Master of Public Health

Make a difference to your community locally, nationally or globally with a Master of Public Health.

A Master of Public Health will provide you with the knowledge and skills to address population health challenges, equipping you to meet the growing global demand for high-quality leaders at all levels of the public health sector. Through this qualification you will develop knowledge of global health issues and solutions, and Australia’s role in global health, acquiring skills in planning, implementation and evaluation of programs that aim to improve the health of populations.

Torrens University Australia is a member of the Council Of Academic Public Health Institutions Australia (CAPHIA). CAPHIA is the peak national organisation that represents Public Health in Universities that offer undergraduate and postgraduate programs and research and community service activity in public health throughout Australia

The Master of Public Health course is available as an online course only. It can be studied as part of a dual master degree with the Master of Global Project Management or the Master of Business Administration.


Key Study Outcomes:

About the School

This course is provided and delivered by Torrens University Australia Ltd. CRICOS: 03389E

Read more about Torrens University Australia

Dual Degree

This course is can be studied as part of Dual Degree with these courses.

More Information

Course Delivery

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Workload and Assessment

No. of timetabled hours per week:

Torrens University Australia operates on a trimester system comprising of 3 study periods per year.

It is expected that each subject, whether studied online or on-campus, will involve a combined total of 120 hours of structured and self-directed learning, which equates to approximately 8.5 hours a week per subject over a 14-week trimester.

Contact a Course and Career Advisor for more information on full-time and part-time workloads.

Typical assessment includes:

Assessments vary and include: critical analysis and essay writing, literature reviews, needs assessment, project development and evaluation, in-class debates, participation in online discussion forums, short questions, research projects and reports.

Subject Information

The capstone experience is an opportunity for students to demonstrate their mastery of principles and content presented throughout the Master of Public Health course.

In this subject, students conduct an applied research project in 1 of 3 key areas:
1. Small qualitative or quantitative applied research project,
2. Literature review, consultation and policy recommendations project,
3. Action research project based on development of current practice.
Students will engage in peer discussions throughout this subject in order to develop their projects. This subject will result in a substantive research report informed by current literature.

Prerequisites: All core MPH subjects; Capstone A

The capstone experience is an opportunity for students to demonstrate their mastery of theory, concepts and practices presented throughout the Master of Public Health program.

In this subject, students prepare for the development of an applied research project in 1 of 3 key areas:
• Small qualitative or quantitative applied research project
• Literature review, consultation and policy recommendations project
• Action research project based on development of current practice
This preparation will depend on the type of project undertaken, and may entail development of knowledge of a particular research method (e.g. action research), theory/frameworks and/or the commencement of a literature review. Students will engage in peer discussions throughout this subject in order to develop their projects.

Co-requisites: Final core MPH subjects may be taken as co-requisites

This subject focuses on the competencies required of the public health professional in planning for the design, development, implementation, and evaluation of community health promotion and disease prevention initiatives. Attention is given to needs assessment and the social, behavioural, environmental, biological, and economic factors that contribute to health outcomes. Strategic approaches to planning, implementation, and evaluation including cost benefit analysis are addressed. Health behaviour theories are considered in the development of educational programs, the application of evaluation findings, and prioritisation of community concerns and resources.

Prerequisite: Social, Behavioural and Cultural Factors in Public Health

This subject focuses on community health and on the primary, secondary and tertiary levels of disease prevention, covering a range of contemporary topics impacting communities. This subject examines models and approaches for health promotion, the prevention of disease and disease surveillance. Students explore a range of strategies for promoting health and of building capacity when working with diverse communities. Students will learn about community empowerment, the settings approach to health promotion, mental health promotion, health literacy, social marketing, screening and surveillance, injury prevention, disability and chronic disease management, including in Indigenous Australian populations. This subject will extend to an understanding of strategies to prepare for and respond to health emergency and crisis situations.

Prerequisite: Social, Behavioural and Cultural Factors in Public Health

Students in this subject address the application and interpretation of biostatistics in public health research and practice, including descriptive methodologies, statistical inference and probability, analysis of variance, and simple linear regression. Students are introduced to a statistical computer package such as SPSS and apply the statistical capacity of Excel.

Prerequisite: Social, Behavioural and Cultural Factors in Public Health; Epidemiology

Public health leadership is more than a hierarchical position of power, it is the ability to advance public health goals and promote the well-being of communities. Leaders effect change within diverse teams, organisations, communities, professional disciplines and sectors. They influence policy and legislation through a range of strategies including advocacy and collaboration. Students will explore the differences between management and leadership and what makes an effective leader. Students will reflect upon their own values and experiences of leadership and analyse these in terms of seminal and contemporary theories. They explore leadership, power, ethics and values, accountability, effective governance, and the application of principles of social justice implicit in public health decisions and practice.

