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Diploma of Health Sciences

  • Direct entry to the 2nd year of the Bachelor degrees in Exercise and Sports Science, Health Sciences, Nutrition Science, Psychological Science, Public Health and Health Promotion and Biomedical Science
  • Supportive learning environment provides the best possible preparation for Deakin University
  • Study on a Deakin University campus with full access to accommodation, support services

Key Information


8 or 12 months


  • March
  • June
  • October


Melbourne Burwood
Geelong Waurn Ponds


This course provides a sound knowledge and understanding of the health of individuals, communities and populations. It will allow you to enter a wide variety of undergraduate courses at Deakin University in areas such as health sciences, psychology, exercise and sport science, food and nutrition and public health and health promotion.

Employment and career options upon completing your Bachelor degree:

Health is Australia’s largest employing industry*. It currently employs about 1 in every 8 Australians* and is projected to have the highest growth of all industries in Australia as we move from 15% to 22% of the population being in the older age category by 2056^. Careers include:

  • Case manager / Case worker
  • Community health officer
  • Counsellor
  • Development manager
  • Disability officer
  • Exercise scientist
  • Fitness advisor
  • Food product developer
  • Food quality assurance manager
  • Health educator
  • Health promotion officer
  • Market researcher
  • Nutritionist
  • Project officer
  • Sports coach
  • Vocational guidance worker


“As a graduate of a Deakin College diploma course, you’ll enter Deakin on a level playing field as you’ll jump straight into the second year of your chosen bachelor degree. You will be well supported when you enter Deakin University and even have the chance to interact with previous graduates from Deakin College.”

Professor Lynn Riddell - Associate Dean, Teaching and Learning Faculty of Health, Deakin University

Course Structure

Complete and pass 8 units+

HBS107 Understanding Health

This interdisciplinary unit examines a determinants approach to health and wellbeing, including: the complex range of interactions that influence the health of individuals and populations; the determinants of selected health issues in urban and rural Australia, as well as in global contexts, and explores a range of models and approaches and their impact on health outcomes.Topics include: The concepts of health, the social determinants of health, health systems, the biological and environmental determinants, health promotion, indigenous health, settings for health, marginalised populations and global health.Assessment:

Assessment task 1 Academic Integrity activity 5%, Assessment Task 2: Managing My Career Written Report (1000 words) 25%, Assessment task 3A Health Plan Written Report (1600 words)35%, Assessment task 4 Group Oral Presentation: Health Profile of an International Population Group (10 minutes)35%.

HBS108 Health Information and Data

In this unit you will learn about using online resources to search for, retrieve and evaluate a range of health information and data. The emphasis in this unit is the comprehension and critical appraisal of health information. It is important for health students and practitioners to be able to distinguish valid, well-researched health claims from poorly researched (or not researched at all), spurious health claims. This unit will introduce you to measuring health and disease in populations, qualitative methods, finding health information and data, research study designs, understanding research statistics and an introduction to evidence based practice and critical appraisal. It also assesses the importance of ethics in both research and professional practice.

Assessment:Assessment task 1–assignment (800 words) 20%, Assessment task 2 –assignment (1200 words) 30%, Final examination 50%

HBS109 Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology

This interdisciplinary unit provides an overview of the basic sciences of human anatomy and physiology, exploring issues of relevance to the health sciences. Specific topics to be addressed will include: organisation of the human body, outlining anatomical terms, chemical and structural bases of cell function, body tissues including integument, homeostasis and physiological control via neural and hormonal mechanisms that maintain a constant internal environment. Support and movement through an understanding of the musculo-skeletal system, and maintenance of key systems, including cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive, urinary and immune systems.

Assessment: Case based learning (30%), multiple choice tests (3x 6.67%, total 20%), Practical portfolio (20%), Final exam (30%)

HBS110 Health Behaviour

This unit explores relevant health behaviour issues and their impact on an individual’s health and wellbeing. These behavioural issues include: tobacco smoking, alcohol / drug use and abuse, healthy and disordered eating, weight management, engagement in exercise, managing stress, and managing chronic illness.The unit examines the impact of socio-cognitive factors including self-efficacy and locus of control on behaviour change and how to harness this to enhance behaviour change and goal achievement. Further the unit discussed theoretical explanations of health behaviour and how they are applied to derive effective approaches to achieving behaviour change. The unit examines the skills and principles of behaviour modification. Students undertake experiential and reflective learning approaches to develop and understanding of the process, challenges and skills involved in health behaviour change.

