The Department has a leading team of experts specialising in theoretical and applied research and training. Our research strengths encompass all areas of public health such as health policy, health promotion, health services management, workplace safety and rehabilitation counselling. We offer a Doctor of Public Health in addition to postgraduate research options in the areas listed below.

If you are interested in applying for research with the Department of Public Health, please visit the Graduate School of Research website for information about how to find a supervisor and how to apply.

Areas of research

China health

China faces huge challenges in health sector reform during this current period of transition. There are no obvious answers to many of the questions which agency managers and jurisdiction officials are facing. Our group has a strong commitment to research-based teaching as well as contributing through research to answering some of these policy-related questions.

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Ergonomics, safety and health

The Centre for Ergonomics and Human Factors is a member of the World Health Organisation network of Collaborating Centres in Occupational Health. Our research program is characterised by a socio-technical systems approach to assessing and managing workplace health and safety risks. Current research includes the prevention of work-related musculoskeletal disorders, aging workforce issues, general occupational health and safety, and road safety. We have a strong research focus on the roles of psychosocial hazards and occupational stress in the aetiology of musculoskeletal disorders and other workplace health or performance problems.

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Health administration and health services management

We have one of the strongest research programs in health services management and health administration in Australia. We offer higher degree courses in our areas of research strength including health services, human resource management in health, management competencies for health services managers, organisational strategy, strategic planning and management, teaching and learning leadership, and enhancing use of evidence in management decision making.

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Health information management, health classification and informatics

Our School of Public Health is one of Australia's leading schools for research and training. We have nearly 100 PhD and Doctor of Public Health students from Australia and overseas. Our research strengths are health policy, health promotion, health services management, health information management, health informatics, health classification, primary health care, rehabilitation studies, palliative care, counselling and psychotherapy.

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Health policy

Our School of Public Health has a high profile for its research expertise and is one of the leading institutions for research training in public health in Australia. Current research in health policy development and analysis includes risks and regulatory requirements for complementary healthcare, reforming regulation of the health professions, cross-jurisdictional issues in public health emergency powers and developing new methods for building health policy capacity in Australia.

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Health promoting palliative care

La Trobe's is the only palliative care program in Australia to be taught within a School of Public Health. It uniquely qualifies graduates for practice as health promotion workers in palliative care settings. Students will have the opportunity to undertake either a health promotion project or field practice as part of their major. La Trobe offers the flexibility to undertake subjects by distance education or face-to-face mode.

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Health promotion

We provide supervision for health promotion oriented projects in chronic illness and disability, health systems, population groups at risk, health promoting palliative care, health promotion practice and health promotion in international health.

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Public health

We are a leading authority on all areas of public health including health policy, health promotion, health services management, primary health care and rehabilitation studies. We are involved in numerous research centres including the Centre for Development and Innovation in Health. Our research projects include international health, populations at risk, chronic illnesses and disability, counselling and psychological health, palliative care, health information management, health policy and management, gender and health, healthy relationships and public health practice.

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Spiritual care

There is growing interest in healthcare circles in spiritual care's contribution to promoting health and providing support in illness. Much new evidence over the past decade arises from work carried out by nurses, medical practitioners, psychologists and social workers, supplementing contributions from the traditional spiritual care discipline of pastoral care. Spiritual care practice guidelines are now being developed for various disciplines and settings, including acute care, aged care, mental health, palliative care, rehabilitation, and supportive cancer care.

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