Health care courses are available in Australia through online and mixed-mode study. Graduates are employed in clinical, allied health, community and corporate roles.

Some health courses can be studied 100% online. For those that can’t, mixed-mode study is often available. Australian universities and colleges do their best to support distance learning.

  • Whether a program is fully online depends on professional requirements.
  • Degree and diploma courses may include practical training sessions.

Typically, a distance education health course allows you to study online most of the time. On-campus classes, if needed, are concentrated in a multi-day block each semester (known as a residential school).

Health administrators plan, manage, monitor and coordinate systems of health care delivery. Studying health administration online develops the knowledge and skills you need for senior management and planning positions in hospitals and other health facilities.

Australian universities offer online masters degrees in health administration.

  • The courses teach you how to be a good administrator and give you credentials to compete for executive jobs.
  • Online MBA programs with a health management specialisation are also available... READ MORE

Counselling is often recommended as a study option after you have worked in a community care field. At that stage, you know if counselling is right for you and have a platform of experience from which to give advice.

To gain professional accreditation, you need to complete a Bachelor of Counselling (or equivalent degree). Alternatively, if you have a degree, you are eligible to do a 2-year graduate diploma course.

Counselling programs which lead straight to professional accreditation are not delivered 100% online. Instead, they include essential face-to-face classes where students are instructed in practical aspects of counselling. Work placements also give students the opportunity to learn by interacting with counsellors and clients... READ MORE

Mental health is an issue across the health sector, including in counselling, social work, nursing and psychology. By doing an online postgraduate course, you can gain specialist skills within your profession and move into new healthcare roles.

Flexible study options are available, where you study 100% online at any time of the year. Online courses are ideal if you want to continue working or if you keep a busy home schedule.

You can gain mental health qualifications by completing a graduate certificate, graduate diploma or masters degree. Courses teach you how to understand mental health conditions and meet patient needs... READ MORE

Australian universities offer many external courses for nursing at the degree level. A good spread of universities geographically helps with arranging hands-on nurse training.

  • A Bachelor of Nursing degree allows you to become a Registered Nurse.
  • Distance education universities require students to attend clinical simulations on campus, usually in intensive blocks running over consecutive days.

Clinical placements in the community should be considered when choosing online courses. Students spend 800+ hours in healthcare facilities during a 3-year bachelor degree. Universities can find it easier to provide places for students in the same state... READ MORE

A Master of Nursing degree can you set up for career advancement or a career pivot into specialised nursing or management and administration.

  • A Master of Nursing program can be studied 100% online.
  • For a Master of Nursing Practice degree, you combine online study with on-the-job training at a healthcare facility near you.

In the online mode, nursing masters courses are designed for maximum convenience. Online study can normally be confined to the times during the week that suit you... READ MORE

You can qualify to be a nutritionist or dietitian by combining online study with practical training. Most of Australia’s major cities have a university or college offering external units as part of a diploma or degree.

An advanced diploma or bachelor degree in nutrition qualifies you for many jobs in the food, health and weight management sectors. To become a recognised dietitian, you need to do a bachelor or masters degree accredited by the Dietitians Association of Australia.

Nutrition is a hands-on study area, meaning that some parts must be done on campus or in a clinical setting. But there are opportunities to complete the academic parts of nutrition courses externally... READ MORE

Psychology is a popular study choice among students doing arts, social science and science degrees. Online psychology courses are widely available at the undergraduate level.

A 3-year psychology degree is just the start of qualifying to be a psychology researcher, registered psychologist or clinical psychologist. But it can lead to careers in areas such as social work and community services, HR management, and marketing.

An honours year and postgraduate degree are normally required for professional positions. Because advanced degrees often have a significant clinical practice component, distance education courses are all multi-mode (i.e. you have to attend classes at least occasionally)... READ MORE

You can become a fully qualified social worker by studying online and just occasionally seeing a university campus. On-campus attendance is limited to multi-day residential sessions about once per semester.

The practical side of learning to do social work is handled by getting on-the-job experience. To become accredited, students need to put in around 1000 hours of work experience. Training is done in 2 placements in social welfare settings, which can be near where you live.

A Bachelor of Social Work degree requires 4 years of study and on-the-job learning. If you already have a degree, you can do a 2-year Master of Social Work (Professional Qualifying) program... READ MORE

Many health career training programs involve both classroom lectures and hands-on learning opportunities. You may spend time in a lab, do an internship in a community clinic or do a clinical rotation in a bustling hospital to hone your technical and patient care skills.


Patient care is more than just healing -- it's building a connection that encompasses mind, body and soul. If you could stand in someone else's shoes ... hear what they hear. See what they see. Feel what they feel. Would you treat them differently?

~ Toby Cosgrove, MD