School of Health and Social Development

Our school embraces the understanding that health is about the capacity of individuals and communities to cope with life’s ever-changing challenges. This is reflected in our teaching and research, which focuses on the importance of positive outcomes that advance equality and community wellbeing.

Progressive, real-world learning and research

The School of Health and Social Development is committed to making a difference through innovative and responsive teaching and research which advances the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities.

In addition to striving for academic excellence, our teaching and research is informed by the need for equity in an unequal society. We uphold human rights and ensure that health and welfare provision promotes human dignity by valuing identity and respecting diversity.

Explore our health and community services courses

Study opportunities

For every year you spend at Deakin, your employability increases. Many of our courses include industry placements – where you'll gain real-world experience – and professional accreditations that are globally recognised. You'll also have the option to study abroad on a study tour or an exchange.

Find out more about study opportunities

Join Australia's fastest growing industry

Healthcare and social assistance is Australia’s largest and fastest-growing employment sector.* As a Deakin graduate, you’ll have the grounding in multiple fields to prepare you for a successful career advancing health and wellbeing at an individual and community level.

Our courses are built on international collaborations, meaningful research and strong connections between the University, industry, communities and the public. We're committed to research that results in real, tangible outcomes for improving health.

Jenny Watts

Head of School of Health and Social Development

Meet the School of Health and Social Development team

Professor Jennifer Watts is the Head of School of Health and Social Development. She is a health economist and over the past 20 years has established a strong record in health economics, in both teaching and research. Jenny leads a large and diverse school, with staff specialising across community health, inclusion, disability, environment and social work.

Meet the school's staff

Our go-to expert on public health and epidemiology

Alfred Deakin Professor Catherine Bennett is the inaugural chair in Epidemiology at Deakin. Catherine specialises in infectious diseases and antimicrobial resistance, and leads a large cohort study into community transmission of staph aureus in Melbourne households. Catherine also is engaged in other population-based research including endometriosis in adolescent girls, and the alcohol culture change project at Deakin. She was Director of Population Health Practice in the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health before joining Deakin, and prior to that worked with NSW Health in infectious disease epidemiology, and was Olympic Public Health Coordinator for Northern Sydney.

Our partners

We have strong links with universities around the world for academic collaborations and student exchange. As a student, you'll also be able to take advantage of our wide range of industry partners who can provide applied research opportunities and work placements.

Learn more about our partners

Our research

Our school’s primary research centre is the Health, Nature and Sustainability Research Group (HNS) who sit within the Institute for Health Transformation. HNS comprises an interdisciplinary team united in its commitment to lead research and teaching on the health implications of the links between humans and the natural environment. Our school's research domains include:

We're always looking to welcome masters and doctoral students with a passion for improving the world's health and wellbeing.

Find out more about our research


*ABS, Labour Force Survey, Detailed, April 2023, seasonally adjusted
Deakin references data from a range of government, higher education and reputable media sources. For more information, visit our list of sources.

Contact us

Get in touch if you have any further questions regarding the School of Health and Social Development.

+61 3 9251 7777

Email the School of Health and Social Development