Graduate Certificate in Lifestyle Medicine

Course Code2084
Course duration /
Study mode

Course duration: One year part-time
Study mode: Distance education

LocationAvondale Campus - Lake Macquarie
Fee Support

Special tuition discount for international students studying Lifestyle Medicine

*for eligible students, see


The Graduate Certificate in Lifestyle Medicine course is designed to meet the shifting demands in health care towards a paradigm that includes lifestyle-based therapies. Major areas of study include: food as medicine, exercise as medicine, and psychosocial considerations for the promotion of health.

The course is recognised by the Australasian Society of Lifestyle Medicine as a pathway to becoming a Fellow of the Society. 

It is well recognised that practicing healthy lifestyle habits can prevent many of the diseases that kill the vast majority of people. For example, over 90% of type 2 diabetes, over 80% of heart attacks and about one third of cancers, are preventable.

Over the past few decades, a growing body of evidence is showing that not only is a healthy lifestyle effective for preventing disease, it can also be used to manage, and in some instances, treat established conditions. Lifestyle is medicine! This has led to the emergence of the field of "Lifestyle Medicine", which is defined by the American College of Lifestyle Medicine as "the use of lifestyle interventions in the treatment and management of disease".

Lifestyle Medicine seeks to treat the causes of chronic disease, which include: poor nutrition, physical inactivity, substance abuse, stress, environmental factors, and even issues relating to identity and meaning. Hence, Lifestyle Medicine is broad and comprehensive in its scope.

It is widely accepted that Lifestyle Medicine will become increasingly relied upon in the future to combat the burgeoning rise in chronic diseases. The Graduate Certificate in Lifestyle Medicine is designed to equip graduates with an understanding of the various domains of Lifestyle Medicine and skills in its application.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the Graduate Certificate in Lifestyle Medicine course, graduates will be able to:
  • explain and critique the diverse elements of Lifestyle Medicine informed by an integrated understanding of the contemporary body of knowledge;
  • articulate, apply and evaluate a whole-of-health perspective encompassing freedom from disease through to positive wellbeing;
  • advocate for the implementation of Lifestyle Medicine informed by an integrated knowledge of the relationship between lifestyle and disease, and the underlying causation of chronic diseases;
  • utilise a research-led methodological approach to develop and present the concepts of Lifestyle Medicine within the context of public health and clinical practice;
  • communicate the principles of Lifestyle Medicine to a diverse range of recipients with regards to culture, age and gender using multiple forms of communication;
  • design and apply Lifestyle Medicine interventions in a variety of cultural settings and employ appropriate evaluation processes to monitor and modify the effectiveness of these interventions;
  • argue for the role of identity, meaning and spirituality in the effectiveness of Lifestyle Medicine interventions and be able to recognise, design, apply and appraise these elements in Lifestyle Medicine interventions.

Career Opportunities

1. As the merits of lifestyle therapy become increasingly recognised there will be a need for appropriately trained professionals in General / Family practice. New initiatives like Shared Medical Appointments, in which Practice Nurses facilitate medical appointments for a group of patients (say with diabetes) who come together for a 90 minute consult as compared to the traditional model of a 10 minute one-on-one consult, offer an ideal opportunity to administer Lifestyle Medicine.

2. Allied health professionals (ie. dieticians, exercise physiologists, psychologists) who would like to offer a more comprehensive service to their patients and clients will benefit from the broad skills and knowledge gained in a postgraduate degree in Lifestyle Medicine.

3. Health Educators in corporate, community and other settings will benefit from the skills and knowledge gained in a postgraduate degree in Lifestyle Medicine. For example, the development of this course has been highly supported by the Health Department at the South Pacific Division of the Seventh-day Adventist church as they are seeking more people with qualifications in this area to serve as Health Directors in the various conferences of the church.

Admission Criteria

Students can enter the Graduate Certificate in Lifestyle Medicine from any Australian Level 7 Bachelors degree (or equivalent).

The postgraduate Certificate in Lifestyle Medicine is available to citizens and residents of Australia as well as to International students studying outside of Australia. It is not available to international students who are in Australia on a Student visa.


Overseas applicants will have their qualifications assessed by Avondale Admissions.


Applicants whose Bachelor degree was not undertaken in English must demonstrate English language proficiency by achieving an IELTS score of at least 6.5, with no individual band scores less than 6.0 or equivalent. An official statement of IELTS results must accompany the application form.

Course Structure

Course duration: One year part-time
Study mode: Distance education
Maximum time to complete: Three years

The Graduate Certificate in Lifestyle Medicine (course code 2084) requires the completion of 4 units shown below, one of which must be LMLR50101 Lifestyle Medicine – Past, Present, Future. The course is offered on a part-time basis (maximum two units per semester).

The units and their sequencing are below (beyond 2022 the 8 units are repeated in the same sequence):

Sem 1 (Mar-Jun) 2021:
LMLR50107 Processes in Lifestyle Medicine and Health Promotion
LMLR50108 Lifestyle Medicine for Specific Populations

Sem 2 (Aug-Nov) 2021:
LMLR50101 Lifestyle Medicine- Past, Present, Future *
LMLR50102 Food as Medicine

Sem 1 (Mar-Jun) 2022:
LMLR50104 Physiological Underpinnings of Chronic Disease
LMLR50106 Psychosocial Factors in Lifestyle Medicine and Health

Sem 2 (Aug-Nov) 2020:
LMLR50109 Nicotine Addiction and Smoking Cessation +
LMLR50105 Exercise as Medicine



*  LMLR50101 is offered in Semester 2 of every year to ensure that students wishing to complete a Graduate Certificate within a 1-year period may do so.

+ LMLR50109 is also offered as a single unit of study (micro-credential) in every semester, commencing 2021.

To find out more about any of the units listed here, copy the unit code and then search for that unit here.

Practical Experience


This course is accredited under Avondale's self-accrediting authority and it is nationally registered with the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA). In 2014 Avondale was granted self-accrediting status by TEQSA. This course may be used as a pathway to become a Fellow of the Australasian Society of Lifestyle Medicine. For more details see the Australasian Society of Lifestyle Medicine website. 

Where to get further information

Course Enquiries

Student Administration Services

Phone: +61 2 4980 2377
Monday-Thursday, 9.00am-5pm
Friday, 9.00am-12.00noon


FEE-HELP available for eligible students, see

View current information on tuition fees


Scholarships are available for Avondale students. View all scholarship information.