HomeEducation and trainingCoursesGraduate Certificate of Humanitarian Health

Many health professionals have deep theoretical knowledge and highly specialised skill sets. However, very few are equipped to apply these qualities outside of a traditional clinical setting, let alone in a complex crisis zone.

The Graduate Certificate of Humanitarian Health educates and up-skills health professionals to prepare for deployment in the world’s most crisis-prone countries. The Graduate Certificate of Humanitarian Health is delivered with the support of GlaxoSmithKline.

Graduates are awarded a Graduate Certificate of Humanitarian Health from Deakin University.

Course delivery and learning experience

Delivered entirely online via DeakinCloud.


1 year part-time.

Scholarship eligibility

International students based outside of Australia can apply for Deakin University’s Humanitarian Health Scholarship. The Humanitarian Health Scholarship is part of GlaxoSmithKline’s initiative to support access to ongoing education for students from economically disadvantaged and low resource environments.

About the course

The picture of health is changing – your chance to help the world’s most vulnerable starts here.

Health professionals in the humanitarian sector are confronted with a more complex and diverse landscape than ever before. Conflicts are increasingly multi-facetted and natural disasters are escalating in number and intensity, often occurring in regions already struggling with poor health services and socio-economic and political constraints.

Humanitarian response teams include health experts – doctors, nurses, specialists in public health, nutrition, psychology, sexual and reproductive health, social inclusion, disability and medical logistics – but they are not necessarily trained to apply their skills in a complex humanitarian crisis. It’s critical that response teams have the right skills and training for immediate action.

The Graduate Certificate of Humanitarian Health focusses on educating and up-skilling health professionals to prepare for deployment in the world’s most crisis-prone countries. The course provides a unique mix of theory, practice and reflection to develop your theoretical and practical knowledge to provide effective care in humanitarian crises.

We know there are gaps in health programs and interventions in humanitarian contexts relating to health service access, health assessments, coordination, accountability and health worker safety. Anecdotal evidence from our humanitarian sector partners confirms the need for improvements in the preparation of professionals to the challenges faced within these contexts.

You will learn a variety of applicable skills and core theories that are critical to delivering safe, effective health programs. The two core and two elective units of this course equip you to:

  • Learn core principles, theories, and practices used by humanitarians in the field.
  • Identify and manage common dilemmas and challenges faced by the wider humanitarian sector.
  • Assess, plan and deliver effective health care to meet population needs.
  • Monitor and evaluate health programs to meet public and clinical health issues.
  • Manage stakeholder and donor relationships as part of health program delivery.
  • Understand organisational, reporting and governance requirements as part of high quality programming
  • Understand organisational and governance requirements.
  • Monitor and evaluate health programs to better meet public and clinical health issues.

What you get

Apply your skills to the most pressing health needs around the world

The Graduate Certificate of Humanitarian Health equips you to diversify your career options in healthcare, by providing a comprehensive set of skills and insights required for deployment in the world’s most crisis prone countries.

By completing this course, you will have the skills to work effectively in:

  • Health service delivery.
  • Health program planning and management.
  • Health program monitoring and evaluation.
  • Training and capacity building.

Career pathways for alumni of the Graduate Certificate of Humanitarian Health include employment in:

  • Local and international non-government organisations (NGOs).
  • UN agencies.
  • Private sector aid organisations.
  • Relevant government bodies related to humanitarian and emergency health response.


Is this course right for you?

What qualifications do I require to apply?

Applicants must have a Bachelor degree in any discipline OR at least three years of relevant work experience (or part-time equivalent).

Do I need to have experience working in the humanitarian sector?

No. Although it is beneficial for students, sector experience is not necessary. The Graduate Certificate of Humanitarian Health is suitable to new graduates or experienced professionals who would like to work in the humanitarian sector.

What if I do not have the necessary undergraduate degree but I have worked in the humanitarian sector?

You may still apply without having a Bachelor’s degree. However, without a Bachelor, you must have at least three years’ health related field experience in complex, low resource environments. In these situations, entry into the Graduate Certificate of Humanitarian Health will be decided on a case-by-case basis.

Will I be able to do further study after the completion of the Graduate Certificate of Humanitarian Health?

Yes. You can use the completed units as credits towards the Master of Humanitarian Assistance, the Master of Nursing Practice, or the Master of Public Health.

How can I find out more information?

For more information, please email info@centreforhumanitarianleadership.org

Apply for this course

The Graduate Certificate of Humanitarian Health is co-developed and delivered by the Centre for Humanitarian Leadership in collaboration with Deakin University. The course itself is administered by Deakin University. All applications must be made directly to Deakin University through the university’s application portal.

Apply now