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Key information

Qualification type

MSc - Master of Science

Subject areas

Environmental Health (General) Health Promotion

Course type


Course Summary

Programme overview

This MSc will prepare you for a public health career in settings such as health services, government, research and the not-for-profit sector. You will gain core skills and knowledge that are applicable for public health work in the UK and internationally. These include critically appraising evidence, analysing and interpreting data, research methods, and applying methods to protect health, prevent ill-health and improve health services. The programme is suitable for students from clinical and non-clinical backgrounds.

The MSc covers the principles and practice of public health, health improvement, health protection, epidemiology and statistics, research methods and evaluation, health economics, ethics and healthcare services. You will learn from people who practise public health, including colleagues from Public Health England, local government and the National Health Service, in addition to research-led teaching from multi-disciplinary experts.

Your dissertation - which can be based on either the ALSPAC cohort, a literature review, qualitative data or your own research topic - will take the form of a journal article and an oral and poster presentation; it also opens the possibility of publication. The programme covers many parts of the Faculty of Public Health's Part A membership examination.

The Department of Population Health Sciences has international excellence in research methods, health protection research, and developing and evaluating public health interventions. The Centre for Public Health is a member of the National Institute of Health Research’s School for Public Health and Health Protection Research Unit.


Students who graduate from this MSc will be well placed to work in the fields of public health, health improvement, health protection, health information, and in health services, government, not-for-profit and research settings, including applying to undertake a PhD.

The MSc will prepare students to move into careers which, with further work experience and training, would enable them to work in roles such as consultant in public health, director of public health, strategic director of health charities, public health government policy advisers, and lecturers, senior lecturers and professors of public health.

Different course options

Full time | Clifton Campus | 1 year | SEP-20

Study mode

Full time


1 year

Start date



This module aims to introduce students to the ideas and principles underpinning public health and health improvement, including concepts of measuring disease burden, health inequalities, appropriate use of data to inform public health policy and practice, an introduction to screening programmes and the role of national and international public health organisations. The underpinning theories of health improvement, and the key models and interventions utilised at both the individual and population level with be studied, including behaviour change interventions, community development programmes and the use of mass and social media. It will outline the different levels of disease prevention, and will consider the relative merits of both universal and targeted interventions. The unit will also explore the types of evidence available when evaluating health improvement strategies, what kind of evidence is most useful, and the challenges in developing ‘evidence based practice’. Throughout the unit students will be reminded of the wider determinants of health and encouraged to think about the application of public health practice in other (health and non-health) disciplines. Further, the unit will give students an understanding of relevant ethical concepts in relation to health inequalities, public health and health improvement. Students will explore the developments and challenges facing the global public health community in order that they appreciate the immediate relevance of public health issues. Research-led teaching will use case studies in cancer, coronary heart disease and ageing to illustrate the ideas and principles. In-depth knowledge will be developed around particularly pertinent health improvement areas, such as mental health, obesity and substance use, including consideration of health needs across the life-course. This unit will provide essential context to the skills and knowledge gained throughout the rest of the course.

Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK / EU students

For this course (per year)


Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


International fees
Course fees for non-UK / EU students

For this course (per year)


Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


Entry requirements

Applicants are required to hold/achieve a minimum of an upper second-class honours degree in a relevant degree including (but not limited to) medicine, veterinary science, dentistry, pharmacy, biological sciences, statistics, geography, politics, psychology and social sciences. Preference will be given to candidates with excellent academic results in their undergraduate degree and demonstrated interest in public health through work experience, volunteering or research. Additionally, evidence of numeracy skills is required (e.g. a minimum of GCSE Mathematics at grade B or equivalent).