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Health Disciplines

Counsellors are amongst Allied Health professionals working in a variety of public and private settings and fields including health promotion and health care, community, family, youth, ageing, mental health, and relationships. Students do our courses to gain essential skills in order to enhance their employment prospects as well as their practice as a helping professional.

As part of our integrative counselling studies, we offer counselling in undergraduate programs with a minor and major in counselling, as well as entry level and advanced counsellor training programs.

Our post graduate awards include a Graduate Diploma in Counselling and a Master of Counselling. These are well recognised and sought after counselling qualifications leading to membership of professional organisations.

TheDesk

thedesk is a free online program supported by beyondblue (the national depression initiative).

It provides tertiary students with strategies and skills to cope with problems they may encounter, and promotes skills for academic success and wellbeing.

visit the desk websitethedesk offers students tools:

  • to help with problem-solving
  • to challenge unhelpful or negative thoughts
  • to assist with relaxation and
  • to check their progress through quizzes in a range of areas

There is a range of learning modules including:

  • "Getting things done";
  • "Staying calm";
  • "Staying connected"; and
  • "Feeling good"

In addition, the program has an online Coffee House for social networking. This moderated forum helps students connect with each other and their institution, encourages discussion about current issues, and enables students to share their artwork, music, and recommendations about great places to eat around campus.

If you’re a medical scientist or currently working in medical diagnostics and contemplating a move into pathology, then the two-year Master of Diagnostic Pathology will provide you with the industry-centred study options and training necessary to specialise in medical laboratory science. Run collaboratively with both ACT and NSW pathology units, the course offers professional instruction by science professionals and is supported by UC’s academic staff.

You’ll take part in a semester-long Work Integrated Learning (WIL) placement in an accredited pathology laboratory and will also undertake an individual research project in an area of relevance to you and your future career aspirations. You’ll graduate having made solid connections with potential healthcare employers, and ready to take your next career steps working in a hospital or private pathology lab, blood transfusion service, public health lab, university research lab or in private enterprise.

Study a Master of Diagnostic Pathology at UC and you will:

  • develop an advanced level of knowledge and skills in diagnostic testing relevant to haematology, tissue processing and microtomy, medical microbiology, blood transfusion and other disciplines
  • have an advanced knowledge of the use of quality systems in the clinical laboratory, the metabolism and functions of common hormones and electrolytes, and pathophysiological alterations pertinent to human biochemistry
  • describe the cellular and molecular mechanisms of genetic modification and relate these to the generation of genetic diversity and disorders
  • have an advanced knowledge of point-of-care testing and its applications in disease screening and monitoring at the point of patient care and beyond
  • understand how to safely and appropriately collect a range of biological specimens for analysis including, but not limited to, blood and urine.

Work Integrated Learning

As part of this course’s commitment to Work Integrated Learning (WIL), you’ll undertake between 9 and 12 weeks of full-time professional placement in a diagnostic pathology lab in a hospital environment. You’ll also develop a specialised health research project to suit your interests and clinical specialty which provides a real-world research experience, and you’ll acquire skills in data collection, data analysis and interpretation, project management, effective communication, critical thinking and problem solving.

Career opportunities

  • Medical laboratory scientist
  • Laboratory technical officer
  • Research scientist
  • Medical product manufacturer
  • Pharmaceutical product manufacturer

Diagnostic Radiography / Medical Imaging

Diagnostic Radiography / Medical Imaging is the allied health profession responsible for undertaking and creating medical images using x-rays, ultrasound and magnetic fields & radio-waves. This profession will combine your love of people and technology in a rewarding career.

Diagnostic radiography is a growing field with the unique opportunity to apply both technical interests and people skills on a daily basis. As a graduate of the Bachelor of Medical Radiation Science (Medical Imaging) or the Master of Medical Imaging you can work as a diagnostic radiographer either in public hospitals or private radiology practices in Australia as well as any country in the world. Study a Bachelor of Medical Radiation Science (Medical Imaging) or the Master of Medical Imaging at UC and you will:

  • Gain a high level of ethical and interpersonal skills for interacting with patients from diverse backgrounds and cultures
  • Learn to effectively function as part of a health care team
  • Acquire and apply clinical reasoning, treatment and evaluation skills to basic and life sciences
  • Develop skills to undertake all routine diagnostic radiographic procedures
  • Learn to operate diagnostic radiographic instrumentation to optimise image quality and minimise radiation dose or other potential patient hazards
  • Develop skills in designing, implementation and management of quality assurance programs for medical imaging applications
  • Acquire professional attitudes and attributes as a reflective practitioner
  • Gain a willingness to maintain professional development and be proactive in the profession
  • Learn effective communications, problem solving and critical analysis skills

Career opportunities

Specialised career opportunities exist for diagnostic radiographers in:

  • General radiography
  • Angiography
  • Mammography
  • Computed tomography (CT)
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Medical ultrasound

The University of Canberra Discipline of Midwifery produces creative, socially useful and skilled midwives for the future. Our graduates, in the spirit of the University vision, contribute to meeting the health needs of women and their families within our region and out into wider Australian and international communities.

