University of South Australia

Health Science

Interested in Health Science?

Be at the forefront of improving the health of people and populations with South Australia’s No.1 university for graduate careers in health.1

Public health practitioners address social and cultural, commercial and environmental factors which prevent disease and prolong the lifespan of the greater public and specific communities. With a versatile skillset and strong focus on advocacy, public health practitioners can be found working in industry and contributing to research across the globe, tackling health issues like infectious diseases, heart disease, cancer and mental health.

The Bachelor of Health Science (Public Health) will prepare you for a non-clinical career improving the health and wellbeing of society at large. Develop industry-relevant skills and knowledge in environmental and social sciences to tackle major health concerns, learn from experienced academics and industry professionals, and specialise in elective areas that matter to you.

The Bachelor of Outdoor and Environmental Leadership is perfect for students interested in applying their passion for sustainability and the environment into experiential teaching environments. This unique, hands-on offering prepares you to become an outdoor leader and practitioner equipped with knowledge in environmental science and sustainability, outdoor leadership, management and cultural studies.

Graduate career ready with valuable industry placements throughout your studies. Participate in hundreds of hours of practical industry experience and benefit from our strong connections to local industry partners. Build your industry networks while studying and get a first-hand insight into your future career.

With public health's strong focus on research, take your unstoppable career further with postgraduate studies. You may be interested in a Master of Research (Health Sciences) or a Master of Health Services Management to step up into leadership and management positions across the diverse and in-demand health and ageing sectors.

1ComparED (QILT) Graduate Outcomes Survey 2020-22, Health Services and Support – Overall Employment Indicator (Domestic Undergraduate). SA public universities.

Key features

  • Gain specialised non-clinical knowledge and broadly applicable skills focused in the improvement of public health, outdoor education and leadership.
  • Gain exposure to Australia's evolving health sector when you consult industry professionals and learn from experienced researchers and academics.
  • Nurture an advocacy and equity-based perspective to tackle local and global health and environment issues.
  • In public health, complete more than 200 hours of industry placements, and present a project proposal to an external consultant as part of your undergraduate degree.
  • In outdoor and environmental leadership, embark on 400 hours of industry placement and fieldwork, including the opportunity for self-guided adventure trips and registration for outdoor leadership accreditation.
  • Study at a university with above world-class research in public health and health services, and environmental sciences and management.1

12018 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA). 

Why UniSA?

UniSA is an unstoppable university for unstoppable people. As one of the World’s Top Young Universities,1 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.

We're South Australia’s largest and most diverse provider of health industry graduates. In fact, we're ranked No.1 in South Australia for graduate careers in health.2 You’ll work and study alongside like-minded peers and collaborate across disciplines – in much the same way as when you enter the workforce.

You’ll be taught by industry professionals. Our teachers have a very practical approach to learning, which means you’ll work on real-world projects and gain direct practical experience. We’ve also invested millions of dollars in new buildings and facilities, so you'll get the opportunity to use the latest technologies and learn in ultra-modern teaching spaces.

UniSA is Australia’s youngest university with a five-star rating for excellence.3 We're inspired by challenges and opportunities, and partner with local icons and international organisations to deliver impact and change.

1Ranked #43, 2024 THE Young University Rankings. 2ComparED (QILT) Graduate Outcomes Survey 2020-22, Health Services and Support – Overall Employment Indicator (Domestic Undergraduate). SA public universities. 32023 QS Stars Rankings.

UniSA offers the following Health Science degrees

Choose your level of study

Short programs

Are you after a career change or looking to upgrade your existing skills? Or perhaps you just have an interest in a particular subject area and want to further your experience, skills and knowledge. We offer a suite of short programs that will allow you to build your knowledge and skill set. 

Designed in collaboration with expert academics, program content is industry-relevant and up-to-date. Short programs include:

World-class partners for a world-class university

We are a globally connected university with over 2,500 industry and professional relationships that support student internships, research and community engagement.

SA Health logo

Your career

You'll be well-placed to pursue a career in the fields of health and environmental science with UniSA.

