Monash University

Postgraduate - Course

Students who commenced study in 2013 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 applies to students commencing this course in 2013 and 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

School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine: 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 consists of core and elective units. The number of electives required will depend on which core units are completed.


Core units

  • ECX9720 Introduction to epidemiology and biostatistics, or MPH5040 Introductory epidemiology and MPH5041 Introductory biostatistics
  • MPH5248 Primary health care in developing countries
  • MPH5249 Field methods for international health planning and evaluation

Elective units

Students select four or five units from the list below.

Ethics stream

  • EPM5021 Ethical research with at risk populations
  • 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
  • MPH5255 Health and human rights

International health stream

  • CRH5047 Health ecology and environmental change
  • ECX9750 Principles of health economics for developing countries
  • MPH5253 Public health in refugee settings
  • MPH5287 Alcohol and other drugs in society: A national and global perspective
  • MPH5250 Health of women and children in developing countries
  • MPH5251 Communicable diseases control in developing countries
  • MPH5254 Nutrition in developing countries
  • MPH5255 Health and human rights
  • MPH5257 Aboriginal health
  • MPH5258 Effective responses to HIV in developing countries
  • MPH5260 Health policy and prevention in a global world
  • MPH5282 Health communications and training

Progression to further studies

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


Graduate Diploma in International Health