A well recognised qualification in public health is a Master of Public Health. With this masters, you position yourself for almost any public health role: from administration through to leading a health agency or government department.
Online MPH degrees allow you to improve your career prospects while working full-time. Continue with your current employment while completing a flexible 12-subject masters online in your spare time. With FEE-HELP loans available from the Australian Government, you'll pay nothing up-front.
Studying for a public health masters online is extremely doable. Online masters programs are actually built for working professionals these days. You do one subject at a time in study blocks of 6-7 weeks. An accelerated Masters in Public Health like the one from UTS Online takes two years of part-time study.
UTS Online Master of Public Health
The UTS Online Master of Public Health is designed for professionals who are passionate about creating positive change for population and community health. With this program, you can advance your skills to gain a more global perspective on public health. Through the course, you'll develop specialist knowledge and skills that span health data, education and promotion, and graduate ready to lead public health programs at a local, national and global level. You have the choice to follow a general pathway or a specialisation pathway with a major in data analytics or sub-major in leadership, allowing you to tailor your studies to your career goals. Delivered part-time and 100% online, this course enables you to continue working full-time while gaining the skills to add value to your career.
What You'll Study (Course Structure)
A public health master's degree is typically 12 subjects, consisting of core subjects and electives. The elective units may be available from other programs such as Data Analytics or Health Services Management. Master's programs are flexible in providing opportunities to specialise.
To give you an idea of course structure, here are subject outlines for 10 core subjects in the UTS Online Master of Public Health. Note that CP stands for credit points. Students need to earn 72 credit points in total, with 42 coming from core subjects and 24 credit points from electives.
In this subject, we demonstrate using case studies the essential strategies for controlling communicable disease, such as outbreak investigation, surveillance, control measures and prevention. Students also examine interactions between microorganisms, animals and humans, with a focus on transmission dynamics, susceptibility and primary disease prevention. Public health responses and challenges are examined using historical and recent examples, including the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a fast-paced overview of the public health field, students explore the concepts of health and public health. You'll examine the history of public health management and identify key approaches to achieving positive outcomes today. You'll also have the opportunity to apply methods to contemporary problems.
In this course, you learn biostatistics concepts, become familiar with statistical reasoning, and gain the ability to evaluate healthcare practice and research. Students are introduced to the statistical concepts of data management, confidence intervals, descriptive statistics, data presentation, sample size and power, and bivariate statistical analysis. You become capable of choosing the right statistical analysis tests for the research question and contributing to study design and calculations.
In this unit, students acquire core knowledge of epidemiology and population health, with an emphasis on the requirements of public health practitioners such as project officers, clinicians, health service managers and health planners. You learn to apply analytical epidemiology strategies to the health service and public health environments. As well, students explore how to interpret and assess the quality of evidence from health service studies. The courses emphasises linkages between epidemiological theory of population health and its use in decision making in public health and health-services settings.
Students are introduced to qualitative research in health in this subject, with practical guidance and the opportunity to do your own qualitative study. You'll build knowledge on how qualitative research is used in health and gain practical skills in areas such as defining the research question, qualitative research methods, and data collection
In this course, students explore health systems in different societies and how organisations and institutions influence global health policy. Case studies of countries with different income levels are used to illustrate the challenges posed to health systems. Students consider how public health research and practice can be used to strengthen health systems and improve public health outcomes.
Growing in prevalence are non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as diabetes, cancer, mental illness, and cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. In this course, you'll explore social and economic drivers. Students also examine policies at local and broader levels for preventing, treating and managing chronic disease and comorbidities. You'll investigate the evidence on key approaches for NCD prevention, including population-level activities, targeted screening, health education and promotion, and guidance and counselling.
The impacts of human activity on the environment, including urban development, deforestation, freshwater depletion, biodiversity loss and climate change, have health consequences. Supporting environmental health and dealing with the effects of change are key themes in this subject. Health-specific effects to be addressed include infectious diseases, pollution-related sickness and poorer mental health.
From a Master's in Public Health, you'll gain strong familiarity with topics and disciplines such as biostatistics, epidemiology, health inequality and health promotion. You may also develop skills in other areas such as health management, leadership and statistical analysis.
Learning outcomes from any good public health degree should include the following.
