Keen to do good? Check out the huge variety of health science careers

Looking for a rewarding career where you help people live fuller, healthier and happier lives? Inspired to contribute to big social changes like combating obesity, reducing sedentary lifestyles and improving the health and wellbeing of our ageing population?

Look no further than health science careers – your ticket to meaningful work in Australia’s fastest growing employment sector.

Discover diverse health science careers

Many prospective students know they’re interested in healthcare careers, but it can be difficult to figure out job opportunities if nursing, medicine and other clinical disciplines aren’t your thing. This is where Deakin’s Bachelor of Health Sciences comes in. The social science course equips students to work in hundreds – yes, hundreds – of roles in community, population and organisational health.

At Deakin, the course offers unique opportunities for specialisation as well as the flexibility to fit in with your life, says course director Dr Kate Anderson. ‘The Bachelor of Health Sciences is a diverse course that offers flexible learning for students across four Deakin campuses, including a cloud-based enrolment option,’ she says.

‘The course has a unique structure that combines two to three complementary study specialisations – or major pathways – within a robust structure of core health science units that develop students’ generic abilities in research, policy and professional practice.’

Plus, the Bachelor of Health Sciences also serves as a pathway to further study in specialist undergraduate and postgraduate areas such as health economics, health and human services management, and allied health disciplines like dietetics and physiotherapy. ‘This makes it a great option for students who know they want a career in health but are unsure which speciality area will suit them best,’ Dr Anderson says.

Double your expertise

The double major option is unique to Deakin and gives students the opportunity to specialise in two complementary areas. You can also pick six elective subjects and complete up to three majors.

Combine physical activity and health with psychological health, or food studies with environmental health or health promotion with nutrition – there are seemingly endless different combinations to suit your interests and skillset.

‘Having the opportunity to train in up to three specific discipline areas within their health degree provides our students with a bespoke, multidisciplinary skillset for their future work in health and human services,’ Dr Anderson says.

‘Our major pathways have been carefully designed to articulate with current industry priorities so that students can enhance their primary practice area with specialist knowledge that makes them stand out from the crowd.’

There’s no doubt graduating with a double (or triple) major broadens job prospects and boosts employability. A student who combines a major in food studies with a major in health and sustainability will be better equipped to tackle ecological sustainability issues faced by the food industry – a clear asset to any environmentally responsible business.

In a more traditional social sciences environment, a student who combines a major in health promotion or exercise science with a major in disability and inclusion sets themselves up to be a champion for inclusive practice in their future workplace.

‘This can be a strong selling point for employers wishing to expand their client base or improve their capacity to support clients under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS),’ Dr Anderson says.

Expand your options in the workforce

Where do graduates of the Bachelor of Health Sciences find employment? Everywhere from health promotion and mental health organisations to local councils, charities and private companies. And there’s also a huge range of job titles – you might be a health promotion officer at a government agency after completing a health promotion and nutrition double major, or a support coordinator in community mental health (after majoring in disability and inclusion, and psychological science) or an environmental health officer at a sustainability consultancy (with majors in environmental health, and health and sustainability).

‘Some of the locations for health and wellness officers are pretty diverse and sometimes quite surprising,’ Dr Anderson says. ‘We have recently seen positions in mining, infrastructure, local councils and not-for-profit organisations such as the Country Fire Authority of Victoria. A graduate could enter one of these positions with a number of major and minor combinations.’

What’s more, the Bachelor of Health Sciences frequently attracts students who are already working in the health or human services sector but want to gain additional, specialist or transdisciplinary knowledge to enhance their practice. And because of the applied nature of Deakin’s majors, students implement these new skills and knowledge on the job.

‘One striking example was a student who had just completed a first-year subject in the disability and inclusion major and was also working at a mainstream school with more than 1400 students,’ Dr Anderson says.

‘Using her new knowledge of inclusive education strategies and disability legislation, she managed to get the school leadership team to review the school’s student engagement policy, resulting in a much larger emphasis around supporting students with a disability.’

Keen to explore health science careers? Check out Deakin's Bachelor of Health Sciences.