For more than 30 years, the work of UNSW's Centre for Social Research in Health (CSRH) has aimed at producing highest quality research that can be used to illuminate gaps in health systems that have the potential to leave some people behind. CSRH's work is informed by an understanding that stigma is a fundamental cause of health inequalities and undermines the quality of healthcare. This course will pose solutions to better meet the needs of people in marginalised groups using stigma reduction approaches based on equitable, accessible and quality health care.


Faculty of Arts, Design & Architecture

Research Centre

Centre for Social Research in Health

Delivery Mode





6 weeks

What will I learn?

Stigma can exist at all levels within a healthcare setting, from interactions between patient and clinician to policies and procedures in health practice. 

This course will focus on understanding stigma and its impact on health systems and services. Learners will be encouraged to think about:

  • why stigma exists 
  • why people are stereotyped
  • how stigma can influence health care and service provision
  • how you can help to change a person's experience of health care. 

This course will help you to identify practices, language and policies that are stigmatising or have unintended negative consequences. It is an integral opportunity to bridge the gap between real life experience and academic research. You will be asked to reflect on your own workplace, practices and broader procedures and policies within your professional environment. By using real-life experiences, the course will:

  • provide examples of what stigma looks like in healthcare 
  • consider who is more likely to experience stigma in certain ways and certain settings 
  • share evidence around initiatives that have been implemented to address stigma in various contexts and highlight what has worked 

The course will prepare you with the tools to contribute to changes in service design and delivery, and practices that help in reducing stigma and increasing positive health care environments for vulnerable groups of people.

How will I learn?

This course will be delivered online with a combination of weekly 2-hour live sessions and self-paced modules.

After some theoretical grounding, participants will be encouraged to apply knowledge to their own context; reflect on what can be done and how it could work in their workplace.

Sessions will incorporate lived experiences of stigma for an interactive approach. 

Who should take this course?

Any job role within a healthcare setting can positively impact the experience of stigma, from front office teams through medical practitioners to senior leadership. Factors that can mitigate stigma range from policies and procedures through collegial conversations to the culture of communication.  

As a faculty, we are committed to ensuring our short courses are accessible to individuals or groups who are experiencing financial disadvantage. Discounted registration prices are available. Please contact the ADA Short Courses team via email at if you would like to discuss discount rates. Decisions will be made on a case-by-case bases.

Who is leading this course?

Centre for Social Research in Health

The Centre for Social Research in Health undertakes behavioural and social research on a wide range of health-related issues. CSRH's multidisciplinary research is of the highest scholarly standards and aims to increase understanding of the individual, social and structural factors that influence health-related behaviours, experiences and outcomes. Working with community, non-government and government partners, their research informs appropriate and effective policy and practice.

CSRH researchers are leaders in their fields, with a strong reputation in the academic community, lending authority to our work and influence to public debate. CSRH focuses on projects that make crucial contribution to the Australian response to blood-borne viruses and sexually transmissible infections, by examining social aspects.

Course Conveners

Dr Loren Brener is an Associate Professor at the Centre for Social Research in Health. Her research focuses on stigma and discrimination experienced by people living with blood-borne viruses such as HIV and viral hepatitis and the impact of this on health outcomes and quality of care. Her research is grounded in social psychology and aims to advance theoretical understanding as well as practical outcomes for marginalised and vulnerable groups.

Dr Timothy Broady is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Social Research in Health. His current research interests include addressing stigma and discrimination amongst communities affected by blood-borne viruses, HIV prevention, and the lived experiences of marginalised groups within society.   

Dr Alison Marshall is a Postdoctoral Fellow co-appointed at the Viral Hepatitis Clinical Research Program (the Kirby Institute) and the Centre for Social Research in Health at UNSW Sydney. In 2018, Alison received her PhD in clinical epidemiology at the Kirby Institute. Her PhD research utilised a mixed-methods approach (quantitative-qualitative design) with a primary focus on liver disease assessment, hepatitis C treatment uptake, and health policy. Prior to her PhD, Alison’s work involved multidisciplinary collaborations with international (WHO, PAHO) and national public health agencies (PHAC, CDC) to facilitate the uptake of evidence-based research in the development of hepatitis C policy, programs, and practices in global health settings.

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