Health management courses give you skills and qualifications for managing health services. You may study topics such as Australia's healthcare system, using health data, managing people, patient safety, and service quality assurance.
Courses in health management are postgraduate, meaning they're open to university graduates. In some cases, you may need a health-related degree or experience in health or social care services.
Types of Courses
The shortest health management postgraduate course is a Graduate Certificate in Health Management. The grad cert consists of four subjects from a masters program. You may have subject choice or a set list of introductory units.
The qualification also goes by names such as 'Graduate Certificate in Health Leadership and Management' and 'Graduate Certificate in Health Services Management'.
You can normally finish over 8 months of part-time, online study – while working full-time if you want. You may then continue on for a graduate diploma (8 units) or masters degree (12 units)... READ MORE
For registered nurses, postgraduate education often starts with a Graduate Certificate in Nursing. Various specialisations are available that can lead to senior roles, including Leadership and Management.
Every nurse can potentially benefit from management training, which helps with supervising staff, directing nursing units or leading healthcare service delivery.
Topics you may explore in a nurse management course include client care, professional resilience, strategic planning and evidence-based nursing practice. Graduates may continue to study online for a nursing masters... READ MORE
A Master of Health Management is a versatile course that prepares students for management roles in healthcare. Earning the masters qualifies you for health manager jobs.
You can finish a 12-unit online program in 2 years of part-time study. That assumes accelerated (year-round) study, completing a subject every 2 months.
Topics depend on the program and your choice of electives. Common subjects are the Australian health system, using health data for decision making, organisational management, appraising evidence, teaching and supervising, and service quality control... READ MORE
A Master of Health Administration is similar to a Master of Health Management. Both health management courses prepare students for leadership and managerial positions within the healthcare industry.
Health administrators may focus on day-to-day operations whereas health managers may be more involved with business strategy. Differences between the roles are nuanced, however, and often ignored.
The health administration masters featured on this site are online courses orientated towards service delivery and business administration... READ MORE
Health services management courses concentrate on the delivery of services to patients and clients. You learn a customer-centric approach to health administration. Issues such as safety, efficiency, and patient experience and satisfaction may be relatively prominent.
Health services management courses are, nonetheless, hard to distinguish from other health manager programs. Every health manager should be trained to look at a wide breadth of administration issues, including customer experience.
Online courses featured in this category generally have "Health Services Management" in the title... READ MORE
You can specialise in Healthcare Management, Health Services Management, or similar as part of an online Master of Business Administration (MBA) program.
A Health MBA may become available when a university allows students to choose subjects from across both health masters and MBA programs.
The MBA is the world's most popular and well recognised management degree. By completing an MBA, you learn administration and leadership skills than can be applied in any business setting. Adding health units helps tailor the program for a healthcare career... READ MORE
For many nurses, the ideal health management course is a masters in nursing. You can major in Leadership and Management (or similar) in an online Master of Nursing.
A nursing masters may be a good option if your goal is to manage in a clinical setting, such as where you supervise other nurses and healthcare workers.
The course allows for general professional development while you also gain management skills and qualifications. Subject examples: finance for a healthcare manager, conflict resolution in healthcare, leading and managing in health, and health management ethics... READ MORE
An online Master of Business Administration may be the best way to gain skills for your next health management position.
An advantage of doing a straight MBA, without a health management specialisation, is that you have more program choice. The degree may also better equip you to transition to a career removed from clinical health practice.
MBA skills are general and can be applied to any business role, including across the many healthcare sectors. Online MBA courses are run similarly to healthcare masters. They usually consist of 12 subjects and have graduate certificate and diploma components... READ MORE
Public health courses include graduate certificates and masters. Programs are open to people from different disciplines, so you don't need to have studied or worked in health before.
Public health professionals are concerned with population health. They oversee interventions such as healthy living education programs, health services regulations, and even pandemic mask and vaccine rules.
Graduates work in policy and research settings. Common employment destinations are health and disease agencies, government departments, and universities... READ MORE
Health management courses tend to be principles-based, developing knowledge and skills that can be applied in diverse health settings. Topics commonly covered include the Australian health system, leadership and organisational management, using evidence and data, and strategic management.
In general, not counting advanced standing for previous study, you need to complete 4 subjects for a graduate certificate, 8 subjects for a graduate diploma, and 12 subjects for a master's degree.
Here are example subject lists from health management master's programs. The lists are non-exhaustive; other core subjects and electives may be offered.
- Foundations of the Australian Healthcare System
- Using Health Care Data for Decision Making
- Organisational Management in Health Care
- Managing Quality, Risk and Cost in Health Care
- Policy, Power and Politics in Health Care
- Fundamentals of Epidemiology
- Planning and Evaluating Health Services
- Improving Safety and Quality in Healthcare
- Doing Business in Health
- Management Challenges in Health
- Research for Managers
- Leadership and Influencing
- Accounting and Financial Management
- Managing People and Organisations
- Innovation Management
- Marketing for Managers
Health service management courses explore the responsibilities for health managers in Australia. You'll graduate with improved awareness of health service issues and be armed with management strategies. In a good course, expect to achieve these kinds of learning outcomes.
Knowledge of contemporary healthcare practices, policy and research, coupled with the ability to connect concepts with practice to deliver efficient, high-quality services.
