There are a range of opportunities during the Master of Public Health (MPH) for students to expand their experience in order to understand public health work across various contents (including overseas) and learn more about possible work opportunities post graduation. Within the course, many subjects incorporate Work Integrated Learning (WIL) activities designed to assist students to gain exposure to and an understanding of public health in real world application.
What is Work Integrated Learning and what opportunities exist within the MPH?
WIL is the University’s umbrella term to cover internships, tertiary work experience, field trips and vocational placements. WIL subjects are designed to provide students with professional experience in an area related to their field of study or the career they are working towards. The aim of providing industry-specific opportunities is to enable students to develop skills that will enhance the prospect of gaining meaningful employment and building their career for the future.
MPH Work based placement -Professional Practice Unit
The Professional Practice Unit (PPU) is the WIL workplace subject that MPH students may apply to undertake in the last year of their degree. Students selected for the PPU complete a discrete project in a specialised area of public health at a host organisation. The unit allows students to extend their skills in a practical workplace setting, while integrating course theory with practice. Students spend a minimum of 20-30 days (160-240 hours) undertaking the PPU at their host organisation.
Placement opportunities are available in metropolitan Melbourne, rural Victoria, interstate and international locations. Types of agencies that host placements are:
- State Government
- Local Government
- Private consultancies
- International and local non-government organisations
- Primary health services
- The Melbourne School of Population and Global Health
- Research organisations and a range of other health related agencies.
Type of projects include, but are not limited to:
- Development of an evaluation framework
- Carrying out a small scale program evaluation
- Literature reviews
- Data analysis
- Scoping exercise to address an issue or problem
- Grant applications
- Small scale program or policy development
- Report writing
- Development of materials for dissemination of research findings or other public health information
- Collection and analysis of interview and / or focus group data.
Public health in practice
This subject is a capstone subject within the Master of Public Health or can be taken as an elective subject. Students will apply the knowledge and skills acquired in the pre-requisite subjects to real-world scenarios through a Problem Based Learning (PBL) approach. Students will be presented with a range of contemporary public health issues that will require them to consider an appropriate population health response. These scenarios will expose students to a range of public health roles, perspectives and problems that they, as future public health practitioners, may be presented with in the real-world setting.
Applied research project
The research project is a capstone option within the Master of Public Health. Within the research project students will work in their chosen area of study with an appointed supervisor. Students will have the opportunity to undertake a literature review, develop research questions and undertake the research activities required to answer their research question. Activities include analysis of data, policy analysis, a small evaluation of a health program, a small qualitative research study, a systematic or narrative review of the literature, or the development of a research protocol. Some activities are only available in specific specialisations of the course.
Other opportunities within the MPH to gain exposure to public health in practice
Global health field experience - primary health care, Jamkhed, India (Elective Subject)
This subject is delivered in partnership with the Comprehensive Rural Health Project (CRHP), Jamkhed India. It is a 3-week residential course in India that includes lectures, small group activities and field trips. It provides the opportunity to learn about primary health care within the context of a primary health program in a low income setting in India. Students learn about the principles of health policy development and program management of communities in developing countries. Students will have opportunities to observe a world-renowned primary health care program including field visits with village health workers, learning with men's and women's groups and observation of village health worker training.
Indigenous health field experience – First 1000 days in Indigenous contexts (Elective Subject)
This is an elective subject in the Master of Public Health program that contributes to the Indigenous health stream and is a foundation subject for those interested in working with Indigenous peoples across the life course. Some field trip elements are included within this subject for on campus students. In this subject, students will be introduced to local and global concepts, frameworks and methods used by Indigenous populations to promote health equity and foster a global view of Indigenous peoples’ health and well-being during the first 1000 days from conception to age two. The subject will explore the first 1000 days model and how to implement this model across different communities Australia wide, and with international partners.
Exchange opportunities - study abroad
A range of options exist for Master of Public Health students to undertake a semester of studying abroad as part of their experience. MPH Students are currently eligible to apply for exchange to:
- Lund University (Sweden) - Master of Public Health
- McGill University (Canada) - Master of Science in Public Health
- University of Geneva (Switzerland) - Master of Science – Global Health
- Public Health Foundation of India – Delhi and Hyderabad – Master of Public Health
For general information on Student Exchange at the University of Melbourne (UOM), please visit the Mobility website
Mentoring Program: for selected final year MPH students
The mentoring program, established in 2018, is available for final year Master of Public Health students. Mentoring is a mutually beneficial partnership in which both individuals grow and develop through the process of sharing and listening achieved by connecting each student who is accepted into the program with an experienced graduate of the school. This program aims to maximise the preparation and capacity of students of the MPH to enter the workforce, as well as providing alumni with an enriching experience. The program is a one-year, semi-structured program mentors and mentees will be matched according to common areas of interest and experience, as well as geography and preferences for meeting arrangements.
Events that connect students with industry and other employers are held throughout the year. You will have the opportunity to network with and learn from professionals in your field.
Our students have extensive engagement with industry, government, and private enterprise, through interactive seminars, work-integrated experiences, applied research projects with partner organisations, and numerous networking events and opportunities.
Melbourne Population Health Student Association - MPHSA
The MPHSA regularly runs workshops and events for students studying the master of Public Health. They also run a Facebook page open exclusively for the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health students (past and present) at the University of Melbourne which provides a student community forum for idea sharing, course and employment related opportunities and other.