Certificate

Graduate Certificate in Sexual Health

The experience

Overview

As a student of the Graduate Certificate in Sexual Health, you will learn about the broad and diverse determinants of sexual and reproductive wellbeing. You will also gain a firm understanding of the important public health initiatives in sexual health, which can have positive impacts on the health of communities.

You will learn about marginalised and vulnerable groups and how the evidence-based work of public health practitioners can have a positive impact not only on the prevention and control of HIV and STIs, but also on the broader aspects of health. Most teaching is online but there are many opportunities to network and meet your fellow students with face to face tutorials and online meetings. You will be joining an enthusiastic and interested cohort from varied backgrounds including nursing, education, health promotion, and international development amongst many others.

Day-to-day experience

This program will help you deepen your knowledge and hone the skills you need for your career in this growing sector. You will explore this specialised field from a range of angles and immerse yourself in diverse subjects taught by leading global experts. All teaching staff are experienced professionals working in the field and bring a different focus into this broad area of health. They are co-ordinated by an experienced teacher and sexual health practitioner who ensures you have a relevant, up to date, stimulating, and smooth learning experience.

The Melbourne School of Population and Global Health (MSPGH) places a strong focus on industry networking throughout the study year. You will benefit from regular discourse with active sexual health professionals, including alumni who teach course material and guide discussion boards. In addition, there will be opportunities to join professional sexual health organisations and remain connected after graduation – through a special interest alumni group.

Learning mode

This part-time or full-time one-year course is taught through a blend of online and on campus learning. It equips graduates to understand, promote and aid improvement in the sexual health of communities through public health strategies. A broad mix of subjects and learning modules will provide you with a solid grounding in public health, preparing you to apply your knowledge across a range of health careers.

The online portal allows you to connect seamlessly with other students, teachers and guest speakers. You can set your own learning pace and contribute to open discussions about complex subject matter. Domestic students also have the option to complete the qualification over a compressed two-week block.

Expert educators and industry professionals cover a wide range of subjects from Chlamydia control, to sex industry regulation, to maternal and child health in resource-poor settings. The course will also draw on national and international developments in the prevention, management and public health control of sexually transmissible infections and HIV.

Opportunities

This course is one of a kind in Australia and offers an ideal specialised learning environment for people wishing to work in public health and/or sexual and reproductive health.

As a student of the Graduate Certificate, you will benefit from a strong focus on local and international networking with sexual health professionals, peers and former students.

You will also make connections with a strong sexual health research team at the University of Melbourne whose research informs practices nationally and internationally. In addition, links with the Melbourne Sexual Health Centre – an internationally recognised leader in the public health approach to the provision of clinical services – will also inform your learning and add a unique dimension to your experience.

Profile

Tameaka Lakey

I am a Health Promotion Officer in Ballarat, and my role consists of promoting and coordinating health and wellbeing programs in schools.

I’d always been interested in sexual health and we were being inundated with requests from schools for information about issues like puberty and safe sex. And when I learned that Ballarat has the highest rate of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in Victoria I wanted to help do something about it.

So my manager suggested this course, and now talking about sexual health in schools is my full-time role.

The course was fantastic. In particular learning about adolescent development and health really helps me pitch information at the right level, depending on the age of the students I’m talking to.

I get a lot of questions about STIs and I’m much more confident answering them now, because we had a whole subject devoted to that area, as well as touching on it in the other subjects.

Before signing up to the course I was worried it was going to be really challenging and I was going to feel isolated because it’s mainly online, but all the teachers were amazing and got back to us so quickly that was never the case.

Using the online portal was really easy and I even Skyped my supervisor a few times as well. She organised regular meetings so we had some face-to-face time and the opportunity to meet other students and help each other out. We also did a two-week placement at the Melbourne Sexual Health Centre, which was really helpful.

Each subject also included some group work so I got to talk with other students and meet them online via Skype and Facebook. I never felt like I was doing it on my own.