School of Population Health

Student Profile

Jason Alacapa image
Master of Public Health (MPH) with specialisation in Economic Evaluation / Master of Health Management (MHM) (Dual Degree)
Mode of study : 
Full-time; Internal face-to-face classes
Country : 
Philippines
Previous Education : 
Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), Doctor of Medicine (MD), Master of Business Administration (MBA)

I chose to enrol in a degree at the School of Public Health and Community Medicine because UNSW is the only university which offers an innovative dual master's degree of the Master of Public Health (MPH) and Master of Health Management (MHM). Additionally, you can specialise in a specific area of public health that fits your envisioned career. This gives you a branding in three areas - public health, management, and a sub-specialty in public health - thus increasing your overall competitiveness. Another reason why I chose UNSW is its culture of innovation. While there could be potentially higher ranked schools of public health, the culture of innovation is ingrained in the DNA of UNSW as a university; hence, it trickles to the School of Public Health. As evidence, UNSW SPHCM is trailblazing in areas such as infectious disease intelligence, biosecurity, and modelling.

Most important thing learned

The most important thing is the value of people to people connections. I believe that building networks is the cornerstone of fighting complex problems such as those in public health and UNSW SPHCM greatly increased my network. 

Most challenging thing

The most challenging part is adjusting to a different educational system as an international student. For the Philippines, we follow the American curriculum; however, in Australia, they follow the British system. From objective exams, the focus has shifted to critical writings for assessments. At first it was very challenging, but the professors are quite helpful. One can easily ask clarifications and tips on how to work on the paper.

Enjoyed the most

I enjoyed the experience of studying and working at UNSW at the same time. Working with several professors as a research assistant gave me the opportunity for direct application of the things I have learned. Furthermore, the School offers internship placement within its prescribed curriculum. These placements could be within UNSW, Australia, and abroad including the World Health Organization headquarters in Geneva.

Message to newly commencing students

Enjoy your learning at UNSW! You will enjoy the flexibility of internal and external modes of learning and even if you're an internal student, you will still have access to online contents after class. You can watch lectures and revisit other learning materials at your own convenience.

How degree will assist in your career

My degree of MPH in Economic Evaluation and MHM will help me contribute to the nascent health technology assessment (HTA) field in the Philippines. This comes in an opportune time that the Philippines is rolling out the Universal Health Care law. Through my UNSW degree, I would be able to make sure that the limited resources that our country has for public health shall be allocated to those who need it the most.