Victoria University's Graduate Certificate in Planetary Health short course is the first of its kind in Australia.

It explores the intersection between human health and the natural environment, with a focus on the impact of human activity upon the environment.

Translation: our health depends upon the health of our environment.

Learning about and engaging with planetary health can assist in creating the change we need for our communities and environment. It could also kick-off the career change you've been looking for.

Hikers climb steps in pristine forest

The Graduate Certificate in Planetary Health is the first of its kind in Australia.

The importance of planetary health

The world and the environment are changing. From bushfires to droughts, pandemics, floods and food shortages, we need to change human behaviour not only for our own health benefits, but that of the planet as well.

Graduates of this unique course will lead the way in their industries, as businesses, governments and communities look to develop expertise in this increasingly critical area.

Whether working in health, business, science, creative arts or education, graduates can apply the knowledge and skills learnt to add value to their existing or new roles.

The relationship between humans and the environment is the key factor in planetary health.

Where planetary health can take you

If you’re looking to expand your knowledge or are considering a career with a focus on planetary health, the Graduate Certificate can open new avenues into a field that’s rapidly growing in demand.

Course Chair, Associate Professor Jeannie Rea explained:

“This unique course empowers students to achieve transformational change in their workplaces and communities. Students will gain the knowledge and skills to take current and emerging issues, and critically analyse, design and apply innovative solutions.”

The skills and knowledge from the Graduate Certificate can be used to change the way your work environment goes about its business. Industries in which this course is particularly advantageous include procurement and sustainability, health and community work, education and more.

Planetary health can help implement positive change that will improve human and environment health prospects while strengthening community ties.

Looking for a new career? Studying planetary health is future-focused for a changing world.

Planetary health & your career

VU's unique Graduate Certificate in Planetary Health offered online. You will learn how to design and apply innovative responses to issues in your workplace and community, to create healthier, fairer, more sustainable environments. This course is ideal if you're looking for a new career direction.

This course will help professionals across many fields to improve their knowledge, including:

  • health professionals
  • teachers and others working in education
  • business professionals
  • community-service workers.

Depending on your professional and study background, you might use this certificate to begin a career as one of the following:

  • environment/sustainability officer
  • occupational or environmental-health manager
  • policy analyst
  • researcher
  • educator
  • planetary health advocate
  • sustainability/social entrepreneur.

This course will help professionals across many fields to improve their knowledge.

How did planetary health evolve?

The term planetary health has been used in health and environmental sustainability conversation since at least the 1980s.

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were developed in response to the need for a planetary health approach, bringing together and interrogating previous goals for human health and for environmentally sustainable development.

At VU, we are part of this rapidly growing international movement and have demonstrated our commitment to the United Nations Sustainability Goals. We focus on finding socially equitable local solutions relevant to local communities, while sharing knowledge with communities around the world.

Examples of this approach are reflected in VU’s Growing Brimbank collaborative program between Mitchell Institute, Victoria University and the City of Brimbank.

In 2020 VU provided up to $1 million of funding to support 25 projects in our research community, to undertake the world-changing research in the area of place-based planetary health.