By connected theoretical and practical teaching the Discipline of Midwifery's particular emphasis is on culturally equipping our graduates to be useful to all childbearing women and babies and their families including those from diverse cultures and races, and in particular, to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.

For information on requirements relating to registration of health professionals in Australia or recognition of prior qualification from an overseas institution go to the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) website.

The Discipline of Nursing at the University of Canberra offers undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications relevant to a variety of practice contexts. Being positioned in the National Capital, the nursing programs have a strong sense of leadership, governance and global health issues.

For information on requirements relating to registration of health professionals in Australia or recognition of prior qualification from an overseas institution please visit the AHPRA website.


Nutrition and Dietetics are two separate but overlapping fields of study. Human nutrition combines the study of food choice and consumption, the digestion and metabolism of food into nutrients and the effect that nutrients have on our physical, social, mental and environmental wellbeing.

Pathways to Nutrition and Dietetics (47.1 KB RTF File)

Occupational therapy is a client-centred health profession concerned with promoting health and well being through occupation. The primary goal of occupational therapy is to enable people to participate in the activities of everyday life.

The University of Canberra provides a contemporary pharmacy program with smaller class sizes to facilitate individual learning and relevant professional experiences. Academics provide supportive academic leadership informed by their currency of clinical practice. Many of the staff are leaders within the pharmacy profession and actively engage with the profession to seek innovative future roles for graduates.

Various study pathways to become a Pharmacist (465.1 KB pdf)

University of Canberra graduates are actively sought by employers for their work-readiness and professional attitude.

Pharmacy students experience a range of clinical and innovative placements during their course to expose them to the variety that a career with a pharmacy degree can provide. There is a mix of rural and larger centre placements across the traditional areas of hospital and community practice in addition to opportunities to work with regulators and public health providers.

A new pharmaceutical science laboratory opened in January 2013 that provides a range of facilities including a sterile formulation laboratory. Research and research skills are valued in the Discipline. These are integrated in our courses.

Opportunities are available to develop communication between healthcare team members and the wider healthcare community through placements with healthcare partners and inter-professional learning opportunities with other disciplines.

Contact Us Placements

Physiotherapy is a comprehensive approach to the prevention, diagnosis and therapeutic management of pain and disorders of human movement to enhance the health and welfare of the community. The practice of physiotherapy encompasses a diversity of clinical specialities to meet the unique needs of different client groups. These include musculoskeletal, neurological and cardiorespiratory physiotherapy, and across the ages from the very young to the very old.

Physiotherapists are autonomous professionals, first contact practitioners and members of health teams.

A physiotherapy career is physically and emotionally demanding, but it can be extremely varied. It can lead to work in hospitals, community health and private practices, across Australia. Physiotherapy allows a diverse range of clinical practice, including paediatrics, aged care, rehabilitation and sports.

The discipline of physiotherapy offers two pathways for students to enter the profession of physiotherapy. The career entry pathways are the Bachelor of Physiotherapy and the Master of Physiotherapy (Graduate Entry Masters).

Further enrichment for postgraduate professional career could include extended scope of practice physiotherapy skills, or development of research.

Careers in Physiotherapy (783.0 KB pdf)

Student Awards

Distinguished awards are provided to our physiotherapy graduates to recognise their outstanding academic performance. View our student awards and past winners.

Contact Us Placements

Psychology is one of the most popular subjects in higher education. Many students are interested in the prospect of becoming psychologists, others are simply keen to learn more about human behaviour. Employment for psychologists is expected to grow over the next five years.

At the University of Canberra, the study of psychology begins with some introductory units in first year, before moving to a range of theoretical and applied units in second and third year. Successful students can then complete an Honours year, followed by postgraduate study. The undergraduate program is constantly evolving in response to the needs of the community and is driven by a focus on innovation, collaboration, and application.

The program includes a range of electives in applied areas such as health, forensic and sport psychology, and our degree structure offers flexibility with option of combining psychology in a double degree with Law, Sport and Exercise Science, Management, Politics or Arts. With an emphasis on the application of psychological research, we are working together with the community to facilitate work-integrated learning opportunities whereby undergraduate students gain skills in the application of psychological theory to real-world issues.

Why study postgraduate psychology at UC?

We offer a Bachelor of Public Health that provides foundation studies in health. If you want to understand key issues affecting the health of populations, be able to plan and manage health programs or projects and are interested in a career in public health, health policy and planning, and health services, then studying or researching Public Health is for you.

Explore the science relating to speech, language, and swallowing; while studying client issues and exploring service delivery models as well as treatment and management strategies - with the Master of Speech Pathology course.