Attitudes and values
Ethical approaches to health administration to achieve sustainable, equitable improvements in health systems and healthcare service delivery.
Health leadership skills
Awareness of leadership approaches and sensitivity to the issues affecting the industry, healthcare professionals and consumers. The confidence to assume health leadership roles based on competence, strategic knowledge and communication skills.
The entry requirements for a health management course can be summed as: You need a bachelor degree OR relevant experience. The courses are postgraduate generally speaking, meaning that a bachelor degree is the standard academic requirement. If you lack this, you can potentially be admitted based on multiple years of experience in healthcare or social services.
But course admission requirements vary. For example, your bachelor degree (or equivalent or higher qualification) may have to be in a healthcare field. And some programs require a combination of qualifications and experience. If unsure if you're eligible, check individual course requirements.
For the Graduate Certificate in Health Services Management, which a pathway to the Master of Health Services Management, the entry requirements are as follows.
Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree, or an equivalent or higher qualification, or evidence of qualifications that demonstrate the potential to pursue graduate studies.
Applicants without an undergraduate degree may also be considered based on demonstrated extensive relevant work experience in healthcare or human services.
Tuition fees are $3,192 per subject in 2022. FEE-HELP loans are available to cover course costs.
Key dates: Intakes happen in Jan, Mar, May, July, Sept, Oct.
To be eligible for online Graduate Certificate of Nursing, applicants need:
- an AQF Level 7 Bachelor of Nursing, or equivalent qualification;
- registration as a Registered Nurse (Division 1) or Registered Midwife with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) or equivalent registration for international students; and
- at least one year of full-time clinical experience, or the part-time equivalent, as a registered nurse.
Applicants from non-English speaking backgrounds need to meet English language proficiency requirements.
The tuition fee is $2,850 per subject in 2022. FEE-HELP loans are available to cover course fees.
For the MBA (Health Services Management), Graduate Certificate in Business and Graduate Diploma in Business, applicants need:
- a three-year undergraduate degree from any Australian university OR
- professional experience regarded by SCU as equivalent to a degree.
Students need to be proficient in English.
Without a bachelor's degree, you could still be eligible for the MBA based on relevant work experience.
Tuition fees in 2022 are $2,900 per unit. FEE-HELP Australian Government loans are available.
The study of health management refers to education where the goal is to improve the student's ability to provide management and leadership in healthcare services delivery. In this context, health management is the directing of activities that lead to the provision of healthcare services such as medical procedures, therapy, health counselling and patient referrals.
As with every other industry, health services requires people to provide managerial oversight. These health management professionals may be called hospital administrators, clinic directors, nursing unit managers, rehabilitation managers, etc. Studying health management provides you with knowledge, principles and practices to be an effective health manager.
Because healthcare management courses are usually postgraduate, you generally need a bachelor degree to be admitted. Some courses require your undergraduate discipline to be in a health field and may require that you also have relevant professional experience.
Whatever the technical requirements, it's usually important that you have a health or social care services background. To fill management positions in health sectors, you should have a professional background that gives you insight into healthcare systems, and the nature of the services being delivered and work involved.
Each of the different types of courses in health management has value and any one might be ideal depending on your circumstances.
- A Masters in Healthcare Management or equivalent is the premier health management qualification, demonstrating extensive knowledge and professional commitment.
- A graduate certificate in health management, at one-third the duration of a masters, carries less weight but is easier to obtain and may better target your skill development goals. You also generally retain the option of using completed subjects as credit towards a future master's degree.
- If you have extensive healthcare management experience, an MBA may be a better investment by rounding out your business management education.
- For nurses looking to stay within the nursing niche, a nursing masters may be the strongest qualification to place on your CV or resume.
Based on our review of the literature on this subject, here are the top 3 attributes of an effective healthcare leader.
1. Humility and a willingness to work on weaknesses
This trait is general and applies to all management and leadership roles but is worth re-stating. If you've ever experienced poor leadership, and any professional with much experience probably has, you might observe the individual in question invariably lacks this quality. And that is the ability to be humble and, in particular, to accept that you may have weaknesses and then work on rectifying them.
Leader effectiveness is constrained or amplified by self-awareness, and varies based on how well leaders understand themselves, how others view them, and how they navigate the resulting interactions.
A bad leader is almost certainly stuck in a bubble. They have flaws that are hampering their effectiveness. But they're unwilling to see those weaknesses or at least strive to overcome them.
2. Embracing of the mentoring process
Healthcare operations are challenging and diverse, making it is essential that health leaders embrace the mentoring process both as mentor and mentee. On your way up, you need that guidance to become effective quickly and without making major mistakes. In turn, it's your job to ensure educate the next generation of leaders.
While in a leadership position, the act of mentoring also provides personal value. Formally assuming the role of educator enhances your outlook and effectiveness. You're educating those around you all the time whether you're aware of it or not. According to Neil Maniar, "You might find that you learn just as much from them as they do from you. That’s incredibly rewarding.”
3. A customer-centric orientation
A customer-first approach is admirable and a success element in many management roles. But it is perhaps as important in health leadership as anywhere else.
Decisions you make could literally have life or death consequences. Even if they don't, patients and clients may often be receiving these services when they're at their most vulnerable. Successful healthcare operations minimise patient risks and ultimately provide excellent services.