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Study public health at the University of Sydney

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  • No.4 in the world

    The University is ranked first in Australia and fourth in the world for graduate employability in the QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2020.

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  • Top-ranked in public health

    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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Overview

In response to COVID-19, the University of Sydney has reviewed the availability of courses to be delivered remotely for students commencing their studies in Semester 1, 2021.

This course will be available to study remotely for students commencing in Semester 1, 2021. Please note that some units of study that are not essential to completing the degree may not be available to be studied remotely.

Note: The University intends to offer as many units of study as possible in a remote as well as face-to-face learning method of delivery in Semester 1, 2021 and subject to ongoing border closures and public health orders impacting attendance on campus, in Semester 2, 2021. However, some units of study and courses require students to study in-person at the relevant University of Sydney campus/es and host locations for placements and will not be available remotely. 

About this course

The Master of Public Health focuses on the prevention of illness and 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 units and 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.

Commonwealth Supported Places (CSP) are available for this course for eligible domestic students. This means that your course fees are subsidised by the Australian Government and you pay a student contribution amount (SCA). CSP places are limited in number and are allocated based on academic merit.

Subject areas

You will be able to complete a generalist MPH degree, or choose your elective units from within one of 4 specialisations:

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

Scholarships

We’ve relaunched our scholarships program and offer a variety of postgraduate coursework scholarships for both domestic and international students.

Criteria, eligibility and application deadlines vary. Check the scholarships website or contact the school directly for more information.

We’ve relaunched our scholarships program and offer a variety of postgraduate coursework scholarships for both domestic and international students.

Criteria, eligibility and application deadlines vary. Check the scholarships website or contact the school directly for more information.


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 - 11 February 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.

There are a limited number of Commonwealth Supported Places (CSP) available for students commencing their degree in Semester 2. Therefore, only Semester 2 applications received by 13 June will be considered for a CSP.

Please submit your CV with relevant public health work experience and your academic transcript, as these are used to rank candidates. If you do not submit these documents then we cannot assess your eligibility.

Starting date

Semester 1 (March) 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 - 31 January of the commencing year

Semester 2 - 30 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 (March) and Semester 2 (August)

Course structure

View the public health course structure diagram (PDF, 70KB).

What you'll study

The core units of the Master of Public Health 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 18cp of PUBH electives and a maximum of 12cp of non PUBH elective units.

You will be able to choose your elective units from within one of 4 specialisations:

  • Chronic Disease Prevention
  • Communicable Disease Control
  • Health Promotion and Advocacy
  • Research Methods

Or you may prefer to complete a generalist degree and select elective units from across the specialisation groups.

Most elective units will initially be offered in semester two of each year, and many are also available in online mode.

Download our sample course diagram to learn more about what you will study as part of this degree.

View the public health course structure diagram (PDF, 70KB)

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

    The Master of Public Health requires an undergraduate degree in public health, medicine, medical science, nursing, allied health (including physiotherapy, occupational therapy, optometry), dentistry, veterinary science, education, communication and journalism, science, arts, psychology, social science, political science, policy analysis, government, international relations, engineering, architecture, mathematics, law, economics, commerce, business, accounting or marketing for admission.

    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.

     

    Commonwealth Supported Places

    There are a limited number of Commonwealth Supported Places (CSP) available for students commencing their degree in Semester 1 and 2.Therefore, only Semester 1 applications received by 1 December of the previous year and Semester 2 applications received by 13 June in the current year will be considered for a CSP.

    Please submit your CV with relevant public health work experience and your academic transcript, as these are used to rank candidates. If you do not submit these documents then we cannot assess your eligibility.

    Credit for previous study

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

    Future study options

    Outstanding graduates may be eligible to pursue a higher degree by research in the courses of Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Philosophy offered by Sydney School of Public Health. A research degree provides students with the opportunity to prepare a substantial piece of work which represents a significant contribution in a particular field of study; and to gain transferable skills in general research methodology. Sydney School of Public Health is affiliated with over 40 independent medical research institutes aimed at achieving medical firsts in specialist areas of health and medicine. It provides an outstanding environment for postgraduate research. Sydney School of Public Health research activities consistently attract high levels of funding from the Commonwealth and state governments, overseas funding agencies and other public and private sources.

    Career Pathways

    The Master of Public Health leads to hands on careers in public health, such as working with people in the field, as well as research-oriented jobs which involve conducting studies and examining overall health trends.

    Careers in public health include working as a public health officer in government health departments; health education/promotion officer; clinical research manager; health information manager or health project manager.

    Our Head of School outlines some of the career opportunities that exist for our graduates.

    Dr Vandana Joshi

    Graduate Profile

    Vandana Joshi

    Chief of Health, Nutrition and WASH, UNICEF

    In 2000, Vandana was working with tuberculosis patients in Kashmir. In 2005, she was a team leader providing care in the tsunami-affected Andaman and Nicobar islands. In 2009, she was in Sudan establishing community based screening for severely malnourished children. In 2014, she was part of the Ebola response team in Sierra Leone and today she is in Bhutan, working to make it the first country in the region to have zero mother-to-child transmission of HIV.

    Read Vandana's story

    Kathryn Joannides

    Graduate Profile

    Kathryn Joannides

    Health Economics and Social Policy Consultant, Deloitte 

    "The Master of Public Health offers great flexible study options which have enabled me to continue living and working interstate whilst completing my degree.

    It's really rewarding to know you can have a positive impact on people's lives. I am doing that by implementing policies that are evidence based, and an effective and efficient use of public funds."

    Watch Kathryn's video

    News_

    6 reasons to study public health

    Why you should study public health at the University of Sydney

    With over 2,000 public health students graduating in Australia each year, the job market is as competitive as ever. Stand out from the crowd with a Master of Public Health at the University of Sydney.

    University of Sydney campus tour

    Domestic students

    International students

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