Population Health Practice
The Division’s newest school, the School of Population Health, initiated in August 2012, seeks to consolidate and advance the University of South Australia’s capacity for training research professionals in the uses and interpretation of population data to inform health and social policy. Targeting four of 12 areas for furthering research capabilities given in the 2011 Strategic Roadmap for Australian Research Infrastructure (Population Health Research Platforms, Translating Health Research, Urban Settlements, and Cultures and Communities) places it at the forefront of the nation’s research agenda. The School of Population Health evidences substantial strength in research funding, particularly Category 1 grants. Areas of expertise include: spatial and social epidemiology; nutritional and genetic epidemiology; intergenerational and life-course epidemiology; cancer screening and epidemiology; health economics, primary care and social policy; health promotion and disease prevention; and evaluation research (intervention planning, implementation and evaluation).
The School of Population Health supports undergraduate instruction across the Division of Health Sciences through service teaching of over 1,000 students annually, in courses including population health and epidemiology and public health. As a graduate school it enrols postgraduate students into its innovative Masters of Research (Population Health Practice) degree which combines coursework in research methods and professional experience, synthesised with a research thesis involving original research (offered effective 2015). It similarly offers a Doctoral degree that blends original research with training in advanced research methods. These postgraduate programmes emphasise the practical skills required for effective functioning in real-world population and public health practice settings, preparing programme graduates to respond to contemporary health challenges faced by mainstream and vulnerable populations, nationally and internationally.
In April 2014, the School of Population Health relocated to the South Australian Health & Medical Research Institute. (SAHMRI), located on North Terrace in the west end of the Adelaide central business district. In establishing a presence at SAHMRI, the School of Population Health and the University seek to achieve engagement and enrichment of relationships with leading national health stakeholders, as well as active collaboration in trans-disciplinary grant submissions and research initiatives. The SAHMRI is a core component in the growth of a new and impressive health and medical precinct for South Australia. At SAHMRI, the School of Population Health joins with leading research groups from Flinders and Adelaide universities, and branches of national research agencies from across Australia.