School of Public Health and Community Medicine

What we offer

Computer imagePersonalised, flexible delivery

Our School has substantial expertise in flexible modes of education delivery and we are a leader in online learning. All our programs are available through distance mode (fully online), face-to-face (on campus) or a combination of modes. We use flexible and interactive technologies including online discussion forums and webinars and are continually exploring innovative ways to use new technologies to offer a wider range of engaging and creative learning opportunities. Our instructional designers and educational design experts work with academics to ensure that our online students have an equivalent learning experience to face-to-face students.

Work-ready graduates

At SPHCM, our teaching and training is designed to be applied, practical and relevant to the workforce. To enhance these links, we offer a range of domestic and international internship placements in Australia, Asia and the Pacific. We also have the elite UNSW Future Health Leaders Program, a workplace-based program leading to a professional doctorate. We are the first choice of employers who want work-ready graduates.

Career choices in public health

We offer master degrees in public health, international public health, health management and infectious diseases, as well as dual degrees and research extension options. We understand that many people seek specialised careers in public health. To facilitate career advantage, we are unique in offering Master of Public Health (MPH) specialisation streams. Each of these 10 MPH specialisation options is underpinned by flagship areas of research strength in our School. UNSW specialist MPH degrees are taught by leading research experts in the field, with the additional benefit of interaction in an active research environment.

We offer a Master of International Public Health, now one of our most sought-after programs. For Indian nationals, we have the new Master of Public Heath (International).  We also have the Master of Infectious Diseases Intelligence program, for people interested in developing advanced skills in infectious diseases epidemiology and outbreak analysis. In 2018, we introduced the fully online Bachelor of International Public Health (BIPH), a new undergraduate program offered in partnership with Arizona State University and King’s College London as part of the PLuS Alliance.

These programs have close links with international NGOs, and provides students with the opportunity to do courses, internships and research both in Australia and internationally.

Our public health programs are widely recognised as essential for a career in population health, including health promotion, policy formulation, research, and management of health programs.  They provide professional training for graduates to work in health departments, with non-government organisations, and with international and bi-laterial aid agencies. Many of our graduates occupy key positions in health services, research institutions and universities in Australia, the Asia-pacific region and across the globe.

Health leadership and management

We also have the oldest and one of the most respected Health Management programs in Australia. It has produced many health leaders and managers across Australia and the world. SPHCM academics are experts in consumer engagement, teamwork, innovative approaches to practice development, workplace learning and development, human resource management, health economics and the quality and safety of care. Our alumni hold senior leadership positions nationally and internationally.


Research is a fundamental part of our work, addressing a number of key local, national and global public health issues. The School has a thriving research culture and a pipeline for research development from research students to postdoctoral researchers and senior research leaders, making it one of the leading research schools in Australia. Our flagship areas in research are in global health, primary health care, infectious diseases epidemiology, social research and health systems leadership and management.

We collaborate with respected research centres and institutes, such as the Kirby Institute, The George Institute for Global Health, the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, the Centre for Big Data Research in Health and the Centre for Primary Health Care and Equity.

We are strong in both quantitative and qualitative research methodologies, with a mix of social scientists, qualitative researchers, clinical researchers, epidemiologists and mathematical modellers at SPHCM. We have a strong track record in attracting research funding from the NHMRC, Australian Research Council and other agencies.

A community of practice

We believe advocacy, engagement and impact matter and that our School should be deeply connected and relevant to our local and global communities. At SPHCM we get involved when it matters. Staff and students have been involved in advocating for asylum seekers, climate change and environmental health, and in many other areas of importance.

Equity and diversity

SPHCM is committed to equity and diversity. We were one of the first schools at UNSW to form a committee on Equity and Diversity. Our faculty and student body are extremely diverse, including people of many races and religions and LGBTIQ people. We celebrate this diversity with regular events, such as a monthly Language Lunch where staff and students come together to learn conversational languages other than English. We value all staff and students and do not accept discrimination on the basis of race, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexuality or any other aspect of human diversity. We want all staff and students to feel safe, accepted and welcome at SPHCM.