The internship course (6UOC) aims to provide students enrolled in the Master of Public Health, Master of Global Health, Master of Infectious Diseases Intelligence or Master of Health Leadership and Management degree programs (or dual degrees), with the opportunity to gain real-world experience in a relevant health partner/organisation through a workplace internship of 168 hours either full- or part-time.

During the course, interns will have an opportunity to make valuable contributions to partner/organisation initiatives that may involve areas such as:

  • policy development, planning or evaluation associated with the delivery of public health or healthcare services
  • the preparation, appraisal and implementation of health-related projects. 

The activities and focus of the internship will be relevant to the partner/organisation and student and can be either project- or normal operations-based.

Mode of study


Course Authority

Dr Abrar Chughtai         

+61 (2) 9385 1009

Course Convenor

Dr Suzanne Schibeci
+61 (2) 9348 0581

WIL Central and Careers Administration

+61 (2) 9385 0581



Pre-requisite courses: None

This is a merit-based course and internships will be awarded based on the outcomes of submitted written responses to questions. In order to be eligible to apply, students must:

  • be enrolled in either Master of Public Health, Master of Global Health, Master of Infectious Diseases Intelligence or Master of Health Leadership and Management degree programs (or dual degrees)
  • have completed at least 24 units of credit (UOC) by the start of the course*
  • have a minimum WAM 65, i.e. a credit average (65% or higher). 

*If you are enrolled part-time or in a double degree program, this criterion will not be waived. If you are enrolled full-time in a single degree, you are eligible to apply prior to completing the 24UOCs.

Application process

Applications open approximately three months before the start of term and will be advertised on the Application process tab.

More information can be found on the Application process tab.

Enrolment into course

Students cannot self-enrol into this course. The School of Population Health staff manually enrol students into the course, PHCM9143 – Internship, approximately one week before the start of term. 

During the course

Students are required to meet with the Course Authority regularly throughout the term. The timing of these meetings will be determined prior to the commencement of the term and will consist of a combination of individual check-ins and whole class discussions. Note that these are not optional, and all effort will be made to accommodate work and study commitments.

Students have the optional opportunity to access at least one personalised career coaching session which provides PHCM9143 students with the opportunity to individually meet with a UNSW Career Coach to plan their career and enhance their employability. These 30-minute sessions accommodate a variety of topics including career planning, building a CV, interview preparation, job advice and transition to or through the workforce.

Costs relating to the internship

The following costs will be the responsibility of the student: 

  • travel to and from the internship
  • accommodation (if applicable)
  • visa/immunisation (if applicable)
  • food and other sundries etc.

Items of expenditure connected with the completion of internship tasks will be borne by the partner/organisation. 

Internships are unpaid and interns will not receive any remuneration.

Course fees are listed in the UNSW Handbook.

This course is only available to currently enrolled School of Population Health students who meet the eligibility above.

Further enquiries can be directed to WIL Central.

Course outcomes

On successful completion of the internship, students will be able to:

  • demonstrate capacity to contribute to an partner/organisation within the parameters of an agreed internship
  • identify and delineate a significant practice-based area for inquiry and focus, within the internship
  • systematically collect and synthesise relevant information about the practice-based area of inquiry, drawing on relevant literature and workplace activities and experience
  • analyse, interpret and evaluate the outcomes from engagement with the practice-based area of inquiry
  • demonstrate capacity for self and professional reflection
  • provide a reflexive interpretation on the implications for future professional practice drawing upon the internship experience and relevant themes within the Masters program.

Application process

Applications open approximately three months before the start of term. Eligible students will receive an email inviting them to apply. 

1.  The application includes:

  • statement outlining why you are applying for the internship and what you hope to achieve by completing the internship (maximum 200 words)
  • CV (which will be forwarded to the partner)
  • projects placed in preference order by you
  • for each project you are interested in, a short statement on what attracts you to the project and how your experience makes you suitable.

2.    Students will meet with the Course Authority for an informal interview.

3.    The Course Authority will match students to the appropriate project.

4.    School staff will forward the students’ CV to the partner/organisation.

5.    The partner/organisation may ask to meet the students prior to accepting the student.

6.    Once the partner/organisation and the student have accepted the internship, they will negotiate an agreement including work schedule, responsibilities, WHS and risk management. 

7.    Before students can begin the internship, the student and partner/organisation will be required to complete the relevant paperwork with the risk assessment forms, agreements.


  • Students are not obligated to accept the project or partner/organisation during the application process.
  • The determination of whether or not the offer is satisfactory will be made solely by the placement organisation, according to their usual procedures, and their decision will be final.

Further enquiries can be directed to WIL Central.

Previously offered internships

Please note: Partner/organisations change each term 

1. Previous domestic internships

  • ASHM – Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine
  • Cancer Council NSW, Policy and Advocacy Unit
  • CHETRE – Centre for Health Equity Training and Evaluation (UNSW Sydney)
  • Collective Leisure
  • CPHCE – Centre for Primary Health Care Equity
  • Fun – Football United Program (School of Population Health)
  • Kirby Institute (Biosecurity Program)
  • NUAA – NSW Users and AIDS Association
  • OHPRD – Office of Health Protection and Response Division
  • SIWCF – Sydney Institute for Women, Children and their Families.

2. Previous international internships

  • CMMB – Catholic Medical Mission Board
  • Think Pacific Foundation (Fiji) (virtual)

Occasionally, placements may change or become unavailable due to issues beyond the control of the school.

Further enquiries can be directed to WIL Central.

Student internship testimonials

Find out what students have to say about their experiences in our internship course. Click on the names below to read testimonials about what they enjoyed in their program and how it will make a difference to their careers.

Caitlin Swift

Master of Public Health (MPH) / Master of International Public Health (MIPH) (Dual Degree)

I decided to enrol in the internship program as part of my degree at the School of Public Health and Community Medicine as I was very keen to get some real-world experience in public health to supplement my university Master of Public Health (MPH) / Master of International Public Health (MIPH) studies. I had previously only worked in clinical environments and felt that completing some work experience in a supportive environment would assist me with successfully shifting towards working in a public health environment.

I would definitely recommend the internship program to other students who would like to consolidate the knowledge and skills they have learnt during their studies, gain practical public health experience and strengthen their professional networks in public health.

I completed my internship during the last semester of my studies and was fortunate that a job opportunity I was newly eligible for actually arose during the last week of my placement. I applied for this job with my internship experience prominent within my application and am sure that the experience and skills I gained during my internship helped me to secure this position and transition smoothly into the public health workforce.

See full profile

Preethi Pandalaneni

Master of Public Health (MPH) with International Health Specialisation

I decided to enrol in the internship because I had been working on the Master of Public Health (International Health Specialisation) through distance education whilst practising as a pharmacist. The internship was a great opportunity to actively engage with the field of international public health by learning and building new skills, networking with professionals working in public health, contribute to projects in the international health sphere and help inform future career decisions.

The most rewarding aspect of the internship was being able to contribute to health policies that were affecting populations on a global scale and being guided through the process by professionals who have invaluable insight and knowledge in the field. It also offered the opportunity to get involved in wider regional events run by the United Nations to gain an idea of the scope of work that the organisations do and meet people from various career pathways working in international health.  

See full profile