Master of Public Health programmes
Source: Edith Cowan University

For those with a strong desire to help people and make a lasting change, whether within the community or globally, becoming a public health professional can give you the avenue to do just that. 

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 that led to a worldwide pandemic, students, volunteers, and others have found their calling in the public health sector. Over 100 schools and public health programmes saw a 20% increase in applications in the US during the pandemic. However, before the pandemic, healthcare was already the fastest-growing industry in many countries. In Australia, the government estimated that the country would see an additional 250,000 jobs in the public health sector by 2023. 

As career opportunities in the public sector are diverse — ranging from family health to environmental health, mental health, emergency management, epidemiology, research, and so much more — there are many different kinds of jobs public health graduates can choose from. Most importantly, whichever career you choose, you can potentially save many lives and even be part of the solution to global health and environmental issues. 

If you’re looking to embark on a career in the public health sector, here are the top Master of Public Health programmes in Australia you should consider: 

Edith Cowan University

For a first-class Master of Public Health (MPH) programme, look no further than Edith Cowan University (ECU), located in Perth, Western Australia. ECU’s two-year course can be completed online or on campus and covers essential public health topics, including the planning and evaluation of real-world public health strategies.

ECU is a five-star university for teaching quality. Ranked in the top 2.5% of universities in the world (Times Higher Education (THE) World University 2022 Rankings), this alone is reason to start your public health journey at ECU. In Australia’s 2022 Good Universities Guide, ECU achieved a five-star rating for teaching quality for the 15th year in a row — one of only two Australian universities to do so.

But don’t just take our word for it. “I am amazed by the helpful attitude of the lecturers, ever ready to guide, support and solve your problems,” says ECU MPH graduate Pelden Chejor. “I now have the confidence to undertake research studies in the field of public health,” he shares.

ECU is where you can customise the course to your career interests. ECU’s MPH offers a variety of elective units that allow students to explore a public health field of their choice, including nutrition, occupational safety and health, emergency management and alcohol and other drugs. Students also gain in-depth insight by working closely with industry professionals, providing hands-on knowledge and transferable skills.

“After only a few months, much of what I learnt at ECU has been put into practice. It’s extremely rewarding to see how the knowledge I learnt in my MPH is used in real life situations,” says ECU MPH graduate Beth Hollett, who secured a role as a Disability Customer Advocate just days after graduating. Ready to make a difference to the health and lives others? Find out more here.

James Cook University

A leader in public health and tropical health, James Cook University (JCU) is where your world-class education in public health begins. As one of only two universities globally that offer the one-of-a-kind Master of Public and Tropical Medicine programme, JCU is an excellent choice for students to pursue their passion for public health issues relevant to Australia, the Tropics, and developing nations worldwide. 

At JCU, students can choose to study part-time or complete it in one and a half years. The programme takes place on campus as well as online, an excellent option for international students who wish to obtain the best education from the comfort of their own homes. 

What sets JCU apart is its top ranking in Queensland for students in the health and services programme to obtain full-time employment upon graduation, according to Australia’s 2022 Good Universities Guide. This impressive feat alone is a testament to countless international and local students pursuing their Master of Public and Tropical Medicine programme at JCU. 

Just ask JCU’s alumni, Dr. Faith Adele, who now works in the public health sector. “I had a beautiful experience at JCU. The support was extraordinary and beyond my expectations. Now, when I have the opportunity to work in the public health sector, I can do things much more different than when I was working without the knowledge gained in my Public Health and Tropical Medicine degree,” she proudly shares. 

JCU isn’t just one of those universities; it’s a university making impactful changes globally. From nurturing endangered animals before releasing them into the wild, to leading research studies on global warming, among others, it’s no wonder THE ranked JCU as one of the top 100 universities globally for carrying out the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.

University of Tasmania

130 years of teaching excellence. 400 partners across a range of industries. 96.8% of research studies rated to be at or above world standards. State-of-the-art research facilities, specialist institutes and centres. These are just some of the traits that make the University of Tasmania a highly sought-after institution by students globally. 

As the only university on Tasmania island, the whole island is your campus. Students can enjoy exclusive close-access opportunities with industries and first-class leaders, explore everything the rich island offers, and obtain hands-on learning during lessons. The University of Tasmania has three campuses within the state — Hobart, Launceston, and Cradle Coast — that provide everything, from busy uni life to excellent accommodation. 

As an isolated island, the people in Tasmania always had to work differently, becoming known as creative thinkers and problem solvers. Thanks to the many astounding successes the university has seen over the years; the institution is now the research destination where creative and curious minds gather. 

As a first-class research destination, the University of Tasmania offers a world-class MPH programme professionally recognised and has been benchmarked against the Council of Academic Public Health Institutions Australasia (CAPHIA) standards and the Royal Australian College of Physicians. 

Epidemiological monitoring. Health promotion. Designing interventions to prevent or reduce the burden of disease and disability. Health systems planning. Environmental health. Students will learn all of these and beyond throughout their MPH journey at the University of Tasmania. You’ll learn how to be a system thinker and can confidently navigate research seamlessly. Simply put, the University of Tasmania is your solution to making a mark in the public health sector.

*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International