Assessment: Assessment Task 1 –3 x health behaviour journal entries 45%, Assessment task 2 –10 online quizzes 10%, Final Examination 45%

HPS111 Psychology A: Fundamentals of Human Behaviour

This introductory unit explores the fundamental principles underpinning the study of human psychology. As such, it will cover the definition and scope of the discipline of psychology; the primitive roots of our behaviour; the neurological structures and processes that are responsible for our mental life; and the important elements in our adapting to the world as individuals such as learning and intelligence.This unit will provide an integrated and challenging introduction to psychology as a science, while also providing training in important skills for tertiary education as a whole through the seminar series. In completing this unit,students will gain new insights into the science of behaviour, a mastery of important research and writing skills, and a strong platform for learning advanced topics in psychology.

Assessment task 1: Critical response essay (800 words) 20%, Assessment task 2: Academic essay (1200 words) 30%, Assessment task 3: 3 x online quizzes 20%, Assessment task 4: Multiple Choice Exam 30%

HPS121 Psychology B: Individual and Social Development

Following on from the biological underpinning of psychology in HPS111, HPS121 focuses on the science of the human individual in context. Different theoretical perspectives of psychological concepts relating to how we function as individuals in a social world are contrasted and evaluated throughout the unit.We begin by looking at how we -as both biological and social beings -develop throughout the lifespan as we explore the complex interaction between biological and environmental influences. Various theoretical perspectives are applied to explore what makes up our individual personalities, and how personality is assessed. The impact of psychological disorders on individual and societal wellbeing is considered, and the different therapeutic approaches used to treat these disorders are analysed.We then examine the power of situational, societal, and cultural influences on behaviour.The HPS121 teaching team aim to deliver challenging and fascinating psychological concepts in a way that you can apply to your own personal experiences, future study and career. In the class series, the unit will incorporate the content areas of HPS121 into a holistic understanding of the interactions and relationships between the topics, all within the context of psychology as a scientific discipline. The tutorials will enable you to develop real-world applied skills that will help you work through the unit as well as expose you to some of the processes involved in working as an allied health professional. The assessment tasks are designed to help you develop industry-related skills and knowledge.Though the unit content and assessments have been designed to help you broaden your understanding and skills developed in HPS111, HPS121 has been constructed so that students may do the two units in either order, or do either unit individually.

Assessment: Assessment task 1Scientific Lab Report 40%, In class test 10% ; Assessment task 2: Final examination 50%.

HSE102 Functional Human Anatomy

This unit is designed to provide students with a comprehensive overview of the structure and function of the musculoskeletal system and how it relates to normal and abnormal human movement. A detailed analysis of the functional anatomy of the skeletal, articular, neural and muscular systems is explored. Additional areas explored will be the role that the musculoskeletal system plays in static and dynamic posture and movement control.

Assessment: Assessment task 1-Practical class worksheets (4 x 5%) 20%, Assessment task 2 –Seminar class pop quizzes (4 x 5%) 20%, Assessment task 3 –Practical Examination (20 minutes) 30%, Final examination 30%

HSE104 Research Methods and Statistics in Exercise and Sport

This unit aims to develop students’ knowledge and understanding of research design and methodology in the context of exercise and sport science (ESS). This will range from examining some different quality indicators such as validity and reliability to more applied work examining how to organise, analyse, interpret and present ESS research data. The unit will explore different ways that ESS research data are collected and analysed using both qualitative and quantitative statistical methods.

Assessment: Assessment 1: Assignment (1000 words) 30%, Assessment 2: Assignment (1000 words) 30%, Final Examination 40%

HSE111 Physical Activity and Exercise for Health

This unit introduces students to the field of physical activity and exercise for health. Students will explore the benefits of physical activity and risks of sedentary behaviour and will gain an understanding of why people participate in physical activity and exercise. Common theories of behaviour change and key correlates of physical activity participation are explored and an introduction to physical activity interventions is provided. Throughout the unit, studentswill also learn how to access andevaluate high quality evidenceto help inform the development of an individualised physical activity program for health.

