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 news production, media relations, organisational communication, and health promotion.
As a Master of Health Communication graduate, you will enter the profession with a solid evidence-based education in international health, children’s and women’s health, obesity and disease prevention, and environmental health. Our training also covers such topics as campaign development, 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 prior to completion.
Graduates of our program have gone on to careers in public and corporate health communications, healthcare public affairs, public relations, community relations, healthcare promotions and health journalism. Designed to meet the needs of those already working in, or hoping to enter the private and public health sectors, as well as non-government and community organisations, our program allows you to update and extend your professional skills or explore new career directions.
Please note: The units of study listed below are subject to change and are to be used as a guide only.
Units of study
For full information on Units of Study available in this course, please visit the Sydney Courses website
Full units of study list
- ARTS7000 - Academic Communication for Postgraduates
- BETH5207 - Arts in Health
- HPOL5000 - Introduction to Health Policy
- HPOL5001 - Economics and Finance for Health Policy
- HPOL5003 - Analysing Health Policy
- MECO6900 - News Writing
- MECO6901 - Dealing with the Media
- MECO6902 - Legal & Ethical Issues in Media Practice
- MECO6904 - Dissertation Part 1
- MECO6905 - Dissertation Part 2
- MECO6919 - Health Communication
- MECO6927 - Organisational Communication
- MECO6928 - Media and Communication Internship
- MECO6930 - Publication Design
- MECO6934 -
- MIPH5112 - Global Communicable Disease Control
- MIPH5115 - Women's and Children's Health
- MIPH5116 - Culture,Health,Illness and Medicine
- MIPH5117 - Global Non-Communicable Disease Control
- MIPH5118 - Global Perspectives of HIV/AIDS
- MIPH5124 - Health Issues & Humanitarian Emergencies
- PSYC5011 - Applying Models of Health Behaviour
- PUBH5019 - Cancer Prevention and Control
- PUBH5026 - Mass Media Campaigns & Social Marketing
- PUBH5033 - Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
- PUBH5101 - Special Project in Public Health
- PUBH5102 - Special Project in Public Health
- PUBH5111 - Environmental Health
- PUBH5114 - Alcohol,Drug Use and Health
- PUBH5116 - Genetics and Public Health
- PUBH5309 - Translational Health
- PUBH5414 -
- PUBH5415 - Injury Prevention
- PUBH5416 - Vaccines in Public Health
- PUBH5418 - Tobacco Control in the 21st Century
- PUBH5419 - Falls Prevention in Older People
- PUBH5420 - Public Health Advocacy Strategies
- PUBH5422 -
Further course information
The MHC requires the satisfactory completion of 8 units of study (48 credit points) (cp) including 4 core units of study (24cp):MECO6900 News Writing, MECO6901 Dealing with the Media, MECO6919 Health Communication and MECO6927 Organisational Communication. The remaining units of study are chosen from the list of approved electives, or undertaken in a relevant or related field, subject to the approval of the academic coordinator. Candidates may elect to undertake an internship (6cp), requiring a commitment equivalent to 20 days of full-time work. Candidates electing to undertake a dissertation (12cp) must prepare a research proposal and discuss their topic with the academic coordinator prior to enrolling. Approval is subject to the department's discretion and the availability of an appropriate academic supervisor. The dissertation is normally undertaken over two semesters and comprises research and writing toward a project of approximately 12,000 words.
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.
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
The Master of Health Communication provides media skills for professional communicators in health and medicine, public affairs, public relations, community relations and journalism.
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 to candidature for the Master of Health Communication requires:
(a) a bachelor’s degree from the University of Sydney with a minimum credit (65%) average, including a major in a relevant subject area in the humanities, social sciences or public health, or an equivalent qualification; or
(b) completion of the requirements for the Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma in Health Communication with a minimum credit (65%) average, or an equivalent qualification.
How to apply
How to apply
Australian citizens, permanent residents, New Zealand citizens, and holders of a permanent humanitarian visa, apply through UAC - click on the 'Apply now' icon on this page to proceed with your application.
Please note: not all courses are offered in the July semester intake.
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).
Indicative postgraduate student contribution amount
This student contribution amount for a Commonwealth Supported Place is an indication only of the fees that are payable by you in the calendar year you commence your course, commencing in 2014 for a standard annual full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). The exact student contribution that you pay will depend on the specific units of study in which you ultimately enrol. If you are a Commonwealth supported student and was enrolled in a University course before 1 January 2013 your student contribution may differ.
Annual review for postgraduate student contribution amount
Importantly, student contribution amounts are subject to annual review by the University, and are likely to increase each year of your period of study (subject to a Commonwealth specified cap), effective at the start of each calendar year.
Postgraduate Domestic Tuition Fee
This 2014, tuition fee for a domestic postgraduate student represents the fee that is payable by you in the calendar year you commence your course, commencing in 2013 for a standard annual full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). If your study load is more or less than the 1.0 EFTSL your fee will differ.
Annual review for postgraduate domestic tuition fee
Importantly, tuition fees are subject to annual review by the University, and are likely to increase each year of your period of study, effective at the start of each calendar year.
Additional incidental fees
For some courses there are incidental fees additional to the student contribution and/or course fee. Some of those fees are significant, for example, faculty-specific materials, tools, protected clothing and equipment. For further information about these additional incidental fees, please visit the University's Future Students' website.
Potential for inaccuracy
Whilst every reasonable effort has been made to include correct and up to date information in this prospectus, you are also advised to consult directly with the Student Centre for domestic students or the International Office for international students so that they can provide you with specific and up to date information about those fees.
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
Please note that if you are classified by the University as a Research Training Scheme student in accordance with the Other Grants Guidelines (Research) 2010, you will be exempt from the payment of any SCA or tuition fees for courses undertaken as part of a Research Masters degree and Research Doctoral degree. More information about your eligibility for this Scheme is available here.
International tuition fees for postgraduate students
This 2014, tuition fee for international postgraduate students represents the fees that are payable by you in the calendar year you commence your course, commencing in 2014, for a standard annual full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). If your study load is more or less than the 1.0 EFTSL your fee will differ.
Importantly, tuition fees are subject to annual review, and are likely to increase each year of your period of study, effective at the start of each calendar year.
Additional incidental fees and health insurance
For some courses there are incidental fees additional to the tuition fees. Some of those fees are significant, for example, faculty-specific materials, tools, protected clothing, and equipment. The University's Future Students' webpage has further information about these additional incidental fees for postgraduate coursework students and postgraduate research students.
In addition to the fees indicated here for the course of study, International Students studying on an Australian Student Visa must have appropriate health insurance for the duration of their studies on a Student Visa through an approved provider of the Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) scheme. This is a requirement of the Australian Government, unless otherwise exempted by the Government.
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 for domestic students or the International Office for international students so that they can provide you with specific and up to date information about those fees.