?

View our guide on Active Careers for more information. 

Industry facts


Employment for health professionals is projected to increase by 12.4 per cent by May 2024.1

1Australian Government Department of Employment, Occupational Employment Projections 2019


To May 2024, healthcare and social assistance is projected to make the largest contribution to employment growth in Australia – an increase of 252,600 jobs.1

1Australian Government Department of Employment, Occupational Employment Projections 2019


Healthcare and social assistance has been the primary provider of new jobs in the Australian labour market since the 1990s.1

1Australian Government Department of Employment, Occupational Employment Projections 2019

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 gainaccess 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 should you need, from dedicated student accommodation to private rentals. See our long-term accommodation pages or explore our student accommodation by urbanest on Bank Street in Adelaide’s lively cultural precinct, an ideal perfect 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 advanced facilities including modern 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.jpgAs a health science (public health) student you will have access to:

  • Anatomy laboratories
  • Exercise Physiology laboratory
  • Health Science Stimulated Learning Space.

You will also be able to experience 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 alongside a group of dedicated teachers and researchers, developing capable, industry-ready graduates who will contribute to improving and maintaining the health of communities. I am a passionate educator, committed to teaching and learning practices that engage students and enable them to achieve their potential.

Dr Katherine Baldock

Program Director

Portrait image for Dr Katherine Baldock
Portrait image for Dr Katherine Baldock

Dr Katherine Baldock

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
Employment: Australian Red Cross
Role: Coordinator Administration Function and Quality Systems

Red_Cross-2 crop.jpg

Lauren Noble

Bachelor of Health Science
<br />Employment: 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
Employment: SA Health
Role: Epidemiologist

Iordan, graduate.JPG

Iordan Kostadinov

Bachelor of Health Science
<br />Employment: SA Health