Master of Health Sciences

Course 370AB (2013)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2013.

Year and Campus: 2013 - Parkville
CRICOS Code: 023629F
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Research Higher Degree
Duration & Credit Points: Students are expected to complete this research in 1.50 years full time, or equivalent part time.




Prospective student enquiries:

Melbourne Medical School

Telephone: 61 3 8344 5998

Email your enquiry about Melbourne Medical School research courses to:

Currently enrolled student enquiries:

Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences Student Centre
Level 1, Brownless Biomedical Library
The University of Melbourne
Victoria 3010 Australia
Phone: +61 3 8344 5890
Fax: +61 3 9347 7084

Course Overview:

The Master of Health Sciences (by Research) is available in the following topic area:

Graduate research in the following areas may be available from time to time. Students are advised to check with the Melbourne Medical School.

  • Infant and Parent Mental Health
  • Drug Evaluation and Pharmaceutical Sciences.


Research Masters degrees at the University of Melbourne are designed for students to develop advanced skills in carrying out independent and sustained research. The thesis should demonstrate a critical application of specialist knowledge and make an independent contribution to existing scholarship in the area of research.

On completion of the course students should be able to:

  • demonstrate advanced learning in research skills and mastery of appropriate techniques, such as the use of archival or primary evidence, analysis of data, judgment of conflicting evidence etc;
  • demonstrate specialist knowledge in the area of their research;
  • present the results of their research in publishable form or work towards incorporating their findings in further research;
  • proceed to a research doctorate if the Masters thesis has demonstrated appropriate research potential;
  • gain admission to certain types of employment through this specialist qualification;
  • apply the research skills acquired to other projects;
  • demonstrate an understanding of, and commitment to, research ethics or code of practice.
Course Structure & Available Subjects:

An approved program of not less than one year full-time research (or equivalent part-time) on a specific aspect of the discipline will be undertaken by candidates. Examination of a thesis embodying observations made by the candidate and including a critical review of the literature in the relevant field.

The thesis for the degree of Master of Health Sciences will ordinarily represent the equivalent of not less than one year full-time research and, except with the special permission of of the faculty, is to be submitted not later than 12 months following completion of the research. The thesis should normally be 30,000 words in length excluding tables, illustrations and bibliography. The thesis should contain a preface stating the extent to which the candidate is reporting work to which others have contributed. A candidate may not present in the thesis work for which a degree has been conferred at this or another university.

Where it is appropriate, an applicant for enrolment as a higher degree candidate or an applicant submitting a thesis for examination must submit evidence to the satisfaction of the faculty that all ethical requirements associated with the research have been approved by the appropriate body of the institution or institutions involved.

Entry Requirements:
  • Applicants for the research area of genetic counselling must have completed a three year undergraduate degree in a related area and the Graduate Diploma in Genetic Counselling, or an equivalent qualification, or an honours degree with experience in research design and the principles and practice of research methodology.

Research areas available according to the availability of research staff for supervision:

  • Candidates for the research area of infant and parent mental health must have completed a three year undergraduate degree in a related area and the Graduate Diploma in Mental Health Sciences (Infant and Parent Mental Health), or an equivalent qualification
  • Candidates for the Transcultural Mental Health stream must have completed the Graduate Diploma in Mental Health Sciences (Transcultural Mental Health) at a level of H2B or higher, or an equivalent qualification, or have completed an honours bachelors degree in a related field.

Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering requests for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this course are articulated in the Course Overview, Objectives and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this course are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and the Disability Liaison Unit:

Graduate Attributes:

The Melbourne Experience enables our graduates to become:

Academically excellent:

  • have a strong sense of intellectual integrity and the ethics of scholarship
  • have in-depth knowledge of their specialist discipline(s)
  • reach a high level of achievement in writing, generic research activities, problem-solving and communication
  • be critical and creative thinkers, with an aptitude for continued self-directed learning
  • be adept at learning in a range of ways, including through information and communication technologies

Knowledgeable across disciplines:

  • examine critically, synthesise and evaluate knowledge across a broad range of disciplines
  • expand their analytical and cognitive skills through learning experiences in diverse subjects
  • have the capacity to participate fully in collaborative learning and to confront unfamiliar problems
  • have a set of flexible and transferable skills for different types of employment

Leaders in communities:

  • initiate and implement constructive change in their communities, including professions and workplaces
  • have excellent interpersonal and decision-making skills, including an awareness of personal strengths and limitations
  • mentor future generations of learners
  • engage in meaningful public discourse, with a profound awareness of community needs

Attuned to cultural diversity:

  • value different cultures
  • be well-informed citizens able to contribute to their communities wherever they choose to live and work
  • have an understanding of the social and cultural diversity in our community
  • respect indigenous knowledge, cultures and values

Active global citizens:

  • accept social and civic responsibilities
  • be advocates for improving the sustainability of the environment
  • have a broad global understanding, with a high regard for human rights, equity and ethics
Links to further information:

In Genetic Counselling, students will be required to undertake research and one of the following two subjects:

  • 505-921: Principles of research design; or
  • 505-922: Research methods in Social Health.

Master of Health Sciences by Research students should refer to the University's Masters by Research Generic Guidelines for information about course rules and requirements. The enrolling department for the genetic counselling stream is the Department of Paediatrics, Royal Children's Hospital.

Refer to the Melbourne School of Graduate Research for information about thesis examination and submission.

For information about the application process, refer to the Melbourne Medical School.

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