The University of Newcastle, Australia

Why study health and medical services?

With extensive practical experience embedded into our degrees and state-of-the-art learning facilities, you'll be ready to help improve and even save lives. See yourself here in 2020.

Over 100 ? Indigenous doctors have graduated
World top 38 ? for Sport Science
Top 150 ? in the world - Medicine
Ranked 38 ? in the world - Nursing

About health and medical services

A long and healthy life is something we all strive for. The field of health and medical services is driven by passionate and caring people, motivated to improve, extend, and even save lives. Our ageing populating and increasing rate of chronic illness means that we need more health professionals to provide life-changing treatment and preventative care. From researchers in labs, to doctors and nurses in hospitals and clinics, pharmacists, radiographers, physiotherapists and everyone in between – there’s a wide range of dynamic, exciting professions to choose from.

Work with women and families to achieve the best health outcomes for mothers and their babies as a midwife, or make a real difference to the health and wellbeing of the community by providing quality health care to individuals, families and communities as a nurse. Whichever direction you choose for your career, you can be sure you will be making an important and meaningful contribution to society.

  • We are global leaders in health and medicine - we're home to the $90 million Hunter Medical Research Institute and leading minds like 2018 NSW Scientist of the Year, Laureate Professor Nicholas Talley, who is a global authority on functional gut disorders, or Chair of Clinical Pharmacology Professor Jennifer Martin and her team, who are investigating the use of medical cannabis for terminally ill adult cancer patients.
  • Experience new age learning – we integrate the latest technologies into all our health and medical degrees. Learn through a range of futuristic tools, virtual reality scenarios or lifelike robotic manikins.
  • Get hands on experience with many of our degrees offering over 1,000+ hours of practical experience as part of your study, within a range of settings, and contact with real patients and cases from your first year onwards.
  • Connect with communities to improve access to healthcare services both nationally and internationally. Our strong approach to equity is carried through with access to our degrees – this is why we are proud to have graduated more than 100 of Australia’s Indigenous Medical Doctors (School of Medicine and Public Health Indigenous Health Unit completions as of 2018)
  • Hone your skills using cutting-edge equipment in our purpose-built $17.3 million multi-storey medical sciences precinct, including innovative laboratories.

Undergraduate health and medical services degrees

We understand that sometimes you don't know exactly which degree you'd like to pursue, particularly in an area as diverse as health and medicine. You may, however, know which specialisation or major excites you. Use these areas of interest to narrow down your study options based on your interests and career goals.

All degrees

Degree name Selection rank
Bachelor of Biomedical Science
Bachelor of Biomedical Science (Honours)
Bachelor of Biotechnology
Bachelor of Biotechnology (Honours)
Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science
Bachelor of Food Science and Human Nutrition
Bachelor of Food Science and Human Nutrition / Bachelor of Business
Bachelor of Health Science (Honours)
Bachelor of Medical Engineering (Honours)
Bachelor of Medical Radiation Science (Honours) (Diagnostic Radiography)
Bachelor of Medical Radiation Science (Honours) (Nuclear Medicine)
Bachelor of Medical Radiation Science (Honours) (Radiation Therapy)
Bachelor of Medical Science (Honours)
Bachelor of Medical Science / Doctor of Medicine (Joint Medical Program)
Bachelor of Midwifery
Bachelor of Midwifery (Honours)
Bachelor of Nursing
Bachelor of Nursing (Honours)
Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics (Honours)
Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours)
Bachelor of Oral Health Therapy
Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours)
Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Honours)
Bachelor of Podiatry
Bachelor of Psychological Science
Bachelor of Psychological Science (Advanced)
Bachelor of Psychological Science (Honours)
Bachelor of Public and Community Health
Bachelor of Speech Pathology (Honours)

Aged care

Aged care involves learning to work with, and advocate for, older people in assisting them to navigate the evolving health services environment. As Australia’s population ages, the demand for aged care graduates is expected to increase. A career in this industry can be enriching and extremely rewarding.

Career examples

  • Community Worker
  • Care Manager
  • Home Care Worker
  • Residential Team Leader


  1. Bachelor of Medical Science / Doctor of Medicine (Joint Medical Program)
  2. Bachelor of Nursing
  3. Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours)
  4. Bachelor of Oral Health Therapy
  5. Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Honours)
  6. Bachelor of Podiatry
  7. Bachelor of Social Work (Honours)

Food and nutrition

Food is fundamental to our health and wellbeing. Within your degree, you will learn about diet and nutrition-related diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and obesity. You will study why these conditions are becoming increasingly common worldwide. At the same time, you will consider the growing evidence suggesting that certain foods and food-based nutrients could be used to help manage and treat these and other diseases.

This industry is rapidly growing and opportunities for students with degrees in food and nutrition are constantly evolving.

Career examples

  • Dietician
  • Flavourist
  • Food Scientist
  • Health Promotion Officer


  1. Bachelor of Food Science and Human Nutrition
  2. Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics (Honours)

Health and fitness

The Western world is moving towards a new era of health problems related to lifestyle and inactivity, while at the same time elite sport enjoys a high profile in the community. Health and fitness degrees produce qualified specialists with an understanding of the relationship between exercise and health.

