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    MPH
    2023 start September 

    International Development (Masters in Public Health)

    Department of Geography, Faculty of Social Sciences

    School of Health and Related Research, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health

    Explore the intersections of international development and healthcare policy and practice in the Global South, while developing the skills to work in health and development organisations around the world.
    Student participating in fieldwork in a laboratory in the Galapagos

    Course description

    Our MPH in International Development combines expertise from development studies and public health to help you engage with the challenges of health and international development in today’s complex world. Working across the Department of Geography and the School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR), you'll develop an understanding of the interventions necessary to improve the health of communities in the Global South.

    The course is rooted in principles of interdisciplinary learning, decolonising knowledge, connecting theory with policy and practice. You'll also have the flexibility to tailor the course to you own interests.

    Through this approach it offers a unique combination of academic excellence, tailored professional skills teaching, an optional field class, and a research-based dissertation based on placements, research collaborations or independent research.

    Core modules will teach you about changing ideas of ‘development’ since the mid-twentieth century and how these have translated into very different policy approaches and outcomes. You'll learn about poverty and how it has changed, about how development ideas and processes connect to questions of gender, culture and race, about how processes such as migration, urbanisation and technological evolution intersect with development, and about the global governance of international development.

    You'll have the opportunity to build a range of professional skills, and will be trained in core research methods in order to undertake an individual piece of original research. Our placement-based dissertation option also enables you to gain valuable work experience.

    Optional modules from across the University are also available. These include subjects as diverse as food security, public health, urban development, and climate change.

    An optional international field class in the Global South encourages you to engage with overseas development and community organisations through an intensive week of activities. We also offer a lower cost and more sustainable UK-based ‘hybrid’ field class as an alternative. International field class locations are subject to variation and subject to the number of students participating, but previous destinations have included Peru, Nepal and South Africa.

    The costs of optional field classes modules and placements are not included in your tuition fees. A limited amount of funding, accessed through a competitive process, is available to students to help finance field classes.

    Field class

    An optional international field class in the Global South encourages you to engage with overseas development and community organisations through an intensive week of activities.

    We also offer a lower cost and more sustainable UK-based ‘hybrid’ field class as an alternative.

    International field class locations are subject to variation and subject to the number of students participating, but previous destinations have included Peru, Nepal and South Africa.

    The costs of optional field classes modules and placements are not included in your tuition fees. A limited amount of funding, accessed through a competitive process, is available to help finance field classes.

    Find out more about our past international field classes:

    Nepal

    The Nepal field class gave students the chance to work in small groups with a dedicated Nepali team member, taking part in community initiatives in Kathmandu before staying in Sindhupalchok District. Students pursued research projects around themes of gender, health, migration, earthquake disaster recovery, community forestry and climate change. This research had a direct impact through a final dissemination event which in recent years involved national political and media attention as well as regional and local stakeholders.

    The field class is an amazing part of the masters programme, which allows you to consolidate the theory and ideas learnt in lectures, in the field. As well as preparing you for the dissertation it is also a great chance to meet and learn from students of different cultures in a new and interesting environment.
    Helena

    Tanzania

    The Tanzania field class gave students practical experience of field research. Working with our NGO partner KEDA, students were based in rural communities around Mt Kilimanjaro.

    They researched a range of issues that affect local communities such as health, environmental change and poverty alleviation among smallholder farmers. Each year students fed back to district officials and previously had even been interviewed for National TV.

    The field class in Tanzania provided the incredible opportunity to bring case studies we had always read about in books and lectures to life through hands-on fieldwork. I was able to learn about issues in water, health and sanitation through the voices of local people. Conducting research in the rich and vibrant culture of Tanzania was an unforgettable experience.
    Shahreen

    Ecuador

    The Ecuador field class gave students the opportunity to work closely with our local partner Intercultural Outreach Initiative, which is based on the Island Isabela in the Galapagos Islands. Our students gained experience in field research by exploring a range of issues that affect the local communities such as food security, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) issues and ocean plastic pollution. Each year students feed back to district officials and local stakeholders.

    You can read a blog from one of our students about a virtual field class.

    The virtual field class provided an opportunity to experience the challenges of international fieldwork, and allowed us to develop skills in adapting research to changing circumstances and using video interviews for data collection, which will be useful skills for the future! It was a great way to gain an understanding and insight into the situation around plastics in the Galapagos, despite not being able to visit!
    Elle

    Placement

    The dissertation with placement gives you valuable practical experience of working in a development organisation and engaging with development issues.

    You'll spend six to eight weeks in June or July based in a host organisation, where you'll carry out a research project identified by the organisation and approved by the University. Your project will have clear practical relevance and will generate findings that form the basis of your dissertation. Students may also spend time working directly on the organisation's core activities.

