The impacts of COVID-19 have been felt on a global scale, with associated physical distancing restrictions and economic downturn having flow-on effects for mental health and wellbeing across the community, and for university students in particular. First-year pharmaceutical and medical science students completing a common introductory population health course at an Australian university are routinely surveyed at the beginning of the semester as part of the course. Survey data inform teaching approaches based on understanding the 'real life' commitments and health profiles of students, and deidentified data form part of the teaching material. The 2020 student cohort was invited to complete a second follow-up survey during COVID-19 physical distancing restrictions. A total of n=126 students completed both the initial and follow-up surveys (50.6% response rate), and n=99 (39.8% of the total cohort) consented for their data to be included in research. There was a non-significant decrease in student employment; however, 22% of all students reported loss of work due to COVID-19. There was a statistically significant decrease in the proportion of students undertaking sufficient levels of physical activity, and a statistically significant increase in reported family stressors associated with loss of employment or an inability to gain employment between March and May 2020. Two-thirds of respondents reported increased stress as an impact of the transition to online learning. Implementation of holistic strategies, incorporating attention to additional factors influencing students' capacity to engage in study, and which may have long-term impacts across the life of the degree program, should be considered.