Assessment: Assessment 1 Physical Activity report plan 10%, Assessment 2 Physical Activity Report 40%, Assessment 3 = 4 quizzes worth 5% each, Assessment4 Exam 30%

HSE113 Human Growth, Development and Aging for Exercise Scientists

This unit aims to develop students’ knowledge of the structural, physiological, social and cognitive changes in human growth, development and ageing across the lifespan (conception through to older adulthood). The unit will provide students with an understanding of the various stages of growth, development and ageing and identify common injuries or conditions that present during these stages. A key focus of the unit will be on how physical activity and exercise influences, and is influenced by, lifespan human growth, development and ageing.

Assessment: Assessment 1: 2x Case study reports (1000 words each) (2x 20%) Total 40%, Assessment 2 Video critique (1500 words) 40%, Assessment 3 Reflection (1000 words) 20%

HSH102 Disease Prevention and Control

This unit is core to the Bachelor of Public Health and Health Promotion, the combined courses with Commerce and Nursing, and for the Health Promotion major pathway in the Bachelor of Health Sciences. The unit is also offered as an elective to students across the University. Through this unit, students will be introduced to applying theories, models and frameworks used in both public health and health promotion; examine multiple dimensions of disease prevention and control including biological, behavioural, socioeconomic, and environmental factors; as well as relevant ethical, social, legal and advocacy issues.

Assessment: Assessment 1 Reflective Journal (4 x 200 words and a final 1000 words reflective journal) 20%, Assessment 2 Written Report (1500 words) 30%, Assessment 3 Examination 50%

HSH112 Local and Global Environments for Health

This unit will introduce key concepts around environmental health and will explore the relationship between the natural, built, social, economic and political environments and human health. This unit will also introduce the concepts of sustainable development, ecosystem health and environmental justice. The content of the unit will be framed within a public health and health promotion context.This unit comprises the study of: knowledge of past, present and emergent environmental health concerns, including infectious disease, population growth, urbanisation, global warming and drought; environments for health: the positive influences of the natural/physical, built, social, economic and political environments on human health; the role of the natural/physical, built, social, economic and political environments in human health threats; an appreciation of the different space components of environmental health: individual, neighbourhood, institutional, national, regional, global and intergenerational; human impacts on the environment, including Indigenous cultures, industrialised countries, developing countries; sustainable development and environmental justice; critical reflection on the changing context of environments and health over time.

Assessment: Assessment task 1a and 1bReflective Learning Journals (1000 word search, 20% for each) Total 40%, Assessment task 2 –Major group presentation (10 minutes) and written report (1500 words) 40%, Assessment task 3 –In class test (30 minutes) 20%

HSN101 Foundations of Food, Nutrition and Health

This uni tprovides students with foundation knowledge in food, nutrition and health, including food sources of nutrients, food and nutrient recommendations for health and methods for measuring food intake and behaviour, historical perspective of why we consume the foods we do today and how our scientific knowledge may influence foods we eat in the future. Students also gain an understanding of interactions between the environment, technologies developed to produce and harvest foods and scientific advances in food and nutrition. The topics include: food history, Australian food culture, food production, food sources of nutrients, food and nutrient recommendations and their relationship with health and methods used to measure food intakes and behaviours. Students also have an opportunity to align their interests and values to future career options.

Assessment: Assessment task 1 -Three multiple choice online tests (5% each) 15%, Assessment task 2 –Written assignment (1300 words) 30%,Assessment Task 3 Career Activity and Reflection and Infogram (500 words) 20%, Final examination 35%

HSN105 Healthy and Sustainable Food Systems

Dietary patterns and the way food is produced can have a major impact on the environment and the environment has a major impact on the food system. This raises concerns about the food system’s future ability to produce sufficient food for food and nutrition security. Governments, non-government organisations, academia, the private sector and citizens are urgently seeking solutions to these public health nutrition problems.This unit will explore the bidirectional relationship between our food system and environmental sustainability. It will examine how Australia’s food system may be contributing to environmental degradation through greenhouse gas emissions, water use and ecosystem changes, such as the loss of biodiversity and how this impacts on health. In addition, it will examine the effects of global warming on the food system and the threats to food security. Following on from this, the unit will ascertain what changes are needed to ensure a prosperous and ecologically sustainable food system.

