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University of Otago
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Master of Public Health (MPH)

This course is available

On-Campus, Online

Level of Study

Master's Degree


1 year

Next start date

Expected Feb 2023


University of Otago


The Master of Public Health (MPH) degree is a one-year full-time equivalent qualification that can be completed either as a thesis or as a dissertation alongside further postgraduate public health papers to the value of 60 points. Students enter the MPH after completing a one-year full-time equivalent Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health (DPH). The MPH is an internationally recognised qualification in its field. It is taught in small classes, with an emphasis on multi-disciplinary approaches. Students are drawn from a wide range of backgrounds in the health, social and allied sciences.

Graduates from the programme are equipped to work in a range of non-clinical fields in the health sector, principally in planning and management and in the delivery of public health Programs.

Structure of the Programme

The programme of study shall consist of either

  • approved PUBH papers to the value of 60 points and a 60-point dissertation; or
  • a 120-point thesis embodying the results of one year of full-time or equivalent part-time supervised research.

The topic of the thesis or dissertation shall be in some branch of public health.

A candidate may not present a thesis or dissertation that has previously been accepted for another degree.

The programme of study and the topic and supervisors of the thesis or dissertation shall be approved by the Postgraduate Research Convenor or his or her nominee.

A candidate may, with the approval of the Public Health Academic Committee, substitute alternative papers that have substantial public health content, up to the value of 30 points.

Entry criteria

Every applicant shall normally either:

have satisfied all of the following: be a graduate or possess an appropriate professional qualification requiring at least three years of full-time tertiary study; and have completed the Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health or equivalent with grades averaging B or better; and have passed approved research methods papers worth 30 points; they must include a 15-point research methods paper, passed with a grade of B+ or better, relevant to the candidate's intended research design; and provide evidence of ability for an advanced level of academic study.


Have commenced vocational training for public health medicine and have satisfied all of the following: have been admitted to the degrees of Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery of a university in New Zealand or hold an equivalent medical qualification approved by the Academic Board of the Otago Medical School; and be registered for medical practice in New Zealand; and have completed four approved papers, each with a grade of B+ or better.

English language requirements

  • IELTS Academic - Score of 6.5 in the academic module (with no individual band below 6.0). IELTS Online is also accepted.
  • Internet-based TOEFL - Score of 90 with a minimum writing score of 21
  • Paper-based TOEFL - score of 587 (TWE 4.5)
  • Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) & Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) - Minimum of 176
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic - Overall score of 58 with no communicative skills score below 50.
  • LanguageCert - International ESOL: C1 Expert (LRWS) with a high pass overall and no less than a pass in each skill OR C2 Mastery (LRWS) with a pass overall and no less than a pass in each skill
  • NZCEL - NZCEL 5 Academic endorsement

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