- Understands epidemiological principles underpinning disease prevention and control
- Knows multiple methods for data collection and statistical analysis
- Can recommend approaches to collecting and using population health data
- Has strategies to evaluate health campaign effectiveness
- Applies leadership principles and practices in health or public administration.
The strength of the master's degree is in learning sound approaches to managing public health broadly. Graduates achieve wide-ranging expertise in public health practice and an enhanced ability to work with different agencies, specialist areas and levels of government.
The entry requirements for a Masters in Public Health are essentially that you have a bachelor degree. Public health is a broad field that's open to professionals from different disciplines. Without a degree, you may still be eligible to enrol if you have extensive experience in healthcare or human services.
Entry requirements for the Master of Public Health are that you hold an Australian bachelor degree (or higher qualification) or overseas equivalent. If you lack an undergraduate degree but have relevant work experience, you may be considered eligible for admission into Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma pathway courses.
Recognition of prior learning (RPL) may be available if you have successfully completed relevant studies. You may receive credit towards your postgraduate qualification, reducing the number of credit points / subjects you need to earn. Prior learning may include graduate certificate or graduate diploma courses completed in the field of public health.
English language proficiency requirements apply for international students with overseas qualifications. Fully online courses are unsuitable for international students studying in Australia on a student visa.
Key dates: Intakes are available in Jan, Mar, May, July, Aug and Oct.
FEE-HELP loans from the Australian Government are automatically available for eligible domestic students. These cover your tuition fees and a paid back gradually based on your annual income.
Tuition fees are $3,006 per subject in 2022.
What Can You Do With a Master’s in Public Health?
Yes, a Master of Public Health (MPH) can be completed fully online. Public health is not a hands-on field of study, making it amenable to 100% online study. You can complete this degree without ever setting foot on a campus. Most students are working professionals who study part-time online while working full-time.
With online study, you'll work through course content as part of a virtual class. In other words, you'll have classmates that you'll be able to connect with online. Group projects may be involved. You may also be able to participate in live tutorials or lectures via online chat or Zoom or similar. Online attendance is optional since you can view recorded lectures or tutorials after they've happened.
With an accelerated course, you can complete a 12-subject online MPH in two years of part-time study. Students do one subject at a time. Each subject is completed over a 6-7 week study block. Then there's a break before you move on to the next subject. It's possible to complete six subjects in a year at an average of one subject every couple of months.
Flexibility is a key feature on online Master of Public Health courses. You don't have to study at fixed times, enjoying the freedom to fit study around your other commitments. Even exams tend to be excluded, with assessment based on assignments, quizzes, projects, etc.
The cost of a Master of Public Health (MPH) in Australia is around $36,000. UTS Online has a tuition fee of $3,006 per subject in 2022. For 12 subjects, that works out to a total tuition fee of $36,072.
With FEE-HELP available to Australian students, you don't have to pay anything up front however. A government loan will cover tuition fees and you may pay back this loan only gradually based on your annual taxable income.
If you have a suitable background as well as promotion opportunities available, a Masters in Public Health could pay for itself many times over.
Examples of a relevant background for public health are: allied health (dietetics, exercise science, nutrition science and related degrees), behavioural and social sciences, biomedical sciences, business, dentistry, development studies, economics, emergency services, environmental health, health administration, health economics, health sciences, human services, law, management, mathematics and statistics, medicine, nursing, policy studies, psychology, science, sociology, and veterinary science.
Graduates of a Master of Public Health come away with a broader knowledge base plus expertise in their chosen areas of specialisation. You should also have greater confidence in carrying out your professional responsibilities, especially in dealing with people from other health teams or agencies.
The boost to your productivity, confidence and CV or resume may easily convert into promotions or new jobs that you otherwise might not have achieved. Just a moderate increase in salary, of say $10,000 a year or so, can add up to hundreds of thousands of extra dollars in career earnings.
Students generally know themselves whether the investment in their education is worthwhile. Do you see strong potential for a career in public health from the base you've already established? If so, then studying online for a master's degree, which you can do part-time without time away from work, seems like a safe and good investment. You also have the option to test a master's program by enrolling in an embedded graduate certificate course that consists of four subjects from the broader program.