The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the important role of public health in preventing the spread of a pandemic disease and in managing the impacts of the response. While public health physicians have been at the forefront of the public health response to the pandemic, clinicians also are playing a critical role. The clinicians most able to provide an effective contribution to the overall pandemic response also have some public health training. Beyond the pandemic, the climate crisis and other environmental changes are increasingly putting populations under stress and responding to these stressors requires clinicians to view their patients from both individual and population perspectives.

Program overview

A Master in Public Health (MPH) provides the training and expertise to enable clinicians to have a broader view of health and to provide some context for their understanding of their patients. By completing the Doctor of Medicine (MD) and Master of Public Health qualifications it provides skills and enable doctors to improve clinical services and health systems, to see the bigger picture and to have influence while also providing a clinical service. Many infectious diseases physicians, emergency physicians, general practitioners, and nurses and allied health professionals have a MPH qualification as well as their clinical degree. In addition, public health physicians, those doctors who specialise in public health, are required to have completed their MPH (or to be near to completion) prior to commencing their training.

By enrolling in the Doctor of Medicine and Master of Public Health programs concurrently it will provide versatility and various options in your clinical career.

Who can enrol?

Concurrent enrolment in the MD and MPH is available to domestic students. Unfortunately, this opportunity cannot be extended to our international students due to student visa restrictions.

Due to the MD program rules, student must maintain full-time continuous enrolment. Students enrol in externally offered courses on a part-time basis for the MPH. Student seeking concurrent enrolment in the MD and MPH programs will need to seek approval from the Associate Dean (Academic) and a proposed study plan will be required.  It is highly recommended that students apply after the first year of the MD program. 

How do I apply?

Before applying for admission to the MPH program, read all the information on the Future Students website and submit an online application form.  Your application will be considered by Domestic Admissions at UQ. 

While your application is being processed, it is recommended that you prepare and submit a study plan for the Associate Dean (Academic), Professor Nick Shaw, to consider concurrent enrolment in the two postgraduate coursework programs.  The purpose of the study plan is for you to demonstrate how you intend on managing the additional study load. The Associate Dean (Academic) has advised that students will only be permitted to enrol in one MPH course (2-units) in addition to the full-time MD course enrolment (8-units) in each semester (1 and 2). The MD program has no scheduled teaching during Summer Semester as such students may elect to enrol in one or more courses.

Students approved to enrol in the concurrent MD and MPH programs are required to maintain a semester GPA of 4.5 or above to continue enrolment in the MPH.  Also, students may be approved an interruption to studies to complete the thesis/project component of the MPH, noting that this will delay completion of the MD program.

Upon completion of the Doctor of Medicine or Master of Medical Studies, students may be eligible for credit towards the MPH program. This is subject to the courses completed in the Doctor of Medicine program and the maximum amount of credit will be 4 units. It is recommended that those students approved to concurrently enrol in the MD and MPH programs, choose one of the selective courses with a course code commencing with PUBH. Upon completion of the MD or Master of Medical Studies, students are required to apply for Credit for Previous Studies.

More information

For more information about the Master of Public Health program, you may wish to contact the Program Director, Associate Professor Sheleigh Lawler on +61 7 3365 5512 or s.lawler@uq.edu.au