Master of Health Communication

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

Health communication comprises one of the largest industry workforces in public relations and media, acting as a fundamental bridge between medical bodies, public health authorities and the wider public through the media. The Master of Health Communication delivers core media skills to help you become an effective communicator across health and medicine, public affairs, public relations, community relations and journalism.
Our unique Health Communication program is the most comprehensive and specialised course of its kind in Australia, combining the expertise of the University of Sydney’s Department of Media and Communications with the public health resources of the School of Public Health. With a cross-disciplinary and collaborative approach to both media and health disciplines, our program incorporates media relations, organisational communication, and health communication approaches.

As a Master of Health Communication graduate, you will enter the profession with a solid evidence-based education in international health, community?oriented health practice, obesity and other disease prevention strategies, and health promotion. Our training also covers such topics as campaign development, media advocacy, humanitarian and emergency health issues, bioethics, and an understanding of health cultures, policy and systems. Featuring a well-regarded internship program, you will have the chance to attain high-level skills from work experience while fostering professional contacts and networks before you complete the course.

The Graduate Diploma and Graduate Certificate in Media Practice provide shorter avenues to update and extend your professional skills, or to explore new career directions. This master’s degree requires four core units of study.

Course outline

For an up-to-date list of units of study for this degree, please refer to the online postgraduate handbook.

Study plan


(a) a minimum of 24 credit points of core units of study; and
(b) a maximum of 42 credit points from elective units of study. With the permission of the Degree Coordinator a maximum of 12 credit points of elective units can be taken from units of study outside those listed in the Health Communication subject area of the Postgraduate Unit of Study Table, including a maximum of 6 credit points from units of study offered by other faculties.
(c) at least 6 credit points of capstone units of study."

Embedded courses

Further course information

Progression rules

Under normal progression, a student shall undertake and successfully complete all units of study to the value of 24 credit points per semester as prescribed for the course. Students are required to attend all lectures, tutorials and other activities prescribed for their units of study.

Capstone experience

Eligible candidates undertaking the degree of Master of Health Communication have the option of undertaking an internship. The placement host is any company or organisation within the health, healthcare, or health related industry. This includes but is not limited to: media, health departments, hospitals, community centres, not-for-profit organisations, non-government organisations, pharmaceutical companies and public relations companies. The internship is equivalent to 20 days of full time work, and students are required to submit a reflective journal and a research essay.

Eligible candidates undertaking the degree of Master of Health Communication have the alternative option of completing a dissertation on an approved topic over two units of study, normally undertaken over two semesters, with a value of 12 credit points, under the supervision of an academic staff member.

Course outcomes and further study

Graduate opportunities

Graduates from our program have gone on to careers in public and corporate health communications, healthcare public affairs, public relations, community relations, healthcare promotion and health journalism. Our program is designed to meet the needs of those already working in the private and public health sectors and non-government and community organisations, or those wishing to enter them. It allows you to update and extend your professional skills or explore new career directions.

Further study

Graduates of the Master of Health Communication who have completed a dissertation with a meritorious grade are eligible to pursue a higher degree by research in their chosen subject area.

Admission

Admission requirements

Admission to candidature for the Master of Health Communication requires:

(a) a bachelor’s degree with a minimum credit (65 percent) average calculated over the whole degree, from the University of Sydney, or an equivalent qualification or

(b) completion of the requirements for the embedded Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma in Health Communication with a minimum credit (65 percent) average, or an equivalent qualification.

How to apply

Domestic students

How to apply

Australian citizens, permanent residents, New Zealand citizens, and holders of a permanent humanitarian visa, apply through the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences - click on the 'Apply now' icon on this page to proceed with your application.

International students

How to apply

Overseas applicants may apply:
(i) directly to the University via the International Office. Further information on applications and English language requirements and support services for international students is available on the International Office website; or

(ii) through a University overseas representative (education agent).

Fee disclaimer

Domestic students

Indicative postgraduate student contribution amount

Indicative postgraduate student contribution amount not available for Master of Health Communication.

Annual review for postgraduate student contribution amount

Annual review for postgraduate student contribution amount not available for Master of Health Communication.

Postgraduate Domestic Tuition Fee

Postgraduate Domestic Tuition Fee not available for Master of Health Communication.

Annual review for postgraduate domestic tuition fee

Annual review for postgraduate domestic tuition fee not available for Master of Health Communication.

Additional incidental fees

Additional incidental fees not available for Master of Health Communication.

Potential for inaccuracy

Potential for inaccuracy not available for Master of Health Communication.

International students

International tuition fees for postgraduate students

International tuition fees for postgraduate students not available for Master of Health Communication.

Annual review

Annual review not available for Master of Health Communication.

Additional incidental fees and health insurance

Additional incidental fees and health insurance not available for Master of Health Communication.

Potential for inaccuracy

Potential for inaccuracy not available for Master of Health Communication.