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 and gain research skills and experience.

Entry requirements

For admission into a Masters by Research an applicant must:
(a) hold or have completed all the academic requirements for:
(i) a Master’s degree; or
(ii) a Bachelor’s degree; or
(iii) a qualification equivalent to a Bachelor’s degree; and
(b) meet other criteria as specified in the course resolutions.

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, those will little research experience can still gain entry into the degree provided they meet the eligibility criteria.

Applicants deemed not to have sufficient research experience for a PhD may be admitted to the MPhil, and they can apply to upgrade to a PhD after their candidature has been confirmed (this usually occurs a year into the candidature, at an annual progress review). Upgrading requires the support of your supervisor and the School's Postgraduate Coordinator. Your supervisors need to attest that your research project is substantive enough for a PhD and that you are capable of undertaking it.

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