Apply for the Master of Public Health (MPH)Apply Now
The Master of Public Health (MPH) degree is a one-year full-time equivalent qualification that can be completed either as a thesis or as a dissertation accompanied by two papers from the postgraduate public health programme. Students enter the MPH after completing a one-year full-time equivalent Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health (DPH). The MPH is an internationally recognised qualification for practitioners in the field of public health. It is taught in small classes, with an emphasis on multi-disciplinary approaches. Students are drawn from a wide range of backgrounds in the health, social and allied sciences, and many enrol on a part-time basis.
Graduates from the programme are equipped to work in a range of non-clinical fields in the health sector, principally in planning and management and in the delivery of public health programmes.
The structure of the Master of Public Health is changing. Please visit the DPH blog page to see how this affects you.
Information for new applicants
The usual prerequisite for the MPH is the Diploma of Public Health, but other equivalent qualifications may be accepted. Entry to the MPH will depend on available resources for supervision, and on the student’s performance in the DPH. Currently students are required to achieve an average of 73% in their DPH to be considered for entry.
Postgraduate Programme Administrator
Department of Public Health and General Practice
University of Otago, Christchurch
Department of Preventive and Social Medicine
Dunedin School of Medicine
Department of Public Health
University of Otago, Wellington
Regulations for the Degree of Master of Public Health (MPH)
Admission to the Programme
- Admission to the programme shall be subject to the approval of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences) on the advice of the Board of the Faculty of Medicine, which must be satisfied that the applicant has the ability and experience to proceed to the programme.
- Every applicant must have fulfilled one of the following conditions:
- have been awarded the Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health;
- have been awarded an equivalent public health diploma or degree as approved by the Faculty of Medicine;
- have completed course work for another degree or postgraduate diploma relevant to public health or health administration together with such additional components of the Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health as may be determined by the Faculty;
- have been admitted ad eundem statum as entitled to proceed to the degree;
- be enrolled for the Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health and have completed the requirements for a relevant degree. Such applicants must have achieved a standard satisfactory to the Board of the Faculty of Medicine in the papers taken in the first semester of enrolment for the Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health before being permitted to proceed to enrolment for the degree of Master of Public Health.
Structure of the Programme
- The programme shall consist of either
- two papers and a dissertation equivalent to two papers; or
- a thesis.
- The topic of the thesis or dissertation shall be in some branch of public health.
- The candidate shall, before commencing the investigation to be described in a thesis, secure the approval of the Faculty Board for the topic chosen.
- Where a candidate is taking papers, the papers must be approved by the Faculty Board. A candidate may, with the approval of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences), substitute for one paper, an appropriate paper offered for another degree.
- The candidate shall, before commencing the investigation to be described in a dissertation, secure the approval of the Head of Department for the topic chosen.
- For the thesis, the research should usually be of a kind that a diligent and competent student should complete within the equivalent of one year of full-time study.
- The programme shall consist of either
Duration of the Programme
- A full-time candidate shall usually complete the programme after one year of full-time study and should do so within two years of admission to the programme.
- A part-time candidate shall usually complete the programme after the equivalent of two years of part-time study and should do so within three years of admission to the programme.
- Exceptions shall be permitted only with the approval of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences).
Examination of the Thesis
- The thesis shall be assessed by at least two examiners, at least one of whom shall be external to the University.
- The candidate's supervisor shall not be an examiner but may make a report on the work of the candidate to the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine.
- Each examiner shall supply a written report on the thesis and recommend a mark and grade on the basis of the thesis as submitted, and an overall result selected from the options specified in clause (d) below.
- The examiners may recommend that a thesis:
- be accepted without amendments;
- be accepted subject to amendments being made at the discretion and to the satisfaction of the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine;
- does not meet the criteria for the award of the degree, but may be revised and resubmitted for examination;
- does not meet the criteria for the award of the degree, and should be rejected without right of resubmission.
- Amendments 4(d)(ii) and revisions 4(d)(iii) shall be completed by a specified date to be determined by the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine.
- A candidate shall be permitted to revise and resubmit a thesis for examination once only.
- If a revised and resubmitted thesis is finally accepted, the result shall be either Pass or Fail (i.e. ungraded) and without eligibility for the award of the degree with distinction or credit.
- Where examiners cannot agree on a result the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine should so report to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences) or nominee who shall arrive at a decision after consulting a referee who should normally be external to the University.
Note: This provision applies only to students who first enrol for the degree in 2009 or subsequently.
Examination of the Dissertation
- At least two examiners for the dissertation shall be appointed by the Head of Department, at least one of whom shall be from outside the Department in which the student is enrolled. The candidate's supervisors shall not be examiners, but may make a report on the work of the candidate for the examiners to consider.
- If the dissertation at its first presentation is unsatisfactory, the Head of Department may on the recommendation of the examiners permit the candidate to revise and resubmit it by a specified date.
- Where examiners cannot agree on a result, the Head of Department concerned should so report to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences) who shall arrive at a decision after consulting a referee.
Examination of Papers
A candidate who fails any paper may, on the recommendation of the examiners, be admitted to a special examination.
Level of Award of the Degree
The degree may be awarded with distinction or with credit.
The Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences) may in exceptional circumstances approve a course of study which does not comply with these regulations.