Monash University

Postgraduate - Course

Students who commenced study in 2012 should refer to this course entry for direction on the requirements; to check which units are currently available for enrolment, refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course.

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This course entry should be read in conjunction with information provided in the 'Faculty information' section of this Handbook by the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Managing facultyMedicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Abbreviated titleGradDipIntHlth
CRICOS code030778A
Total credit points required48
Standard duration of study (years)1 year FT, 2 years PT
Study mode and locationOn-campus (Alfred Hospital)
Off-campus (Alfred Hospital)
Admission, fee and application details
Contact details

Postgraduate office: telephone +61 3 9903 0563; email or visit

Course coordinator

Associate Professor Bebe Loff


  • Unit codes that are not linked to their entry in the handbook are not available for study in the current year.


The Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine offers this course in collaboration with the Centre for International Health of the MacFarlane Burnet Institute for Medical Research and Public Health. Course content is in part based on actual field experiences gained by the MacFarlane Burnet Institute in their wide range of health development projects in more than 20 countries in Asia, the Pacific and Africa.

The course provides the skills necessary to design, implement, and evaluate the relevant programs that address the major public health priorities of communities in developing countries. Public health issues are presented in the broader context of economic and social development, stressing cultural, political, gender and environmental influences, as well as the impact of armed conflict and population migration.


On completion of the course, students will be able to:

  • demonstrate a detailed understanding of the principles of primary health care
  • analyse the economic, political, cultural, social and gender determinants of public health in developing country communities
  • demonstrate a familiarity with the basic elements of health program design, implementation and evaluation
  • develop appropriate health program management tools, including situational analysis, population surveys, behavioural studies, health information systems, operations research and participatory evaluation
  • understand the special factors associated with the health of women and the children and the dynamics of population growth
  • investigate, manage, prevent, and control endemic and epidemic communicable diseases of public health importance in developing countries
  • demonstrate a familiarity with the emerging health problems related to urbanisation, industrialisation, behavioural and environmental design
  • develop community-based health promotion strategies to address health problems related to communicable, chronic and nutritional diseases and injuries
  • demonstrate an adequate understanding of the special circumstances and actions required in an acute disaster setting, including a refugee emergency
  • demonstrate an understanding of the interaction between human rights, ethics, medical practice, health services, the law and health outcomes
  • be able to apply an economic analysis to public health problems, health services and prevention programs
  • demonstrate an understanding of the ethical issues that arise in the context of international health research
  • develop adequate skills in report writing, oral presentations, verbal and visual

communications and the basic use of computers.


Assessment includes written assignments, examinations, practical exercises, student presentations and class participation.


This course comprises three or four core units and four or five elective units.


Core units

Semester One

  • ECX9720 OR units MPH1040 & MPH1041
  • ECX9720 Introduction to epidemiology and biostatistics
  • MPH1040 Introductory epidemiology
  • MPH1041 Introductory biostatistics
  • MPH2048 Primary health care in developing countries
  • MPH2049 Field methods for international health planning and evaluation

Elective units

Ethics stream

  • EPM5020 Comparative moral theory
  • EPM5021 Ethical research with at risk populations
  • MPH2055 Health and human rights
  • APG5733 Health care ethics
  • APG5805 The art and business of international development
  • EPM5023 Health research and exploitation of vulnerable populations
  • EPM5024 Legal issues in research
  • EPM5025 Human research ethics and committees: ethical review of research and research governance

International Health stream

  • MPH2050 Health of women and children in developing countries
  • MPH2051 Communicable diseases control in developing countries
  • MPH2053 Public health in refugee settings
  • MPH2054 Nutrition in developing countries
  • MPH2055 Health and human rights
  • MPH2057 Aboriginal health
  • MPH2058 Effective responses to HIV in developing countries
  • MPH2060 Health policy and prevention in a global world
  • MPH2082 Health communications and training
  • MPH5087 Alcohol and other drugs in society: a national and global perspective
  • ECX9750 Principles of health economics for developing countries
  • CRH5047 Health ecology and environmental change

Progression to further studies

The course articulates with the Master of International Health 3874 or can lead to the Master of Public Health 0046.


Graduate Diploma in International Health