Courses Australian courses Master of Public Health and Tropical Medicine

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Public Health

Master of Public Health and Tropical Medicine

February, July
1.5 years full time
Part-time available
Attendance mode
Internal, External
Entry Requirements
AQF level 7 bachelor degree in a relevant discipline; or equivalent
Not applicable
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The Master of Public Health and Tropical Medicine is the only award of its kind in Australia addressing both public health and tropical medicine issues.

The broad range of elective subjects available gives the opportunity for specialised focus on tropical Australia, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, or in Australia’s tropical neighbours.

This course is taught by the College of Public Health, Medical and Veterinary Sciences. The College provides several programs unique to Australia, including:

  • Teaching staff awarded the Australian Learning Teaching Councils’ National Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning
  • Cutting-edge teaching laboratories and research facilities

Who is this course for?

This course is designed for health professionals with a suitable undergraduate degree or recognised professional qualification in a relevant discipline. It enables you to specialise in public health issues relevant to tropical Australia and its near neighbours.

How you will study

Many subjects are offered as flexible delivery, which includes external mode (distance education), limited attendance mode, and block mode/intensives.
Additional information

About JCU's Master of Public Health and Tropical Medicine

Build on your skills and experience as a health professional with one of the best MPH programs in Australia. Earn your Master of Public Health and Tropical Medicine degree (similar to a Masters Degree in Public Health) through JCU and gain a specialised understanding of the most pressing health issues in the region and throughout the world.

A World-Class Education

Take advantage of JCU's unique geographical placement and connections with private and government entities. Build a solid foundation of the skills and knowledge required to deliver programs that promote health, prevent disease and protect the health of the population. Study your way in a flexible environment that matches your needs. Equip yourself through online (external) courses or a mix of online and on-campus classes. Choose block intensives to maximize your learning while minimising disruption to your schedule.

Gain crucial experience in public health graduate programs as you work in some of the world's leading research facilities. Build your resume and practical knowledge at cutting-edge laboratories and JCU's Anton Breinl Centre for Public Health and Tropical Medicine. Connect with leaders in the field to build your network of professional connections.

Learn through courses with small class sizes under lecturers committed to student success. Become a well-rounded professional with well-developed communication skills and the ability to critically analyse information.

Study JCU's MPH Programs and Become a Change-Maker

Take part in research that makes a difference. Prepare yourself to effect meaningful change in community health outcomes in rural, urban, and tropical environments. Understand the challenges facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders as well as issues of public health management.

Learn about the unique challenges of tropical living through studies in human parasitology. Become an effective researcher skilled in identifying diseases and developing interventions. Improve the quality of life for others and learn how to best implement public health policies to stop the spread of disease.

Be a part of cutting-edge research into emerging health threats. Work to decrease health disparities for marginalised peoples. Build on your passion to make a difference with real-world skills through one of the best public health masters programs in Australia.

A Masters Degree in Public Health That Can Lead to a Successful Career

Prepare for success using applied and experiential learning to become a leader in advancing global public health. Work at home or abroad and choose your own direction in public health, laboratory research, private corporations, or academia.

Work with local governments in disaster preparedness or as a specialist in biosecurity. Advance community health by researching and implementing initiatives or working in child and maternal health in communities at risk.

Use your leadership skills as an environmental health director to oversee staff and policies in clinics or hospitals. Track down patterns of disease to prevent illness and educate others on how to stop its spread. Advocate for marginalised people and help public services understand the distinct health challenges tropical, rural and remote communities face.

Create a Brighter Future With a Master of Public Health and Tropical Medicine

Use your skills in research and your knowledge of disease and illness to make the world a better place for everyone. Boost the health of communities. Advocate for the health of those without a public voice. Go beyond just treating disease, identify the issues and work towards preventing illness and improving the quality of life in under-served communities.
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Career Opportunities

JCU Public Health and Tropical Medicine graduates acquire the knowledge and skills needed to enhance their practice and manage public health priorities in tropical environments.

Graduates work in disease control and prevention programs that focus on conditions found in tropical areas of Australia and internationally.

You could find employment in State and Commonwealth Government organisations, health care settings, community settings, non-profit and international organisations. This could include working in roles related to disease control and protection of the health of the population living in tropical areas, and promotion of health and wellbeing. Opportunities to engage in further research training via a PhD are also possible.

Complete an online application through our Online Application Portal.

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Master of Public Health and Tropical Medicine

Handbook year


Course code


Course type

Masters Degree (Coursework) (AQF Level 9)


Tropical Health and Medicine

Award Requirements

Admission Requirements

Course pre-requisites

Completion of an AQF level 7 bachelor degree in a relevant discipline, from this or another university; or

Other qualifications recognised by the Deputy-Vice-Chancellor of the Division of Tropical Health and Medicine as equivalent to the above; or

Submission, as an exceptional case, of other evidence of professional and academic attainments, including employment for a minimum of five years in health related activities.

Meeting these requirements does not guarantee selection. In assessing applications the following will be considered: prior academic performance and prior relevant work experience.

Minimum English language proficiency requirements

Applicants of non-English speaking backgrounds must meet the English language proficiency requirements of Band 2Schedule II of the JCU Admissions Policy.

