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Postgraduate Certificate in Public Health (PGCertPH)



The Postgraduate Certificate in Public Health (PGCertPH) provides a University qualification in Public Health, with endorsed options (e.g. Health Promotion, Research Methods, and Māori Health). The certificate comprises two Public Health papers to the value of 60 points, and is ideal for students (particularly those already working in the health sector) who wish to obtain a postgraduate qualification in Public Health, but do not wish to undertake a Diploma or Master's degree. However, if students decide to continue their studies after completing the certificate, they can be exempted from two papers for the Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health (DPH).

PGCertPH graduates will be able to: identify and understand public health issues; analyse and use health data related to the area of Public Health covered in their postgraduate certificate; plan and evaluate public health interventions; and work collaboratively with professionals and the community.

The structure of the Postgraduate Certificate in Public Health is changing. Please visit the DPH blog page to see how this affects you.

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Information for New Applicants

The course is open to those with a wide variety of backgrounds and qualifications. Overseas perspectives are a rich component of the course and we welcome applications from international students. Selection may have to be made from qualified applicants if demand exceeds the available places and resources for the course.

As a guide, a general requirement for entry into postgraduate public health courses is a good undergraduate degree, diploma, or professional qualification, which would normally equate to a B average overall.

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Contact Details

Rebekah Higgs
Postgraduate Programme Administrator
Department of Public Health and General Practice
University of Otago, Christchurch

Debbie Payne
Administrative Assistant
Department of Preventive and Social Medicine
Dunedin School of Medicine

Kate Geany
Postgraduate Administrator
Department of Public Health

University of Otago, Wellington


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Subject Area

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Schedule of Endorsed Options

Endorsed Option Papers Required
Environmental Health PUBH 703 and one other PUBH or PUBX paper.
Health Economics PUBH 704 and one other PUBH or PUBX paper.
Health Promotion PUBH 705 and one other PUBH or PUBX paper.
Health Services Policy PUBH 702 and one other PUBH or PUBX paper.
Health Systems and Services PUBH 706 and one other PUBH or PUBX paper.
Māori Health PUBH 709 and one other PUBH or PUBX paper.
Research Methods PUBH 701 and PUBH 708 (or one other approved research methods paper to the value of 30 points).

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Regulations for the Postgraduate Certificate in Public Health (PGCertPH)

  1. Admission to the Programme

    1. Admission to the programme shall be subject to the approval of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences) on the advice of the Academic Board of the Faculty of Medicine, which must be satisfied that the applicant has the ability and experience to proceed to the programme.
    2. Every applicant shall have fulfilled one of the following conditions:
      1. have been admitted to a degree or diploma of a university in New Zealand;
      2. hold an appropriate professional qualification approved by the Academic Board of the Faculty of Medicine;
      3. have been admitted ad eundem statum as entitled to proceed to the certificate.

  2. Structure of the Programme

    The programme of study shall consist of approved papers from the schedule of endorsed options, to the value of 60 points. A candidate shall not be awarded the certificate unless a pass has been gained in each of the selected papers.

  3. Duration of the Programme

    The duration of the programme shall be one semester of full-time study or the equivalent in part-time study.

  4. Examinations

    1. Every candidate must gain terms before being admitted to examinations.
    2. A candidate who fails any paper may, on the recommendation of the examiners, be admitted to a special examination.

  5. Variations

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