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New course paves way for work in allied health

CDU will offer a new dual degree from next year to undergraduates seeking a career in Nutrition, Speech and Language Therapy, or Occupational Therapy. The four-year Bachelor-Masters opens the door to many career opportunities in allied health.

Dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences, Professor Dominic Upton said there was high demand for allied health professionals in the health care system, aged care, community care, mental health and disability services.

“The dual degree will fast-track specialisation in less than the usual five years,” Professor Upton said.

Allied health professionals provide a broad range of diagnostic, therapeutic and direct health services to improve patients’ health and wellbeing. They often work in interdisciplinary teams including home and community care assessment teams, nursing services and other health services.

The Australian Government Job Outlook is forecasting the need for an extra 5000 Nutritionists, 6000 Speech Pathologists and Audiologists, and 7000 more Occupational Therapists during the next five years. The Outlook is forecasting above-average earnings across these professions.

“The dual degree provides flexible study options and opportunities to gain experience in a diverse range of health settings in Australia and overseas,” Professor Upton said.

“Graduates will be qualified to work across the Australian health system in hospitals, rehabilitation centres, aged care facilities, community health clinics, schools or disability organisations.”

Dual degrees available in 2020 include:

  • Bachelor of Health Science/Master of Nutrition for qualifications in food research, dietetics, food and health policy, nutrition and public health
  • Bachelor of Health Science/Master of Speech and Language Therapy for a career in speech pathology, helping people who have communication or swallowing difficulties
  • Bachelor of Health Science/Master of Occupational Therapy qualifications required to help people with motor-sensory or muscular-skeletal impairments, disability, injuries or mental health problems that impact their ability to cope with day-to-day activities.

“Patients have complex needs and allied health professionals are key to providing patient-centred care and sustainable health outcomes,” Professor Upton said.

In 2021, the Master in Nutrition, Speech Pathology and Occupational Therapy will also be available to postgraduate students.