Master of Public Health (Health Services Research) (MPH/Diploma/Certificate)

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, Julie Dickinson at or call (+44) 0114 2220738

Photo by Steve Debenport, iStock photo ID:66444783

Key Information

Programme Starts
  • September 2017
  • Intro Week: 18-23 September
  • Teaching starts: 25 September
Modes and duration
  • Full time: 1 year
  • Part time: 2-3 years
  • Part-time mode of study available for Masters only.

  • UK/EU: £8,000 (FT)
  • Overseas: £19,500 (FT)
Entry requirements
English language requirements
  • IELTS minimum of 6.5 overall with minimum 6.0 in each component (or equivalent)

Contact Us

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About the course

Student in classThis course has been specifically designed for students from any background who are interested in health and public health particularly and who also want to gain additional research skills. Many students on this 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. Other students may 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.

Professor Liddy Goyder (Public Health Strategic Lead for Academic Studies) talks below about our School's Public Health programmes...

(View the above video directly on Youtube)

Course philosophy and learning outcomes

Master of Public Health (Health Services Research)This course will provide students with the important fundamental concepts relevant to public health and will provide them with additional research skills that will be relevant to undertaking research and evaluation of health and public health activities and interventions.

Specifically it aims to:

  • provide the knowledge and skills required to apply high quality, methodologically sound and ethical health services research to a range of public health problems
  • enable students to review and critically appraise the methods and results of existing research, and understand the implications for policy and practice
  • develop practical solutions to protect and promote the public health in the context of academic or professional settings
How this course is taught Students taking part in a seminar

Full-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.

Transferable skills training

We provide general and transferable skills training in a number of areas:

  • Essay Writing Skills
  • Statistical Packages for the Social Sciences (SPSS)
  • Career Development and Presentation Skills Training

We also arrange a series of guest public health lectures each year and encourage students to attend weekly seminars organised by the School.

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

The 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 day will be informative and an opportunity for people who have already applied to ask questions. They are an opportunity for you to learn more about the course and how it will be taught.

Course structure

All modules account for 15 credits unless stated otherwise. You will be required to take 45 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
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
HAR6531 Qualitative Research Design and Analysis Richard Cooper Spring
HAR674 Randomised Controlled Trials Cindy Cooper Spring

Optional modules

Code Title Led by Semester
HAR6041 Health Needs Assessment, Planning and Evaluation Julie Dickinson Autumn
HAR6521 Promoting Evidence Based Healthcare Steve Goodacre Autumn
HAR685 Communicable Disease Control Andrew Lee Spring
HAR6062 Evaluation Methods for Complex Settings Steven Ariss and Nasrin Nasr Spring
HAR6045* Further Statistics for Health Science Researchers Jeremy Dawson Spring
HAR687* Economic Evaluation & Healthcare Financing Clara Mukuria Spring
HAR6021 Health Promotion Julie Dickinson Spring
HAR655 Public Health Informatics Helen Buckley-Woods Spring
HAR6501* Systematic Reviews and Critical Appraisal Techniques Andrew Booth and Sue Harnan 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.

The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it’s up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers.

Your career

GraduateOur 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 the 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.

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