This full-time two-year course will extend your research skills by examining a wide range of communication issues and show you how to apply theoretical knowledge and evidence-based practice to the assessment, treatment, and management of these disorders.

Study a Master of Speech Pathology at UC and you will:

  • attain entry-level speech pathology competencies across a range of practice areas
  • deliver culturally and socially appropriate speech pathology services
  • communicate and work effectively with diverse partners in health, education and the community
  • critique, synthesise and apply evidence from research and consumer perspectives to inform speech pathology practices
  • critically evaluate information required for effective service delivery
  • develop in-depth research skills and be recognised as a competent researcher-practitioner
  • be able to participate, collaborate and contribute to policy development and industry knowledge
  • contribute to building stronger research evidence for clinical and life outcomes
  • gain a deeper understanding of the social issues of speech pathology and how it relates to a different age, linguistic and cultural demographics.

Work Integrated Learning (WIL)

WIL is an integral part of this course, giving students an invaluable opportunity to gain practical experience through clinical placements.

To facilitate your clinical learning, you will participate in various experiential learning simulations before undertaking any placement activities while having access to industry trainers and mentors throughout the entire process. Clinical placements will take place at numerous health and educational facilities such as the state of the art UC Health Precinct and UC Public Hospital; as well as various regional and remote locations around Australia.

WIL allows you to gain a wide range of clinical skills to complement your theoretical knowledge; while also creating an environment where you can form strong networking opportunities with industry professionals and both internal and external stakeholders. Clinical practice placements are essential to the program, and participation and completion of each WIL placement will contribute to your overall assessment.

Career opportunities

A Master of Speech Pathology qualification from UC will expose you to a higher level of understanding of speech pathology issues in public, private and voluntary positions in Australia and overseas.

Taking this course will give you the knowledge and credentials to able to lead, work, educate, guide and influence change in policies and procedural activities in the following areas:

  • private and public hospitals
  • rehabilitation centres
  • aged care facilities
  • community health clinics
  • schools and disability organisations
  • private practices.

As Australia’s aging population demographic continues to grow and evolve, the need for qualified and experienced Speech Pathologists to help improve and develop the knowledge base of the speech pathology profession will increase exponentially.

Established in 1981 to coincide with the development of the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS), the Discipline of Sport and Exercise Science provides programs of study, conducts research projects, implements community engagement activities and facilitates social networking in areas relating to sport and exercise. We provide undergraduate and postgraduate courses as well as a USA Study Tour programme and exchange agreements with educational institutions in North America and China. Study scholarships are also available.

We are a primary education provider for high performance athletes, coaches and managers from the AIS, regional sport institutes, sport associations and government sport administration bodies.

The Discipline of Sport and Exercise Science plays a lead role in the Research Institute for Sport and Exercise at the University of Canberra (UC-RISE) which conducts research and commentary about sport, sporting organisations and the community. Significant partnerships exist with the AIS, University of Canberra Brumbies, ACTAS, ACT Sport and Recreation, ACT Health, ACT local healthcare providers, Canberra Raiders, Greater Western Sydney AFL, Canberra Capitals and National Sporting Organisations, such as Australian Swimming, Basketball Australia and the Australian Paralympic Committee and many others. Close relationships with industry provide University of Canberra students with research, scholarship and work integrated learning (WIL) placement opportunities and excellent employment prospects.

Contact Us Placements

Study a Bachelor of Vision Science and begin your journey towards a career in optometry. Our course has been developed with academics, practitioners and representatives from international optometry companies and will be launched in the same year UC opens the doors to our state-of-art UC Public Hospital. During your degree you will develop foundation knowledge and skills in the biomedical sciences with a specific focus on optical and vision sciences. You will also broaden your skills in business and management related areas should you choose to explore private practice. On graduating from this undergraduate degree you will be eligible for entry into a Master of Optometry.

Study a Bachelor of Vision Science at UC and you will:

  • demonstrate an understanding of the fundamental sciences underpinning health, optical and vision sciences
  • perform common optical and visual diagnostic assessments
  • demonstrate a strong understanding of the dysfunctions and diseases of the eye
  • demonstrate an awareness of the inter-disciplinary nature of health practitioners and health professions
  • demonstrate awareness of and respect for individual human rights and cultural and social diversity.

Work Integrated Learning

In your final year you will enrol in the work-integrated unit Integrated Eye Care and Ocular Therapeutics. This unit incorporates a significant component of industry experience and includes clinical and non-clinical placements designed to observe the latest vision science industry projects and optometric practice in progress.

Career opportunities

  • Optometrist
  • Private practice & retailer
  • Vision-related government and non-government organisations
  • Hospitals
  • Health clinics & Services
  • Research institutes

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Students

University of Canberra is committed to building a strong and sustainable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and sport industry workforce.

If you are an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander person interested in studying a health or sport course, please email Rachel Harrigan or phone 6201 2608.