School of Population Health


Explore your options at the School of Population Health

Study at the School of Population Health (SPH) in Sydney, Australia at UNSW. The School is a leading educator in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region through its postgraduate programs in Public Health, Global HealthHealth Leadership and Management and Infectious Diseases Intelligence. For undergraduate students, we offer the Bachelor of International Public Health. The School also offers excellent research degrees including a unique doctorate in Applied Public Health which incorporates workplace experience and a thesis in professional practice. Our School is strongly committed to excellence in learning, teaching and research to enhance public health and health services. We provide quality learning that is student-centred and relevant to real-world practice.

Rebecca Ivers Welcome
Head of School Welcome
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Postgraduate & Undergraduate Programs
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Research Flagship Areas
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What’s new in the School?

Part time biostatistician needed, School of Population Health, UNSW. This Research Fellow role (0.6 FTE for 12 months) will work on a range of quantitative research studies in injury and trauma care across the life course. The role will lead data analysis and interpretation of data from a range of prospective cohort studies, and health systems studies in Australia and globally. Master or PhD in biostatistics, or epidemiology or public health with a strong quantitative focus required. Additional work supporting teaching may also be an option. For more details contact: Dr Holger Moeller.

Associate Professor – Primary Care/General Practice - applications close 11pm 11 July 2021

Read the School of Population Health Strategy 2020-2025  – our roadmap to achieving a positive impact on people’s lives, health systems, policy and practice through research, teaching and engagement.

New name for School puts population health in focus and reflects our broader approach to population and global health.


Image Xiao Feng

With a focus on promoting more liveable, healthier and equitable communities, leading epidemiologist and Associate Professor Xiaoqi Feng shares with us what has inspired her impact-driven journey in population health and narrowing health inequalities, reflections on COVID-19, what’s next, and more. 

"Simply telling every person to live a healthier life by not smoking, by keeping active, by eating the ‘right’ foods, by getting the ‘right’ amount of sleep and by taking time to relax or meditate isn’t enough. If the environments in which people live continue to discourage healthy behaviors, cause stress and other harms, public health education and healthcare-based approaches can be like feathers in a hurricane - by improving our environments, we can improve population health and reduce health inequities.” 

Read more about Xiao Feng here  



Claire O'Brien - Bachelor of International Public Health (BIPH)

“I decided to study International Public Health after changing track from my initial studies in Biomedical Science. I realised over time that my interest lies in the bigger picture health outcomes. I am interested in global health policy and health promotion.”

Claire aspires to one day conduct formal research in the public health academia and later hopes to be able to contribute to global health by working for an international non-governmental organization (NGO) or with the United Nations or the World Health Organization (WHO). 

"Prior to this course I had very little knowledge of public health and it has been great to discover the many different disciplines within the field. I have learned so much throughout my degree from coursework and readings, but also from speaking to academics and researchers at the university."

Read more about Claire here


See more SPH student profiles . . .



People lined up wearing masksWhen will we reach herd immunity? Here are three reasons that’s a hard question to answer
Once we achieve herd immunity, people who are not vaccinated benefit indirectly from the immunity of those around them. But it’s not easy to say exactly when we’ll reach this threshold for COVID-19.   <Read more here>


World Drowning Prevention DayGlobal Drowning Prevention Day 2021: The start of a new era?
To address drowning globally, a range of initiatives are required, especially for low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) who experience the greatest burden. In addition to cost-effective evidence-informed programs, better data is required at a local level to help with the development, targeting, communication and evaluation of drowning prevention initiatives.   <Read more here>


Rebecca Ivers public health responseStop the snark and politicking. And get on with delivering an effective public health response
There is no doubt that NSW Health has incredible leadership and has appropriately and rapidly tailored the state response to the virus as new data and research emerge. However, the strong public health response our agencies would like to deliver is being increasingly challenged through politicisation by politicians and the media.  <Read more here>


Will mask wearing stick?We’ve become used to wearing masks during COVID. But does that mean the habit will stick?
Evidence shows masks are effective at reducing the spread of COVID-19 in the community. And public health experts have argued face masks will continue to be an important measure in our fight against the virus for some time to come. But moving forward — as more people get vaccinated and outbreaks hopefully become fewer and smaller — is mask use likely to stick?  <Read more here>


COVID-19 vaccination glossary to help non-English speakers
COVID-19 vaccination glossary will be distributed across Australia in 31 languages after being developed by UNSW A/Prof Holly Seale in partnership with NSW Health. The COVID-19 Glossary of Immunisation and Vaccine Development, launched by NSW Health, aims to provide plain language meanings to complex immunisation and vaccine development and terms.  <Read more here>


Image - Scott MorrisonDo the public need clearer guidance when it comes to vaccine messaging?
The Prime Minister is asking people in Greater Sydney to consider bringing forward their second AstraZeneca dose but what is the official health advice?  “There are already very mixed feelings amongst the community regarding the AstraZeneca vaccine and so changing the information regarding dose timing may impact the confidence of some people.”  <Read more here>


Immunisation opportunities overlookedImmunisation opportunities overlooked for high-risk Australians
Could the implementation of hospital-based immunisation services increase vaccination numbers for middle and older aged Australians? The goal of this project was to examine existing missed opportunities and potential for vaccination in hospitals. One option to increase uptake is to vaccinate outside of the traditional primary care setting by capitalising on opportunities in other health contexts, such as hospitals.   <Read more here>


Image prison fenceMental health tops the list of priorities for people in prison
New research outlines the health research priorities of people in prison according to people in prison themselves, with mental health ranked the most pressing. Researchers from the School conducted the study due to a lack of consultation with people in prison regarding research about them, despite community consultation being routine practice in designing and conducting health and medical research in the general population.  <Read more here>


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