An ‘Executive MPH’ programme from the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine

The Master of Public Health (MPH) programme offered by the University of Malaya is one of the first two Master programme offered by a Malaysian university. The MPH programme started in 1973, with seven candidates, and up until the last Convocation in October 2017, there are more than 1,000 graduates coming from 26 countries around the World (History of MPH in Malaysia). The MPH has established itself as the basic requirement for a Public Health specialist in many countries including Malaysia. For example in the Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine which covers both Australia and New Zealand, the Master of Public Health degree is a requirement to enter into their Fellowship programme. This is the same in the case of Malaysia, for those intending to be recognised as a Public Health Medicine Specialist under the National Specialist Registry, one of the basic requirement beside being registered with the Malaysian Medical Council is a degree in the MPH.

Over the years, the Department has brought improvement to the course to ensure its relevance. For example, in 2008, the course from a Term based format has been changed to a Semester based format. This allows working candidates to complete the course on a part-time basis. We had few working candidates who have completed the course on a part-time basis; for example lecturers from local universities who have completed the course in two years by taking two-days classes every semester. This is possible as the Semester system allows the candidate to complete the course in a minimum of one year and up to a maximum of four years (two to eight regular semesters). Starting in 2017 we have also opened the Master of Public Health to non-medical and non-dental candidates. Any graduates with a relevant science degree and the required experience can be accepted to the MPH. In the same year, we have also allowed two in-take per year, i.e., September and February.

There is no part-time course or executive MPH programme in the University of Malaya. However, any student wishing to take the course can plan to complete it in a year or may extend to four years. We recommend that candidates try to complete the course in not more than two years as this allow him/her to retain the knowledge and skills attained in the First semester (1st Year) when he/she is taking courses in the 4th semester (2nd Year).

To enable working candidates who do not want to take time off work to attend the MPH programme, starting from September 2018, we have scheduled our courses to include evening/night classes; i.e., from 1800-2200 hrs. Although we have started to offer night classes, there are still classes in the morning and afternoon. This is to cater for candidates who would like to complete the course in one year. The evening/night classes have been scheduled to allow a candidate to complete the course in two years without taking any time off work.

The MPH programme has both Core and Elective Modules.
  • Core Modules are modules that are compulsory to be completed
  • Elective Modules are modules that a candidate may select based on his/her interest
  • There are seven core modules of three credits (total of 21 credits) and one core of nine credits (Research Project)
  • Each candidate need to complete another six electives of two credits each
  • The total credits required to complete the course is 42 credits

The suggested timetable of the core and elective courses for those who do not intend to come during the daytime is as follows.

Semester 1 (Session 2018/2019 September to January)

  • Environmental health (Tuesday, 18.00-21.00 hrs) [CORE]
  • Society, behavioural and health (Wednesday, 18.00-21.00 hrs) [CORE]
  • Occupational health (Thursday, 18.00-20.00 hrs) [Compulsory ELECTIVE]*
  • Producing better evidence (Thursday, 20.00-22.00 hrs) [ELECTIVE]

Semester 2 (Session 2018/2019 February to June)

  • Biostatistics (Tuesday, 18.00-21.00 hrs) [CORE]
  • Principles & Methods of Epidemiology (Wednesday, 18.00-21.00 hrs) [CORE]
  • Research Methodology (Thursday, 18.00-21.00 hrs) [CORE]

Semester 3 (Session 2019/2020 September to January)

  • Research Project (Part 1) (Tuesday, 18.00-21.00 hrs) [CORE]*
  • Social Determinants of Health (Wednesday, 18.00-20.00 hrs) [ELECTIVE]
  • Woman, Child & Adolescent’s Health (Thursday, 18.00-20.00 hrs) [ELECTIVE]
  • Public Health Nutrition (Thursday, 20.00-22.00 hrs) [ELECTIVE]

Semester 4 (Session 2019/2020 February to June)

  • Research Project (Part 2) (Monday, 18.00-21.00 hrs, Self-directed learning) [CORE]*
  • Principles of Management in Health (Tuesday, 18.00-21.00 hrs) [CORE]
  • Principles of Family Health (Wednesday, 18.00-21.00 hrs) [CORE]
  • Global Health (Thursday, 18.00-20.00 hrs) [ELECTIVE]

*Occupational Health is a compulsory elective as it is one of the requirement to register under the National Specialist Registry for Public Health Medicine Speciality. Research Project Part 1 and 2 are the same course spread over two semesters.

Although the courses are scheduled to be conducted in the evening, candidates are also required to attend some classes during the morning/afternoon, e.g., study visits to public health-related areas.

The elective presented above are those that we offer in the evening. A candidate can select any elective besides those being offered in the evening/night.

The other elective modules that are offered are;

  • Epidemiological of Diseases in Malaysia
  • Health Economics
  • Law and Health
  • Qualitative Inquiry in Public Health
  • Health Risk Assessment
  • Occupational Medicine
  • Medical Surveillance and Fitness for Work

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