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Specialisation: Research

Award(s) to which this specialisation belongs:



Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences

Admission Requirements:
• Australian level 7 bachelor's qualification or recognised equivalent in a relevant field • GPA of 5.50 (out of 7.00)
Study Mode:
Full-time, Part-time
Attendance Mode:
North Ryde — Session 1 (February)
North Ryde — Session 2 (July)

This specialisation must be completed as part of an award. The general requirements for the award must be satisfied in order to graduate.

Requirements for the Specialisation:

Completion of a minimum of 32 credit points including the following prescribed units:

Credit points

800 level

Master of Public Health - Public Health Research (32)


A specialisation in research requires students to undertake a year long supervised research project, including a project proposal, literature review, design, implementation, analysis and writing of a thesis in an approved area relevant to public health. Students may draw upon the wide variety of relevant health expertise at Macquarie University in areas as wide ranging as health communication, linguistics, health economics, environmental health, law, ethics, non-communicable disease (eg cancer), health systems, health informatics, patient safety, global health, sustainable development, urban planning, demography and more.
Overview and Aims of the Program The Master of Public Health at Macquarie University provides students with a unique opportunity to gain valuable skills and training in the field of public health. Committed to practice, research and teaching our goal is to train and equip scholars and practitioners with the knowledge and skills needed to prevent disease, promote health, and address health related issues in our globalised world.
Graduate Capabilities

The Graduate Capabilities Framework articulates the fundamentals that underpin all of Macquarie’s academic programs. It expresses these as follows:

Cognitive capabilities
(K) discipline specific knowledge and skills
(T) critical, analytical and integrative thinking
(P) problem solving and research capability
(I) creative and innovative

Interpersonal or social capabilities
(C) effective communication
(E) engaged and ethical local and global citizens
(A) socially and environmentally active and responsible

Personal capabilities
(J) capable of professional and personal judgement and initiative
(L) commitment to continuous learning

Program Learning Outcomes By the end of this program it is anticipated you should be able to:
1. Describe the history and philosophy of public health as well as its core values, concepts, functions, and leadership roles;
2. Explain and apply concepts, methods, and tools of public health data collection, analysis and interpretation, and the evidence-based reasoning and informatics approaches essential to public health practice;
3. Evaluate and apply population health concepts, and the processes, approaches, and interventions that identify and address the major health-related needs and concerns of populations;
4. Critically review biological, environmental, socio-economic, behavioural, cultural, and other factors that impact human health, influence the global and societal burden of disease, and contribute to health disparities;
5. Design opportunities for promoting health and preventing disease across the life span and for enhancing public health preparedness;
6. Demonstrate concepts of project implementation and management, including planning, budgeting, resourcing, assessment, and evaluation;
7. Compare the characteristics and organisational structures of the national health care system to health care systems in other countries;
8. Examine the legal, ethical, economic, and regulatory dimensions of health care and public health policy, the roles, influences, and responsibilities of the different agencies and branches of government, and approaches to developing, evaluating, and advocating for public health policies;
9. Construct public health-specific communication and social marketing, including technical and professional writing and the use of mass media and electronic technology;
10. Reflect on the cultural context of public health issues and respectful engagement with people of different cultures and socioeconomic strata;
11. Exhibit and apply principles of effective leadership, teamwork and functioning within and across organisations and as members of interdisciplinary and interprofessional teams;
12. Analyse principles of globalisation and sustainable development and their relationship to population health.
13. Demonstrate in depth knowledge in the area of research specialisation chosen, relevant to public health.
14. Develop and show advanced skills relevant to conducting public health research including problem definition, project design and evaluation, decision processes, risk management, management of time and resources, and project coordination.
15. Communicate information to professional and lay audiences, in oral and written form, about the area of research specialisation chosen.
Learning and Teaching Methods Learning and teaching takes place through a variety of methods and styles. Lectures, seminars, and a range of assignments are designed to be lively, participative, interactive, and encourage you to challenge your assumptions, beliefs, and ideas.

The Department caters to a variety of learning styles and students will have the opportunity to learn through individual and collaborative study, discussion, debate, research, practical application, skills workshops, and self-directed methods.

Common strategies include:
1. Using learning activities that encourage students to draw upon personal knowledge of various issues and themes under scrutiny, thus connecting theory and ideas to familiar

2. Employing a variety of teaching and assessment formats that engage diverse learning styles and encourage student participation, discussion, and collaboration.

3. Developing and presenting learning materials in written, oral and digital formats to support key concepts and knowledge.

4. Facilitating inquiry and research-based assignments where students practice skills and apply knowledge to practical problems and contexts.

5. Drawing upon the experience and expertise of University, Faculty, and Department staff and visiting scholars and leaders in the field.

6. Developing collaborative projects for students.

7. Offering frequent assessments and feedback that identify student strengths and weaknesses and offer suggestions for improvement and further learning opportunities

The Department will enact these strategies through the following teaching methods:

Lectures: Staff and invited guest lecturers deliver information and other unit material, provide
demonstrations, and offer invaluable information that is used to further individual and group study. Lectures are frequently interactive, integrate multimedia and allow students to ask questions and offer their own examples.

Seminars and workshops: Seminars and workshops allow for more interactive discussion of topics, material, student research and projects, and assigned readings. They provide an opportunity to discuss or debate a topic usually following an introduction by the facilitator or by one or more students.

In addition to their units, students have the opportunity to attend Faculty seminars and events. During research seminars, students will be exposed to innovative new research and ideas.

