Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health
Board of Studies
The DPH course is planned and managed by a Board of Studies. Present membership of the Board is as follows:
- Professor Robin Gauld (Chair)
- Heads of Departments (3 schools)
- Course Directors (3 schools)
- Dean, Faculty of Medicine
- Calendar information
We welcome your interest in the Diploma and Master of Public Health programme. The programme is designed to meet the education and training requirements of a wide range of people working in, or with an interest in, health and the health services. It is particularly designed to develop public health and health policy skills in individuals from a wide range of health sector situations and to enable the sharing of information and experiences in a cooperative, collegial learning environment.
Public health has been defined as the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health through organised efforts of society. It thus encompasses a broad spectrum of activities, disciplines and approaches, including an understanding of concepts of health and the provision of health services. We emphasise that the course is open to a wide range of disciplines and is taught within a broad health and social science framework although taught within a medical faculty.
There has been a resurgence of interest in public health in recent years. Reasons for this include the increasing value being placed upon health by individuals and communities, a shift towards health status outcomes as goals for health services, increasing environmental awareness, concerns about inequalities in health, inequity in access to care and issues in the provision, distribution, and financing of health services.
The University of Otago has had a long tradition of academic training in public health. A Diploma in Public Health (DPH) course was established by the University in 1913. In 1992 a new DPH was introduced, combining the teaching staff and other resources of the three Otago campuses in Dunedin, Christchurch and Wellington, and the University of Auckland’s Department of Community Health. The improved access to postgraduate training in public health has resulted in increased numbers of students enrolled, many of whom are part-time and already employed in the health services. The Otago and Auckland programmes are now separate though with some joint features.
In 2005, a Certificate in Public Health was introduced in the University of Otago.
We believe that continuing changes in the health services will lead to an expanding need for people with public health skills. Over the last 10-15 years an increasing workforce has had formal training in public health at either the diploma or masters level. We are confident that the DPH and MPH courses being offered have been a major step forward in the development of these much needed skills and warmly welcome applications for our courses for 2006. Several of the public health papers provide support for other disciplines such as health management, health research and environmental studies.
The course is open to those with a wide variety of backgrounds and qualifications. Overseas perspectives are a rich component of the course and we welcome applications from international students. Selection may have to be made from qualified applicants if demand exceeds the available places and resources for the course.
Admission to the course shall be subject to the approval of the Board of the Faculty of Medicine which must be satisfied that previous training and experience fit the candidate to undertake the course.
Every candidate for the DPH shall have fulfilled one of the following conditions:
- have been admitted to a degree or diploma of a university in New Zealand;
- hold an appropriate professional qualification approved by the Board of the Faculty of Medicine;
- have been admitted ad eundem statum as entitled to proceed to the diploma.
Applicants should have received a good degree, diploma, or professional qualifications, which would normally equate to a B grade average overall.
The University of Otago expects those proceeding to the MPH to have attained a good B grade average overall (73%) for the DPH.
The course duration is one academic year of full-time study. Full-time students will complete the course by undertaking two papers in each of the two semesters. However, it is recognised that most students will be part-time and will complete the Diploma over two or more years. Part-time students may take a maximum of two papers in any one year, one in each semester, but may change to full-time status mid year. Part-time study has proved attractive to candidates employed in the health workforce, because it eases the financial burden of study.
The DPH is taught as an internal (on campus) programme in the three medical schools. DPH papers (including those taken for the MPH qualification) are not available extramurally. Programme arrangements may differ from paper to paper, but will include combinations of block teaching and weekly or fortnightly sessions. In some papers students will also take part in - audioconference sessions. The contact time for each paper varies but will be between 60 and 80 hours. Students should anticipate spending up to 20 hours per week on each paper, including study time, - assignment preparation, and class attendance.
Tuition fees are prescribed by the University Council. Inquiries should be directed to the Registry, University of Otago, or one of the departments.
In addition to course fees, students will be required to meet the costs of textbooks, and travel and accommodation expenses for any block period of instruction, if this is at one of the other Otago campuses.
The academic year is divided into two semesters. The first semester will commence in February and finish in June. The second semester will run from July until November. A provisional timetable will be available from September each year.
Four papers are required for completion of the DPH, of which two are compulsory. Two others may be selected from six options, including a special topic. Students may also substitute, with the approval of the Faculty, one paper from another related university postgraduate degree or diploma, although substitution is unusual at diploma level.
English language proficiency
All graduates from a non-New Zealand university for whom English is not their first language are required to provide evidence of adequate proficiency in both spoken and written English.
This evidence will normally be a satisfactory pass in a standard examination in English language proficiency. Applicants must obtain this before they can be considered for entry to the postgraduate papers for the Diploma in Public Health.
This process enables applicants to be aware of the level of proficiency needed to do this course, and allows staff to assess the suitability of students to undertake the course.
The recommended examination is the academic module of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). This examination is held locally at the following places:
||Otago Language Centre, 75 St David Street, PO Box 56, Dunedin (Tel 64 3 479 5708). You should contact the Centre for further details.
||ESOL School, CPIT, PO Box 40, Christchurch (Tel 64 3 364 5316). You should contact the ESOL Section for further details.
||The English Language Institute at Victoria University (Tel 64 4 471 5316). You should contact the secretary of the English Language Institute for further details.
Graduates of non-New Zealand universities for whom English is not their first language should provide the results of their English proficiency examination at the time of submitting all their other application documents.
In exceptional circumstances the requirements for applicants to sit the IELTS may be varied. Applicants should discuss this with their local DPH co-ordinator well before the deadline for applications.
For further information contact:
Tel 64 3 479 7205