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Associate Degree in Applied Health and Community Support

Start or accelerate your career in Australia's largest and fastest growing industry – Healthcare.

Why study applied health and community support?

Working with people, you’ll have a real impact on people’s daily lives, with meaningful and fulfilling work. By studying the Associate Degree or Diploma in Applied Health and Community Support you’ll gain a practical qualification that will set you up in a rewarding career for life. You can choose to finish with a Diploma after one year of full-time study, or an Associate Degree after two years of full-time study.

This course has been designed to help you start or accelerate your career in the health and community services sector. You will learn the knowledge and skills required to support the delivery of quality health and community services. You’ll also learn essential skills for career advancement such as leadership, management and communication.

Throughout the course, you will have the opportunity to take part in a variety of applied learning experiences, including work-integrated learning, simulated work conditions and case studies. In doing so, you will develop work-ready skills, as well as an e-portfolio for future career planning.

This course is perfect for school leavers or those seeking a career change into health, social or community services. If you already have vocational qualifications or relevant experience this course will help you up-skill and prepare you for future qualifications, higher levels of responsibility and future growth. This course can also be a stepping stone to further study, as you may receive some credit towards a bachelor degree at the University of Tasmania.

This course has an applied learning focus including engagement with sector leaders, service consumers, organisation, individuals and communities. Assessments do not include exams- rather, they are based on authentic demonstrations of knowledge and capability.  There are also opportunities for recognition of prior learning and experience. This means you can complete your diploma or associate degree without studying for longer than necessary. You can apply for credit here ().


Two years full-time or part-time equivalent


Online and face-to-face (workshops, tutorials)


Cradle Coast campus
Newnham campus
Sandy Bay campus
Online (2021 intake)


Semester 1, 2021 and Semester 2, 2021

Graduate attributes and course outcomes

The Associate Degree in Applied Health and Community Support will build your capacity to relate to, engage with, and support people in a multitude of ways. The graduate attributes image above represents the spectrum of roles and relationships that will be explored and developed, starting with ‘self’ and the individuals and families you support, and building over the duration of the course to consider broader engagement with communities, service providers and governing bodies. The primary outcomes of the course are to support you to: empower people and families to live well, and to build healthy and inclusive communities.

Career Options

  • Team leader
  • Service coordinator/supervisor
  • Service navigator
  • Service broker
  • Practice coach/mentor
  • Community development/engagement officer
  • Service planner
  • Service consultant
  • Case manager
  • Project manager/ project officer
  • Rural health worker

Program structure

The Associate Degree in Applied Health and Community Support involves 16 units over 2 years of full-time study or 4 years of part-time study, delivered on campus in Launceston, Hobart and the Cradle Coast, as well as fully online in 2021. We offer evening tutorials to accommodate those already working full-time. The first year of the course acts as a foundation year, while the second year of the course provides you with the option to tailor your areas of interest through a choice of elective units.

After the successful completion of year 1 of the Associate Degree, you can choose to exit the course and be awarded with a diploma qualification.

Topics include:

  • Respecting the individual and their context
  • Exploring health and wellbeing
  • Principles of individualised support
  • Applying health and wellbeing in practice
  • Health and community services in Australia
  • Quality systems and practice in health and community services
  • Business principles and practices in health and community services
  • Leading and managing people and teams

For more detailed information, please visit the Course and Unit Handbook.

Extend your study into a Bachelor degree

By completing the Associate Degree in Applied Health and Community Support (Z2H) you may receive some credit towards a bachelor degree at the University of Tasmania. The amount of credit received will be subject to the University’s discretion

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes. Bachelor degrees traditionally have a duration of three of more years, while an Associate Degree can take as little as two years when studied full time.

Our University College Associate Degrees have been uniquely designed to place equal emphasis on theory and practice. This is done by offering both discipline specific subjects and hands-on learning subjects (Practice and Portfolio) throughout your Associate Degree. By doing so, you graduate job ready with a firm understanding of how to apply the theory you have learnt.

The Associate Degrees are studied during the traditional university Semester study periods.

The new Associate Degrees are a formal qualification in their own right, offering pathways to new career opportunities or upskilling in a current career. These Associate Degrees also offer formal articulation pathways into specified bachelor degrees should you wish to continue studying.

Our Associate Degrees are likely to appeal to a wide range of people, including:

  • School leavers who achieve a TCE (or ATAR) but who are not eligible/prepared/interested in studying a bachelor degree;
  • students who want to gain skills and knowledge to start a career;
  • students interested in learning about innovation and future jobs;
  • students with industry/professional experience who would like to gain some academic credentials; and
  • non-school leaver and mature-age students seeking academic credentials and career advancement.

Our Associate Degrees are offered via a combination of face-to-face (workshops, tutorials etc.) and online study. The online component of our Associate Degrees are offered on each of the University of Tasmania campuses at Newnham, Sandy Bay and Cradle Coast.

No. For all University College units, assessments are built into the course content throughout the semester. If you undertake units from other parts of the University, you may be required to sit some exams. For more detailed information, please visit the Course and Unit Search.

If you successfully complete the first year of your Associate Degree and decide you no longer wish to study, you can graduate out of the course with a Diploma qualification.

Throughout your Associate Degree you will be exposed to a range of hands-on learning experiences such as live case studies, real-world business examples, industry speakers, job-focused programs, industry workshops, projects and internships.

By successfully completing one of our Associate Degree courses, you may be eligible to receive credit towards a relevant Bachelor degree offered by the University of Tasmania. Some of our Associate Degrees have specific credit pathways into a Bachelor degree, where you can receive up to 2 years full credit towards a specified Bachelor degree. For those Associate Degrees that do not have a specified credit pathway, or if you are wanting to receive credit into a different Bachelor degree than the one specified, you may receive some credit, subject to the College’s discretion.