Study public health

Protect the health of people and their communities.

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COVID-19 demonstrated the importance of public health practitioners in keeping communities safe and healthy. Many of our students and alumni worked as ‘disease detectives’ to assist the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), while our academic experts helped shape public policy to inform society’s understanding of the pandemic through the National Health and Medical Research Council.

Public health also involves the promotion of health to prevent illness, injury and disability. Fields of study include biostatistics, gerontology, global health, health economics, health policy, indigenous health, infectious disease epidemiology and sexual health.

Look at our key areas below.

Gain the skills and knowledge required for a career in public health practice and the opportunity to specialise in the advanced public health training streams.

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Be equipped to assume future leadership roles in nursing and expand your scope of practice and reach into the health system.

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Apply a population health perspective for causes of oral diseases, identify interventions for reducing these and use epidemiological knowledge for assessing the adequacy of current dental practices.

Details coming soon.

Population ageing has a diverse and far-reaching impact on all of society. Our Gerontology courses draw from disciplines spanning public health, social work, architectural and urban design, economics and technology.

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Study the epidemiology and social determinants of sexual health plus prevention, management and public health control of sexually transmissible infections and HIV.

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Learn to use surveillance data, investigate outbreaks, and analyse and interpret information from studies of infectious diseases.

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Led by research and education leaders from the Royal Children's Hospital, the Murdoch Children's Institute for Research and the University of Melbourne Department of Paediatrics, completion of the research stream is a pathway to PhD.

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Help individuals, couples and families understand and adapt to the implications of a genetic contribution to a health condition.

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Strengthen your career path and respond to public health challenges in a variety of health and social policy contexts. 1 year part time / 6 months full time. On campus (Parkville) or online.

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Prepare for public health practice and augment existing professional skills in health care practice, policy and management. 6 months part time. On campus (Parkville) or online.

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Gain specialised knowledge and skills in the physical and psychosocial aspects of ageing, and gain interdisciplinary skills necessary to respond to the complexities of an ageing global population. 6 months part time. Online.

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Digital health and biostatistics

Technology is improving and disrupting healthcare. Move into decision-making roles and contribute to planning, implementation and evaluation to do with digital health and economic data analysis and infrastructure.

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Why study public health?

  • #1 University for Public Health in Australia and #12 globally (*Shanghai Ranking’s Global Ranking of Academic Subjects 2022)
  • #1 University in Australia and #14 in the world for clinical, pre-clinical and health, (*Times Higher Education 2022 World University Rankings)
  • Benefit from industry links and research networks, including The Royal Melbourne, Women’s and Children’s Hospital, National Ageing Research Institute, Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne and Mercy Health.

Looking for personalised advice?

Find out more about our graduate degrees and get support with your application. Speak to our expert staff online, via phone or at an upcoming event. You can also register to learn more about your course options and opportunities via email.

Master of Public Health

Hannah Morgan


“The absolute highlight was being selected to represent the University at the Emory Global Health Case Competition in Atlanta, USA! Our team had to come up with an intervention package that prevents Measles transmission in Ukraine. Our team was able to apply skills learned during the course to secure second place out of all 28 teams from around the world. This experience allowed me to consolidate my learning from all my subjects into a real problem with real impacts and network with public health professionals from around the globe.”

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