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Monash University

Doctor of Public Health

Course code: 3403/3993 ~ Course abbreviation: DPH ~ 6 semesters full-time, 12 semesters part-time ~ Managing faculty: Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Study mode and course location

On-campus (Alfred Hospital, Melbourne)

Course description

This is a higher research degree, offered by the Department of Epidemiology and Preventative Medicine. It provides suitably qualified health professionals with a balanced training in the theory and practice of public health, equipping them to enter a wide range of careers in epidemiology, public health practice and research.

Course objectives

Following the completion of prescribed coursework, practical experience and a research project, graduates will be able to: 1. appreciate the need for evidence-based practice in public health; 2. critically appraise published research studies; 3. formulate, conduct and report independent research; 4. apply research findings to professional practice; 5. develop skills in the formulation and evaluation of community-based health interventions; 6. develop skills in writing professional reports; 7. present research findings to professional and lay audiences; 8. formulate public health policy; and 9. demonstrate the capacity to provide leadership in public health.

Credit for prior studies

Admission to the professional doctoral program will also be available to public health professionals who have previously graduated with a Masters of Public Health. In general, there will be scope for students who have completed coursework and/or supervised practice of equivalent standing to those in the program to be granted exemption for the relevant component(s) up to a maximum of three units. Appropriate methods for assessment of equivalence of prior study will be applied either through a viva voce, written examination, submission of referees' reports and/or presentation of written work. Credit will not be given for previous research. A minimum enrolment period of two years will apply to all later-year applicants. No credits will be given for elective units.

Course structure

. The program consists of six coursework units (four core units and two elective units), a 13-week practicum in a public health setting, and research culminating in a 70,000-word thesis. Studies include coursework units in advanced epidemiology, statistical methods for public health, advanced research methods in public health and health leadership and management, as well as two electives chosen from a wide range of units. The research project is expected to provide a significant original contribution to knowledge and/or practice in the field of public health and to demonstrate the capacity of the student to conduct independent research.

While work towards the thesis will occur throughout each 48-week year, coursework sessions will be conducted over two 13-week semesters for the first two years. The public health practice component will occur in the second year of the course.

Course requirements

Core units

  • DPH6001 Advanced epidemiology
  • DPH6002 Statistical methods for public health
  • DPH6003 Advanced research methods in public health
  • DPH6004 Health leadership and management
  • DPH6005 Public health practice

Elective units

Elective units may be selected from any postgraduate MPH or EPM unit offered by the Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine.

Contact details

Professor Michael Abramson, The Alfred Hospital: telephone +61 3 9903 0573; email

Dr Jennifer Scott, Manager (Research Degrees), telephone +61 3 9905 4313; email or visit

Course coordinator

Professor Michael Abramson