Master of Philosophy in Applied Epidemiology(MAE)

Study Applied Epidemiology at ANU

The MPhil (Applied Epidemiology), also known as the MAE program, is a two year research degree that trains the public health leaders of the future. Through the MAE program, scholars undertake a work placement, a short period of intensive coursework, and complete a research thesis.

The MAE program is Australia’s only Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP) and is accredited by and part of the international network of Field Training Programs in Epidemiology & Public Health Interventions Network (TEPHINET). The MAE aims to build a highly skilled epidemiology workforce and strengthen capacity to prepare, protect and respond to communicable disease and other health threats in Australia and our region. Graduates of the MAE have gone onto hold senior positions in health departments in Australia and work for international organisations such as the World Health Organization and Medecins sans Frontieres.

The National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health has run the MAE program since 1991. The program has been extremely successful, producing over 230 graduates, who investigated over 300 outbreaks and established or evaluated surveillance systems. Fifteen per cent of graduates are Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander persons.

MAE is providing the tools to plan, control and respond to COVID-19

What you'll learn

MAE scholars spend the majority of their time in a field placement, typically a government health department or a research institute. While in their placements scholars complete at least four useful and important research projects to meet the following competencies:

  • Response to an acute public health threat (usually an outbreak investigation)
  • Analysis of a public health data set
  • Epidemiological project
  • Evaluation or establishing a surveillance system.

Learning in the field placements is supported by three coursework intensives at ANU (usually 3 weeks for the first course block followed by a further two x 2 week blocks) where scholars complete courses in outbreak investigation, public health surveillance, data analysis, applied research methods and issues in applied epidemiology. Scholars are also required to complete other course requirements including teaching, writing a peer review paper and presenting their work at a national or international conference.

Scholars write up their projects as well as their other requirements into a thesis that is submitted for examination (including an oral viva) to be awarded the degree MPhil (App Epid). 

The Master of Philosophy requires the completion of 30 units of coursework.

Download the Master of Applied Epidemiology flyer (302KB PDF).

    What it's like to study Applied Epidemiology

    Field placements in Australia

    MAE scholars receive on the job training in a field placement, typically a government health department or a research institute.

    ASEAN-Australia Health Security Fellowships

    Undertake the MAE in a field placement in South East Asia. Current placements include Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Myanmar.

    What does an epidemiologist do?

    ANU alumna Anita Williams reflects on her recent experience as a Field Management Officer in an HIV study in Malawi.

    Learn from the experts

    Dr Kamalini Lokuge, from the ANU Research School of Population Health, has 25 years of experience in high-risk epidemics as both a medical doctor and an epidemiologist. 

    Roxanne Jones

    Working with communities

    Learn by doing. Roxy spends most of her time in the field and writing up her findings. By the end of this year she will have completed four research projects about how culture influences Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing.

    Meet some of your teachers

    Professor Ross Andrews

    Ross's areas of expertise include infectious diseases, immunisation, vaccine-preventable diseases and skin infections. Ross is currently on a 12 month secondment assisting with the COVID-19 response.

    Dr Ben Polkinghorne

    Ben is the MAE Program Convenor and his research interests include foodborne disease epidemiology and applied public health surveillance.

    Dr Tambri Housen

    Tambri is the MAE Curriculum Convenor, epidemiologist and registered nurse specialising in international public health.

    Dr Philippa Binns

    Philippa co-ordinates the ASEAN-Australia Health Security Fellowship Program and works as a public health physician, epidemiologist and general practitioner.

    Applied Epidemiology careers

    Career options following the Master of Philosophy in Applied Epidemiology include many opportunities in addition to an academic path.

    Alumni from the MAE have gone on to careers in academia, government, industry and the media.

    Fees & scholarships

    Tuition fees: Tuition fees

    The Australian Government RTP Domestic Fee Offset Scholarship covers tuition fees for Australian citizens and permanent residents for up to four years. For International applicants the annual indicative fee is  $48,000. 

    Scholarships: Scholarships

    The Master of Philosophy in Applied Epidemiology (MAE) Scholarship provides funding for students in Australian placements and is supplied via the field placements as a scholarship of $50,000 p.a. (tax free). There are a limited number of field placements where the scholarship is funded by the Commonwealth Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade as part of the ASEAN-Australia Health Security Fellowship Program. Scholarship information can be found here

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      Watch the webinar

      Learn about different areas of public health and its applications, examples of careers and employment trends in different areas, and what it is like to work in public health. Also get an overview of studying the Master of Public Health at The Australian National University.

      How to apply

      Applications are closed

      Applications are closed for 2021. Applications for 2022 will open in July 2021. If you would like to be notified when applications open, email mae.rsph@anu.edu.au

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