Taught course

Public Health

University of Otago · Division of Health Sciences

Entry requirements

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.

If your first language is not English you must have IELTS score of 7.5. Due to COVID-19, we currently accept Duolingo English Test (DET), IELTS Indicator Test, and TOEFL iBT Special home Edition.

Don’t meet the English language requirements? The University of Otago Language Centre "English for Otago" programme offers a pathway for Undergraduate and Postgraduate students to meet the English language requirements for undergraduate and postgraduate study.

Months of entry

February, July

Course content

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.

This course can be studied at Christchurch, Dunedin and Wellington campuses.

Information for international students

Otago offers students an unrivalled campus experience and a vibrant, social student culture. The majority of Otago’s 21,000 students live, work and play in Dunedin - New Zealand’s only true university city. Otago is home to over 3,000 students, from over 100 countries.

Fees and funding

International students
NZ $42,696

New Zealand is a relatively affordable country to live in. Dunedin, being a student-focused city, has living and entertainment options for all budgets.

Students are eligible for the Otago International Excellence Scholarship.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MPH
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details