Master of Public Health

  • CRICOS code: 020358D

Where will this take me?


The Master of Public Health is an internationally recognised degree and the most common pathway for people wishing to work in the field of public health. The Master of Public Health at the University of Melbourne is focused on the development of skills for future work in public health.

The three different components of the degree (the core subjects, the specialisation/elective subjects, the capstone subjects) target the development of skills for a public health career in different ways; more specifically:

  • The core subjects offer each student the opportunity to learn the core aspects of working in public health, for example, every public health practitioner requires an understanding of the workings of health systems and needs to be able to identify solutions to health problems in communities. Additionally, within these core subjects vital professional skills are taught, such as communication, working in a team, and using data.
  • The specialisation/elective subjects allow students to choose their own path through the degree and develop the skills required to work in their chosen public health field. At the University of Melbourne there are ten specialisations to choose from and over 60 elective subjects.
  • The capstone subjects offer student the opportunity to apply what they have learned across the core subjects and specialisation/elective subjects in real world projects, through:
    • Completing a project in a local, national or international public health organisation, or
    • A research project under the supervision of one of the School of Population and Global Health’s academic staff and/or
    • An university-based subject in which public health professionals work with students to solve current and active public health problems.
Career Outcomes

The Master of Public Health produces industry ready graduates who go onto a varied range of career options. We often find that students come into the degree and find career options that they had never considered. Local and international students can find work in Australia and overseas, depending on their area of focus. In a recent alumni survey we found that the most common type of organisation to be employed in post-graduation were (highest to lowest):

  • Non-Government Organisations, for example international health agencies (either based in Australia or overseas) and large and small local disease specific agencies;
  • Government affiliated organisations, such as hospitals, primary health care organisation, large international health organisations;
  • Government (Local, State and Federal);
  • Universities and Research Institutions;
  • Private companies, usually based in Australia. These can be the larger consulting firms, smaller health focused consulting firms, health communication companies or the pharmaceutical industry.

The roles students gain post-graduation can be varied. In the recent alumni survey mentioned above we found from 70 students over 50 job titles post-graduation.  For more about where alumni have taken their degree follow this link

Some of job titles identified by students in the survey as their post-graduation job were:

Career pathways
Awareness Officer Epidemiologist Health Promotion, Planning and Evaluation Officer Public Health Associate
Capacity Building Officer Ethics Officer Monitoring and Evaluation Coordinator Public Health Consultant
Communications and Policy Officer Evaluation Officer Policy Officer Quality Advisor
Community Health and Wellbeing Officer Health Coordinator Program Officer/Manager/Coordinator (Senior) Research Assistant
Data Analyst Health Economist Project Officer/Manager/Coordinator  

Some examples of organisations that undertake public health work are:

  • The Cancer Council
  • Community Health Services / Primary Healthcare Services
  • Consulting firms (PwC Australia; Deloitte Access Economics)
  • Diabetes Australia
  • Department of Health (State and Regional governments)
  • Department of Health (National governments)
  • Hospitals
  • Local Government
  • Melbourne Sexual Health Centre
  • Murdoch Childrens Research Institute
  • University of Melbourne
  • Women’s Health Victoria
  • World Health Organisation
  • World Vision
  • VicHealth
  • Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention
  • and many more

Read about Martin's experience of the course:


Martin Vu

I’m a Research Fellow in health economics at the University of Melbourne, with a particular interest in evaluating genomic medicine in cancer.

The Master of Public Health was great preparation, I loved it. When I started studying I knew I wanted to work in health economics and health policy but I wasn’t exactly sure what area.  During the masters I realised I really enjoy research, especially translational research which focuses on the movement of knowledge from clinical science discoveries into ‘real world’ applications.

The whole experience of the masters was really wonderful. Like any course, it had its hard moments, but it was interesting to look at disease and illness from multiple lenses outside of biological science. I am interested improving health and wellbeing within communities through disease prevention and treatment and the Master of Public Health really helped me explore that.

The assignments were very practical and they gave us a taste of all the different aspects of public health. The lectures were really engaging and because in some classes we were a relatively small group, they felt very intimate. I’d get personal feedback which was very helpful.

So far my job has been challenging but also rewarding. My work thus far involves using real-world data to analyse the value of genomic medicine on individual patients from the systems perspective. I work very closely with haematologists and geneticists and there is a lot of data analysis involved with what I do.

I’m considering doing a PhD, but I haven’t made up my mind just yet! But I know I want to keep working in research, it’s definitely the right area for me.