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Master of Public Health (MPH)

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Overview

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 alongside further postgraduate public health papers to the value of 60 points. 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 in its field. 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.

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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.

Contact Details

Katrina Hogg
Postgraduate Programme Administrator
Department of Public Health
University of Otago, Christchurch
Email: katrina.hogg@otago.ac.nz

Debbie Payne or Alison Crossan
Administrative Assistant
Department of Preventive and Social Medicine
Dunedin School of Medicine
Email: postgrad.publichealthdunedin@otago.ac.nz

Christie Hay
Postgraduate Administrator
Department of Public Health
University of Otago, Wellington
Email: christie.hay@otago.ac.nz

For further information visit http://www.otago.ac.nz/study-public-health/qualifications/mph/

Subject Information

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Regulations for the Degree of Master of Public Health (MPH)

  1. Admission to the Programme

    1. Admission to the programme shall be subject to the approval of the Programme Academic Co-ordinator or his or her nominee.
    2. Every applicant shall normally be required to satisfy all of the following:
      1. be a graduate or possess an appropriate professional qualification requiring at least three years of full-time tertiary study; and
      2. have completed the Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health or equivalent with grades averaging B or better, or 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 Public Health Academic Committee 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); and
      3. have passed an approved research methods paper, relevant to the candidate’s intended research design, worth 15 points (this is in addition to candidates having completed the core Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health 15-point research methods paper, PUBH 711; if the candidate is not undertaking an epidemiological research approach in the degree programme, a grade of B+ in this paper is not required; however, those undertaking epidemiological research are required to have achieved a grade of B+ or better in PUBH 711, as well as in PUBH 725); and
      4. provide evidence of ability for an advanced level of academic study.
    3. Note: Candidates who have not completed research methods paper(s) worth at least 15 points are advised to enrol in research methods paper(s) at an appropriate level for Certificate of Proficiency. Where the requisite grade is achieved and admission to the degree programme is later granted, credit for the Certificate of Proficiency paper will normally be applied towards the programme.

  2. Structure of the Programme

    1. The programme of study shall consist of either
      1. approved PUBH papers to the value of 60 points and a 60-point dissertation; or
      2. a 120-point thesis embodying the results of one year of full-time or equivalent part-time supervised research.
    2. The topic of the thesis or dissertation shall be in some branch of public health.
    3. A candidate may not present a thesis or dissertation that has previously been accepted for another degree.
    4. The programme of study and the topic and supervisors of the thesis or dissertation shall be approved by the Postgraduate Research Convenor or his or her nominee.
    5. A candidate may, with the approval of the Public Health Academic Committee, substitute alternative papers that have substantial public health content, up to the value of 30 points.

  3. Duration of the Programme

    1. A candidate for the degree shall usually follow a programme of one year of full-time study or the equivalent in part-time study.
    2. A candidate for the degree will be expected to satisfy the requirements for the degree within four years of admission to the programme.

  4. Examination of the Thesis

    1. The Dean or Head of Department concerned (or nominee) shall appoint a Convener of Examiners to oversee each thesis examination.
    2. The thesis shall be assessed by at least two examiners, at least one of whom shall be external to the University.
    3. The candidate's supervisor shall not be an examiner but may make a report on the work of the candidate to the Convener of Examiners.
    4. 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 (e) below.
    5. The examiners may recommend that a thesis:
      1. be accepted without amendments;
      2. be accepted subject to amendments being made at the discretion and to the satisfaction of the Convener of Examiners;
      3. does not meet the criteria for the award of the degree, but may be revised and resubmitted for examination;
      4. does not meet the criteria for the award of the degree, and should be rejected without right of resubmission.
    6. Amendments 4(e)(ii) and revisions 4(e)(iii) shall be completed by a specified date to be determined by the Convener of Examiners, in accordance with established procedures.
    7. A candidate shall be permitted to revise and resubmit a thesis for examination once only.
    8. 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.
    9. Where examiners cannot agree on a result the Convener of Examiners shall engage in established mediation procedures, and if unresolvable, 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.

  5. Examination of the Dissertation

    1. The Dean or Head of Department concerned (or nominee) shall appoint a Convener of Examiners to oversee each dissertation examination.
    2. The dissertation shall be assessed by at least two examiners, at least one of whom shall be external to the supervising department.
    3. The candidate’s supervisor shall not be an examiner, but may make a report on the work of the candidate to the Convener of Examiners.
    4. Each examiner shall supply a written report on the dissertation and recommend a mark and grade on the basis of the work as submitted, and an overall result selected from the options specified in clause (e) below.
    5. The examiners may recommend that a dissertation:
      1. be accepted without amendments;
      2. be accepted subject to amendments made at the discretion and to the satisfaction of the Convener of Examiners;
      3. does not meet the criteria for the award of the degree, but may be revised and resubmitted for examination;
      4. does not meet the criteria for the award of the degree, and should be rejected without right of resubmission.
    6. Amendments (regulation 5(e)(ii)) and revisions (regulation 5(e)(iii)) shall be completed by a specified date to be determined by the Convener of Examiners, in accordance with established procedures.
    7. A candidate shall be permitted to revise and resubmit a dissertation for examination once only.
    8. If a revised and resubmitted dissertation 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.
    9. Where examiners cannot agree on a result, the Convener of Examiners shall engage in established mediation procedures, and if unresolvable, so report to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences) who shall arrive at a decision after consulting a referee, who should normally be external to the University.

  6. Level of Award of the Degree

    The degree may be awarded with distinction or with credit.

  7. Variations

    The Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences) may in exceptional circumstances approve a course of study which does not comply with these regulations.

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