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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.

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

Postgraduate Administrator
Department of Population Health
University of Otago, Christchurch
Tel +64 3 364 3602
Email publichealth.christchurch@otago.ac.nz

Research Administrator
Department of Preventive and Social Medicine
Otago Medical School – Dunedin Campus
Email researchstudentadmin-psm@otago.ac.nz

Postgraduate Administrator
Department of Public Health
University of Otago, Wellington
Email publichealth.wellington@otago.ac.nz

Website otago.ac.nz/study-public-health/qualifications/mph/



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 Pro-Vice Chancellor (Health Sciences) or their nominee.
    2. Every applicant must have satisfied all of the following:
      1. be a graduate with an average grade of at least B or possess an appropriate professional qualification requiring at least three years' full-time tertiary study, acceptable to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences); and
      2. provide evidence of ability for advanced academic study.

  2. Structure of the Programme

    1. The programme of study shall consist of either
      1. approved PUBH papers to the value of 180 points and a 60-point dissertation; or
      2. approved PUBH papers to the value of 120 points and a 120-point thesis embodying the results of one year of full-time or equivalent part-time supervised research.
    2. The first 120 points of the programme shall include:
      1. the four compulsory papers, PUBH 711, 712, 713 and 714, each worth 15 points
      2. an additional approved research methods paper relevant to the candidate's intended research design worth 15 points, and
      3. further approved PUBH papers to the value of 45 points
    3. A candidate who has completed the requirements for the Postgraduate Certificate in Public Health or the Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health shall be credited with those papers in the programme for the Masters which have been previously passed for the certificate or diploma.
    4. The topic of the thesis or dissertation shall be in some branch of public health.
    5. A candidate may not present a thesis or dissertation that has previously been accepted for another degree.
    6. 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.
    7. 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. Withdrawal from the Programme

    1. A candidate whose paper results are not satisfactory (at least a B average), after completing 120 points of papers, or who does not achieve a grade of at least a B+ in an approved research methods paper shall be required to withdraw from the programme.
    2. Where a candidate withdraws from the programme, whether voluntarily or otherwise, any papers completed may instead be credited to the Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health or the Postgraduate Certificate in Public Health.

    3. Note: Candidates who have not passed research methods paper(s) worth at least 15 points with the required grades in the first 120 points of the programme may, after discussion with the Programme Academic Co-ordinator, complete additional papers and then follow the dissertation pathway upon meeting the criteria for research methods papers.

  4. Duration of the Programme

    1. A candidate for the degree who has completed the Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health 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 who has not completed the Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health shall usually follow a programme of two years of full-time study or the equivalent in part-time study.
    3. A candidate for the degree will be expected to satisfy the requirements for the degree within four years of commencing the investigation described in the dissertation (2(a)(i)) or thesis (2(a)(ii)).

  5. 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 requiring amendments;
      2. be accepted subject to minor corrections 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.

  6. 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 requiring amendments;
      2. be accepted subject to minor corrections 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.

  7. Level of Award of the Degree

    The degree may be awarded with distinction or with credit.

  8. Variations

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


This information must be read subject to the statement on our Copyright & Disclaimer page.

Regulations on this page are taken from the 2024 Calendar and supplementary material.

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