School of Public Health and Community Medicine


Explore your options at the School of Public Health and Community Medicine

Study at the School of Public Health and Community Medicine (SPHCM) in Sydney, Australia at UNSW. The School is a leading educator in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region through its postgraduate programs in Public Health, International Public HealthHealth Management and Infectious Diseases Intelligence. For undergraduate students, we offer the new Bachelor of International Public Health. The School also offers excellent research degrees including a unique doctorate in Applied Public Health which incorporates workplace experience and a thesis in professional practice. Our School is strongly committed to excellence in learning, teaching and research to enhance public health and health services. We provide quality learning that is student-centred and relevant to real-world practice.


Short courses imageAre you ready to kick start the next stage of your career?

Our new short healthcare leadership and management courses will help you develop skills to drive change in health and equity around the world. We're excited to be part of the brand-new Medicine and AGSM partnership to deliver flexible, online courses for the next generation of healthcare leaders.

The courses will get you ready with real case studies from senior leaders and practical skills such as integrating evidence into practice and harnessing teams to inspire change.

For more than 60 years our leading educators, researchers and clinicians have translated discoveries into breakthrough cures, public health strategies, policies and turned high achieving students into the leaders of healthcare with globally recognised qualifications. Short courses commence in July 2020.

Find out more or register here



Rebecca Ivers Welcome
Head of School Welcome
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Postgraduate & Undergraduate Programs
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Research Flagship Areas
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Holly Seale image

Social scientist, Dr Holly Seale is Director of the Bachelor of International Public Health (BIPH) at the SPHCM, and co-convenes a Masters course in infectious disease and the School's internship program. Holly has over 12 years of experience in infectious disease, public health and health service research focusing on the attitudes and behaviours of the community, health consumers and healthcare providers. In response to COVID-19, Holly provides ongoing media commentary and has had several papers published. She has also prepared a rapid review of the factors impacting on engagement with community mitigation strategies, is looking at the immunisation acceptance of novel vaccines, and has led a group of researchers on a community study to identify perceptions of risk and acceptance of strategies, in collaboration with her Masters and PhD students, and colleagues from the NSW Ministry of Health. Read more about Holly here.   



Nikita Bathla - Master of International Public Health (MIPH) / Master of Health Management (MHM) (Dual Degree)

"The most important thing I have learned in my studies is the importance of research and evidence-based practice. Research is the foundation upon which knowledge, behaviour and practice rests. The SPHCM has helped me hone my research and critical thinking skills and transfer them into practical work in my daily life. The research-oriented courses and practical opportunities have taught me to have an open mind, question everything, experiment from time to time and form my own opinion based on multiple opinions and experiences."    
Nikita shares what she learned during her studies at the SPHCM, what was the most challenging, what was the most enjoyable, and more read here.


See more SPHCM student profiles . . .



image - which mask bestWhich mask works best? We filmed people coughing and sneezing to find out
If you’re not sure whether wearing a face mask is worth it, or you need to wear a mask but are unsure which type, our new research should help you decide. We took videos of what happens when you talk, cough and sneeze in different scenarios. The results are clear. The more layers the better is the advice to stop the spread of COVID-19. <Read News Item>


Bangladesh slums healthcare imageNew study highlights complex landscape of chronic health challenges faced by slum-dwellers in Bangladesh
Shown in a new study urban slum-dwellers in low and middle-income countries face a high rate of chronic health challenges, inequitable access to healthcare, and catastrophic healthcare expenses. The study’s findings could play a vital role in designing a context-sensitive system of urban healthcare; a key advancement in the fight to improve universal health coverage. <Read News Item>


Which mask imageWhich face mask should I wear?
The advice on wearing masks in public has just changed in Australia. Here are your options if you live in Melbourne or other areas with high rates of community transmission. The idea is not only to protect other people if you have the coronavirus, but also to protect yourself from catching the virus from other people. Wearing a mask in public is compulsory in other parts of the world during the COVID-19 pandemic. But, for most Australians, wearing a mask in public will be a major shift in how they go about their daily lives. <Read News Item>


Melbourne lockdown imageMelbourne's lockdown came too late. It's time to consider moving infected people outside the home
From midnight Wednesday, all of Metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire will return to Stage 3 lockdown for six weeks. But it should have happened weeks ago. Victoria’s experience should be a lesson to governments everywhere that it’s crucial to act quickly and early when flareups occur. Don’t wait until the moment of crisis arrives. It’s now time to consider measures aimed at stemming the spread among families, by admitting infected people to hospitals or other health facilities. <Read News Item>


flu vaccine imageMisconceptions, lack of targeted communication key reasons for low flu vaccine uptake in Aboriginal adults
A new study by public health researchers has explored why flu vaccine uptake is so low in NSW’s Aboriginal adults. Associate Lecturer Telphia Joseph from the SPHCM says "Our survey analysis shows that misconceptions seem to play a key role in preventing Aboriginal people from getting the flu vaccine.” The researchers call for wide-reaching information campaigns and improved communication with communities to counteract the situation, with an urgent need for action given the greater risk COVID-19 also poses. <Read News Item>


Image Anurag SharnaSAM Conversation - Global Public Health Crisis brought on by Pandemic
In a SAM Conversation with experts from the SPHCM, Dr Anurag Sharma and his faculty/colleagues discuss with Tarun Basu the global public health crisis brought on by the pandemic, the need for targeted investment in this area by South Asian governments, health workforce planning and skill development,  health technology assessment and research on emerging diseases among a range of contemporary related issues. <Watch Video>


Blessing Akombi imageAfrican-Australian research collaboration to tackle female genital mutilation
A new collaborative research project between researchers and health professionals in Africa and Australia has been established to prevent FGM and improve care for affected women and girls. <Read News Item>


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