The Graduate Diploma in Disaster Health Care is a 36-unit program offered by the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences.

The Graduate Diploma in Disaster Health Care articulates with the Graduate Certificate in Disaster Health Care and the Master of Disaster Health Care (coursework pathway), and the sequentially developed topics enable progression through the awards.

Students who have completed the Graduate Certificate in Disaster Health Care are normally awarded up to 18 units of credit towards the graduate diploma. If the core and elective requirements of the Graduate Diploma in Disaster Health Care have been satisfied, it is available as an exit award from the Master of Disaster Health Care.

The program was developed in collaboration with the National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre (NCCTRC) and is offered in external study mode through Flinders University.

Admission requirements

Applicants must hold an approved degree or equivalent (AQF level 7) qualification in a health profession from an approved tertiary institution and have not less than two years’ professional experience in the health care sector following completion of the degree or equivalent qualification.

However, the Faculty Board may, under certain circumstances and subject to specific conditions, admit others who can show evidence of fitness for candidature. Credit may be granted for comparable prior studies.

Course aims

The Graduate Diploma in Disaster Health Care is designed to provide students who are working in health care, whatever their professional background, with the opportunity to advance their theoretical and practical knowledge and skills in disaster health management and response and to apply these in a range of disaster situations.

The course builds on students’ current workplace and/or disaster response training and experience and allows them to proceed, if they wish, to further graduate-level coursework.

Learning outcomes 

Graduates of this course are expected to be able to:

  • identify and critically analyse the current standards, guidelines and policy frameworks relevant to disaster response and management
  • apply relevant principles of practice to differing practical and theoretical situations during a disaster health response
  • identify and critique the socio-political framework that informs Australia’s disaster response in a global health care setting
  • evaluate their own communication practice and leadership capabilities in practical disaster situations using reflective and critical thinking
  • demonstrate the knowledge, skills and attributes required to respond to a disaster in local and international settings
  • use their knowledge, skills, competencies and problem-solving skills to analyse and critique delivery of specialist care in a disaster health care context
  • use evidence-based research skills to plan, implement and evaluate care provision in disaster response environments
  • critique recent developments in disaster response practice and management and apply these to other situations.

Program of study

To qualify for the Graduate Diploma in Disaster Health Care, a student must complete 36 units with a grade of P or NGP or better in each topic, according to the following program of study:

Core - Year 1 topics

22.5 units comprising:

DISH8001 Introduction to Disaster Health (4.5 units)
DISH8002 Clinical Decision Making in Disaster Health Care (4.5 units)
DISH8003 Health Management of Major Incidents (4.5 units)
DISH8004 International Disaster Practice (4.5 units)
DISH9001 Building Disaster Resilience: the New Paradigm (4.5 units)

Option - Year 1 topics

Plus 13.5 units from:

DISH8005 Professional Experience in Disaster Deployment (4.5 units)
DISH8007 Point of Care Testing in Disaster Health Care: Clinical Opportunities and Future Needs (4.5 units)
DISH8006 Surgical Management in Disaster Health Care (4.5 units)
DISH8008 Health Logistics of Disaster Deployment (4.5 units)

The award of a grade of Fail (F) in the same topic on more than one occasion or in 9 units or more, or failure to complete the course within three consecutive years, may constitute prima facie evidence of unsatisfactory progress for the purposes of the University''s Policy on Student Progress.

Except with permission of the Faculty Board:

  • the program must be completed full-time in two consecutive semesters or part-time within six consecutive semesters
  • a student may not include a topic that repeats work previously undertaken.