School of Population Health

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Bachelor of International Public Health

About the Program

Do you want to tackle global health issues and join a profession that operates across borders? The Bachelor of International Public Health will provide you with an understanding of the key issues impacting the health of populations around the world.

This three-year degree is available in dual mode delivery. There is the option to come and study some of the courses on the UNSW Sydney campus or you can complete the degree fully online. You can undertake the Bachelor of International Public Health on a full or part-time basis, at a pace that suits your needs. It will prepare you to design and implement new public health approaches for emerging social issues including the impacts of climate change and an increasingly connected world on health.

Why study public or population health?

Clinical medicine equips healthcare workers to treat individuals who get sick or injured, one patient at a time. Public or Population Health is designed to prevent people in a population or a community from getting sick or injured and to provide solutions when they do. This is done through tackling the root causes of ill-health improving quality of life so fewer people need to go to the doctor or take medication. In comparison public Health can take many forms, for example:

  • Investigating health problems and hazards in the community
  • Educating people about healthy behaviours
  • Designing programs to prevent the spread of disease
  • Addressing causes of health inequity and inequality
  • Guiding government health policies and programs

International public health involves taking a worldwide perspective. Public health issues and responses are considered in the context of changing patterns of disease and injury of populations within and across countries. This program will prepare you with the global public health knowledge and skillsets for professional opportunities in a wide range of local and global contexts, as well as to transition to a higher degree, including graduate medicine, Master’s program, or PhD.

The BIPH is designed to build and strengthen the international public health workforce to help offset a projected shortfall of 18 million health workers worldwide. It reflects 21st century best practice on transforming public health education using both online and face to face learning opportunities in an increasingly globalised world.

Watch video below for an introduction to the Bachelor of Public Health and hear about student experiences.  Also view a Fiji Case Study:


Areas of Study

Our course material has been developed by UNSW Sydney and Arizona State University. Moving away from the traditional classroom, this innovative degree will immerse you in a global learning setting. You will study with students from Australia, the United States and around the world, bringing a global perspective to your education.

You’ll explore a range of case studies, spanning international contexts and population health issues and priorities. Some of the issues you’ll consider include:

  • Why are some communities prone to infectious disease outbreaks?
  • How will climate change impact the health of populations?
  • How do we address the growing impact of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer?
  • Why are women still dying in childbirth?
  • How do we measure changes in disease patterns over time?

The degree examines infectious and non-infectious diseases, women’s and children’s health, mental illness, indigenous health and environmental health.

All courses are closely interconnected to support a coherent degree experience and prepare you for new approaches to emerging global public health issues. The courses within this degree will develop your skills in areas such as:

  • community empowerment
  • community partnerships and self-determination
  • advocacy and community engagement
  • effective communication
  • critical thinking
  • cultural competence
  • independent work
  • research methods in health
  • systems thinking
  • teamwork and leadership.

You’ll also complete a capstone experience, with the option of either a research project, internship or public health study abroad tour.

Program Structure

Program Structure

There are a range of learning options available for you in this degree. You may wish to come onto campus and complete all or some of the UNSW delivered courses (prefix PHCM) at the Sydney campus. Alternatively, you can complete all the courses fully online. The courses delivered by Arizona State University will need to be completed online.

(Courses with prefix PHCM are delivered by UNSW and courses with prefix YMED are delivered by ASU)

Year 1 (42 UOC)
YMED1008 Introduction to Global Health (6 UOC)
PHCM1001 International Indigenous Health (6 UOC)
YMED1001 Introduction to Population Health (6 UOC)
YMED1003 General Biology (6 UOC)
YMED1005 Introduction to Human Anatomy and Physiology (6 UOC)
Two General Education courses: GENED choice of online courses available at UNSW (12 UOC)
Year 3 (54 UOC)
PHCM3001 Ethics in Public Health (6 UOC)
PHCM3003 Public Health Capstone (6 UOC)
PHCM3007 Applied Public Health Practice (6 UOC)
YMED3006 Comparative Health Systems (6 UOC)
YMED3007 Environmental & Occupational Health (6 UOC)
Four electives from the list below (24 UOC):

There are other elective options available to students to complete at the Sydney Campus or online. An extended list of electives can be obtained by contacting the School on

Career Pathways

Targeted to meet the needs of students wherever they are based, this degree provides a stepping stone to a career in international public health or international development. Through unique course offerings and flexible online delivery, PLuS Alliance graduates will stand out amongst their peers and gain a perspective on global public health which is truly valued by key employers. Graduates will be equipped with core skills for a career in public health, epidemiology, health protection, health promotion or surveillance and disease prevention.

Potential careers outcomes include: Public Health Officer, Health Promotion Officer, Health Professionals, Health Information Manager, Community Health Officer, Policy Officer, Program or Project Administrator, Education Professionals, Public health advocate, Epidemiologist, Health communications specialist, Government and research assistant positions in health promotion and health economics.

Potential employers include government agencies (such as health departments), research centres and multinationals/ development agencies (e.g. UN, World Bank, CDC, WHO, AHRC, and MSF). Graduates may also pursue a research career in public health or seek higher studies, such as a graduate medical program, Master’s program or PhD.

How to Apply

How to Apply

Domestic Applicants

Applications must be submitted through Universities Admission Centre ) (UAC). Click here to view the UAC Bachelor of International Public Heath page.

UAC Code: 428200

Click here for information on entry requirements .

The main closing date for UAC applications Term 1, 2021 domestic applicants is 30 September 2020 and the final deadline is 22 January 2021.

