Master of Public Health

For general enquiries about this course contact us at or call (+44) 0114 2225454.

For course-specific enquiries about this course contact the Course Director, Richard Cooper at or call (+44) 0114 2220683

Course leader's introduction video

Who is this course for?

Image via assetbankThis course has been specifically designed for students from any background. It is suited for anyone who is interested in any aspect of public health but will be particularly relevant to those considering a future career in public health, either in the UK or internationally. Many students on the course have professional backgrounds and will bring their experience to the course, and the course is popular amongst those with clinical backgrounds in medicine, dentistry, pharmacy and nursing, for example. Other students come from a wide range of non clinical backgrounds, such as geography, social care or information sciences and a key feature of the course is that it is suited to anyone and does not require specialist clinical knowledge.

Course philosophy

The Master of Public Health CoursePublic health has never been more important, as we encounter new challenges in areas such as obesity, for example, as the epidemiological transition globally means the burden of disease moves away from traditional communicable diseases. In addition, much greater recognition of the role of health inequalities in the UK and globally, means there are new challenges but also opportunities in how we try to improve population-level health.

Learning outcomes

This course covers the broad range of knowledge and skills required for public health practice in both the UK and internationally. Through a selection of core modules and a wide range of options, students will systematically gain an understanding of key concepts, and learning outcomes that relate to:

  • how public health principles apply to professional practice
  • how the research process applies to public health practice
  • public health approaches to protect and promote the public's health
  • health service organisations, management and economics
  • broader influences on health and health care provision

Why study at ScHARR?

Journals held in the ScHARR libraryScHARR is a rich academic environment and a key strength is that staff come from many different backgrounds. ScHARR is also an internationally recognised institution with expertise in many fields, which ensures students are provided with research-led teaching. Staff bring a range of practical and theoretical experiences and you will be taught by some of the world's leading scholars in these fields, and benefit from an environment in which teaching and research go hand-in-hand. On the MPH, we have epidemiologists, statisticians, sociologists, managers, evaluation experts, qualitative researchers, and those with extensive public health experience, as well as medicine, nursing and pharmacy backgrounds. These also reflect not just UK but global experiences, to ensure we deliver teaching that is suited to students from any background.

Course team

RCThe core staff for this course are listed below:

In addition to these core staff members, the course draws on the expertise of a large number of other staff within the School. The module leaders can be found on the course structure section.

Online open days

The online open days will are an opportunity for people to learn more about the course and how it will be taught. They are also an opportunity to meet the course team and ask questions.

Please visit the ScHARR online open days page for currently available days.

Modules (2014-15)

All modules account for 15 credits unless stated otherwise. You will be required to take 60 credits worth of optional modules.

Core modules

Code Title Led by Semester
HAR679* Dissertation (45 credits) Katie Powell Academic year (Sept-Sept)
HAR619 Epidemiology Hannah Jordan Autumn
HAR6041 Health Needs Assessment, Planning and Evaluation Julie Dickinson Autumn
HAR6030 Introduction to Research Methods Sarah Barnes Autumn
HAR6035 Introduction to Statistics and Critical Appraisal Stephen Walters Autumn
HAR675 Key Issues in Global Public Health Julie Balen Autumn

Optional modules

Code Title Led by Semester
HAR6521 Promoting Evidence Based Healthcare Steve Goodacre Autumn
HAR685* Communicable Disease Control Andrew Lee Spring
HAR680 Contemporary Health Psychology Tim Gommersall Spring
HAR686 Disaster and Emergency Management Andrew Lee Spring
HAR6045* Further Statistics for Health Science Researchers Jeremy Dawson Spring
HAR687* Health Care Financing and Economic Evaluation Clara Mukuria Spring
HAR6021 Health Promotion Julie Dickinson Spring
GEO6808 HIV/AIDS (will not run in 2015-16 academic year) the Department of Geography Spring
HAR682* Leading and Managing Health Services Robert Akparibo Spring
HAR655 Public Health Informatics Helen Buckley-Woods Spring
HAR6058 Social Determinants of Health Inequalities Katie Powell Spring
HAR6016 Sociology of Public Health Jennifer Burr Spring
HAR6501* Systematic Reviews and Critical Appraisal Techniques Andrew Booth and Sue Harnan Spring
HAR697 Using Policy to Strengthen Health Systems Amy Barnes Spring

* by a module code indicates special information for the module. Please mouse over the module code or visit the module page to find out the details.

How this course is taught

Image via assetbankFull-time and part-time options

This course can be studied full-time over a period of around 12 months, beginning and ending in late September each year. For UK and European students, the course can also be studied part-time for up to 3 years. Study is divided into 2 main semesters in the autumn and spring, each of which involves 12 weeks of attending lectures.

A range of teaching

We use a mix of lectures, seminars, workshops and computer-based activities to ensure you gain high-quality, research-informed teaching. You will study alongside a group of students from the UK and other nationalities, providing a mix of experiences and backgrounds that will augment your learning experience. Several modules are also available to other university students, giving you further opportunities to meet other students from different backgrounds. All teaching takes place in high quality purpose-built accommodation in ScHARR or close-by on the University of Sheffield campus.

Masters, Diploma and Certificate options

All our public health courses can be studied at Masters level which requires students to have obtained 180 credits which includes a 45 credit dissertation. The courses are also available at Certificate (60 credit) and Diploma (120 credit) level without a dissertation. Some UK students even begin study with one or two modules and build-up their credits over time.


Masters course students also undertake a dissertation project over a whole academic year, with most activity on this occurring after the spring semester. Students choose their dissertation topic and methods, which include empirical primary data collection, systematic or narrative literature reviews, and secondary data analysis. We also offer more than 20 placement-based where students assist external partner organisations on real-world projects, in the UK and internationally.


Our public health masters graduates go on to work in very diverse areas, although many find work in a health or public health setting. Of particular note is that a significant percentage go on to undertake further doctoral/PhD study or to work in research or academic settings, which we feel reflects the quality of our research-led teaching in preparing and inspiring students.

Recent graduates from public health course are now working in the UK, in information analyst roles, in senior public health management positions, in health promotion activities, researching in universities, and as public health specialist in the local authority and in the NHS. Internationally, students have found excellent opportunities in governments, health departments, universities, hospitals, as well as non-governmental organisations, undertaking leadership roles, public health programme interventions and evaluations, research, and policy-making.

compiled from MPH FT and PT graduate 2012/13, 11/12 data available in full at
(choose MPH/public health in the Course dropdown menu)