In an Australian-first, an online short course is opening new avenues in a rapidly growing field.

The six-month Graduate Certificate in Planetary Health explores the intersection between human health and the natural environment.

The course is designed for professionals from all sectors and backgrounds to enhance both their employability prospects and get this valuable knowledge into the workplace.

Whether you’re keen to complement or specialise in your existing role, or become an environmental or sustainability officer, a policy analyst or educator, this course will grow your career.

Hear from five recent graduates from a variety of backgrounds about how the course has impacted their careers and lives.

Planetary health complements psychology

Community psychologist Carolina Aguirre studied VU’s Graduate Certificate in Planetary Health to help inform her practice with individuals and the community.

“I consider connecting to the natural environment and advocating for the health of the planet as an important part of my role. I chose VU’s Graduate Certificate in Planetary Health because it offered knowledge in climate change science and ways I could influence change through my work.

One of the best aspects of the course is interacting with open-minded people from diverse cultural and disciplinary backgrounds.”

"VU’s Graduate Certificate in Planetary Health offered knowledge in climate change science and ways I could influence change through my work." Read more of Carolina's story.

Expanding a journalist’s enquiring mind

Journalist Nick Gibbs sought further studies to inform his work in global environmental and health issues.

“My career is focused in the media and political space, and I'm particularly interested in public debate on environmental issues. This course in planetary health offers a different way to think about the biggest issue facing humanity with a focus on education, community development and results-driven action. 

The VU Block Model allows you to focus on one subject at a time and not having to manage multiple assignments at once is a blessing. It wasn’t too demanding alongside work, and the online delivery mode is flexible.”

"This course provides valuable insights into the challenges we're facing now and will continue to encounter." Read more of Nick's story.

Marketer finds strength in planetary health

Andrea Hoyman worked in journalism before starting a career in marketing, working with start-up businesses. Becoming increasingly concerned about our natural world, when the pandemic hit, she researched more about sustainability issues and solutions.

“Over time, I had an increased concern for what's happening in the world and with our planet.

I’d read an article about planetary health and discovered the graduate certificate at Victoria University. I chose the course because it was short and would let me dive deeper into the area and get a more solid foundation.

I really liked the place-based focus of the course; and the focus on Indigenous Australians and how to start working alongside Indigenous Australians on equitable solutions. 

We also learnt from amazing guest lecturers. One speaker was a Nobel Peace Prize winner, for nuclear disarmament work and lobbying.”

Andrea Hoymann smiling, standing outside

"We also learnt from amazing guest lecturers...including a Nobel Peace Prize winner." Read more of Andrea's story.

A science writer shaping the future

Writer Darcy French initially studied Planetary Health for its unique transdisciplinary approach. But the thought-provoking course content, combined with a passionate and diverse student and teacher cohort, has further inspired his success.

“I’d previously studied in the social sciences space, specifically international relations and human rights, and those interests remain a focus for me.

Studying the Graduate Certificate enabled me to combine much of what I’d previously learnt with an emerging global and ecological awareness of what I can contribute through my work.

I do believe studying planetary health would benefit almost anyone in any field; such is the importance and relevance of this discourse.”

 Darcy French

"I do believe studying planetary health would benefit almost anyone in any field; such is the importance and relevance of this discourse.” Read more of Darcy's story.

A wake up call in education

Living through the COVID-19 pandemic and witnessing devastating bushfires and other climate-led disasters, Andree Ruggeri was compelled to study planetary health. The VU learning hub coordinator is now designing modules to empower students to be more environmentally and socially conscious.

“The Graduate Certificate in Planetary Health appealed to me because of its place-based approach, where community plays a key role. My classmates were from different professional backgrounds and contexts, both local and international, which made for a rich learning experience.

I'm still surprised at how much of an impact a short course has had on my life, and I think that’s down to it being such an important topic and an interesting way of learning.

"I think 2020 highlighted the urgency of the situation we're in. And it gave us opportunities to address our problems." Read more of Andree's story.

Find out more

Discover the unique Graduate Certificate in Planetary Health at VU.

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VU: Leaders in planetary health

Planetary health addresses the relationship between the health of people, place and planet, and how each profoundly impacts the other. VU’s commitment to planetary health – through research, teaching and community engagement – was formally recognised through membership with the Planetary Health Alliance, and a ranking of #1 in Victoria for Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions (Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2020).