International Applicants

International applicants can apply:

The deadline for on-time UNSW Apply Online applications for international applicants for Term 1, 2021 entry (mid-February start) is 30 November 2021. The deadline for Term 2, 2021 entry (end of May start) is 31 March 2021. Applications can be submitted after this date subject to places being available.

Course Outlines

Click on the following links to view a course description and outline of the BIPH UNSW courses:

PHCM1001 International Indigenous Health
PHCM2001 Epidemiology
PHCM2002 Biostatistics
PHCM2003 Health Promotion
PHCM2004 Communicable Disease
PHCM2005 Principles of Prevention & Public Health Surveillance
PHCM2006 Public Health Policy & Programs
PHCM2007 Health Leadership
PHCM2009 Global Chronic Disease Prevention and Control
PHCM3001 Ethics in Public Health
PHCM3003 Public Health Capstone
PHCM3004 Women's and Children's Health
PHCM3007 Applied Public Health Practice


Click on the following links to view a course description of the BIPH ASU courses:

YMED1001 Introduction to Public Health
YMED1003 General Biology
YMED1005 Introduction to Anatomy & Physiology
YMED1008 Introduction to Global Health
YMED3007 Environmental & Occupational Health




Academic Highlights


Holly Seale


Dr Holly Seale

Social scientist, Dr Holly Seale is Director of the Bachelor of International Public Health (BIPH) at the School of Population Health, and co-convenes a Masters course in infectious disease and the School's internship program. Holly has over 12 years of experience in infectious disease, public health and health service research focusing on the attitudes and behaviours of the community, health consumers and healthcare providers. In response to COVID-19, Holly provides ongoing media commentary and has had several papers published. She has also prepared a rapid review of the factors impacting on engagement with community mitigation strategies, is looking at the immunisation acceptance of novel vaccines, and has led a group of researchers on a community study to identify perceptions of risk and acceptance of strategies, in collaboration with her Masters and PhD students, and colleagues from the NSW Ministry of Health. 

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Image Adam Craig


Dr Adam Craig

Dr Craig is the Deputy Director of the Bachelor of International Public Health (BIPH) program, a Lecturer in Global Health, and a researcher focusing on novel disease outbreak early warning surveillance systems in Pacific Island nations. Joining the School of Population Health in 2017 after 16 years of field epidemiology experience, he has worked with international agencies including UNICEF, World Health Organization, World Bank, and others. In tackling COVID-19, Adam has been seconded to NSW Health and is a team leader in the Operations part of the Public Health Emergency Operations Centre. Adam talks about what this role entails, his current research, and the practical skills students can take from the School’s public health and infectious disease programs, especially in response to COVID-19.

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Abrar Chughtai image


Dr Abrar Chughtai

Dr Abrar Chughtai is the director of the Master of Infectious Diseases Intelligence program in the School of Population Health. Abrar is a medically trained infectious diseases epidemiologist with extensive experience in developing public health programs and infectious diseases research. His research interests include epidemiology and control of emerging infections, focusing on the use of face masks and other personal protective equipment in healthcare settings. He teaches undergraduate and postgraduate infectious diseases courses at the School.  Abrar is an emerging leader on personal protective equipment research, and is currently contributing his expertise to inform policy on the use of protective equipment for the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Image Adam Howie


Adam Howie

Adam Howie is a Bardi man from the Kimberly’s in Western Australia. He spent the first part of his working life in the Navy on surface ships and then submarines. Upon leaving the Navy Adam stated on his journey within health. He has extensive experience working within Emergency Services in Western Australia and New South Wales as a Paramedic and Intensive Care Paramedic. He has performed this role in remote, rural and metropolitan locations. Adam has spent the past 2 ½ years working within Justice Health and Forensic Mental Health Network in NSW as a Population Health Trainee. Adam is passionate about custodial health and patient advocacy, and currently doing a MPH. He is looking forward to being a part of research into aged care, Aboriginal health and Culturally and Linguistically Diverse health population provision within the custodial and forensic settings.


Image Kristen Beek


Dr Kristen Beek

Kristen Beek is a social scientist and public health researcher from the School of Population Health at UNSW. She has a background in applied anthropology, humanitarian health research and capacity development, and public health research in Australia and internationally. Her areas of particular research interest are in sexual, reproductive, maternal and child health in humanitarian settings and she has researched and worked with United Nations agencies, international and local non-governmental organisations, and academic institutions in this field in the Philippines, Indonesia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, and the Pacific. Kristen has developed training packages on responding to sexual and reproductive health needs in complex humanitarian settings, and is currently involved in research on frontline workers’ experiences in responding to domestic and family violence during the Covid-19 pandemic in Australia, and the impact of training and capacity development work on the provision of sexual and reproductive health information and services in disaster contexts in the Pacific.


Student Profiles


Fenella McKirdy


Fenella McKirdy

Fenella McKirdy is due to complete her Bachelor of International Public Health degree in 2021. She is an accredited ballet teacher with Australian Teachers of Dancing, a member of AusDance and has danced professionally in Australia and internationally. Fenella’s goal is to make dance participation programs more accessible, inclusive, and equitable for those living with disabilities.  She says, “Dance (specifically Ballet) has many physical and emotional benefits, and I would like to see all people be able to participate.” 

"Through online study, I have been able to take courses at both Arizona State University and UNSW. This allowed me to study anywhere, and as a result I was able to complete part of my degree overseas. All my lecturers and tutors have been engaging and responsive. Although I have been studying online, each subject has been immersive and fulfilling. "

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