In today’s complex health systems, there's increasing demand for non-clinical roles related to the improvement of individual and population health. Dedicated people with specialised skills, in-depth industry knowledge and an understanding of health beyond illness and disease are needed to work within these systems.

Career opportunities in public health are broad and are applicable worldwide. You may end up in public or private institutions, non-for-profit groups, community organisations, government or research bodies.

You may work as:

  • Health researcher: design, manage and direct research projects related to non-clinical health care.
  • Health promotion officer: plan and develop policies, strategies and projects which promote health locally, regionally or nationally.
  • Epidemiologist/data analyst: research and analyse infectious diseases; analyse health data using a variety of statistical software; educate policy makers, healthcare workers and the community to contain or prevent disease outbreaks.
  • Health policy analyst: responsible for conducting research into the effectiveness of proposed health care policies.
  • Healthy ageing officer: develop and coordinate a range of ‘healthy ageing’ programs for older people
  • Evaluation officer: plan, develop and undertake evaluations of models of care across health systems.
  • Outdoor education practitioner: facilitate nature-based outdoor learning experiences for personal and group development, health and wellbeing, environmental learning, sustainability and social justice.
  • Ecotourism guide: plan and lead culturally aware and environmentally sustainable experiences to assist with nature-based therapy and responsible tourism practices.
  • Outdoor adventure instructor: provide adventure-based learning experiences with accreditation in bushwalking, kayaking and rock-climbing.
Your Career

Global networks

UniSA's staff and students come from over 90 countries. We have more than 2,500 industry and professional relationships that support student internships, research and community engagement. Our students have completed placements and internships with organisations like:

  • Royal Flying Doctor Service
  • Royal Adelaide Hospital
  • Southern Cross Care (SA & NT)
  • Local councils like the City of Charles Sturt and City of Tea Tree Gully
  • Surf Lifesaving South Australia

Industry facts

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Healthcare and social assistance is Australia's largest and fastest-growing industry, employing more than 1.6 million workers with projected growth of 15% by 2024.

ABS, Labour Force (trend and annual averages of original data); Industry Employment Projections

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

Australian Government Department of Employment, Occupational Employment Projections 2019

Ask UniSA

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What others are saying

I studied Health Science as it’s a broad degree which gave me time to determine what I wanted to specialise in. My placement at Southern Cross Care provided hands-on experience, where I helped develop a pamphlet that teaches families of the elderly about aged care and different conditions that elderly people may have.

Brian Lai

Bachelor of Health Science

Brian Lai

Brian Lai

Bachelor of Health Science

Health Science is a diverse degree that has flexibility with majors and minors to make it what you enjoy and are passionate about. Since graduating, I started working with the Royal Society for the Blind (RSB). I really enjoy my role at the RSB and I like the diversity of different audiences, networking with other service providers and advocating for people who are blind or vision impaired.

Georgia Proctor

Bachelor of Health Science
Community Educator | Royal Society for the Blind

Georgia Proctor

Georgia Proctor

Bachelor of Health Science
Community Educator | Royal Society for the Blind

I was always interested in healthcare and this flexible degree provided me with a well-rounded view of health as a whole, giving me a broad range of career options. It’s rewarding working with patients who are benefitting from the studies we’re running.

Michael Contibas

Bachelor of Health Science
Clinical Trial Coordinator | SAHMRI and Royal Adelaide Hospital

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Michael Contibas

Bachelor of Health Science
Clinical Trial Coordinator | SAHMRI and Royal Adelaide Hospital

Why study at UniSA?

As one of the most innovative universities in Australia and Asia, there are many reasons to study with us. Here are just three:

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Accessible, helpful and flexible

We have six campuses, a 24/7 online learning environment, and we offer flexible study options like online and evening courses.

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Graduate success

UniSA is South Australia's number one university for graduate careers.*
*ComparED (QILT) Graduate Outcomes Survey 2019-21 – Full-time Employment Indicator (Undergraduate). SA public universities.

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A five star university

Five stars for research, employability, teaching, facilities, internationalisation, inclusiveness and innovation*
*2022 QS Stars Ratings