Prerequisite: Social, Behavioural, and Cultural Factors in Public Health

Students in this subject explore the field and practice of public health. They learn to identify and analyse major social, behavioural, and cultural factors that affect population health outcomes, including social determinants of health (e.g. gender, socio-economic status and social capital), community capacity, resilience, age, race/ethnicity, the environment and behavioural risks. Students consider medical, social and behavioural approaches to health promotion and public health interventions. Students also examine current and emerging theoretical and conceptual frameworks from the social behavioural and medical sciences. They apply these frameworks and other theories presented in the course to intervention strategies or program initiatives that address current public health priorities.

This subject explores the organisation of health systems, the financial and other resourcing requirements for planning and delivering effective public health programs, strategies and interventions, and the development and application of effective policies across a range of sectors that affect the health of populations. It introduces the discipline of economics as it applies to public health. Topics covered include health systems thinking and frameworks; the role of government in prevention and health promotion; models and debates regarding public health funding and investment; demand for public health programs; implications for equity, delivery, governance of public health programs and services; and economic analyses applied to public health systems and activities. Students consider current issues such as estimating expenditure on public health, ‘best buys’ in public health, and the role of economic tools such as price subsidisation and commodity taxation in public health.

Prerequisite: Social, Behavioural and Cultural Factors in Public Health

Policy agenda setting, implementation and evaluation are crucial to the improvement of the health of populations. Policy making is not a straightforward process. Political ideologies and values, as well as power, coalition building, and the media play key roles in what becomes public policy. In this subject, students will learn about policy agenda setting, development, implementation and evaluation, as well as critical perspectives of policy making. They will be introduced to theories of policy making and apply knowledge of the policy process to a public health problem. Students will analyse and critique issues in contemporary Australian health policy and the various stakeholders and partnerships formed in the policy process. They will examine the role of evidence and advocacy in policy agenda setting. Students will also learn about a range of advocacy strategies including media advocacy and community empowerment strategies for the development and implementation of policy.

Prerequisite: Social, Behavioural and Cultural Factors in Public Health

This subject provides an overview of global health issues and of environmental factors that affect the health and safety of communities. It considers the ways in which globalisation has affected the social, economic and political determinants of health, including trends in communicable and non-communicable diseases at a global level, and the importance of risk communication for disease prevention and outbreak. The relationships between issues such as global health and foreign policy, trade, security and development are explored, along with global health governance and financing mechanisms. Students also examine causal links between chemical, physical, and biological hazards in the environment and their impact on health. They also explore the genetic, physiologic, and psychosocial factors that influence environmentally compromised health outcomes. This is applied to current solutions and considers new ways to address environmental threats, such as waste, water, air, vectors and global warming, as well as issues related to dealing with mass and social media during a public health crisis.

Prerequisite: Social, Behavioural and Cultural Factors in Public Health

Epidemiology is the study of patterns of health, ill-health, and factors that affect health in populations. It focuses on the incidence, prevalence, distribution, impact, and determinants of disease, injury, and disability. Traditionally, epidemiology focused largely on infectious diseases, often using epidemiological methods to determine the causes and sources of outbreaks of diseases. However, it has increasingly broadened to include all health and disease states and both risk factors and protective factors. Epidemiological methods are also used to assess the health status and trends of populations, to determine priorities, and to implement and evaluate programs designed to improve health. Students in this subject examine concepts including incidence, prevalence, and causation. They also learn about the role of epidemiology in prevention and screening, as well as its role in disease surveillance and response. Students identify key sources of data and learn how to use basic epidemiological measures and draw appropriate inferences. Through this subject, students gain a deeper understanding of the strengths, limitations and appropriate uses of various research designs and methodologies in health research. They will learn to assess levels of evidence to make recommendations for evidence based policy. Students will develop an appreciation of the role and potential of epidemiology in public health research, policy and advocacy.
Prerequisite: Social, Behavioural and Cultural Factors in Public Health

In this subject, students develop core knowledge and skills for designing qualitative research in public health, including collecting, analysing, interpreting and presenting qualitative data. Topics include exploration of the nature of qualitative inquiry; broad theoretical approaches in qualitative research, research methods (ethnography, observation, case studies, focus groups, interviews, participatory action research); research design issues (sampling, ethical considerations, quality and rigour); and ethical issues in public health qualitative research. Students will also learn about the use of software to code data.
Prerequisite: Social, Behavioural, and Cultural Factors in Public Health

In this subject, students examine the use of information and communications technology (ICT) to improve population health. Students consider the ways in which ICT is applied for health promotion, disease prevention, the coordination of care and monitoring population health. Students are introduced to competencies for working in Health Informatics and the use of ICT for health, workforce training and development. Students are familiarised with global trends in ICT innovations, including m-health and e-health. In addition, legal and ethical issues and strategies for managing privacy and security of patient data are explored.
Prerequisite: Social, Behavioural, and Cultural Factors in Public Health