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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PHCM 9792 - Everything you need to know about injury (and more)

In term 1, 2022 the School of Population Health will again offer ‘Injury Epidemiology, Prevention and Control’ (PHCM9792) as a 6UOC elective in the Master of Public Health and the Master of Global Health. Co-convened by Head of the School Professor Rebecca Ivers and National Health and Medical Research Council fellow Dr Amy Peden, the course will be offered in external mode and takes a global view of injury-related harm and its prevention. More information on the course can be found here.


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Professor Alta Schutte: championing global action to tackle high blood pressure

Professor Alta Schutte is Principal Theme Lead of Cardiac, Vascular and Metabolic Medicine in the UNSW Faculty of Medicine and Health and co-chair of the Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) Research Stream at UNSW School of Population Health. Alta has a joint appointment as Professorial Fellow in the Cardiovascular Division at The George Institute for Global Health, and is co-lead of the Sydney Partnership for Health, Education, Research and Enterprise (SPHERE) Cardiac and Vascular Clinical Academic Group. Alta joined the School in February 2020.  

"By working from the context of population health, we can improve health in hundreds to thousands of people, instead of treating a single patient at a time. But we need to develop novel, cost-effective strategies to achieve this. Whether through better medication, better detection and monitoring of high blood pressure, or better overall healthcare and environmental changes, there is a lot of work to be done globally,” said Professor Schutte. 

Read more about Alta here  



Research students dream to impact global policy comes true

Master of Public Health students, Eleanor Bruyn and Long Nguyen, conducted a review of health system readiness for using single-pill combination therapy for high blood pressure in 30 low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) which started as a research project and ended up informing a World Health Organization (WHO) policy brief.

Reflecting on the project, Eleanor said: “This work has given me the opportunity to learn from experienced researchers and has shown me that so many factors can influence health at the population level and that collaboration and cooperation across sectors is essential to achieve the most meaningful outcomes.” 

Long said. “It was incredibly exciting to witness the immediate application of our research into the real world - I always dreamt of working for the WHO but did not expect this with my course." "The experience has made me feel a lot more equipped and confident in initiating my own research into other public or global health challenges in the future.” 

Eleanor and Long hope this work will lead to tangible changes in hypertension care globally. 

Read more here


See more SPH student profiles . . .



Image Joel RheeAssociate Professor of General Practice appointed to the School
UNSW School of Population welcomes Joel Rhee as Associate Professor of General Practice who is the current chair of the RACGP Cancer and Palliative care network, and GP clinical lead at the HammondCare Centre for Positive Ageing and Care. A/P Rhee’s clinical and academic career has been focused on improving the care of people who are most in need.  <Read more here>


image international borders openInternational borders are about to open, but our research shows the plight of stranded Australians is not over 
Australia’s international borders are due to reopen next month for people returning to states with 80% vaccination rates. But this does not mean the plight of Australians who have been stranded overseas during the pandemic is over.  <Read more here>


Image covid vaccination statusHow to broach the sensitive question of COVID vaccination status
It isn’t mandatory to be vaccinated and some regard it as a private matter. Researchers say the best way to protect younger kids, and adults, from COVID is to ensure as many adults as possible are fully vaccinated. But how should you ask someone if they are vaccinated?   <Read more here>


Aboriginal All Stars at Football Park, Darwin. Stephen Cherry/AAPSport and physical activity play important roles for Indigenous communities, but there are barriers
Physical activity and sport are important in Indigenous cultures. How can barriers to participation be removed? Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show fewer than four in ten Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults are doing enough physical activity. This is despite high Indigenous representation in professional sport, for example in Rugby League and AFL.  <Read more here>


Rohina JoshiAssociate Professor Rohina Joshi appointed to lead new program in global health
A/Prof Joshi, a global health and health systems researcher, brings to the School a breadth of experience in developing low-cost healthcare models to deliver comprehensive primary health care and improving health information systems in low- and middle-income countries.  UNSW’s leadership in public health teaching in Australia and the Asia-Pacific, attracted A/Prof Joshi to the School of Population Health.  <Read more here>


Image covid-19 vialVaccine equity – a strategy for survival
What does vaccine equity look like? How do we stop COVID-19 becoming a disease of poverty? How can everyone be ‘free’ when freedom is dictated by equitable access to vaccines? We welcomed an esteemed panel of vaccine experts to explore not only the complexities in answering these questions, but also the imperative to shift perception of vaccine equity from a moral issue to one of global survival.   <Read more here>


Photo: Seth Wenig/AP/AAPSoon you'll need to be vaccinated to enjoy shops, cafes and events - but what about the staff there?
A feature of of Sydney and Melbourne roadmaps will be the requirement to be fully vaccinated to do certain things like gather with larger groups of friends or enter venues including hairdressers, hospitality, gyms and entertainment. This raises several considerations, including whether staff have to be vaccinated, and how staff will check people’s COVID vaccination status, enforce the rules, and deal with abuse hurled at them by non-compliant customers.   <Read more here>


Spotlight Chief Health OfficersChief health officers are in the spotlight like never before. Here's what goes on behind the scenes
Until COVID-19, few people knew anything about Australia’s chief medical officer or the state and territories’ chief health officers. Now they are front and centre of the news cycle. But media coverage misses the nuances of the role.   <Read more here>


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