Environment and Public Health

Understanding the intersection between health and the environment is essential as clean air, fresh water, a safe climate, food security and biodiversity -- our life support system – become increasingly stressed.

Coordinator:  Associate Professor Helen Jordan


The environments in which we live immediately impact upon our health. The Public Health specialisation is designed to ensure the creation and maintenance of environments that promote good public health. By collaborating with other disciplines and sectors, students will identify and manage environmental health problems.

Study in this field will provide you with the tools used in environmental health practice and by public health practitioners. These include surveillance, monitoring, observation, analysis, and selected techniques in biostatistics, epidemiology and health economics.

Other skills developed are more specific to environmental health or environmental studies, such as environmental, social and health impact assessment and qualitative and quantitative risk analysis..

  • Designed for

    Students with an interest in health or medicine. This major is a specialist companion program to the Master of Public Health which is offered at the University of Melbourne and at many other institutions. Students benefit from Melbourne's particularly strong health sciences programs.

  • Career outcomes

    By studying in this stream, you can expect to find employment in the health industry, government agencies, within environmental health sectors, consulting companies and development agencies.

    Example roles:

    • Community Development
    • Policy Advisor
    • NGO Officer
    • Environmental Health Consultant

View full list of Environment and Public Health subjects in the Handbook

Example study plan (200 point program)

Year 1

Semester 1

Environmental Sustainability


Foundations of Public Health

Sustainability and Behaviour Change

Semester 2

Healthy Communities

Public Health Leadership and Management

Social Impact Assessment and Evaluation

Environmental Risk Assessment

Year 2

Semester 1

Health Program Design and Implementation

Environmental Challenges and Global Health

Health Promotion


Semester 2

Partnerships for Sustainable Futures

Qualitative Research in Public Health