Master of Health Policy 2012
I am a specialist in Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine and have been involved in College and hospital policy for many years albeit with no formal qualifications in health policy.
To further progress my career and address my interest in this subject area, I started looking for a postgraduate opportunity and came across the Sydney School of Public Health. The School not only offers a specific course on health policy, but importantly, also has a superior national and international reputation.
The course content was diverse and very appropriate for the program. The workshops were excellent and the lecturers impressive, but being able to undertake discussions and electives as an online student was important to me as I was posted in Alice Springs for 12 months whilst studying part time.
One of the greatest challenges of the program was letting go of prejudices and pre-conceived ideas about health policy. Many of these ideas had been developed while working as a doctor and through an involvement with specialty medical colleges, so it was a major shift in thinking, which ultimately meant my change in opinion was one of the most satisfying aspects of the course.
Hearing about different opinions and gaining diverse perspectives is critical to understanding health policy. I believe this degree will stand me in good stead throughout my career.
The workshops provided access to high-profile lecturers and guest speakers from various backgrounds and my fellow students - many of whom were also from diverse backgrounds - made for an exceptionally stimulating learning environment.
I think the course has benefited me significantly and to students considering this program, I’d recommend that you read the background material, be prepared to have your perspectives challenged… and enjoy.
Master of Health Policy 2012
My background is predominately in health and specifically, in the area of blood born virus prevention with marginalised communities such as sex workers and people who inject drugs.
I'm currently employed as a Senior Policy Analyst in the AIDS/Infectious Diseases Branch at the NSW Ministry of Health, working with policy and programs to prevent hepatitis C.
I decided to complete the Master of Health Policy program as the Sydney School of Public Health as the program has an excellent reputation and many academics regularly demonstrate leadership on a number of key public health issues.
The course content was very current, very relevant and able to be applied over a diversity of policy areas. I was very impressed with the calibre of the teaching staff, particularly as the course draws from teaching staff with international and national experience in the policy areas they are teaching.
One of the best things about the program is that it is designed for people who have busy careers and are in full time employment - attending weekend intensives and options for online study made it much easier to balance competing priorities.
The most challenging thing is just getting organised, particularly if you haven't studied for a while, but it's the type of course that you want to do well in and one that challenges you personally and professionally, so it was absolutely worth it in the end.
I was constantly thinking about what I'd learnt and how I could apply that in my current role. I think health policy is as much about values as it is about politics and the program attracts skilled participants from a range of backgrounds and experience which meant a range of views in class discussions and the opportunity to constantly think, question and analyse.
The Masters of Health Policy program has really opened up the possibilities in health and public policy for me. The skills I've gained through this program will make me a better policy analyst and more competitive in the market place.
The advice I would give people considering this course is that although it’s useful to have a background in health and/or policy, be open to being challenged and to learning new and different things. Also, it’s really important to talk to the teaching staff and course coordinators - they are really helpful.
I plan on using the skills and knowledge I have gained over the last two years to further my career in health policy research and public administration, both nationally and internationally.
Master of Health Policy 2011
“At the commencement of the course, I was working as an Occupational Therapist in NSW and received a rural allied health scholarship through NSW Health for the initial component of my study. I studied part-time as a distance student however, the majority of the Health Policy Program was delivered in intensive workshop mode over a Friday and Saturday which allowed for face to face attendance.
I’ve recently taken up a position as a Senior Policy Officer with the Older People’s Mental Health Policy Unit, Mental Health Drug and Alcohol Office, NSW Department of Health. The responsibilities associated with this position include the provision of high-level strategic policy advice on older people’s mental health issues and developing, promulgating and reviewing policies and clinical service delivery approaches relevant to older people with mental health problems. The role also involves developing, implementing, monitoring, reporting and evaluation of key initiatives and management of various projects.
I thoroughly enjoyed the Master of Health Policy Program as content was current, relevant and provided a high-level overview of the fundamentals in health policy. Of particular benefit was the coverage of the interaction between politics and public policy, economics and global health influences on Australian healthcare.
The teaching staff were fantastic and inspirational – a variety of academic staff, former politicians or government advisors, public health advocates and policy makers.
The intensive delivery format allowed me to complete the course whilst working full-time and living in a rural area.
The course has benefited me in many ways and will continue to do so throughout my career. At a fundamental level, the course provided me with a sound understanding of the Australian health care system and the role of health policy. Throughout the course, I developed skills in health policy development, analysis, integration of evidence into policy and the role of budgets, economics and legislation in healthcare. These are skills I use constantly in my work.
My capacity for critical and strategic thinking was heightened throughout the course, and these skills are not only transferrable but beneficial to my current and future work.”
Graduate Certificate in Health Policy
“Although I have extensive commercial experience as a director of a global pharmaceutical company, I wanted to better understand how our health system works, and how my industry could help improve and support public health initiatives.
I particularly valued the aspects of the course that focused on how governments, the private sector and the community interact. I regularly picked up ‘jewels of insight’ during our discussions and lectures.
Since completing the program I have been invited to join the National Medicines Policy Committee where I frequently draw upon the information and lessons from my course.”