Courses Australian courses Graduate Certificate of Public Health

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Public Health and Tropical Medicine

Graduate Certificate of Public Health

February, July
6 months full time
Part-time available
Attendance mode
Mixed, External
Entry Requirements
AQF level 7 bachelor degree in a relevant health discipline; or equivalent
Not applicable
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If you are a health professional and you want to upgrade your skills, choosing a Graduate Certificate of Public Health will help you to develop core public health competencies. You can continue to work as you study at James Cook University (JCU), as this course is offered externally or via a mix of external and limited attendance and block mode study at JCU's Townsville campus.

Your studies will include tropical public health; epidemiology for public health; public health management or public health leadership and management; communicable disease control or environmental health.

With this Graduate Certificate, you can take the first steps towards upgrading your qualifications to a Graduate Diploma of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, a Master of Public Health, or a Master of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.

This 6 months full-time (or equivalent part-time) JCU Graduate Certificate course provides you with expertise to add to your existing, appropriate undergraduate degree - or to a professional qualification in a relevant discipline that is approved by the university. The core subjects available to you are:

  • Epidemiology for Public Health
  • Public Health Management or Public Health Leadership and Crisis Management
  • Communicable Disease Control or Environmental Health
  • Health Promotion or Tropical Public Health.

Achieving a JCU Public Health qualification will bring you the benefits of the excellent reputation throughout Australia and internationally that JCU's College of Public Health, Medicine and Veterinary Sciences has achieved. In fact the College delivers several programs that are unique to Australia - and to address a need that's of importance to public health in the tropics. For example JCU has a brand new Mosquito Research Facility - so when you're studying on campus, there's a chance for you to see research in action.

Career Opportunities

This course is designed for health professionals with a suitable undergraduate degree or recognised professional qualification in a relevant discipline. It offers a broad range of electives enabling you to specialise in public health issues relevant to tropical Australia and its near neighbours.

Complete an online application through our Online Application Portal.

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Graduate Certificate of Public Health

Handbook year


Course code


Course type

Graduate Certificate (AQF Level 8)


Tropical Health and Medicine

Award Requirements

Admission Requirements

Course pre-requisites

Completion of an AQF level 7 bachelor degree in a relevant health discipline, from this or another university; or

Other qualifications recognised by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the Division of Tropical Health and Medicine as equivalent to the above; or

Submission, as an exceptional case, of other evidence of professional and academic attainments, including employment for a minimum of five years in health related activities.

Meeting these requirements does not guarantee selection.  In assessing applications the following will be considered: prior academic performance and prior relevant work experience.

Minimum English language proficiency requirements

Applicants of non-English speaking backgrounds must meet the English language proficiency requirements of Band 2Schedule II of the JCU Admissions Policy.

Academic Requirements for Course Completion

Credit points

12 credit points

Course learning outcomes

Graduates of the Graduate Certificate of Public Health will be able to:

  • Integrate and apply a specialised body of theoretical and technical knowledge in the disciplines of public health across diverse tropical, rural, remote and Indigenous contexts

  • Review, analyse, consolidate and synthesise information, data and evidence to devise appropriate strategies to detect, prevent and control communicable and non‐communicable diseases ensuring safe and healthy environments for tropical, rural, remote and Indigenous communities

  • Critically reflect upon the socio‐ecological nature of health promotion and its application in optimising the health and well-being of tropical, rural, remote and Indigenous communities

  • Critically reflect upon and engage in professional public health practice based on ethical decision making and an evidence- based approach, including consideration of recent developments in the field

  • Apply specialised human, project and organisational management skills within a public health and policy context to effect efficient and equitable gains in public health

  • Communicate theoretical propositions, methodologies, conclusions and professional decisions through advanced literacy and numeracy skills to specialist and non‐specialist audiences

  • Demonstrate personal autonomy and accountability for their own future personal and professional development and contribute to the professional development of others, by engaging in critical reflective practice in relation to knowledge, skills and attitudes and their application to the specialty of public health.

Inherent Requirements

Inherent RequirementsInherent requirements are the fundamental abilities, attributes, skills and behaviours needed to complete the learning outcomes of a course while preserving the academic integrity of the university’s learning, assessment and accreditation processes. Students and prospective students must be able to demonstrate that they have acquired or have the ability to acquire the inherent requirements for their degree. For more information refer to Inherent Requirements page.
Reasonable adjustmentsReasonable adjustments may be made to assist students manage additional circumstances impacting on their studies provided these do not change the academic integrity of a degree. Reasonable adjustments do not alter the need to be able to demonstrate the inherent requirements of the course.

Course Structure


TM5502:03 Tropical Public Health

TM5513:03 Public Health Management, Leadership, Planning and Policy

TM5515:03 Epidemiology for Public Health

TM5525:03 Communicable Disease Control





Some optional subjects may require face-to-face on campus attendance


Expected time to complete

12 months part-time

Maximum time to complete

3 years

Maximum leave of absence

1 year


Course progression requisites


Course includes mandatory professional placement(s)


Special assessment requirements


Professional accreditation requirements


Maximum allowed Pass Conceded (PC) grade

3 credit points

Supplementary exam for final subject




Not applicable

Maximum allowed

Not applicable


Not applicable


Not applicable

Other restrictions

Not applicable

Award Details

Award title


Approved abbreviation


Inclusion of majors on testamur

Not applicable - this course does not have majors

Exit with lesser award

Not applicable

Course articulation

Students who complete this course are eligible for entry to either the Graduate Diploma of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Master of Public Health or Master of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and may be granted credit for all subjects completed under the graduate certificate.

Annual Tuition Fee: $12,620 (Estimate only)

Student Services and Amenities fee is payable per subject up to a maximum amount per year.

A variety of Scholarships are available to suit different student types.

Consult the admission requirements section in the Handbook for prerequisites and pathways into this course.

Be supported throughout your journey

Learn from leading experts and experience the support provided by lecturers who care about your success. Nathan Dawes shares his story of studying with JCU.