Meet our future health leaders inspiring the next generation!

Hear the candidates discuss why they joined the program, about their studies, and the value of the program to their professional development and careers.


Entry into the DrPH program is via Expression of Interest and application to UNSW Sydney for any term. This program is only opened to domestic applicants.

Please refer to the How to Apply section below for information on the application process.

For information about PhD, Masters by Research and coursework masters programs at the School of Population Health please see Related Links for information on these programs.

The UNSW Future Health Leaders Program is a work-place based professional doctorate (minimum 3 years full time or equivalent) for candidates identified by the workplace as future leaders, and comprises a combination of higher degree research activities supported by selected coursework offerings. The focus of additional coursework and workshops in the DrPH program will be Research Translation, Research Methods, Health Management, Public Health, and Health Leadership. The training is provided while candidates work full-time in their workplace, complemented by a series of coursework activities that support the completion of the research activities and translation of research findings into impacts.

The School of Population Health (SPH) offers a unique Professional Doctorate in Applied Public Health (DrPH) which is designed to be delivered in partnership with a suitable health workplace. The DrPH as a qualification is aimed at strengthening practitioner based knowledge and practice with graduates able to generate and use evidence within the context of real-world challenges and priorities.

As a qualification, it is in line with international trends demonstrating the advantages of a professional doctorate for practitioners and leaders in public health and health management as an alternative to a PhD. Graduates of the professional doctorate are recognised as advanced health professionals and practitioner researchers who can take on senior and leadership roles within public health and health service settings.

The program provides an advanced degree, equivalent to a PhD under the Australian TEQSA framework, through i) selected coursework, ii) yearly skills workshops, and iii) workplace-based research projects involving support from UNSW academic and workplace supervisors. Candidates fulfil the requirements for the DrPH while working, through related workplace experience, formal educational activities, coursework, seminars and workshops, and a thesis which reflects original research undertaken during the program. Candidates are supervised by a team of academic supervisors and workplace supervisors for the duration of their candidature.

The model offered at UNSW is an elite program with limited placements and requires partnership with a health focussed workplace. The candidate must be nominated by the partnering workplace and must have a Masters in Public Health or equivalent qualification to be eligible. There is a requirement during the initial part of the DrPH program which is the completion of 48 Units of Credit (UOC) of coursework activities in support of the proposed research and academic development. An advanced standing pathway for the coursework component is available for up to 24 Units of Credit for UNSW graduates who have completed a coursework masters in a directly relevant discipline, subject to approval by the Dean of Graduate Research, on request during the application process.  48 UOC total of postgraduate coursework must be completed in the program. 18 UOC of which is comprised of three of the annual one week intensive workshop activities. The remainder of coursework (30 UOC) is completed from current SPH electives and core subjects and must be completed during the DrPH program during the first 1-2 years EFTSL (or 3-4 years PT load).

The DrPH is a work-based program, and our objective is to partner with health workplaces to produce highly competent multidisciplinary professionals in public health and health management for health workplaces in Australia and overseas (such as ministries of health, government and non-government health organisations and hospitals).

How to Apply

Applicants can express their interest to enter the program at any time of the year. Entry is conducted on a case-by-case basis in accordance with the Higher Degree Research program entry requirements of UNSW Sydney. Please note that this program is only opened to domestic applicants.

All candidates are required to complete and submit the  DrPH Expression of Interest Form with supporting documentation. The Postgraduate Coordinators for the DrPH program will assess the information provided in your EOI form within four (4) weeks from the EOI submission and will provide direct feedback and advice regarding suitability to commence the program, and further assistance in progressing through the assessment process. 

Applications for entry into the program will only be supported once the following criteria are met:

  1. EOI suitability assessment and written feedback to the applicant from the DrPH Postgraduate Coordination Team (PGC team)
  2. A written agreement with a suitable academic supervisory team.
  3. An interview between applicant, proposed academic supervisors, and workplace supervisors, with the DrPH PGC team.
  4. Formal written letter of support for enrolment from the DrPH PGC team.

Please note: All applicants who do not have an assessable qualification undertaken and assessed in English, must provide evidence that their English language ability meets the minimum requirements for admission. Please refer to the UNSW English Language Requirements website for further information.

Application Process     

Step Description
Step 1

Applicants are to submit an EOI form accompanied by supporting documentation to DrPH PGC team for review. EOI form is available here

Step 2

Applicants will receive a written response by the DrPH PGC team no later than 4 weeks after receipt of EOI form.

The PGCs will respond to EOIs and provide advice to prospective candidates regarding their proposed research area. (Note: prospective students unable to meet DrPH and HDR entry requirements are provided with advice and options to meet their circumstances).

Step 3

Applicants are must approach and establish an agreement with a proposed supervisory team including at least one full-time academic at the School of Population Health as Primary Supervisor.

Step 4

Proposed supervisory arrangement is established in writing.

Step 5

The DrPH PGC team will conduct a formal interview with the applicant, proposed academic supervisory team and workplace supervisory team. This will include a detailed discussion of the coursework realisation plan, any applications for coursework credit, and ensuring necessary pre-requisite education and experience is in place to ensure the candidate has the capacity to undertake the proposed research. Key risks will be discussed and management planned.

Step 6

The DrPH PGC team will advise the applicant and supervisory team of outcome no later than 7 days after the formal interview. The applicant is then required to submit their completed and PGC supported application to the Graduate Research School through existing channels and prior to any submission deadlines for intended candidacy start dates.

Step 7

Offer letters are sent to the prospective DrPH students by UNSW.

Step 8

Enrolment is finalised with UNSW Graduate Research School. Entry into the DrPH program is then commenced in any UNSW term (Summer, T1, T2, and T3) in accordance with the candidate's individual requirements.

First 1-2 years of DrPH program

Complete coursework requirement (up to 48 UOC of coursework, dependent on individual circumstances and recognition of prior learning)

August each year

Future Health Leaders program skills and community of research workshop (contributes a total of 18 UOC of coursework over the course of the program).


Please note: The School of Population Health's internal process with the DrPH PGC team comprises Steps 1-7 of the above process. Once applicants receive support from the DrPH PGC team, they will be given instructions on how to apply formally through the Graduate Research School (GRS) at UNSW Sydney.

Further information

The UNSW Future Health Leaders Program is now advertised continuously for commencement in any term. You are strongly encouraged to begin the process as outlined above as early as possible, at least 6-12 months prior to your desired entry into the program. Suggested timeframes for commencement of the EOI and assessment process are contained in the EOI form.

Individuals who are considering applying should discuss the program with their employer as soon as possible. Entry into the program will not be supported by the DrPH PGC team without written agreement with your workplace, and an interview with the prospective workplace supervisor.

DrPH Postgraduate Coordinators (PGC) Team