Academic Requirements for Course Completion

Credit points

36 credit points

Course learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of the MPH&TM, graduates will be able to:

  • Integrate and apply an advanced body of theoretical and technical knowledge in the disciplines of public health and tropical medicine, with depth in epidemiology, pathogenesis, clinical presentation, complications, differential diagnosis, investigation and management of tropical diseases

  • Devise appropriate strategies to detect, prevent and control communicable and non-communicable diseases ensuring safe and healthy environments for tropical, rural, remote and Indigenous communities

  • Critically assess, analyse and communicate public health information relevant to tropical, rural, remote and Indigenous communities

  • Communicate theoretical propositions, methodologies, conclusions and professional decisions through advanced literacy and numeracy skills to specialist and non-specialist audiences

  • Critically reflect upon the socio-ecological nature of health promotion and its application in optimising the health and wellbeing of tropical, rural, remote and Indigenous communities

  • Critically reflect upon and engage in professional public health practice based on ethical decision-making and an evidence based approach

  • Apply advanced human, project and organisational management skills within a public health and policy context to effect efficient and equitable gains in public health

  • Apply knowledge of research principles and methods to plan and ethically execute a substantial research-based project, capstone experience and/or piece of scholarship.

Inherent Requirements

Inherent Requirements

Inherent requirements are the fundamental abilities, attributes, skills and behaviours needed to complete the learning outcomes of a course while preserving the academic integrity of the university’s learning, assessment and accreditation processes. Students and prospective students must be able to demonstrate that they have acquired or have the ability to acquire the inherent requirements for their degree. For more information refer to Inherent Requirements page.

Reasonable adjustments

Reasonable adjustments may be made to assist students manage additional circumstances impacting on their studies provided these do not change the academic integrity of a degree. Reasonable adjustments do not alter the need to be able to demonstrate the inherent requirements of the course.

Course Structure


TM5501:03 Tropical Medicine

TM5502:03 Tropical Public Health

TM5513:03 Public Health Management, Leadership, Planning and Policy

TM5515:03 Epidemiology for Public Health

TM5516:03 Biostatistics for Public Health

TM5525:03 Communicable Disease Control


Select 18 credit points of specified level 5 subjects from List 1

List 1

HS5102:03 Qualitative Research Methods for Health Professionals

HS5555:03 Infection Prevention and Control in Health Care Settings

IA5119:03 Empowerment and Change

TM5310:09 Dissertation 2

TM5503:03 Human Parasitology

TM5506:03 Social Science in Public Health

TM5508:03 Diving and Marine Medicine

TM5510:03 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health

TM5512:03 Travel Medicine

TM5514:03 Environmental Health

TM5518:03 Medical Entomology

TM5524:03 Qualitative Research Methods for Public Tropical Practitioners

TM5526:03 Public Health Economics

TM5527:03 Project

TM5528:03 Health Promotion

TM5529:03 Applied Health Economics

TM5534:03 Tropical Paediatrics

TM5536:03 Public Health in Humanitarian Emergencies

TM5540:03 Public Health and the Workplace

TM5541:03 Managing Effective Health Programs

TM5547:03 Public Health Program Planning and Evaluation

TM5549:06 Dissertation 1

TM5552:03 Global Health and Development

TM5557:03 Disaster Health Management

TM5560:03 Foundations of Aeromedical Retrieval

TM5562:03 Reproductive Health in Developing Countries

TM5563:03 Public Health Leadership and Crisis Management

TM5569:03 Health Promotion Strategies and Methods

TM5571:03 Public Health Placement

TM5573:03 Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion

TM5575:03  Substance Misuse Prevention

TM5578:03 Emerging Public Health Threats

TM5580:03 Health and Nutrition in the Tropics

TM5581:03  Expedition and Wilderness Medicine

TM5582:03 Tropical Toxinology

TM5600:03 Introduction to One Health

TM5601:03 Qualitative Research Methods for One Health Professionals

TV5010:03 Veterinary Public Health

TV5120:03 Advanced Microbiology and Immunology

TV5121:03 Infectious Diseases of Livestock

TV5130:03 Veterinary Parasitology

TV5230:03 Advanced Epidemiology







Expected time to complete

18 months full-time or equivalent part-time

Maximum time to complete

8 years

Maximum leave of absence

3 years


Course progression requisites


Course includes mandatory professional placement(s)


Special assessment requirements


Professional accreditation requirements


Maximum allowed Pass Conceded (PC) grade


Supplementary exam for final subject

Not applicable



Students may apply for exemption for previous tertiary study where appropriate in accordance with the Credit Transfer Procedure. Credit may be granted for AQF Level 8 qualifications in a cognate discipline.

Maximum allowed

18 credit points


Credit will be granted only for studies completed in the 10 years prior to the commencement of this course.


Credit gained for any subject shall be cancelled 18 years after the date of the examination upon which the credit is based if, by then, the student has not completed this course.

Other restrictions

A maximum of 6 credit points may be granted for other postgraduate subjects, provided those subjects have not been credited towards any other award, either at this or any other University.

Award Details

Award Title


Approved abbreviation


Inclusion of majors on testamur

Not applicable - this course does not have majors

Exit with lesser award

Students who exit the course prior to completion, and have completed the appropriate number of credit points and suitable subjects may be eligible for the award of either Graduate Certificate of Public Health or Graduate Diploma of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.

Course articulation

Not applicable

Special awards

Where the coursework is completed at a grade point average of 6 or above, the DVC Tropical health and Medicine, on the recommendation of the Dean of the College of Public Health, Medical and Veterinary Sciences, may recommend the award of a Master of Public Health with Distinction.

Annual Tuition Fee: $9,803. (Estimate only)

Student Services and Amenities fee is payable per subject up to a maximum amount per year.

A variety of Scholarships are available to suit different student types.

Consult the admission requirements section in the Handbook for prerequisites and pathways into this course.

The support to succeed

Experience learning from lecturers who care about your success - JCU student, Dr Faith Adele, shares her story.