Studies in health and fitness can lead to a range of broad and varied careers, helping people achieve and maintain a healthy and active lifestyle.

Career examples

  • Biomechanist
  • Exercise Physiologist
  • Health and Physical Education Teacher
  • Sports Scientist


  1. Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science
  2. Bachelor of Education (Secondary) (major in Health and Physical Education)
  3. Bachelor of Education (Primary)

Medical engineering

Medical engineering students learn to be involved with the design, development, testing and implementation of safe and effective technological solutions for the health and medicine industry. Depending on their area of specialisation, a medical engineering graduate could study how to work with biomechanical devices, surgical equipment, nanotechnology drug delivery systems and diagnostic tests, prosthetic limbs, artificial organs, or electrical and computing systems relating to radiotherapy, respiration or dialysis.

Medical engineers work in hospitals and other medical institutions, health-related manufacturing and technology companies, pharmaceutical companies, and research organisations.

Career examples

  • Medical Devices Engineer
  • Biomechanics Designer
  • Medical Imaging Engineer
  • Biosignal Processing Engineer


  1. Bachelor of Medical Engineering (Honours)

Medical radiation science

Medical radiation science is a field that’s constantly evolving. Medical radiation students learn the skills to become healthcare professionals who perform complex testing and treatment to help diagnose and solve medical issues. There are three main branches of this scientific field: diagnostic radiography, nuclear medicine and radiation therapy.

Diagnostic radiography is an important first step to diagnosing, treating and managing injuries and disease. Nuclear medicine scientists conduct nuclear medicine scans of a person’s body using radioactive material called radioisotopes. Radiation therapy, also known as radiotherapy, uses sophisticated radiation technology to target and destroy cancer cells and shrink tumours – allowing cancer to be treated, managed and cured.

Career examples

  • Radiographer
  • Nuclear Medicine Scientist
  • Radiation Therapist
  • Sonographer


  1. Bachelor of Medical Radiation Science (Honours) (Diagnostic Radiography)
  2. Bachelor of Medical Radiation Science (Honours) (Nuclear Medicine)
  3. Bachelor of Medical Radiation Science (Honours) (Radiation Therapy)

Medical research

Medical research is conducted to aid and support the development of knowledge in the field of medicine. Your degree in medical research will be heavily grounded in biology and can either focus on biomedical science or biotechnology. Biomedical science studies the human body, its structure and function in health and disease. While, biotechnology uses living organisms to modify products for a specific human purpose. Biotechnology plays a key role in the creation of vaccines.

Career examples

  • Biotechnologist
  • Embryologist
  • Geneticist
  • Molecular Biologist


  1. Bachelor of Biomedical Science
  2. Bachelor of Biotechnology
  3. Bachelor of Medical Science / Doctor of Medicine (Joint Medical Program)


Medicine is a field of study which is both challenging and rewarding. As a doctor, you will act as a key player in multi-disciplinary medical teams to diagnose and treat patients. The field of Medicine is also rapidly changing with advances in technology and research bringing new therapies and treatments, meaning doctors have new, revolutionary tools at their disposal in patient care.

Studying a degree in medicine builds a lifelong career in health and can open up doors to a range of specialities.

Career examples

  • General Practitioner (GP)
  • Medical Oncologist
  • Neurologist
  • Surgeon


  1. Bachelor of Medical Science / Doctor of Medicine (Joint Medical Program)

Nursing and midwifery

A nursing student will learn to care for individuals, families, and communities, ensuring that they maintain good health or recover from injury and disease. The study of Midwifery, however, focuses on the care of women, babies and their families prior to pregnancy, during pregnancy, labour, birth and the early infancy period.

Nurses and midwives are a key part of the team of health professionals who care for patients across hospitals and community health centres.

Career examples

  • Nurse
  • Midwife
  • Child and Family Health Nurse
  • Community Health Nurse


  1. Bachelor of Midwifery
  2. Bachelor of Nursing

Occupational therapy

Occupational therapy students learn to work with clients and their families to allow them to participate in the activities of everyday life. Their studies focus on a range of different scenarios including helping children with development of fine motor skills; in aged-care assisting to retrofit a home to improve safety; in injury rehabilitation to allow people to return to work; and in mental health helping people regain confidence and independence. Occupational therapy degrees produce trained specialists who work to alter the occupation or the environment to allow clients to lead a rich and fulfilling life.

Career examples

  • Occupational Therapist
  • Exercise Rehabilitation Advisor
  • Lifestyle Coordinator
  • Rehabilitation Consultant


  1. Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours)

Oral health

Oral health therapy graduates may work alongside dentists and perform a range of preventative and restorative tasks like cleaning, scaling, polishing and x-rays. Their degree will largely focus on work with adults but depending on the specialisation, may involve work with children as well. Graduates of an oral health therapy degree can also work in a range of other dental health promotion and research roles.

