Master of Philosophy (MPhil)


The Master of Philosophy (MPhil) is a one-year full-time or two-year part-time research degree that combines a research project with some coursework. It is generally taken by people who already have a research project in mind - with a defined topic, study population and research method - and are looking to provide an academic context for their project.

Entry requirements

Applications for the MPhil course are accepted on the basis of your previous qualifications and experience, plus the nature and scope of your intended research project and its relevance to public health.

Students intending to apply for candidature must have a well-developed research project, including a clearly defined topic, study population and research method. Like PhD candidates, your application must be accompanied by a two-page research proposal that you have discussed with an academic member of the Sydney School of Public Health and/or your preferred research supervisor - see application procedures for more information.

Most candidates for the MPhil will have prior research and/or training experience, however, such candidates may also be required to complete some preliminary coursework in quantitative and qualitative methods.

If you do not have a background in public health or a well-developed research idea and method, it is suggested you consider applying for the Master of Public Health or Master of International Public Health coursework degree.

Course structure

The MPhil combines a research project - devised by the student and completed over one year - with coursework. It can be studied on a full-time or part-time basis:

Full-time - one-year
Part-time - two-years

The requirements for coursework is the unit MEDF5005 Health Research Methods and Ethics worth 6 credit points. This credit point requirement may be waived if you have a proven academic record involving disciplines relevant to public health, demonstrated by:

  • primary authorship of publications, or
  • other formal courses completed, such as the MPH/MIPH

Transferring between courses

MPH/MIPH to MPhil:

As a MPH/MIPH student in the School you may apply to change your candidature to MPhil. This can be done only after completing the core units of study - and after you have completed research methodology relevant to public health and your proposed research study.

With this alternative approach, you do not need to provide details of your proposed research study in your coursework application. You will only have to provide this information when you apply for your candidature to be changed to the MPhil. This allows you ample time to develop your research proposal during coursework candidature, with help from staff of the Sydney School of Public Health.

You do not close off any options or necessarily extend the period of your candidature by choosing to commence as a MPH/MIPH candidate, and then transferring to MPhil candidature, when you are properly prepared. Those candidates who do change candidature in this manner have to apply to Sydney Medical School's Board of Postgraduate Studies for approval.

MPhil to MPH/MIPH:

You should also be aware that you cannot change easily from research candidature (MPhil) to coursework candidature (MPH) - due to the coursework you will have missed.