MPH5274 - Public health practicum - 2019

12 points, SCA Band 2, 0.250 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.


Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Organisational Unit

Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine

Chief examiner(s)

Associate Professor Dianna Magliano


Associate Professor Dianna Magliano

Unit guides


Alfred Hospital

  • Second semester 2019 (On-campus)


MPH5040 and MPH5041 and MPH5213 and MPH5288



Must be enrolled in one of the course codes: M6024


M6021, M5231, M5232, M5273


Employability skills help students manage and develop their careers, and workplace based practicums are an important way to enhance student employability. As well as allowing students to apply knowledge and skills in a professional environment, practicums also provide insight into organisational communication and culture, professional socialisation, and attitudes and behaviours expected within the workplace setting.

This unit is designed as one of the capstone experiences offered within the Master of Public Health (M6024). The unit aims to provide students with the opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills they have developed in the Master of Public Health in a workplace setting such as a public health related government, non-government or community-based organisation or institution. The Public health practicum is undertaken onsite in a placement within an organisation. The placement within the organisation and the type of work or project undertaken would be orientated towards developing the experience and career interests of the student as well as being relevant to the operational or development needs of the organisation.

Depending on the organisation and placement, students could be involved in public health practice in health protection (communicable disease prevention and control or environmental health investigation), chronic disease prevention, health promotion, health policy, planning or management, or in aspects of public health research and evaluation projects such as in protocol development and establishment of projects, without necessarily undertaking the research project. Additional training that could improve work readiness such as CV preparation or presentation skills would be identified and undertaken within scope of the unit. This would be reflected in the agreed supervisor/student project plan to guide the placement, the outcomes of the placement, and their assessment.

The Public health practicum will also help develop the student's profile and networks in the field of public health.


Upon successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. Integrate and apply public health knowledge and skills to address a public health issue or problem.
  2. Apply academic and research integrity and governance principles in a workplace setting.
  3. Critically evaluate background literature or information relevant to the public health issue or problem.
  4. Develop and document a project plan including key milestones, deliverables and timelines.
  5. Analyse and propose practical solutions to problems within the scope of the work based practicum.
  6. Apply skills of project management including professional communication, stakeholder identification, teamwork, and leadership in a working environment.
  7. Apply public health skills to generate workplace-appropriate written report/s and written or oral presentation/s.
  8. Apply skills learned in public health to create a job application in the form of a CV and responses to key selection criteria or to develop an online professional profile for the public health field.


The Public health practicum is undertaken onsite within an organisation. The student will be required to complete the equivalent of 24 hours per week in a combination of work based experience and learning and relevant study. This can be undertaken flexibly over the semester on agreement between the student's work based supervisor and Public Health Practicum Coordinator and a record of this should be retained.


  • Structured supervisor meetings (15%) (1 x 15 minute meeting + 6 x 30 minute meetings)
  • Project plan (15%) (1500 - 1800 words)
  • Research integrity and governance quiz (0%) (20 minutes) (Hurdle)
  • Academic integrity quiz (0%) (30 minutes) (Hurdle)
  • Professional skills task (10%) (1200 words)
  • Presentation (25%) (30 minute oral presentation + 10 minute question time, OR 900 word research poster + 3 minute oral presentation + 2 minute question time)
  • Written report (35%) (4200 words) (Hurdle)

Workload requirements

The Public health practicum is undertaken onsite in a placement within an organisation.

A 12 credit point practicum would involve approximately 20 hours of work-place directed activities plus 4 hours of self-directed study activities per week over a 12 week semester.

See also Unit timetable information

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study