The Doctor of Public Health is a 108-unit research higher degree comprising 36 units of coursework topics and a 72-unit dissertation. The course is offered by the College of Medicine and Public Health over three years full-time or up to six years part-time.

Every effort is made to facilitate students to study areas directly relevant to their own
work needs.

Admission requirements

Applicants must satisfy the following criteria:

Applicants must:

  1. hold an approved bachelors degree with honours class 1 or upper 2A or qualifications deemed equivalent by the College of Medicine and Public Health. These may include a Masters degree, completed within the last ten years, with a grade point average of Distinction or better; or peer reviewed publication; or track record as an investigator on a competitive grant; and
  2. have at least five years' experience working in public health or a health-related human service area (eg service delivery, state and national health departments, local government, education, welfare, housing, community service) or have held a position of leadership at middle management level in public health or a senior support position in a health-related human service organisation, or can demonstrate excellence in practice; and have demonstrated evidence of commitment and innovation in their field; and
  3. complete an interview in which practice and management relevant skills and experience, as well as ability to pursue doctoral level research, will be assessed. One academic and one professional referee’s report will be called for. Before an applicant is admitted, the College must be satisfied that the proposed program of studies can be conveniently pursued and appropriately supervised.

Course aims

The Doctor of Public Health aims to provide candidates with advanced and specialist study which will enable them to develop advanced skills and knowledge to undertake a variety of advanced professional roles in public health and human services. It is expected that graduates of this award will be able to integrate and apply the multidisciplinary skills and knowledge that are required to progress public health policy, management and practice.

The course also enables them to make an original, sustained contribution to knowledge in public health policy, management and practice through a major research dissertation and to develop an advanced understanding of politics and ethics of public health policy, research and management.

Learning outcomes

Graduates of this award will be able to:

  • integrate and apply the multidisciplinary skills and knowledge that are required to progress public health policy, management and practice;
  • make an original, sustained contribution to knowledge in public health policy, management and practice; and
  • develop an advanced understanding of the politics and ethics of public health policy, research and management.

Program of study

To qualify for the Doctor of Public Health, a student must complete 108 units, with a grade of P or NGP or better in each topic.

Students who have completed 36 units of coursework topics and do not wish to continue may choose to exit with the Graduate Diploma in Public Health.

Core - Year 1 topics

 PHCA9201  Public Health Organisation  (9 units)
 PHCA9202  Public Health Research  (9 units)
 PHCA9205  Critical Analysis of Public Health Debates  (9 units)
 PHCA9502  Qualitative Research Methods  (9 units) OR
 PHCA9511  Social Statistics in Public Health  (9 units)

Students must achieve a GPA greater than or equal to 5.0 in the 36 units of coursework topics to be permitted to undertake the Dissertation component of the degree.

Core - Year 2 & 3 topic

 PHCA9300  Dissertation* (72 units)

* As a component of a research higher degree the dissertation topic is time based and is available both full-time and part-time.

The award of a grade of Fail (F) in the same topic on more than one occasion may constitute prima facie evidence of unsatisfactory progress for the purpose of the University's Policy on Student Progress.