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Master of Public Health (MPH)

Study in Christchurch, Dunedin or Wellington

The Master of Public Health (MPH) will deepen your understanding of public health and give you research experience. The MPH requires you to undertake your own research in an area of public health interest. You may decide to complete an entirely research degree (thesis), or complete a dissertation alongside further postgraduate public health papers to the value of 60 points.

The MPH is a supervised degree, enabling students to work in close association with active researchers. You will have the opportunity to research a major public health problem from the development of your research project to the interpreting and reporting of your results.

Enrolments for the thesis option may be accepted at any time, however students must first have discussed their proposed thesis or dissertation with a member of the academic staff of one of the departments.

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Research areas and topics

Read about the huge number of researchers contributing to the advancement of health goals in Aoteaora New Zealand, and beyond, here:

Research in Public Health at University of Otago

View Campus-specific research themes:

  • Christchurch campus (Department of Population Health; University of Otago, Christchurch)
  • Dunedin campus (Department of Preventive and Social Medicine; Dunedin School of Medicine)
  • Wellington campus (Department of Public Health; University of Otago, Wellington)

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Programme structure

Points required 120 points

1 year full-time
2 years part-time

Start date Thesis students can start at any time of the year (on the 1st of the month, as fees are charged for the full month)
Dissertation students start at the beginning of a semester
Prerequisite Have completed the Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health (DPH) or equivalent, with at least a B average

Two options:
- Thesis (120 points)
- Dissertation (60 points) plus Public Health Papers to the value of 60 points

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Thesis option

Coursework option

Students must have completed one of the following prerequisite papers as part of the DPH, or must include it as one of their four public health papers if completing with dissertation:

  • 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 741 Hauora Māori - Policy Practice and Research

Or an equivalent research paper(s) approved by the Public Health Academic Committee.

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Hear from past students

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Enrolment in the MPH programme

There are two processes involved in enrolling in the MPH programme:

  1. The first is an internal Department process to assess your eligibility and to approve the proposed topic of study for your dissertation or thesis. Those interested in MPH study should contact their nearest department for further information.
  2. The second is the online application and enrolment process with the University. This involves registration, payment of fees and course approval. Both must be completed to successfully enrol in the programme.

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Masters' scholarships

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General information for masters' students

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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 Master of 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 Master of Public Health, you should contact the University's International Office in the first instance:

Enquire about studying at Otago for International students

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Email enquiries

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