Graduate Certificate of Public Health

Be a part of the growing demand for professionals in the public health sector.

In the Graduate Certificate of Public Health course students are able to choose 4 public health subjects from a range of 5, including: social, cultural and behavioural factors in public health, health policy and advocacy, health systems and economics, global and environmental health issues and epidemiology.

Delivered purely online, the Graduate Certificate of Public Health offers experienced health professionals both a stand-alone qualification and a pathway to the Graduate Diploma of Public Health or the Master of Public Health .

Torrens University Australia is a member of the Council Of Academic Public Health Institutions Australia (CAPHIA). CAPHIA is the peak national organisation that represents Public Health in Universities that offer undergraduate and postgraduate programs and research and community service activity in public health throughout Australia


Key Study Outcomes:

About the School

This course is provided and delivered by Torrens University Australia Ltd. CRICOS: 03389E

Read more about Torrens University Australia

Course Delivery

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Workload and Assessment

No. of timetabled hours per week:

Torrens University Australia operates on a trimester system comprising of 3 study periods per year.

It is expected that each subject, whether studied online or on-campus, will involve a combined total of 120 hours of structured and self-directed learning, which equates to approximately 8.5 hours a week per subject over a 14-week trimester.

Contact a Course and Career Advisor for more information on full-time and part-time workloads.

Typical assessment includes:

Assessments vary and include: critical analysis and essay writing, literature reviews, needs assessment, project development and evaluation, in-class debates, participation in online discussion forums, short questions, research projects and reports.

Subject Information

Students in this subject explore the field and practice of public health. They learn to identify and analyse major social, behavioural, and cultural factors that affect population health outcomes, including social determinants of health (e.g. gender, socio-economic status and social capital), community capacity, resilience, age, race/ethnicity, the environment and behavioural risks. Students consider medical, social and behavioural approaches to health promotion and public health interventions. Students also examine current and emerging theoretical and conceptual frameworks from the social behavioural and medical sciences. They apply these frameworks and other theories presented in the course to intervention strategies or program initiatives that address current public health priorities.

This subject explores the organisation of health systems, the financial and other resourcing requirements for planning and delivering effective public health programs, strategies and interventions, and the development and application of effective policies across a range of sectors that affect the health of populations. It introduces the discipline of economics as it applies to public health. Topics covered include health systems thinking and frameworks; the role of government in prevention and health promotion; models and debates regarding public health funding and investment; demand for public health programs; implications for equity, delivery, governance of public health programs and services; and economic analyses applied to public health systems and activities. Students consider current issues such as estimating expenditure on public health, ‘best buys’ in public health, and the role of economic tools such as price subsidisation and commodity taxation in public health.

Prerequisite: Social, Behavioural and Cultural Factors in Public Health

Policy agenda setting, implementation and evaluation are crucial to the improvement of the health of populations. Policy making is not a straightforward process. Political ideologies and values, as well as power, coalition building, and the media play key roles in what becomes public policy. In this subject, students will learn about policy agenda setting, development, implementation and evaluation, as well as critical perspectives of policy making. They will be introduced to theories of policy making and apply knowledge of the policy process to a public health problem. Students will analyse and critique issues in contemporary Australian health policy and the various stakeholders and partnerships formed in the policy process. They will examine the role of evidence and advocacy in policy agenda setting. Students will also learn about a range of advocacy strategies including media advocacy and community empowerment strategies for the development and implementation of policy.

Prerequisite: Social, Behavioural and Cultural Factors in Public Health

This subject provides an overview of global health issues and of environmental factors that affect the health and safety of communities. It considers the ways in which globalisation has affected the social, economic and political determinants of health, including trends in communicable and non-communicable diseases at a global level, and the importance of risk communication for disease prevention and outbreak. The relationships between issues such as global health and foreign policy, trade, security and development are explored, along with global health governance and financing mechanisms. Students also examine causal links between chemical, physical, and biological hazards in the environment and their impact on health. They also explore the genetic, physiologic, and psychosocial factors that influence environmentally compromised health outcomes. This is applied to current solutions and considers new ways to address environmental threats, such as waste, water, air, vectors and global warming, as well as issues related to dealing with mass and social media during a public health crisis.

Prerequisite: Social, Behavioural and Cultural Factors in Public Health

Epidemiology is the study of patterns of health, ill-health, and factors that affect health in populations. It focuses on the incidence, prevalence, distribution, impact, and determinants of disease, injury, and disability. Traditionally, epidemiology focused largely on infectious diseases, often using epidemiological methods to determine the causes and sources of outbreaks of diseases. However, it has increasingly broadened to include all health and disease states and both risk factors and protective factors. Epidemiological methods are also used to assess the health status and trends of populations, to determine priorities, and to implement and evaluate programs designed to improve health. Students in this subject examine concepts including incidence, prevalence, and causation. They also learn about the role of epidemiology in prevention and screening, as well as its role in disease surveillance and response. Students identify key sources of data and learn how to use basic epidemiological measures and draw appropriate inferences. Through this subject, students gain a deeper understanding of the strengths, limitations and appropriate uses of various research designs and methodologies in health research. They will learn to assess levels of evidence to make recommendations for evidence based policy. Students will develop an appreciation of the role and potential of epidemiology in public health research, policy and advocacy.
Prerequisite: Social, Behavioural and Cultural Factors in Public Health