Accessibility Skip to Global Navigation Skip to Local Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Site Map Menu

Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health (DPH)

Students taking notes in a lecture


The Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health (DPH) is a broad-based qualification which is highly sought after by a range of employers. It is relevant and practical, with graduates being able to identify and understand public health issues, and depending on which optional papers are taken, gain the skills to analyse and use health data, design appropriate health promotion strategies, plan and evaluate public health interventions, work collaboratively with professionals and the community, appreciate resource allocation and cost issues in health and uphold ethical standards.

The DPH consists of four core papers, with a further four papers chosen from the schedule enabling the qualification to cover a broad range of public health topics. We expect that the majority of students will complete an unendorsed DPH, however there are three endorsed options for those with specific interest areas in epidemiology, health promotion, or social research methods.

For those who are planning to go on to a Master of Public Health (MPH), a research paper relevant to the intended methodological approach needs to be included as one of the optional four papers. This is in addition to the core epidemiology paper, PUBH 711 Principles of Epidemiology.

The DPH can be used as a stand-alone qualification, but equally you can use the papers from the Diploma to progress to the Master of Public Health (MPH). Note candidates for the MPH must have attained a good B average (73%) overall in their DPH.

View further information on postgraduate studies in Public Health.

^ Top of page

Information for new applicants

The course is open to those with a wide variety of backgrounds and qualifications. 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.

^ Top of page

Returning students

The structure of the Diploma in Public Health changed in 2015 with papers moving to 15 point offerings, taught in half semester terms. Please visit the Public Health website for more information.

Contact details

Wellington Campus
Postgraduate Coordinator
Department of Public Health
University of Otago, Wellington
23 Mein Street, Wellington South
PO Box 7343, Wellington South 6242
Tel +64 4 918 6040

Dunedin Campus
Public Health Postgraduate Administrator
Department of Preventive and Social Medicine
Otago Medical School – Dunedin Campus

Christchurch Campus
Postgraduate Administrator
Department of Population Health
University of Otago, Christchurch
Tel +64 3 364 3602

^ Top of page

Subject area

Schedule of Endorsed Options

Unendorsed Option PUBH 711, PUBH 712, PUBH 713, PUBH 714 and four further PUBH papers to the value of 60 points.
Endorsed Options
Epidemiology PUBH 711, PUBH 712, PUBH 713, PUBH 714; three of PUBH 721, PUBH 725, PUBH 726, PUBH 732, and one further PUBH paper to the value of 15 points.
Health Promotion PUBH 711, PUBH 712, PUBH 713, PUBH 714, PUBH 743, PUBH 744, and two further PUBH papers to the value of 30 points.
Social Research Methods PUBH 711, PUBH 712, PUBH 713, PUBH 714, PUBH 723, PUBH 724; one of PUBH 725, PUBH 736, PUBH 743 and one further PUBH paper to the value of 15 points.

^ Top of page

Regulations for the Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health (DPH)

  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 Otago Medical School, 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 Otago Medical School;
      3. have been admitted ad eundem statum as entitled to proceed to the diploma.

  2. Structure of the Programme

    1. The programme of study shall consist of approved papers from the Schedule for either the unendorsed or an endorsed option worth a total of 120 points, including the four compulsory papers (PUBH 711, PUBH 712, PUBH 713 and PUBH 714, each worth 15 points). A candidate shall not be awarded the diploma unless a pass has been gained in each of the selected papers including the compulsory papers.
    2. If the diploma is to be endorsed in an area of specialisation, the papers must be as specified in the schedule.
    3. With the approval of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences), a candidate may substitute for prescribed papers worth up to 30 points an appropriate paper at an equivalent level offered by another university or examining body.
    4. A candidate who has completed the requirements for the Postgraduate Certificate in Public Health shall be exempted from those papers for the diploma which have been previously passed for the certificate.

  3. Duration of the Programme

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

  4. Examination

    Every candidate must gain terms before being admitted to examinations.

  5. Level of Award of the Diploma

    The diploma may be awarded with distinction or with credit.

  6. Variations

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

    Note: In the admission process priority consideration will be given to applications for first enrolment received by 15 November in the year preceding entry.

    ^ Top of page