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Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health (DPH)

Study in Christchurch, Dunedin, or Wellington

Enrolments for the DPH are always open. Papers begin in February, April, July, and September each year.

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. Many 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.

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 that candidates for the MPH must have attained at least a B average overall in their DPH.

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DPH programme structure

Points required 120 points (8 Public Health papers including 4 compulsory papers)
Duration One year full-time
Two years part-time
Start date February, April, July, or September
Prerequisite Candidates would normally be required to have an undergraduate degree (in any discipline)
Structure 15 point papers taught in half semester terms (4 terms per year)

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DPH papers

Four core papers (compulsory):

  • PUBH 711 Principles in Epidemiology*
  • PUBH 712 Foundations of Hauora Māori
  • PUBH 713 Society, Health and Health Promotion
  • PUBH 714 Public Policy and Health Systems

Plus four optional PUBH papers to the value of 60 points:

  • PUBH 721 Methods for Epidemiological Research*
  • PUBH 723 Survey Methods*
  • PUBH 724 Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods*
  • PUBH 725 Applied Biostatistics 1 – Fundamentals*
  • PUBH 726 Applied Biostatistics 2 – Regression Methods*
  • PUBH 732 Prevention and Control of Disease in Populations
  • PUBH 733 Environment and Health
  • PUBH 734 Health Protection
  • PUBH 735 Economics of Health Policy Decision Making
  • PUBH 736 Economic Evaluation
  • PUBH 737 Public Health Law and Public Health Ethics – Fundamentals
  • PUBH 738 Global Health Law and Global Health Ethics
  • PUBH 739 Special Topic: Introduction to Pacific Public Health
  • PUBH 740 Special Topic: One Health
  • PUBH 741 Hauora Māori – Policy, Practice and Research*
  • PUBH 742 Global Health and International Health Systems
  • PUBH 743 Health Promotion Programme Planning and Evaluation
  • PUBH 744 Healthy Public Policy

* PUBH Research Methods papers

Note: For those who are planning to go on to a Master of Public Health (MPH), an approved 15 point PUBH research methods 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 in Epidemiology.  PUBH research methods papers are marked with an * in the list above.

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DPH endorsed options

Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health (DPH) endorsed in Health Promotion*

* The Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health (DPH) endorsed in Health Promotion is recognised by the Health Promotion Forum of New Zealand for providing advanced knowledge and understanding of the Nga Kaiakatanga Hauora mo Aotearoa Health Promotion Competencies for Aotearoa New Zealand.

Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health (DPH) endorsed in Epidemiology

Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health (DPH) endorsed in Social Research Methods

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Hear from past students

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How to apply for enrolment

Enrolments for the DPH are always open. Papers begin in February, April, July, and September each year.

When you’re ready, near the top of this page you can choose a campus (Christchurch, Dunedin, or Wellington), then click the ‘Apply’ button to get started.

This takes you to eVision, your personalised application portal. Follow the on-screen instructions to create your eVision account and complete your application.

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English language requirement

If your first language is not English you must provide evidence of a satisfactory level of English language proficiency.  Entry into the Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health requires an IELTS of 7.5 before an application for the programme will be considered.

If you are an overseas student wishing to enrol in the Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health, you should contact the University's International Office in the first instance:

Enquire about studying at Otago for International students

Email enquiries

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