Public Health Courses

An MSc in Public Health is designed to educate students on the many aspects of public health including methods of promoting healthy lifestyles, how it can be applied to professional practice, and the broad insights it offers to health service organisations. Public health degrees are aimed at those students with a passion for public health, who have prior knowledge to the subject area, or wish to work in a leadership role within the industry.

Studying Public Health

Types of Public Health Degrees

A postgraduate degree in public health is most commonly awarded as a master of science (MSc). The degree is usually available to study part time as well as full time and can take one to two years to complete. Specialist areas that are frequently studied alongside public health include wellbeing, nutrition and professional healthcare.

Best Universities for Public Health

There are limited universities that offer public health degrees. If you want to study at a top university you should consider:

  • University of Bradford: The course on offer at Bradford is a two year part-time MSc in Professional Healthcare Practice. The course focuses on applying clinical knowledge to a professional situation.
  • University of West London: The University of West London offer an MSc in Public Health and Wellbeing, designed to develop students skills when dealing with individuals and communities.
  • Sheffield Hallam University: The MSc in Public Health offered at Sheffield Hallam University helps students to gain skills to work at managerial and strategic levels in the public health sector.
  • Cardiff Metropolitan University: The University offer their Public Health Masters as a two year programme with the first year as a taught PgC and PgD, and the second year as a supervised Masters research project.
  • Coventry University: The University of Coventry offer a specialist public health degree combined with nutrition to expand student’s knowledge of the traditional approach to public health.

Topics Covered during a Public Health Degree

During the course of a Masters in Public Health, students will be required to take a range of core modules, and in some cases will also be able to choose optional modules depending on the university chosen.

Core modules are likely to include:

  • Epidemiology
  • Statistics for public health
  • Health economics
  • Social research

Students are also normally required to write a dissertation as part of the course and this is counted as a core module.

Optional modules are designed to give students the chance to specialise in their preferred field of public health. Some examples of optional module topics are:

  • Health promotion
  • Sociology of health & illness
  • Emergency management
  • Health psychology
  • Disease control
  • Public health informatics
  • Managing health services

Students will be assessed in a range of ways including written essays, portfolio work, practical examinations, presentations, and completion of a dissertation.

Entry Requirements

Depending on the university you are applying to, you will encounter different entry requirements. Most universities will expect students to have gained at least a 2:1 honours bachelor’s degree in Public Health or a related science subject. Some postgraduate degrees in Public Health may require students to attend an entrance interview. To help you understand postgraduate interviews we have put together an article for the top 10 questions that are likely to pop up and the best ways that you can answer them: Top 10 Postgraduate Interview Questions.

A few universities will allow applicants to apply without holding a bachelor’s degree in this subject area, but you are advised to contact the university you are applying to for a full breakdown of their specific entry requirements.

Career Prospects

Upon completion of a Masters in Public Health, students will be able to undertake roles in a various range of industries including the health care services, local authorities, government agencies and the voluntary sector. The majority of public health graduates gain roles within public health with some popular job roles including:

  • Public health specialist
  • Lecturer in public health
  • Public health adviser
  • Health data analyst
  • Health promotion campaign manager
  • Epidemiologist

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