Assessment: Assessment task 1 –Background research paper (draft 5%, 1500words 25%) and Blog post (600 words 20%. Assessment task 2 –Eco Friendly Food Challenge (2500 words) consisting of 4 worksheets each worth 5% and a report worth 30%

HSN107 Physiology of Human Growth and Development

This unit aims to develop student’s knowledge of the biological and physiological basis of human growth and development across the lifespan. Fundamentals of cell biology and metabolism will be applied to physiological changes occurring during foetal life, followed be the postnatal, infancy, childhood, adolescence and ageing life stages. The fundamentals of genetics and inheritance of human traits will be developed with an emphasis on inborn errors of metabolism and polymorphisms affecting nutrient needs.

Assessment: Assessment task 1 –Four online multiple choice tests (4 x 5%) 20%, Assessment task 2 –written assignment (1500 words) 30%, Final examination 50%

SLE111 Cells and Genes

In this unit, students will be able to study the characteristics of life that are fundamental for every field in biology. Upon successful completion of Cells and Genes, students will be able to explore, examine and describe the characteristics and structures of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells as well as understand cellular mechanisms such as reproduction,communication, transport across the membrane and cellular respiration. The genetic basis of cell biology is focused on in the latter part of the unit starting with Mendelian genetics which leads on to interpreting patterns of inheritance, mechanisms and control of gene expression and the principles of DNA technologies -all of which form the second part of the unit.

Assessment: Assessment task 1 Class test 15%, Assessment task 2 -Bioinformatics assignment 7%, Assessment task 3 -Practical exercises 33%, Final examination 45%. To obtain a pass in the unit, students must submit and pass at least 4 of the 5 practical class assessments.

Enrolment in this unit is subject to OH+S training currently conducted via SLE010 Laboratory and Fieldwork Safety Induction Program

SLE115 Essential Skills in Bioscience

This unit is the first of a sequence of professional practice units designed specifically for students in the first year of biosciences. The unit will focus on the development of generic skills which will be of practical value to students in their bioscience studies.Through exercises and seminars (tutorials, online and face-to-face) you will develop skills in data analysis and presentation, basic mathematics and statistics, library research methods, evaluation of scientific literature and scientific writing and referencing. You will also be introduced to the practice of being an ethical student and professional,and develop your skills in career planning, problem solving and oral and written presentation.The final exam is a hurdle requirement for this unit. Students must achieve at least 50% in the unit overall and a minimum of 40% on the final written exam, to obtain a passing grade in the unit.

Assessment: Assessment task 1 mid-trimester test 20%, Assessment task 2 –2 assignments 30%, Assessment task 3 -group assessment 10%, Final examination 40%. To obtain a pass in the unit, students must achieve at least 40% on the exam (hurdle requirement).

SLE123 Physics for the Life Sciences

This unit introduces students to physics, particularly applying to biological systems. Topics include kinematics, forces, gravity, energy, heat, fluids, waves, sound, optics, electricity, atoms and molecules. The physical principles of each topic are developed, and then applied to a practical understanding of biological systems and appropriate applications.

Assessment: Assessment task 1 –assignments 30%, Assessment task 2 -laboratory work 20%, Final examination 50%

Enrolment in this unit is subject to OH+S training currently conducted via SLE010 Laboratory and Fieldwork Safety Induction Program

SLE132 Biology Form and Function

SLE132 introduces students to animal and plant biology. Students will explore the relationships between animal structures and their functions, and investigate the physiological processes that enable animals to adjust to environmental changes. They will also learn aspects of animal diversity andbehaviour. As students progress learning in this unit, they will study the evolutionary diversity of plants, their structure and functions, morphology and growth, reproductive biology, nutrient acquisition and transport, and their applications in biotechnology, with an emphasis on flowering plants. Examples from other plant groups and the non-plant eukaryotes, fungi and algae, will also be used for comparison and as examples during discussion.