Independent Learning: Students will have the opportunity to engage in a variety self-directed study and research projects. Students will also have the opportunity to participate in University programs that facilitate practical learning opportunities and study abroad.

Group Learning: Students will work within small teams or study groups on selected assignments and class projects. Group work enables students to develop valuable team working skills, peer networks, and experience working with individuals holding diverse perspectives.

Online Media: Students will have access to a variety of on-line resources to facilitate and enrich their learning process. For example, study and tutorial aids, case studies, videos, discussion forums, and supplementary on-line readings and other materials are used.

The program is designed with innovation and integration in mind, and is aimed at assisting students develop knowledge, skills and understanding essential to the practice of public health.
Assessment Students will be assessed through a diverse set of tools that take into account a range of learning styles.

Assessment is designed at a programmatic level, to establish that students have gained the knowledge and skills necessary for public health practice. It is also considered to be part of the learning experience as well as being outcomes based.

Assessment may take a number of forms, for example"
-Subjective examination methods (essays)
-Self-assessment activities that help the student check to see if they mastered a topic
-Individual or group presentations
-Take-home assignments that require written responses ranging from short 250 word responses to more extensive documents.
-Portfolios and digital media projects that showcase student research and work over the course of study
-Projects that apply the methods taught in the course, requiring students to analyse the data and write up or present the results.
-Reflective journaling
-Tasks that require students to write a policy brief, identify what evidence is missing or necessary to make a decision, plan a media briefing, find citations in the scientific literature relevant to a case study, identify the key aspects of an effective health intervention program.
- Activities and tasks are also included that
-- encourage practical skill development via assessment
-- require teamwork
-- hone problem-solving skills and the ability to apply public health theory to professional practice.

The research project specialisation involves a 20,000 word thesis on a project conducted over a year. The thesis will be externally examined, providing for independent assessment of the student's research skills.
Recognition of Prior Learning

Macquarie University may recognise prior formal, informal and non-formal learning for the purpose of granting credit towards, or admission into, a program. The recognition of these forms of learning is enabled by the University’s Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Policy (see and its associated Procedures and Guidelines. The RPL pages contain information on how to apply, links to registers, and the approval processes for recognising prior learning for entry or credit. 

Domestic Students
For undergraduate RPL information visit
For domestic postgraduate RPL information visit

International Students
For RPL information visit

Support for Learning

Macquarie University aspires to be an inclusive and supportive community of learners where all students are given the opportunity to meet their academic and personal goals. The University offers a comprehensive range of free and accessible student support services which include academic advice, counselling and psychological services, advocacy services and welfare advice, careers and employment, disability services and academic skills workshops amongst others. There is also a bulk billing medical service located on campus.

Further information can be found at

Campus Wellbeing contact details:
Phone: +61 2 9850 7497

Program Standards and Quality

The program is subject to an ongoing comprehensive process of quality review in accordance with a pre-determined schedule that complies with the Higher Education Standards Framework. The review is overseen by Macquarie University's peak academic governance body, the Academic Senate and takes into account feedback received from students, staff and external stakeholders.

Graduate Destinations and Employability Graduates of the Macquarie MPH are equipped to work in government, non-governmental organisations, business, public health clinical or community settings, multilateral aid organisations, or other groups concerned with health, human rights, indigenous issues, environmental health, health leadership, and/or development.

Graduates move into a variety of jobs in a variety of sectors, and may focus upon improving people’s health; protecting people’s health; working with information; teaching and researching; maintaining and raising standards; leadership, planning and management or a variety of such things. Examples of titles held by MPH graduates include (but are not limited to) Public Health Specialist; Head of Public Health Intelligence; Health Partnership Programme Manager; Health Promotion Campaign Manager; Epidemiologist; Health Data Analyst; Project Coordinator; Public Health Advisor; Health Protection Specialist; Public Health Screening Coordinator; Vascular Prevention Programme Coordinator; Health Improvement Practitioner; Public Health Specialist; and Lecturer in Public Health .

Other MPH graduates go on to do further research and/or study, for example continuing into doctoral studies with particular research or professional training focus.

The demand for qualified individuals is increasing, as the ageing public health workforce is retiring, and demand for public health leaders and innovators grows. The Macquarie MPH will equip graduates with knowledge and skills to move into public health practice and/or research with confidence.
Assessment Regulations

This program is subject to Macquarie University regulations, including but not limited to those specified in the Assessment Policy, Academic Honesty Policy, the Final Examination Policy and relevant University Rules. For all approved University policies, procedures, guidelines and schedules visit

Inherent requirements are the essential components of a course or program necessary for a student to successfully achieve the core learning outcomes of a course or program. Students must meet the inherent requirements to complete their Macquarie University course or program.

Inherent requirements for Macquarie University programs fall under the following categories:

Physical: The physical inherent requirement is to have the physical capabilities to safely and effectively perform the activities necessary to undertake the learning activities and achieve the learning outcomes of an award.

Cognition: The inherent requirement for cognition is possessing the intellectual, conceptual, integrative and quantitative capabilities to undertake the learning activities and achieve the learning outcomes of an award.

Communication: The inherent requirement for communication is the capacity to communicate information, thoughts and ideas through a variety of mediums and with a range of audiences.

Behavioural: The behavioural inherent requirement is the capacity to sustain appropriate behaviour over the duration of units of study to engage in activities necessary to undertake the learning activities and achieve the learning outcomes of an award.

For more information see

2018 Unit Information

When offered:
S1 Day
Permission of Executive Dean of Faculty
HSC Chinese, CHN113, CHN148