Frequently asked questions


What is the degree called?

The degree is a Masters of Philosophy in Applied Epidemiology, which is abbreviated to MPhil (App Epid). The degree is also known colloquially as the ‘MAE’ degree.


How many students may be enrolled each year?

The program can accommodate 8-10 students each year. As the program is a ‘field based’ program it is vital that students have an established placement.


How is funding for the program organised?

The MPhil (App Epid) is a research degree, which means that some funding for the program comes from the Department of Education Workplace Relations. The funding for students comes from ‘field placements’, either as salary for employees, or as a scholarship administered through ANU.


Are students required to pay for the program?

As the degree is a research degree, there are no tuition fees associated with the degree. The student is required to purchase books and other personal costs associated with their studies.


Who is responsible for funding students?

Field placements will support scholars either as: employees, or by providing a tax-free scholarship to the student through the Australian National University.


How long is the degree?

The MPhil (App Epid) will take two years to complete fulltime.


Is part-time study possible?

Yes, part-time study is possible for the MPhil (App Epid). Part-time study requires that the student would take 3-4 years to complete the degree. Part-time students would still need to have an established relationship with a ‘field placement’. Part-time enrolments will only be approved in special circumstances


How does the application process work?

There is one intake of MAE students each year. Applications for the 2015 program are open until 31 August 2014. People interested in applying for the MPhil (App Epid) should review the application pack and apply online. For further information regarding the application process, contact the ANU College of Medicine Biology & Environment Higher Degree Student Administrator.


What do students need to do to pass the degree?

As part of the degree program, students will need to complete five coursework subjects: outbreak investigation, public health surveillance, public health data analysis, applied epidemiological methods, and issues in applied epidemiology. MPhil (App Epid) students must maintain a distinction average in all coursework subjects undertaken. In addition, scholars need to complete a thesis outlining how they met core competencies for the degree.


What are the core competencies for the degree?

The core competencies for the MPhil (App Epid) are: (1) investigate an outbreak or participate in a response to an acute health emergency, (2) establish or evaluate a public health surveillance system, (3) design and conduct an epidemiological study on a public health dataset, (4) present an epidemiological study at a national or international conference, (5) prepare a late draft of a peer reviewed paper for submission to a journal, (6) communicate epidemiological findings to a lay audience, and (7) participate as a teacher in an introductory epidemiology course.


How do I get a field placement?

There are two pathways to identifying a field placement within the MAE.  The first is where a specific individual is put forward by their workplace.  Usually this is a workplace where the individual is already an employee, and their job allows them scope to complete the MAE requirements.  Potential scholars interested in pursuing this pathway should discuss with their workplace and then jointly contact the Convener of the MAE program. Potential scholars would still need to apply for the MAE during the call for applications during September.

The second pathway is where potential scholars apply, as part of a general intake for students in September each year.  The applications will then be reviewed and ranked by a number of potential placements, who will indicate which students they are interested in. Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed by MAE program staff and potential field placements. Potential applicants in this category do not need to approach potential placements for the MAE program.


Is the degree open to overseas students?

The MAE is available to overseas students, if they have a suitable field placement and are able to attend required coursework as part of the program.  However non-Australian citizens who do not hold Australian permanent residency will be liable for tuition fees for the course. New Zealand residents are considered domestic students and are not required to pay tuition fees.


Is a Masters of Public Health (MPH) a suitable pre-requisite for admission to the MAE program?

Applicants for the MAE program should have completed basic graduate level subjects on epidemiology and biostatistics. An MPH degree is a good qualification for people to become familiar with public health and epidemiology. Many MAE scholars have completed an MPH degree prior to enrolling in the MAE degree.


How much time is spent in the field placement and at teaching sessions?

MAE scholars spend the majority of their time in their field placement working on projects relating to the work of the placement organisation. During the course of the two years, MAE scholars come to ANU for intensive coursework teaching in Canberra for a total of 4-6 weeks during the two-years. MAE scholars also attend on-line learning sessions as part of the training program.

Updated:  23 June 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director/Page Contact:  Webmaster