Graduate Certificate in Health Policy

The information on this page applies to future students. Current students should refer to their faculty handbooks for course information.

The postgraduate Healthy Policy program at Sydney Medical School provides students with a comprehensive and practical understanding of health systems and policy making processes. It offers a critical perspective on how health systems operate and the forces that shape the health policy environment. The program is offered at three award levels – graduate certificate, graduate diploma and master’s degree. Graduates will have a comprehensive and practical understanding of policy making, including economic evaluation; health financing and budgets; power, politics and agenda setting; and the critical use of evidence.

This course is designed for health practitioners who are interested in learning more about how health priorities are set and wish to gain a broader understanding of health systems. It is also for those already engaged in or planning careers in public policy who wish to extend their knowledge of health policy and policy making.

Completion of this Graduate Certificate program can be used as credit towards a Graduate Diploma or Masters degree.

Why study Health Policy with us?

  • Learn how to develop and implement health policy.

  • Analyse current health policies and policy processes.

  • Learn about the current issues in the Australian healthcare system.

  • Develop applied skills in policy analysis, health financing, economic evaluation and critical appraisal techniques.

  • Understand emerging issues from international trends.

  • Identify and analyse politics and power in health policy.

  • Gain a critical perspective on how healthcare is delivered in Australia.

  • Graduate with professional confidence to work across the health sector.

Course outline

Unit of Study information on faculty page

Study plan

The Graduate Certificate in Health Policy consists of 24 credit points (cp), including three core units (18cp) and one elective unit of study (6cp). You may be allowed to undertake elective units outside the prescribed list with the approval of the course coordinator and unit cordinator. The Graduate Certificate is a one-year part-time course and classes are conducted in intensive mode, including weekend workshops and web-based learning.

Further course information

Graduate opportunities

There are many employment opportunities for health policy officers to work in a range of organisations across different spheres. These include Commonwealth and state departments of health, area health services, some local health service providers, non-government service providers and community and consumer-based advocacy groups.


Admission requirements

A successful applicant for admission to the Graduate Certificate in Health Policy will:
(a) hold a bachelor’s degree from the University of Sydney, or equivalent qualification and a minimum of 1 year work experience in a health or policy related field; or
(b) a minimum of 5 years professional work experience in a health or policy related field or pass a preliminary examination(s) as prescribed by the Faculty.

In exceptional circumstances the dean may admit applicants without this qualification who, in the opinion of the school, have qualifications and evidence of experience and achievement sufficient to successfully undertake the award.

The academic requirements that are displayed are applicable to currently available courses only, and are updated annually in October and may be changed without notice. The Faculty Handbook and the University of Sydney Calendar are the official legal source of information relating to study at the University of Sydney, and you are referred to those documents.

How to apply

Domestic students

How to apply

Applications are made directly to the University and assessed by the Faculty.

International students

How to apply

Overseas applicants may apply (i) directly to the University, or (ii) through a University overseas representative (education agent).

Important Fee Information

Domestic students

Indicative Postgraduate Domestic Tuition Fee

The tuition fee for a domestic postgraduate student is an indication only of the 2017 fees payable in Year 1 for a standard full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). Depending on the calendar year in which you undertake your study, and if your study load is more or less than the 1.0 EFTSL, your tuition fee will differ from the indicative amount.

Annual review and fee increases

Importantly, tuition fees are subject to annual review by the University, and will increase each year of your period of study, effective at the start of each calendar year.

Additional incidental costs

For some courses there are incidental costs additional to the student contribution and/or course fee. Some of these incidental costs are significant, for example, faculty-specific materials, tools, protected clothing and equipment. Further information about these costs is available from your faculty.

Credit card surcharge

Please note that a surcharge of 0.8% will apply for payments made by Visa or MasterCard. The surcharge is subject to review and may change. Information about payment methods and the surcharge is set out at:

Potential for inaccuracy

Whilst every reasonable effort has been made to include correct and up to date information here, you are also advised to consult directly with the Student Centre so that they can provide you with specific and up to date information about fees.