0.5 years full time
Delivery mode: 
Start date:
22 February 2021
Application due dates:
Direct applications are due on 14 February 2021 for our next intake which starts on 22 February 2021.


Aim for a meaningful career, with the fast-tracked Graduate Certificate in Planetary Health, focused on crucial global and local issues.

Planetary health addresses the relationship between the health of the planet and health of communities, understanding that each profoundly impacts the other.

Drawing on a range of disciplines, this course focuses on finding local solutions while sharing learning with communities around the world. It allows you to build on your knowledge in almost any field – from community development, health or education, to science or business – and take your career in a more meaningful direction.

You'll explore pressing issues including climate change and disaster response, and important viewpoints such as Aboriginal knowledges and local community needs. 

Graduating with practical knowledge, you'll be prepared to design and apply innovative responses to issues in your workplace and community – creating healthier, fairer, more sustainable environments. 

Read about our commitment to planetary health.

Following the overwhelming success of the revolutionary VU Block Model with undergraduate students, from 2021 we will start rolling out the Block Model to our postgraduate courses.

From 2021, this course will be delivered in four-week mode, which means you study one unit (subject) at a time over four weeks, rather than juggling several units at once. And with its focused timetables and smaller, collaborative classes, VU’s Block Model gives you more time to connect with your peers, lecturers and industry partners, helping you to build strong professional networks.

The VU Block Model has improved our student results and engagement, and has won multiple international awards for innovation and excellence.

The term 'planetary health' has been used in health and environmental sustainability discourse since at least the 1980s. It addresses the intersect between the health of the planet and the health of communities.

Global record temperatures and the coronavirus pandemic have recently brought planetary health onto centre stage. From bushfires and drought to floods and food shortages, pressing issues compel us to adapt and find ways that humans and the environment can survive and thrive together. 

VU focuses on a place-based approach, finding socially equitable solutions for local communities while sharing knowledge with communities around the world. We are committed to this approach, and as an education institute have joined the growing international movement of place-based planetary health.

The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals are a framework of 17 aims for sustainable development.

Victoria University's focus on quality education, justice, health and sustainability has been recognised with impressive results in the Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings that capture universities’ impact on society, based on the goals.

Our global position of 100–201 holds two extraordinary achievements: no. 12 for Quality Education and no. 33-equal for Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions.

We are committed to building on these achievements, by providing accessible education, improving planetary health and creating healthier, more-inclusive societies.

This course is being offered as part of the COVID-19 Higher Education Relief Package, which supports workers displaced by the COVID-19 crisis to upskill or retrain.

It reduces the cost of studying fast-tracked, online courses, and provides exemptions from loan fees under HECS HELP student loans.

Find out if you meet the criteria for subsidised online courses.

To pursue further study after successfully completing this course, we recommend applying for one of these higher qualifications:

As a postgraduate student you can further develop your academic language and study skills in VU’s Learning Hubs (online).

We offer maths, writing, careers and English-language advice, and show you effective ways to study and manage your time.

Learning Hubs offer:

  • online support 24/7
  • postgraduate writing groups
  • peer mentoring
  • maths and writing resources
  • resume and career guidance.

We also have accessibility support services and counselling services available for all students.

The Graduate Certificate in Planetary Health is made up of four units of four weeks each, offered sequentially over four months in Block Model. Students will be able to graduate in December.

In 2020, the course runs from 27 July to 20 November, with classes every Monday and Thursday, 6pm–9pm.

Think global; act local. Learn to engage with your local community to improve its health and wellbeing.


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

  • health professionals
  • teachers and others working in education
  • business professionals
  • community services 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.

Course structure

To attain the Graduate Certificate in Planetary Health students will be required to complete 48 credit points consisting of Core studies.

On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Critique and evaluate theories and discourses of place-based planetary health through a transdisciplinary lens;  
  2. Propose and lead in appropriate planetary health approaches in organisational development and change;  
  3. Design and implement critical interventions in policy and programs utilising planetary health discourses and approaches;  
  4. Advocate and apply a place-based approach to planetary health framed interventions and innovations;  
  5. Creatively apply investigative and research skills to problems and issues through a planetary health framework.  

What's a unit?

A unit or 'subject' is the actual class you'll attend in the process of completing a course.

Most courses have a mixture of compulsory 'core' units that you need to take and optional elective units that you can choose to take based on your area of interest, expertise or experience.


Each unit is worth a set amount of study credits based on the amount of time you study. Generally, 1 credit is equal to 1 hour of study per week.

Fees & scholarships

Fee type for this course: Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP), Full-fee

Fee type definitions

The amount you pay for your course depends on whether you’re offered a government subsidised place or a full-fee paying place.

If you enrol in a:

  • Government subsidised place pay a VET tuition fee and may be required to pay a Student Services and Amenities Fee and course materials contribution. This training is delivered with Victorian and Commonwealth Government funding.
  • Full-fee paying place pay the full-fee tuition rate (which includes Student Services and Amenities Fee and any material fees).

To calculate the total cost of your course either use our fee calculator, or:

  1. Select which units you’d like to study.
  2. Look up the individual unit costs in the higher education unit of study fees list.
  3. Add up the relevant amounts.

Scholarships & assistance

Apply for a scholarship to help with your study costs.

We can help with fee assistance and advice.

Admission & pathways

Meeting the minimum admission requirements does not guarantee you entry into this course. Some courses receive more applications than the number of places available. In this situation we will also assess your education, work and other relevant experience.

If you do not meet the minimum requirements you may be eligible for one of our special admission programs. We also encourage you to explore our study pathways to help you reach your goal.

Find out more about how to apply for our courses, and our commitment to admissions transparency.

Entry requirements

Completion of an Australian Bachelor degree (or equivalent) in any discipline.
Applicants with a minimum of five (5) years approved work experience will be considered for admission to this course.

There are many ways you can start your education journey at VU. Pathways offer an easy transition between courses at different levels, so that you can start with a certificate and progress right through to postgraduate study.

Find out more about pathways and credits.

If you have completed study with another university or institution and believe you are eligible to receive credit for skills and past study, you can apply for advanced standing.

Applications for advanced standing can be made after a discussion with your course coordinator or academic adviser.

How to apply

Before you apply

Before applying, you should consider whether you also want to apply for:

  • Special admission programs: Depending on your life circumstances you may be eligible for special consideration of your application.
  • Advanced standing: If you have significant experience or studies elsewhere you may be eligible for credit for some units of your course and not have to undertake them.

Find out more about applying for our courses.

Apply direct to VU

Direct applications are due on 14 February 2021 for our next intake which starts on 22 February 2021.

Apply direct to VU

Already a VU student?

If you are already a VU student, apply direct to VU using our Admissions centre to transfer into this course. Remember it’s best to be accepted into your new course before withdrawing from your current one.

After you apply

  • It’s important to check for emails from us (which may go to your spam/junk folder).
  • Complete any requests for information by the given dates, otherwise your application may not be considered

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At Victoria University, we aim to display accurate and complete course information online. However, we are unable to guarantee that every course change is currently displayed. You may contact the University directly on +61 3 9919 6100 to confirm the most up-to-date course fees, pathways and credit transfer, recognition of prior learning, admission and enrolment procedures, examinations and services available to our students.