Master of Public Health

  • CRICOS code: 020358D

The experience


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.

Capstone experiences
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
  • Hospitals
  • Private consultancies
  • International and local non-government organisations
  • Primary health services
  • Research organisations and a range of other health related agencies.
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.

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.

Non-curriculum opportunities
Mentoring Program: for selected final year MPH students

The mentoring program, established in 2018, is available for final year Master of Public Health students. 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.

Career events

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.

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.

Read about Jomy's experience:


Jomy Jose

I completed a Bachelor of Dentistry in India and then decided to pursue my interest in public health.

My options in dentistry were fairly limited and they were treatment-based. But prevention is key to public health and the Master of Public Health has a wide range of different fields that you can specialise in, everything from global health to biostatistics or health policy – there are so many. The breadth really appealed to me and I thought I could find my niche.

I’ve just completed the first semester and so far we’ve covered the foundations and biostatistics and epidemiology. I’ve decided to pursue global health and I’m also interested in health promotion, which we’ll cover next year.

I had never been to Melbourne or Australia before coming here to study, but the University has made it so much easier to settle in. During orientation week, there were lots of events, workshops and opportunities to interact with students from all over the world. There was also support with my accommodation, and advice on things to do and where to go in and around Melbourne.

There are students from 34 countries in the course, which is amazing. I’ve never experienced such a diverse student cohort before – people have a wide range of backgrounds: psychology, biomedicine, nursing, political science. It’s varied and everyone has something to contribute, which is a great learning opportunity.

The teaching faculty are brilliant. They come with experience from all around the globe and they’ve worked in the field for many years. They’re very accommodating, always approachable and they tailor their teaching to accommodate us being from so many different countries and backgrounds.