Graduate Diploma of Public Health

Postgraduate coursework

Develop practical skills in public health practice, epidemiology and biostatistics, with a focus on action that drives positive change across health systems.

Key facts

Current Deakin Students

To access your official course details for the year you started your degree, please visit the handbook

Course overview

With the recent COVID-19 global health crisis highlighting the need for qualified healthcare professionals, public health specialists have never been so important. Study the Graduate Diploma of Public Health to take the first step towards a leadership role in this vital field. Develop practical skills in public health practice, epidemiology and biostatistics, and explore evidence-based strategies that address modern health challenges, locally and internationally.

Want to dip your toes in postgraduate study while boosting your career prospects in public health?

If you aim to make a difference to the wellbeing of people and communities through the field of public health, this course will give you the tools to make it happen. It is ideal for both clinical and non-clinical health professionals, as well as graduates from other disciplines who are passionate about improving the health of individuals, communities and populations.

The Graduate Diploma of Public Health focuses on evidence-based action that drives positive change across health systems. You will use the latest research to form strategies that tackle global health issues. Then bring your ideas to life by creating initiatives for policy change and interventions. Your initiatives will address disease prevention from a big-picture angle and promote the conditions that optimise population health.

The course focuses on improving existing health-promoting environments, identifying public health priorities, generating initiatives for policy and action, and developing strategies and interventions to ensure equity in the health system. It will provide you with:

  • an appreciation of the historical foundations of public health
  • a broad-based understanding of the determinants of health in populations
  • knowledge, skills and understanding of broad public health endeavours
  • knowledge and skills necessary to maintain and improve upon existing health-promoting environments
  • critical thinking skills around the promotion of health and prevention of disease
  • strategies to ensure equity in the health system and interventions to promote the health of disadvantaged groups.
  • an appreciation of the complex challenges in public health and the need for multidimensional solutions
  • skills necessary to generate and use research data.

The Graduate Diploma of Public Health features 8 core units from the Master of Public Health. These units give you a grounding in the strategies and practical techniques employed by public health professionals, with a particular focus on preventative measures and health equity. You will also be trained in key soft skills, such as problem solving, collaboration and leadership, ensuring you graduate with well-rounded capabilities. Upon successful completion of the course, you will have the option of enhancing your skills by continuing on to the Master of Public Health and will have already completed half of the credit points from the masters.

Your learnings will be shaped by Deakin’s world-class health research. You will have direct access to the research produced by the Institute for Healthcare Transformation and the Centre for Population Health Research, both of which are led by internationally recognised researchers. Studying a course so closely connected to leading research gives you a distinct advantage. Draw on these insights during projects, in your current role and throughout your entire career.

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Course information

Award granted
Graduate Diploma of Public Health

2024 course information

Deakin code
CRICOS code?
107523F Burwood (Melbourne)
Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) recognition

The award conferred upon completion is recognised in the Australian Qualifications Framework at Level 8

Course structure

To complete the Graduate Diploma of Public Health students must attain 8 credit points, consisting of 8 core units (these are compulsory).

All commencing Faculty of Health Undergraduate and Postgraduate course work students are required to complete DAI001 Academic Integrity Module (0-credit-point compulsory unit) in their first trimester of study.

Core units

  • Academic Integrity Module (0 credit points)
  • Principles and Practice of Public Health
  • Contemporary Health Issues and Policies
  • Health Promotion
  • Research Literacy
  • Health Equity and Human Rights
  • Epidemiology 1
  • Biostatistics 1
  • Health Protection
  • Intakes by location

    The availability of a course varies across locations and intakes. This means that a course offered in Trimester 1 may not be offered in the same location for Trimester 2 or 3. Check each intake for up-to-date information on when and where you can commence your studies.

    Trimester 1 - March

    Trimester 2 - July

    Additional course information

    Course duration

    Course duration may be affected by delays in completing course requirements, such as accessing or completing work placements.

    Mandatory student checks

    Any unit which contains work integrated learning, a community placement or interaction with the community may require a National Police Record Check, a Working with Children Check or other check. Refer the relevant unit guide.


    As a student in the Faculty of Health you can expect to participate in a range of teaching activities each week. This could include lectures, seminars, practicals and online interaction. You will also need to study and complete assessment tasks in your own time. Details for individual units are available in the course structure.

    Participation requirements

    In the Faculty of Health you can expect to participate in a range of teaching activities each week. This could include classes, seminars, practicals and online interaction. You can refer to the individual unit details in the course structure for more information. You will also need to study and complete assessment tasks in your own time.

    Entry requirements

    Selection is based on a holistic consideration of your academic merit, work experience, likelihood of success, availability of places, participation requirements, regulatory requirements, and individual circumstances. You will need to meet the minimum academic and English language proficiency requirements to be considered for selection, but this does not guarantee admission.

