About our school

Welcome from the Head of School

Since the inception of its medical degree in 1978, Ian Symondthe School of Medicine and Public Health has consistently delivered education programs and research outcomes that are internationally recognised for their innovation and excellence. The School was the first in Australia to offer problem-based learning in its medical degree; and we have continued to deliver education programs and conduct research of the highest calibre for over 35 years.

Our mission is to make a positive difference to the health of people in the Hunter, Australia and the world by being at the forefront of Australian medical and population health education and research for the 21st century.


The University of Newcastle continues to be at the centre of innovation through the establishment of the Joint Medical Program (JMP), through which the Bachelor of Medical Science and Doctor of Medicine is delivered. Set up in 2008, the JMP is a unique partnership with the University of New England, Hunter New England and Central Coast Local Health District. The JMP was created with the specific aim of addressing the chronic health workforce shortage that exists in remote, rural and regional communities.

Critical to the success of the JMP is the contribution of the School's clinical educators. The Academy of Clinical Educators (ACE) was established in 2017 to recognise the value of their contribution.

The School offers postgraduate coursework programs delivered online and on campus in the areas of: clinical epidemiology, medical statistics, public health, clinical leadership and management and health science (specialising in drug and alcohol or stroke management).


The School of Medicine and Public Health is the highest earner of research income in the University attracting more than $20 million in external research funding annually. It is affiliated with one of Australia's more innovative health and medical research institutes, the Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI), which has pioneered the integration of multi-campus university and hospital-based research. The School contributes to the University's Priority Research Centres in the areas of Brain and Mental Health, Cancer Research, Cardiovascular Health, Chemical Biology and Clinical Pharmacology, Digestive Health, Generational Health and Ageing, Grow Up Well, Health Behaviour, Healthy Lungs, Physical Activity and Nutrition, Reproductive Science and Stroke and Brain Injury.


The School endeavours to ensure that our research is relevant, makes a lasting and positive contribution to the people of our communities and is in keeping with our overall mission. Our teaching encourages students to identify their roles in serving the needs of the community and our partnerships with Hunter New England and Central Coast Local Health Districts support this.

Professor Brian Kelly
Head, School of Medicine and Public Health
The University of Newcastle