Career examples

  • Dental Hygienist
  • Dental Prosthetist
  • Health Promotion Officer
  • Dental Therapist


  1. Bachelor of Oral Health Therapy


The study of pharmacy is not just about filling prescriptions. It is about learning how to promote health awareness and contributing to ongoing community health. As a pharmacy student you will study consulting on the best use and management of medications, and how to provide advice on symptoms and treatments of common ailments. Pharmacists support the work of other medical professionals by ensuring the safe use of medications and other drugs.

Within your pharmacy degree you will be exposed to the work that the majority of pharmacists undertake in hospitals, community centres or private practice.

Career examples

  • Pharmacist
  • Pharmaceuticals Scientist
  • Pharmaceutical Sales Representative
  • Medicinal Chemist


  1. Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours)


Physiotherapy graduates learn to work with people of all ages to help patients overcome injuries and disabilities that hinder their mobility and quality of life. Their studies focus on working closely with other professionals to assess, diagnose, treat and prevent a wide range of health conditions and movement disorders.Throughout their degree, they will learn the application and health benefits of a range of techniques such as massage, heat treatment, ultrasound and exercise.

Career examples

  • Physiotherapist
  • Cardiorespiratory Physiotherapist
  • Physiologist
  • Rehabilitation Consultant


  1. Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Honours)


Podiatry students learn to diagnose, treat, prevent and manage medical conditions and injuries of the leg, foot and ankle. As a Podiatry graduate you may find yourself correcting sports injuries; addressing developmental issues in children; or helping restore a person's independence and mobility. Podiatry degrees have found graduates work in a range of different environments including public and private practice, hospitals, sports clinics and research centres.

Career examples

  • Podiatrist
  • Orthotist
  • Health Promotion Officer
  • Sports Podiatry Treatment Officer


  1. Bachelor of Podiatry


Psychology degrees focus on the scientific study of human behaviour, the human brain and its effect on the way we act and why. This field moulds graduates into experts in human behaviour and they learn the skills and strategies to make a positive impact in the lives of others. Career opportunities are broad and varied and understanding human behaviour is a definite advantage in any industry.

Career examples

  • Clinical Psychologist
  • Counsellor
  • Neuroscientist
  • Mental Health Clinician


  1. Bachelor of Psychological Science

Speech pathology

Speech pathology degrees train graduates to be responsible health professionals, skilled in the assessment and treatment of children and adults with communication and swallowing disorders. Students learn about identifying and treating conditions such as delayed speech and language development, cleft lip and palate, voice disorders and stuttering. They learn to work with people who have difficulty communicating because of developmental delays, stroke, brain injuries, plus a range of other problems that can impact speech. Studying speech pathology can lead to work in hospitals, nursing homes, schools, rehabilitation units and private practice.

Career examples

  • Audiologist
  • Disability Services Officer
  • Speech Pathologist
  • Voice or Vocal Coach


  1. Bachelor of Speech Pathology (Honours)


Watch Brigette's story

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Read More

Are you seeking a career that drives you to go above and beyond for clients and communities? To Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (OT) alumnus Brigette Sloane, Occupational Therapy is more than an occupation: it’s a way to make a lasting difference in the lives of individuals, and sometimes—with a little luck and a lot of hard work—for entire communities.  

Brigette experienced this firsthand during her final year of studies.

“I was selected to travel abroad and complete 10 weeks of work-integrated learning at Hilton Early Intervention Centre and Special School, Suva, Fiji,” says Brigette.

“It helped me develop as a health professional and also as a person. I was able to independently implement workplace procedures whilst demonstrating the OT role in an unfamiliar culture with various language barriers across a range of practice settings.”

The work filled her with pride, but her time in Fiji wasn’t without its challenges. Most importantly, she wanted to make sure the impact she was making would last beyond her time there.

“There were really limited resources. So being over there, I had to be very resourceful, very creative. Making things, using things I have access to, knowing they wouldn’t continue to have access to once I was gone,” she explains.

But those challenges were far outweighed by the knowledge she was changing lives for the better. One experience that will always stand out to her is a strong connection she made with a boy who had communication difficulties. Partnering with his mother, she worked hard with them to ensure the boy’s continued progress.

“I was working on engaging him in handwriting. I got him a slantboard made, and gave the teachers some information. Just some different strategies to get him writing.”

Seeing his progress, “…it made me feel really proud of myself and really excited for him, because I knew that I did something to benefit him and his family.”

Brigette feels that the University’s deep focus on work-integrated learning, every step of the way, was essential experience for her and everyone in her program. She gained valuable skills and had powerful experiences in mental health, community aged care, and paediatrics.

“Work-integrated learning is really critical for a degree. Having the opportunity at University of Newcastle to have placements in each year…is really valuable. Being able to study and go and put those skills into practice at each stage, it’s really a natural progression.”

Brigette is eager to experience the opportunities a career in Occupational Therapy can bring. “It’s so broad, it’s very exciting. The great thing about being an OT is there are so many opportunities and fields to go into.”

“Ultimately my career aspiration is to open my own practice one day.”

And as for making an impact that lasts? As she continues in her profession, Brigette will continue to improve peoples’ quality of life through OT. But she can also be proud of what she’s already accomplished. She recently found out that, because of the work she did there, the school where she worked in Fiji wants to hire an Occupational Therapist full-time.


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