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Study public health at the University of Sydney

About us

Global leaders in health education and research

  • Top-ranked in employability

    The University is ranked first in Australia and fourth in the world for graduate employability in the QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2022.

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  • No.3 in Australia

    The University is ranked third in Australia and 35th in the world for public health in the 2020 Academic Ranking of World Universities.

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This course is available to be studied in several different study modes, including online or face-to-face. Check study modes offered in the 'course details’ section below.

In response to COVID-19, the University of Sydney has also reviewed the availability of the face-to-face version of this course, and this will be available for students to study remotely whilst the Australian border remains closed due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. 

About this course

The University of Sydney School of Public Health programs focus on the prevention of illness and the promotion of health.

Learning opportunities are aimed at developing the essential knowledge and skills required for practitioners in public health - including the effective management of community health problems to improve conditions and outcomes.

You will learn how to educate the community and create a healthier future by introducing impactful programs and strategies.

Why study public health with us?

  • Stand out in an increasingly competitive field with our unique degree - Our 1.5-year Master of Public Health will provide you with the time needed to build competency and gain skills from a wide range of public health electives, allowing you to specialise in an area that will boost your career prospects.
  • Graduate job-ready with diverse placement opportunities and links to industry - We chose an 18-month format for our flagship masters degree to provide our students with the opportunity to undertake a professional placement or capstone project. Through this you can engage with practitioners and leading academics, gain experience in public health practice and graduate with a competitive edge.
  • Flexible study options - You can tailor your study schedule around your lifestyle and other commitments with our flexible study options, ideal for full-time workers. You only pay for the units you enrol in each semester and your course may be tax deductible. 
  • Learn from Australia’s leading practitioners and policy influencers in public health - This course is taught by over 130 public health academics who are the leaders in the Australian public health community and have specialised experience working in organisations such as the World Health OrganizationUNICEFNSW Health, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, the Australian Government Department of Health, and Cancer Australia.
  • Graduate with a range of career options - Studying public health allows you to broaden your knowledge in your chosen health or research area and add value to an existing career. Public health graduates can pursue a wide range or careers across research and policy positions at private and public health providers, academic institutions, research centres, non-government organisations and government ministries.

Who should study this course?

You don’t have to come from a health or medical background to study public health at the University of Sydney. Our students come from a diverse range of medical, non-medical, academic and professional backgrounds. Regardless of your experience, the structure of our public health programs will provide you with advanced postgraduate training and equip you with the skills and requirements for a career as a public health professional.

Find out what we look for in a Public Health applicant.

Completion of this Graduate Diploma program can be used as credit towards a Masters degree.

Subject areas

There are no specialisations in this course.

Shared pool

Entry, fees, funding & how to apply

Depends on your qualification, citizenship status
The details on this page based on your selections are a guide only, and are subject to change.

Your entry requirements

English language proficiency

Find out if you need to prove English language proficiency (depends on your country of origin and educational background).

For academic requirements check the ‘Admission requirements’ section on this page.

Your fee

How to apply

You can apply online via the application portal. When you are ready to apply, select the ‘Apply’ button on this course page. Visit the How to apply page for other important information. 

Standard closing dates:

Semester 1 - 31 January of the commencing year

Semester 2 - 15 July of the commencing year

We strongly encourage applicants to apply as early as possible, offers are made on a rolling basis and places are limited. Separate scholarship deadlines apply - check the scholarships website for details.

Starting date

Semester 1 (February) and Semester 2 (August)

You can apply online via the application portal. When you are ready to apply, select the ‘Apply’ button on this course page. Visit the How to apply page for other important information. 

Standard closing dates:

Semester 1 - 15 January of the commencing year

Semester 2 - 25 June of the commencing year

We strongly encourage international applicants to apply as early as possible to allow time for visa and travel arrangements. Separate scholarship deadlines may apply - check the scholarships website for details.

Starting date

Semester 1 (February) and Semester 2 (August)

What you'll study

The Graduate Diploma in Public Health consists of 48 credit points (cp), including 36cp of core units, and 12cp of elective units.

The majority of core units of study will be scheduled in Semester 1, and all core units will be offered face-to-face or in online mode.

The core units will provide basic health knowledge and skills in Epidemiology, Biostatistics, Public Health, Qualitative Health Research, Health Promotion and Public Health Ethics. 

In the elective unit component of the program, you will undertake a minimum of 6cp of PUBH elective units and a maximum of 6 cp of non-PUBH elective units.
Most units of study are also available in online mode.


Units of Study

Who you'll learn from

  • Professor Anne Cust is the Deputy Director of the Daffodil Centre, a cancer epidemiologist and recipient of the prestigious Cancer Institute NSW Premier's Award for Outstanding Research Scholar. She leads several research projects and clinical trials related to melanoma prevention, early detection, treatment and survivorship.
  • Professor Angus Dawson seeks to transform bioethics by exploring issues in public and global health. He is increasingly focused on working with bodies such as the World Health Organization and Médecins Sans Frontières to implement ethics into the real world.
  • Associate Professor Melody Ding is one of the world’s most prominent physical activity researchers and the 2018 NSW Young Tall Poppy of the Year. With passion and commitment to population health through epidemiological research and behavioural change, she has a strong interest in physical activity, epidemiology and chronic disease prevention.
  • Admission criteria

    A successful applicant for admission to the Graduate Diploma in Public Health will hold a degree from the University of Sydney or equivalent qualification. In exceptional circumstances the dean may admit applicants without these qualifications who, in the opinion of the School, have qualifications and evidence of experience and achievement sufficient to successfully undertake the award.

    Credit for previous study

    For more information about the University’s credit policy, please see the Credit for Previous Studies page.

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    Domestic students

    International students

    To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.