Health Sciences

Postgraduate programs in Public Health

  • Graduate Certificate in Public Health
  • Graduate Diploma in Public Health
  • Master of Public Health
  • Master of Public Health (Global Health and Advocacy)

Course details and application

ACU's recently launched postgraduate public health programs have been developed in response to the evolving role of public health practitioners within the Australian health system, and internationally.

Public health — the organised, population-focused efforts of society to promote and protect health, prevent disease and prolong life — is a vitally important feature of health systems throughout the world. In Australia, public health interventions have a long and successful history of improving population health outcomes. These range from long-standing measures to promote use of sunscreen and other protective measures to prevent skin cancer, through to various regulatory and economic measures designed to reduce smoking prevalence and prevent smoking-related diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Increasingly, public health practitioners are also concerned with global health and in future will undoubtedly be working towards attainment of the new United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals.

ACU’s Master of Public Health program has been specifically designed to incorporate both Australian and global viewpoints on public health. The program includes a unique specialisation option for students, Global Health & Advocacy, and strongly reflects ACU’s Mission: a commitment to the pursuit of knowledge, the dignity of the human person and the common good.

Master of Public Health

ACU’s Master of Public Health aims to equip its graduates with specialised knowledge, understanding and skills in public health to improve and advance population health and well-being. The program prepares graduates to practice with a community, national or global focus, and with an ethical, social justice perspective.

Throughout the ACU Master of Public Health program, there is an emphasis on evidence-based practice, rigorous intellectual inquiry, innovation and thought leadership, as well as development of effective communication and advocacy skills.

Specialisation option: Global Health and Advocacy

Global health is an increasingly important and active area of work for public health practitioners. For students wishing to focus on global health, ACU's Master of Public Health program offers a specialisation in Global Health & Advocacy (during second year). The Master of Public Health (Global Health & Advocacy) specialisation aims to equip its graduates with the knowledge, skills and experience to practice effectively in the evolving professional landscape of global health.

This specialisation features a contemporary curriculum designed around the new United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals. In this specialisation, students will extend their core public health knowledge and skills through study of global health, sustainable development, food security, humanitarian assistance and the importance of advocacy in public and global health.

By developing advocacy skills, ACU’s Global Health & Advocacy specialisation aims to enable graduates to not just implement policies and programs that improve population health, but to actively influence policies and programs and advance population health.

Program duration and structure

ACU's Master of Public Health is a two year full-time program of study (or equivalent part-time). After completion of the first year of core public health study (eight units), students choose to complete their Master of Public Health through a Research Pathway (involving research methods units and a minor thesis) or a Capstone Pathway (involving elective units and a practice-based project, placement or field experience that also involves community engagement).

Students may also elect to undertake the Global Health & Advocacy specialisation in second year, in conjunction with either the Research or Capstone Pathways.

Admission and Articulation

To be eligible for admission to the course, you must hold an undergraduate degree (or higher) in health or a related discipline, and meet professional experience requirements.

ACU’s postgraduate public health programs also include a Graduate Certificate in Public Health (four units; one year part-time) and a Graduate Diploma in Public Health (eight units; one-year full-time or equivalent part-time). Students successfully completing units in either program may elect to progress into the Master of Public Health program.

Professional Recognition

ACU's Master of Public Health program has been designed around the Foundation Competencies for Master of Public Health Graduates in Australia and the requirements of the Australian Faculty of Public Health Medicine (for medical practitioners specialising in public health).

Other international competency and practice standards and conceptual frameworks have also informed the Master of Public Health curriculum design.

Study mode and campus

Online* or multi-mode on ACU's Melbourne Campus. Full-time and part-time study options available, with Semester 1 or 2 entry points. ACU’s flexible program structure, entry, and mode of offering is intended to allow students to integrate their Master of Public Health study with their employment and other commitments.

*Note: some elective units not available for online study


Course details and application

For more information contact:

Dr Michael Taylor
Senior Lecturer in Public Health
School of Allied Health
Visit the course browser

Master of Public Health