The School of Public Health can help you expand your knowledge and career options through innovative research in areas such as child health development, economic modelling, health impacts of climate change, community engagement, health technology assessment, health policy and evidence synthesis and review.
If you wish to progress professionally in the area of public health or a related field, whatever your disciplinary background, a higher degree by research at the School of Public Health provides the ideal foundation.
Our world-leading researchers can offer you access to a comprehensive research portfolio, with a particular emphasis on health services research, health policy analysis, child health development, health economics and evidence synthesis and review—each highlighted by the McKeon Review’s report into Australia’s health and medical research sector (2013) as strategic for population health research.
Some specific areas of focus include: evidence-based service provision and health program evaluation; preventive, clinical and occupational (chronic diseases) epidemiology; and the development of public health databases. This is in addition to the 2013-2015 NHMRC Strategic Plan National Priority Areas: Indigenous health; primary health care; healthy start for a healthy life; new and emerging health threats; and health in the Asia-Pacific region.
Our greatest research strengths
School of Public Health researchers undertake a range of research projects, covering a variety of areas. These include: child and adolescent health; surgical and health systems innovation; ageing, frailty and mobility; translational health outcomes; nutrition and metabolic health; and immunology and infection.
This has led to significant discoveries in many fields, including: the global burden of disease; early influences on health and women’s health; global health; and behavioural risk factors for cancer prevention.
Learn more about the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences’ research.
Advance within multiple research units and groups
Studying at the school will give you the opportunity to undertake research with a range of differently focused groups, including:
Adelaide Exposure Science and Health
Adelaide Exposure Science and Health investigates the impacts of occupational and environmental hazards on human health, and includes expertise in industry-wide studies in health care, pest control, manufacturing, emergency services and mining industries.
Adelaide Health Technology Assessment
Adelaide Health Technology Assessment (AHTA) undertakes evidence-based research and assessment of health interventions to inform policy and practice, shaping public access to medicines, tests, devices and procedures.
BetterStart | Child Health and Development Research Group
BetterStart’s research aims to understand how to ensure infants and children have the best start to life. Our studies focus on ways to enhance health and development throughout their life course.
Communities, People and Health Research Group
The Communities, People and Health Research Group focuses on how communities respond to health issues and participate in health care. We are interested in the way culture intersects with: health behaviours, health providers, and health policy and the provision of, and access to, health services.
Environment and Health Research Group
With research interests in environmental health, climate change, emergency public health event response (such as heatwaves) and population health, the Environment and Health Research Group also explores how risk, adaptation and preparedness messages and practices can provide coping mechanisms for environmental and climatic stresses within communities.
Health Workforce Planning Group
The aim of the Health Workforce Planning Group is to provide an evidence-based approach to planning and maintaining the primary care workforce, with interdisciplinary research involving education, health economics, biostatistics and epidemiology.
JBI develops and delivers unique evidence-based information, software, education and training designed to improve health care practice and health outcomes. It translates evidence into action at the legislative, policy, health system and clinical practice levels.
Life Course and Intergenerational Health Group
The growth and development of a child are intimately linked to the health and wellbeing of the mother, and in turn, a woman’s health is influenced by her current family circumstances, her own life experiences, and her health inheritance from previous generations. The Life Course and Intergenerational Health Group (LIGHt) seeks to understand the interplay of social and biological factors that influence health over the life course.
SAHMRI’s Health Policy Centre
Led by Professor Caroline Miller and Dr Jacqueline Bowden, the SAHMRI Health Policy Centre conducts behavioural research, policy research, population monitoring and evaluation to inform public policy and population health interventions. The centre conducts independent research and provides evidence syntheses and expert advisory consultancies and actively engages with policy makers and non-government organisations for improved health outcomes.
How to get started in research
If you’re keen to challenge yourself and potentially pursue a career in research, but aren’t sure where to start, consider applying for our Bachelor of Health and Medical Sciences (Honours).
The honours degree enables you to research an area of personal interest, and develop the skills required for postgraduate study at a higher level (see below). You’ll undertake a research project, prepare a report for publication, and—in the process—acquire a potential point of difference in the eyes of employers. Find out more about applying for honours within the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences.
Postgraduate Public Health research degrees
The School of Public Health has a strong research record and can supervise students in the fields of women's and children's health, health services and health systems research, community-based research and environmental health, particularly communicable diseases and occupational health.
The school has expertise in research design and statistical analysis, epidemiology, clinical trials methodology, health services research, ethics in public health, public policy, health economics modelling, qualitative analysis, occupational health and safety, communicable diseases, and in teaching and thesis supervision, including cross-disciplinary supervision.
We offer three research degrees:
Master of Philosophy (Public Health)
The Master of Philosophy (Public Health) degree is conducted over two years of full-time study. It will train you in research methodology and techniques, and engage you in advanced, critical evaluation of public health literature and results.
Master of Clinical Science
The Master of Clinical Science is a two-year (full-time) research degree provides an introduction to clinically-based research.
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is our flagship research award and is the standard qualification for a research career or academic position. It is a stepping stone to a range of career opportunities and involves three – four years of research for a full-time candidate.
If you’re searching for a research project topic, we've put together a collection of currently available research projects suitable for students interested in undertaking supervised research within our school. You can find out more about them in our Student Research Project booklet and the Research Opportunities Guide.
Although the projects listed target our established research programs, we will also consider other research topics or projects.
Ready to take the next step?
You’ll find full admission requirements for each of these degrees in the University’s Graduate Centre Academic Program Rules.
For more information on how to apply for a higher degree by research or if you have any queries, visit the Adelaide Graduate Research School.