Keen to take the next step in your health career, but unsure which masters degree to apply for? While each of our four postgraduate health courses is highly regarded, it’s worth investigating which one is right for you.
Are you a numbers person and interested in the economies of health? Do you see yourself in a management role? Are you more into the ‘big picture’, or prefer the grassroots level?
All of our masters courses in health take one to two years’ full time, depending on the credit you get for your previous studies and experience. They’re also available off-campus, allowing you to study anywhere in the world.
Like flexibility? In all of these you can complete the core units, then select the pathway you want to specialise in. ‘This allows you to develop your skillset aligned with your career aspirations,’ says Berni Murphy, a senior lecturer in Deakin’s Faculty of Health.
They can also lead to a PhD pathway, if further study is your calling. Across the board, there are exciting opportunities in local and global internships, and international study tours.
So let’s take a closer look.
Master of Health Economics
If you’re a health professional or economist interested in furthering your knowledge of health economics here and overseas, this could be the course for you.
Students hail from a wide range of areas – from nursing and pharmacy to business administration and health management.
You’ll join Australia’s biggest health economics team and learn how to evaluate the needs of different health organisations, while helping them get the best bang for their limited buck.
Students also learn about health systems research, health policy and high-level technology.
Murphy says the Deakin course is unique, because at most universities, this course would sit in a business or economic school. ‘People would do a bit of health in their economics, whereas this is an exclusively health economics focus taught by leaders in the field.’
You might wind up in the pharmaceutical or health technology industry. There are also government health departments, large organisations such as the World Health Organization, university research centres and non-government organisations such as the Global Fund.
Master of Health and Human Services Management
This course has been designed for people who are mostly already working in the health sector and want to take the next step.
It comprises units from three areas: the Master of Business Administration, the Master of Public Health and the Master of Health Economics.
‘That provides students with a range of skills in business management, research to create evidence to make strategic decisions, and financial decisions so that we get the best outcomes for the least amount of money,’ Murphy says. ‘It's all about leadership and management.’
Students typically come from medical backgrounds, such as dentists, nurses, doctors, or allied health professionals – and want to move into health management.
The Master of Health and Human Services Management is a particular drawcard for international students from across the globe, many of them doctors, surgeons and dentists.
You’ll be ready for a variety of management and leadership roles in hospitals, public health, aged care or disability services, or primary care. Then there are welfare organisations, government departments, local government, non-government organisations and international agencies.
Master of Health Promotion
If helping the community at a grassroots level appeals, the Master of Health Promotion could be a perfect fit.
‘The main thing to think with this course is that it’s about community enabling and empowering,’ Murphy says. ‘So it’s designing and implementing interventions in communities to improve the health of communities.’
Many students will come from community development backgrounds, along with nursing, environmental science, allied health, education and business.
Students learn how to carry out a community needs assessment and to plan and evaluate to improve the health outcomes of communities.
Murphy says the course is highly regarded, partly because of the strength and experience of the teaching staff. ‘We believe we are the leaders in health promotion in Australia, and the lecturers are very actively involved in research, consulting, and in practice.’
Explore opportunities within local, national and international health organisations. Work in a community health service, or a non-government sector, and take an active role in topics such as obesity, tobacco control, and improving men’s and women’s health. Other avenues? Medium-sized businesses, multinationals, human services agencies or statutory authorities.
Master of Public Health
This postgraduate course is all about understanding global public health challenges.
‘Whereas the health promotion course looks at a community level, the Master of Public Health looks at a population level, big picture, health disease prevention,’ Murphy says. ‘We focus on understanding the causes of current and emerging threats to population health, analysing data and translating evidence into policy.’
You’ll learn strategies and practical techniques to take action on the world’s health challenges, to prevent diseases and promote the conditions that optimise population health.
The course is ideal for both clinical and non-clinical health professionals. But students also come from a wide range of fields, and are usually searching for ‘bigger picture’ approaches to enhancing the community’s health.
Many people also enrol to progress in their current roles or to take the next career step.
Work in the government, international organisations or non-government sectors focusing on issues such as cancer prevention, tobacco control, food security, HIV, violence or obesity. Specialise in research, or areas such as nutrition or humanitarian assistance.