    Academic requirements

    To be considered for admission to this degree you will need to meet at least one of the following criteria:

    • completion of a bachelor degree or higher
    • two years' of relevant work experience (or part-time equivalent)

    English language proficiency requirements

    To meet the English language proficiency requirements of this course, you will need to demonstrate at least one of the following:

    Admissions information

    Learn more about Deakin courses and how we compare to other universities when it comes to the quality of our teaching and learning.

    Not sure if you can get into Deakin postgraduate study? Postgraduate study doesn’t have to be a balancing act; we provide flexible course entry and exit options based on your desired career outcomes and the time you are able to commit to your study.

    Fees and scholarships

    Fee information

    Estimated tuition fee - full-fee paying place

    The 'Estimated tuition fee' is provided as a guide only based on a typical enrolment of students completing this course in the same year they started. The cost will vary depending on the units you choose, your study load, the length of your course and any approved Recognition of prior learning.  One year full-time study load is typically represented by eight credit points of study. Each unit you enrol in has a credit point value.

    The 'Estimated tuition fee' is calculated by adding together eight credit points of a typical combination of units for your course.

    You can find the credit point value of each unit under the Unit Description by searching for the unit in the handbook.

    Learn more about tuition fees.

    Scholarship options

    A Deakin scholarship might change your life. If you've got something special to offer Deakin – or you just need the financial help to get you here – we may have a scholarship opportunity for you.

    Search or browse through our scholarships

    Postgraduate bursary

    If you’re a Deakin alumnus commencing a postgraduate award course, you may be eligible to receive a 10% reduction per unit on your enrolment fees.

    Learn more about the 10% Deakin alumni discount

    Apply now

    Apply through Deakin

    Applications can be made directly to the University through StudyLink Connect - Deakin University's International Student Application Service. For information on the application process and closing dates, see the How to apply web page.

    Deakin International office or Deakin representative

    Fill out the application form and submit to a Deakin International office or take your application form to a Deakin representative for assistance

    Need more information on how to apply?

    For information on the application process and closing dates, see the How to apply webpage
    If you’re still having problems, please contact Deakin International for assistance.

    Entry pathways


    Career outcomes

    The health industry is one of the largest and fastest growing employment sectors in Australia*. A postgraduate degree in public health puts you in a position to take advantage of this demand. Graduates can broaden their career options and use their leadership skills to progress to senior positions.

    Public health practitioners have the opportunity to work in international organisations such as:

    • World Health Organization (WHO)
    • United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
    • United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).

    As well as:

    • the non-government sector (for example, organisations focused on cancer, tobacco, drugs, reproductive health, obesity, food security, violence and HIV)
    • the government sector at a federal or state level
    • local councils.

    Some common public health jobs include:

    • Epidemiologist
    • Community health worker
    • Disease and infection investigator
    • Environmental health specialist
    • Global health professional
    • Occupational health and safety specialist
    • Urban planner
    • Health educator
    • Emergency preparedness and response coordinator
    • Public health policy coordinator
    • Research analyst
    • Public health physician

    Visit the Public Health Association of Australia website for more information.
    * Australian Government National Skills Commission Industry Employment Outlook 2021

    Professional recognition

    All students will receive a two-year membership to the Public Health Association of Australia while studying.

    Course learning outcomes

    Deakin's graduate learning outcomes describe the knowledge and capabilities graduates can demonstrate at the completion of their course. These outcomes mean that regardless of the Deakin course you undertake, you can rest assured your degree will teach you the skills and professional attributes that employers value. They'll set you up to learn and work effectively in the future.

    Graduate Learning Outcomes

    Course Learning Outcomes

    Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities

    Demonstrate the ability to apply knowledge and skills in the area of public health that includes the understanding of recent developments, research principles, methods and professional practice


    Demonstrate clear and effective communication skills to mindfully interpret, articulate and transmit public health information and practice to advise and educate diverse communities.

    Digital literacy

    Collect, organise, assess and transmit knowledge, skills and ideas across a range of public health contexts to disseminate and transmit information into practice.

    Critical thinking

    Evaluate evidence and appraise solutions to public health practice and care by critically reflecting on and generating complex ideas and concepts with consideration to diverse contexts.

    Problem solving

    Apply expert knowledge and skills using appropriate research methods to critically analyse, evaluate and develop authentic public health strategies and solutions to improve the health status and practice of communities.


    Demonstrate effective self-management skills to address personal workloads and timeframes with a commitment to ethical practice, engaging in lifelong learning


    Demonstrate the ability to contribute and work effectively within a team environment across a range of disciples and backgrounds.

    Global citizenship

    Engage in ethical and professional practice and research to generate appropriate and culturally sensitive responses to public health contexts.