Assessment: Assessment task 1 -Mid trimester tests 15%, Assessment task 2 -Practical exercises 35%, Assessment task 3 –Practical Assignment 10%; Final examination 40%

Enrolment in this unit is subject to OH+S training currently conducted via SLE010 Laboratory and Fieldwork Safety Induction Program

SLE133 Chemistry in Our World

SLE133 is a foundation unit designed to develop and consolidate student understandings and skills in basic chemistry. The learning and assessment activities provide students with the opportunity to study atoms, molecules, and ions, how they change during a chemical reaction and how bonding affects properties such as intermolecular interactions, boiling points, ease of evaporation and the ability of substances to dissolve in water. Students will engage in laboratory work in order to develop their hands on skills in chemical safety and measurement and their ability to perform calculations related to substance measurement. Students will then apply these concepts of bonding, chemical change and measurement to determine the acidity and basicity of substances and the formation of buffers.This unit can be taken as a stand-alone unit for students who need some awareness of chemistry to broaden their degree, or can be taken as a foundation for further studies in biochemistry, chemistry, and related areas like food and nutrition, molecular biology and science education.

You must have completed SLE010 in the current or a previous trimester, before you can attend any laboratory sessions.

Assessment: Assessment task 1 -In-class quizzes 20%, Assessment task 2 -Laboratory exercises and reports 30%, Assessment task 3 –Active tutorial participation 10%, Final examination 40%. To be eligible to obtain a pass in the this unit, students must achieve at least 50% in the practical component

Enrolment in this unit is subject to OH+S training currently conducted via SLE010 Laboratory and Fieldwork Safety Induction Program

SLE155 Chemistry for the Professional Sciences

Students must successfully complete SLE133 before enrolling in SLE155

SLE155 builds on the student’s previous chemistry knowledge about atoms, molecules, properties, reactions, measurement and acidity. Students will extend their knowledge to more advanced chemical naming, structures, and hypervalent bonding. They will be introduced to additional topics such as, chemical equilibria, solution chemistry, redox chemistry, simple organic compounds, chirality and thermochemistry. This unit will lead to further studies in biochemistry, chemistry, and related areas such as food and nutrition, molecular biology and science education. This unit can also be taken as an elective unit for students who want a broader knowledge of chemistry to enhance their degree.

Assessment: Assessment task 1 -In-class quizzes 20%, Assessment task 2 -Laboratory exercises and reports 40%, Final examination 40%.To be eligible to obtain a pass in the this unit, students must achieve at least 50% in the practical component

Enrolment in this unit is subject to OH+S training currently conducted via SLE010 Laboratory and Fieldwork Safety Induction Program


Online and on-campus classes run between 11am and 9pm on weekdays (Melbourne time). Most units run as 2 x 2-hour classes each week. Some units have additional prac sessions. We recommend 4-6 hours of private study per unit, per week.

View a mock timetable

Second Year Entry to Deakin University*

Australian Students


T1 (Trimester 1 entry); T2 (Trimester 2 entry); T3 (Trimester 3 entry)

* See Diploma to Degree transfer criteria.
+ Choice of units is based on the Deakin University degree you wish to enter.
Choice of majors limited and not available on all campuses.
# These degrees require you to take additional first year degree units when you transfer to Deakin University. The degree may therefore take longer to complete.
§ Individual units may not be available on every campus.

International Students


* See Diploma to Degree transfer criteria.
+ Choice of additional units is based on the Deakin University degree you wish to enter.
Choice of majors limited and not available on all campuses.
# These degrees require you to take additional first year degree units when you transfer to Deakin University. The degree may therefore take longer to complete.
§ Individual units may not be available on every campus.
++ Offered at Burwood (Melbourne) only.
+++ Offered at Burwood (Melbourne) and Cloud (online) only.

Academic Entry Requirements

More Information

For further details about units and availability, trimester structures and more, please download the course outline below.

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