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Table of contents
3. Course Aims
4. Learning Outcomes
5. Program of study
7. Exit award
These rules apply to the degree of Doctor of Public Health (DrPH), which is a higher degree by research.
1.1 The Doctor of Public Health is a professional doctorate comprising:
i. 36 units of advanced coursework topics (one-third of the course), and
ii. a time-based, supervised research project culminating in a thesis (two-thirds of the
1.2. The course enables its students to make a significant, original contribution to knowledge in public health policy, management and practice, and provides its graduates with:
i. an advanced understanding of the politics and ethics of public health policy, research and management, and
ii. the ability to integrate and apply the multidisciplinary skills and knowledge that are
required to progress public health policy, management and practice.
1.3 The course equips its graduates to undertake a variety of advanced professional roles in public health and human services.
2.1 To be accepted for enrolment in a Doctor of Public Health candidature, an applicant must:
i. have at least one of the following Australian qualifications, or an equivalent qualification as approved by the relevant authorised delegate:
- a Bachelors degree with Honours class 1 or 2A
- a Masters degree with a thesis component, completed within the last 10 years, with an average grade of Distinction or better
- a Bachelors degree or a Masters degree by coursework plus a peer reviewed publication(s) as first author or track record as an investigator on a competitive grant
ii. have at least five years’ experience working in public health or a health-related human service area (e.g. service delivery, state and national health departments, local government, education, welfare, housing, community service, community development); or have held a position of leadership at middle management level in public health or a senior support position in a health-related human service organisation; and be able to demonstrate excellence in practice
iii. meet the English language requirements specified by the University
iv. satisfy the University that they are reasonably likely to be able to successfully complete the requirements of the award within the maximum duration.
2.2 To enable the University to assess whether applicants meet the admission criteria listed above, applicants must submit an application in the specified format.
2.3 Following review of the application and additional admission requirements, applicants will be short-listed and selection for admission based on:
i. an interview in which relevant skills and experience, as well as ability to pursue doctoral level research, are assessed, and
ii. referee reports are reviewed.
2.4 Exceptions to 2.1 can be approved in accordance with the Higher Degrees by Research Policy.
3.1 The Doctor of Public Health aims to provide candidates with advanced and specialist study which will enable them to develop advanced skills and knowledge to undertake a variety of advanced professional roles in public health and human services. It is expected that graduates of this award will be able to integrate and apply the multidisciplinary skills and knowledge that are required to progress public health policy, management and practice. The course also enables them to make an original, sustained contribution to knowledge in public health policy, management and practice through a major research dissertation and to develop an advanced understanding of politics and ethics of public health policy, research and management.
4.1 Graduates of this award will be able to:
i. integrate and apply the multidisciplinary skills and knowledge that are required to progress public health policy, management and practice
ii. make an original, sustained contribution to knowledge in public health policy, management and practice
iii. develop an advanced understanding of the politics and ethics of public health policy, research and management.
Program of Study
5.1 For a student to qualify for the degree of Doctor of Public Health, the student must:
i. pass the following topics:
PHCA9201 Organisations and Evidence: Knowledge Translation and Exchange (9 units)
PHCA9205 The Literature Review: Context, Contribution and Critique. (9 units)
PHCA9202 Research Design and Research Ethics (9 units)
ii. PLUS one of either*
* Students intending to undertake a dissertation primarily using qualitative methods should
complete PHCA9502A and PHCA9502B
PHCA9502A Qualitative Research Methods – Part A (4.5 units) and
PHCA9502B Qualitative Research Methods – Part B (4.5 units)
* Students intending to undertake a dissertation primarily using quantitative methods
should complete PHCA9511A and PHCA9511B
PHCA9511A Social Statistics in Public Health – Part A (4.5 units) and
PHCA9511B Social Statistics in Public Health – Part B (4.5 units)
iii. receive a determination that the degree be awarded following thesis examination
5.2 For the time-based research project, the student will undertake a supervised research project, culminating in submission of a thesis.
6.1 Students must achieve a GPA of 5.0 or more in the 36 units of coursework topics and a Credit or better in PHCA9202 and successfully complete a Confirmation of Candidature Milestone to be permitted to undertake the time-based, supervised research project component of the degree.
6.2 For coursework topics, the award of a grade of Fail (F):
i. in the same topic more than once, or
ii. in more than one topic may constitute prima facie evidence of unsatisfactory progress and will be dealt with under the Review of Student Progress Policy.
6.3 Progression in the time-based, supervised research project is governed by the Higher Degrees by Research Policy.
7.1 Students who have passed 36 units of coursework topics (Year 1) and who:
i. do not wish to continue in the professional doctorate, or
ii. are not permitted to continue under Rule 4.1. may choose to exit with the Graduate Diploma in Public Health.
8.1 The thesis submitted as an outcome of the time-based, supervised research project must meet all requirements for presentation and lodgement specified in the Higher Degrees by Research Policy and must not contain:
i. material which has been accepted for the award of any other degree or diploma, or
ii. any material previously published or written by another person except where due
reference is made in the text of the thesis or in the notes.
9.1 Assessment of coursework topics will be in accordance with the Statement of Assessment Methods for each individual topic.
9.2 The thesis examination will assess whether the student has demonstrated the following attributes:
i. a significant original contribution to knowledge in public health policy, management and practice
ii. ability to conduct an original investigation or testing of ideas
iii. competence in independent research or experimentation
iv. a thorough understanding of the appropriate techniques in the field demonstrated both by their application and a thorough review of the literature
v. critical use of source material, experimental results (where appropriate) and published works
vi. appreciation of the relationship of the special theme of their research to the wider field of knowledge or area of professional practice
vii. the capacity to present well-written work, and
viii. a high degree of independence of thought and approach.
9.3 A significant original contribution to knowledge means uncovering new knowledge by:
i. the discovery of new facts
ii. the formulation of theories, or
iii. the innovative re-interpretation of known data and established ideas.