Why study in the Sydney School of Public Health?

The Sydney School of Public Health is a vibrant, multi-disciplinary network of individuals and centres which combine to provide exceptional and internationally recognised education opportunities in the field of public health. The Sydney School of Public Health has gained an outstanding reputation for the quality of its research programs and for the expertise of its academic staff.

The School is renowned for its excellence in teaching in areas such as epidemiology, biostatistics, health promotion, health economics, health advocacy and evidence-based healthcare. Our study opportunities include research degrees and coursework masters degrees, graduate diplomas and in some cases graduate certificates, most of which are open to local and international students.

What can I study?

Public Health at Graduate Diploma and Masters level – these courses are usually chosen by those who plan to work in developed countries.

International Public Health at Graduate Diploma and Masters level – we offer the longest-running Master of International Public Health program in NSW, and one of only a few in Australia. These courses are usually chosen by those who wish to work in developing countries or resource-poor settings.

Clinical Epidemiology at Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma and Masters level - the range of courses gives clinicians - doctors, nurses, and other health professionals - the opportunity to appraise and carry out research and to practise evidence-based health care.

Health Policy courses (Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma and Masters) offer a critical perspective on our health care system and skills in developing and implementing health policy.

Biostatistics : Specialist courses (Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma and Masters) in the use of highly sophisticated mathematical models to evaluate public health data, intended for those interested in a career as a biostatistician.

Health Communication: courses (Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma and Masters) providing both media skills for professional communicators in health and medicine working in public affairs, public relations, community relations and journalism as well as a solid, evidence-based education in public health issues.

Bioethics: courses (Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma and Masters) provide an understanding of the interaction between advances in biotechnology and society, the complex relationship between morality, mental health and the law, euthanasia and end-of life-care, human and animal research ethics, stem cell research and cloning.

Qualitative Health Research: Courses (Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma and Masters) provide hands-on training in qualitative research practice, sophisticated engagement with qualitative research theory and methodology, and solid preparation in health issues. Would you like to spend your days sorting out how health fits into people’s everyday lives? Untangling the way things work in health and medical organisations? Making sense of people’s stories about their illness? Better understanding health-related practices in different cultures (or your own cultures)? Then qualitative research is for you!

Indigenous Health Promotion and Indigenous Health (Substance Use) courses are offered for Aboriginal health professionals.

Professional development short courses are available for professionals already practising in the field of public health.

How will I study?

The School is committed to flexible delivery of its courses, to meet the needs both of students who like to study face-to-face on campus and of those who wish to study in distance mode, whether because of professional or family commitments, remote location or a preference for online learning. Many of our units (including core units for Public Health and Clinical Epidemiology courses) are available in dual mode, which means you can choose from face-to-face or online study. Some electives are available fully online, some are fully face-to-face and some are blended, involving alternating face-to-face and online study. Be sure to check the unit descriptions in the Medical Program handbook or on this site to find out the delivery mode for each one. International students: Please note that your visa conditions allow you only very limited online study while on campus.

How much time will it take?

You can study all of our programs on a full-time or part-time basis, except Biostatistics which is only available part-time.

A full-time load of 24 credit points per semester involves 12 hours of face-to-face contact (for example lectures, tutorials, workshops) or the online equivalent per week, and an additional 24 hours of non-contact time, for example completing background reading and writing assignments.

A part-time load can vary, depending on the number of units you choose to do at one time. For example, if you wanted to take two 6-credit-point units per semester, your commitment would be 6 hours of face-to-face contact and 12 hours of non-contact time weekly, or about 18 hours per week for distance students.

Can I complete any of these degrees fully by Distance?

Yes, you can complete all courses (Graduate Certificate where available, Graduate Diploma and Master) in Public Health, Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics fully by distance study.

When do I need to attend the University?

Most face-to-face teaching is done on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, although some subjects taught in intensive mode may involve weekends. Our staff teach from 9am to 9pm, so that part-time students who work full-time are able to do all their coursework between 5pm and 9pm, although some subjects are only offered during the day. Please see the timetable for more details.

Am I eligible?

Generally, you need a four-year degree to be eligible for a Masters program, or a shorter degree with additional qualifications and/or relevant professional experience. You can be admitted to a Graduate Certificate (where offered) or Graduate Diploma with a three-year degree. Successful completion of these degrees makes you eligible to upgrade to a Masters program, if you wish.

How much will it cost?

Up-to-date information can be found on the Coursework fees page.

What support will the School offer me?

As a student in the School you have access to excellent computing and research facilities, including 24-hour Student Computer Lab access. The School’s Office for Teaching and Learning (Room 329, Edward Ford Building) supports students from their first enquiry through to graduation. This is where you can get advice and help – in person, by email or by telephone – for everything from getting directions and help with timetables, through obtaining copies of course guides and notes, to getting technical support for online learning.

As a student of the University of Sydney, you will also have access to range of student services which provide help with such things as orientation, accommodation, finances, social activities, counselling and welfare.

Why Sydney?

The beautiful University of Sydney campus - combining traditional sandstone buildings with the latest in architectural design and educational technology - is a wonderful place to study. The University has the largest academic library in the Southern Hemisphere, with 5.3 million books, journals and audiovisual items. It is easily accessible by public transport. And it is situated in the heart of Sydney, voted one of the world's most desirable cities to live in.