    We currently work with over 30 host organisations in the UK and across the globe. Some have a wide remit, others have a specialist focus on issues such as conservation, education or health.

    Placements to overseas destinations are subject to the same potential constraints imposed by travel conditions and health risks due to Covid-19.

    The costs of the dissertation with placement module are not included in your tuition fees. A limited number of low-cost local placements are also available.

    Recent topics for the dissertation with placement
    • Exploring the impact of land certification programmes on land tenure security and land conflicts for peasants in Indonesia
    • Inclusive education for students with visual, hearing and physical disabilities: Barriers and experiences in Gondar, Northern Ethiopia
    • Sustainable livelihoods and the urban poor: The importance of rural-urban connections for second generation rural-urban migrants in Kampala, Uganda
    • Shifting and negotiating identities: Shan refugees in Northern Thailand
    • Breaking dichotomies and the process of social reproduction: A case study of urban market women in El Alto
    • Life histories of giving: Individuals’ changing relationships with charities over time Governance and livelihoods: The future of aquaculture on Lake Bunot, San Pablo, Philippines
    • Exploration of how recognised factors affect public perceptions of climate change within the North of England
    • Learning from international emergency responses: a critical assessment of how the British Red Cross learns from its international emergency responses

    Intercalation

    We accept medical students who wish to intercalate their studies. Find out more on the Medical School's website.

    Modules

    Modules for this course are to be confirmed.

    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. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption. We are no longer offering unrestricted module choice. If your course included unrestricted modules, your department will provide a list of modules from their own and other subject areas that you can choose from.

    Book open day

    ScHARR campus open day

    Wednesday 25 January 2023, 12-1pm UK time

    Come and visit us to find out more about studying at Sheffield. You'll have the chance to ask course tutors your questions during question and answer sessions.

    Register now: ScHARR campus open day

    Duration

    1 year full-time 

    Assessment

    You’re assessed on coursework assignments, project work and a dissertation.

    Your career

    Our public health masters graduates go on to work in very diverse areas, although many find work in a health or public health setting, including returning to medicine if they are medics or intercalating students. Other graduates have gone 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.

    Students have also found excellent opportunities at the World Health Organisation (WHO), the World Bank Group and various international organisations and government agencies including:

    • Whatcom Alliance for Health
    • Japan International Cooperation Agency
    • Nigeria Centre for Disease Control
    • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
    • African Field Epidemiology Network (AFENET)

    Department

    Our department building on the edge of Western Park

    The Department of Geography at the University of Sheffield is a world leader in teaching and research. We're ranked within the top 50 universities in the world for geography according to the QS Rankings 2022, top 10 in the world for geography by the ShanghaiRanking Global Ranking of Academic Subjects 2022 and top 10 in the  UK for geography by the Guardian University Guide 2023.

    We are experts in the fields of social justice and environmental change. We explore our dynamic, diverse world to address humanity’s greatest problems, from food waste to melting ice sheets and sustainable international development. Our innovative research and practice-based learning will equip you with distinct, relevant professional skills.

    We have over 30 full-time academic staff in the department. Our high staff-to-student ratio ensures that you receive excellent quality teaching and a high level of pastoral support throughout your studies.

    Student profiles

    My course has given me a fantastic opportunity to broaden my horizons beyond my medical background. The international development side has provided the opportunity for travel to both Kenya and Ghana and given me the flexibility to focus on my own interests. The course attracts a strong mix of international students and it’s allowed me to make some great friends from all around the globe.

    Katherine Cobb
    MPH International Development
     

    Entry requirements

    Minimum 2:1 undergraduate honours degree in a social sciences or medical subject.

    We also accept medical students who wish to intercalate their studies.

    We also consider a wide range of international qualifications:

    Entry requirements for international students

    Overall IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component, or equivalent.

    Pathway programme for international students

    If you're an international student who does not meet the entry requirements for this course, you have the opportunity to apply for a pre-masters programme in Business, Social Sciences and Humanities at the University of Sheffield International College. This course is designed to develop your English language and academic skills. Upon successful completion, you can progress to degree level study at the University of Sheffield.

    If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the department.

    Fees and funding

    There are various scholarships and bursaries available to support the dissertation with placement. Low-cost local placements are also available.

    Additional costs

    The costs of optional field classes modules and placements are not included in your tuition fees. A limited amount of funding, accessed through a competitive process, is available to help finance field classes.

    Apply

    You can apply for postgraduate study using our Postgraduate Online Application Form. It's a quick and easy process.

    Apply now

    Any supervisors and research areas listed are indicative and may change before the start of the course.

    Our student protection plan

    Recognition of professional qualifications: from 1 January 2021, in order to have any UK professional qualifications recognised for work in an EU country across a number of regulated and other professions you need to apply to the host country for recognition. Read information from the UK government and the EU Regulated Professions Database.

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