Why study health sciences at an Australian university? Apart from the high quality of health science programs in Australia, there are essentially three reasons why you might want to enroll in a health science course.
1. You Don’t Know What to Specialise In
An undergraduate health science course lets you start out on a career in health without having to commit to a specific field. Studying health science in your first year of university can be done in such a way that it leaves a lot of options open.
Health science units are often relevant to many areas of health. There are diverse uses of knowledge of topics such as health administration, nutrition and exercise science. So, in a learning sense, you may not be disadvantaged by enrolling in a general health science program rather than a specialised stream.
Also, as discussed below, health science can be a preferred pathway to professional studies in fields such as medicine and nursing. Completed units or a bachelor degree can be used as credit towards health-related majors and specialised postgraduate courses.
Studying health science gives you more time to think about career choices and exposes you to a variety of health care fields. So it can be a smart choice if you have a broad interest in health but are not ready to commit to a specific field.
2. To be a Non-Clinical Health Professional
A large proportion of health professionals in Australia are not doctors, nurses, pharmacists or dentists. For the broad collection of non-clinical health professions, health science is often the most relevant course of study.
Common majors associated with a Bachelor of Health Sciences degree include:
- Disease Control
- Exercise Science
- Health Administration
- Health Policy
- Health Promotion
- Hearing and Speech
- Social Health Drivers
You can enroll in a health science course and settle on one or more of these majors in the second or third year of study. Our guide to health science studies has detailed information about careers for health science graduates.
3. Health Career Foundation Studies
A health science program can provide excellent foundations for postgraduate study. Graduates of health science courses are able to enroll in postgraduate professional degrees such as medicine, nursing, social work, allied health, public health and dietetics.
When preparing for postgraduate professional courses, it is helpful to take relevant units within the health sciences program – e.g. biomedical science and medical radiation science subjects if you are planning on enrolling in medicine.
Some Australian health science universities integrate their health science programs strongly with other areas, such as having a unified medical and health sciences faculty. Conversely, other universities treat health science as a distinct field. So it is important to check out a university’s course structure if you are planning to later specialise through postgraduate study.