HIV, STIs and Sexual Health

Graduate Diploma in HIV, STIs and Sexual Health

Master of HIV, STIs and Sexual Health

Double degree program for International students only:

Master of HIV, STIs and Sexual Health and Master of Philosophy


  Graduate Diploma in HIV, STIs and Sexual Health Master of HIV, STIs and Sexual Health Master of HIV, STIs and Sexual Health and Master of Philosophy
Course code KF069 or GNMEHSSH1000

KC097 or MAMEHSSH1000

for AusAID students only
KC098 or MAMSHPHL1000



Specific stream codes:

Clinical Medicine-GNMEHSSH1CLM
Public Health - GNMEHSSH1PUH

Specific stream codes:

Clinical Medicine-MAMEHSSH1CLM
Public Health - MAMEHSSH1PUH

Specific stream codes:

Clinical Medicine - MAMSHPHL1CLM
Counselling - MAMEHSSH1COU
Laboratory- MAMSHPHL1LAB
Public Health- MAMSHPHL1PUH

CRICOS code 075088M 075087A 075086B
Degree Abbreviation GradDipHSSH MHSSH(Clinical Medicine)
MHSSH(Public Health)
MSSH(Clinical Medicine)/MPhil
MSSH(Public Health)/MPhil
Credit points required to complete  36 48 48 + research thesis (48)
Time to complete full-time 1 year 1 year 2 years
Time to complete part-time  1.5 - 3 years 1.5 - 6 years as per individual resolutions


The Master of HIV, STIs and Sexual Health provides a comprehensive, evidence-based, inter-professional and research-intensive learning experience that meets the needs of Australian and international students working in a range of disciplines related to HIV, STIs and sexual health. It also creates opportunities to seamlessly transition to research candidature.

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and other Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) are major public health concerns in both developed and developing countries, with millions of adults and children becoming infected each year. Effective prevention, diagnosis, management and surveillance of HIV and STIs require a thorough understanding of issues such as microbiology, immunology, diagnostics, therapeutics, harm reduction strategies and program delivery. Optimum delivery of such services needs to be on a sound basis of holistic concepts of sexual health, sexuality, sexual function, sexual abuse, sex education and reproductive health.

Core units of study provide professionals with foundational competence in medicine, nursing, laboratory, counselling and public health streams. An additional wide range of electives creates opportunities for candidates to explore related areas of interest. Furthermore, the cross-professional structure encourages candidates to develop effective multidisciplinary collaborative approaches and prepares them for work in a wide variety of healthcare settings.

All units of study are founded on evidence-based practice and focus strongly on critical review of recent literature. Upon successful completion of their coursework, strong candidates are encouraged to proceed to a research degree.

Course outcomes

Graduates will have opportunities to:

  • develop high levels of knowledge and appropriate skills in dealing with the social contexts, effective prevention strategies and management techniques for HIV, STIs and other sexual health issues
  • learn to work collaboratively in multidisciplinary teams on the practical challenges faced by professionals working in these areas
  • acquire skills recognised as essential components in the professional training of a variety of disciplines related to the medical, nursing, counselling, laboratory and public health streams
  • learn to critically evaluate relevant research publications and contribute to the growing body of evidence-based, effective interventions.


Students completing the counseling stream will be eligible to apply for professional accreditation with the Australian Society of Sexuality Educators, Researchers and Therapists.

Further information

The program is offered as either a coursework-only master's degree or as a double degree with the coursework-only master's degree followed by a research master's degree. Information on the Master of Philosophy is available in the Postgraduate Research Studies chapter.

To qualify for the coursework only degrees, students must complete coursework and clinical or laboratory assignments equivalent to 36 credit points (cp) to qualify for the award of the Graduate Diploma in HIV, STIs and Sexual Health or 48 credit points to qualify for the Master of HIV, STIs and Sexual Health in one of the following streams:

  • Clinical Medicine
  • Counselling
  • Laboratory
  • Nursing
  • Public Health.

Students are required to attend lectures and tutorials and undertake field visits to laboratory and clinical areas. While lectures take place at the University of Sydney Camperdown Campus and at Westmead Hospital, clinical and laboratory experience occurs at a variety of locations throughout Sydney. An increasing proportion of the course is being made available online. Assessment is by written examination, oral presentations, written assignments, multiple choice examinations, online discussions and placement reports.

Double degree students

The Master of HIV, STIs and Sexual Health and Master of Philosophy double degree is a coursework master’s degree combined with a master’s degree in research. The coursework degree emphasis is on the importance of the clinical, laboratory, public health and behavioural aspects of sexual health. Candidates complete the coursework component with a satisfactory result before proceeding to the research component of the double degree. The research project will be completed under the guidance of a supervisor.

Admission to candidature will be conditional upon the appointment of an appropriate supervisor and associate supervisor.

The double degree KC098 is only available to AusAID students and places will be offered to qualified applicants according to the admissions criteria. In exceptional circumstances the dean may admit applicants without these qualifications who, in the opinion of the school, have qualifications and evidence of experience and achievement sufficient to successfully undertake the award.

Other international and local applicants who wish to enrol in the double degree should apply for admission to KC097 Master of HIV, STIs and Sexual Health and KC083 Master of Philosophy. Information about the MPhil can be found in the Postgraduate Research Studies chapter.

Those students enrolled in the double degree will be required to have found a supervisor for their research degree and to submit a full research proposal for their MPhil by the end of the second semester of enrolment. In order to progress to the Master of Philosophy, students must complete the Master of HIV, STIs and Sexual Health coursework component with a weighted average mark of at least 65 percent across all 48 credit points of coursework units and enrol in the additional core units of study .

Students who have not submitted their thesis by the end of their first year of enrolment must re-enrol every semester, with the associated financial cost, until they submit their thesis.

Further information for students on AusAID scholarships is provided under the AusAID double degree program section.

Further enquiries

Associate Professor Richard Hillman
Phone: +61 2 9762 5378
Fax: +61 2 9762 5387