Graduate Diploma in Lifestyle Medicine

Course Code2085
Course duration /
Study mode

Course duration: Two years part-time
Study mode: Distance education

LocationAvondale Campus - Lake Macquarie
Fee Support


*for eligible students, see


The Graduate Diploma of 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 Diploma course of Lifestyle Medicine is designed to equip graduates with an understanding of the various domains of Lifestyle Medicine and skills in its application.

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

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Course Structure

Course duration: Two years part-time
Study mode: Distance education
Maximum time to complete: Four years

The Graduate Diploma in Lifestyle Medicine (course code 2085) involves the following eight units that are available on a part time basis (maximum two units per semester). The offerings and sequencing of the units are shown below. 

Sem 1 (Mar-Jun) 2020:
LMLR50104 Physiological Underpinnings of Chronic Disease
LMLR50106 Psychosocial Factors in Lifestyle Medicine and Health

Sem 2 (Aug-Nov) 2020:
LMLR50103 Determinants of Chronic Disease
LMLR50105 Exercise as Medicine

LMLR50101 Lifestyle Medicine- Past, Present, Future*

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

*Note LMLR50101 is offered in Semester 2 of every year.

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


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

Student Experience Survey

Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching


FEE-HELP available for eligible students, see

View current information on tuition fees


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


"As a GP who has been practicing Lifestyle Medicine for a number of years I was excited by the opportunity to gain formal qualifications in this field. Lifestyle Medicine through Avondale provided a solid foundation... The lecturers were great and interacting with peers from a variety of professional backgrounds was a real highlight."
- Dr Paul Wood, B Med, Grad Dip Lifestyle Med, FRACGP, FASLM.