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    MPH PG Certificate
    2024 start September 

    Public Health (Online)

    School of Medicine and Population Health, Faculty of Health

    Develop your research, evaluation and analytical skills relevant to understanding the social determinants of health.
    Public Health (Online)

    Course description

    This is a highly flexible public health masters course taught completely online.

    On this course, you’ll explore key national and global public health issues from different disciplinary perspectives, as well as increasing your understanding of epidemiological measures, study designs, screening and surveillance. You’ll also study practical solutions to protect and promote the public’s health and tackle health inequalities and public health problems.

    The course is ideal for people with busy work or life commitments, who want to be able to study wherever and whenever they can.

    Continuing Professional Development

    All modules on this course can be studied as standalone CPD modules. It is possible to complete standalone modules and then apply to transfer to an MSc/PGCert qualification. Any time spent on the CPD route counts toward the time-limit a student has to complete their chosen qualification.


    Accredited by the Agency for Public Health Education Accreditation


    A selection of modules are available each year - some examples are below. There may be changes before you start your course. From May of the year of entry, formal programme regulations will be available in our Programme Regulations Finder.

    You will take 180 credits, including all six core modules listed, the 60 credit dissertation and two optional modules. You can also choose to study one or more individual modules as a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) student.

    Core modules:

    Key Issues in National and Global Public Health Online

    This module, which is delivered online, provides a foundation of Public Health and key national and global public health issues. It will examine key international public health discourses, policies and practices, and provide an introduction to key topics and major challenges facing global public health in the contemporary world. The module will explore the social determinants of health, the relationship of public health to international development processes, as well as examining inequalities and models of social justice. The theoretical approaches will be illustrated through major public health challenges whether they are diseases (e.g. Malaria, HIV/AIDs), of socio-political origin (e.g. gender relations, war, famine), or environmental (e.g. climate change).

    15 credits
    Epidemiology Online

    As one of the core disciplines of Public Health, epidemiology is concerned with the methods of studying health related states and events to control health problems. The module, which is delivered online, covers epidemiological measures, main study designs, screening and surveillance. The primary objective is to introduce students to the principles, tools and applications of epidemiology and to help develop their practical skills through a range of activities.

    15 credits
    Health Promotion - online

    The module aims to elaborate on the theoretical background of health promotion with the aim of developing a critical awareness of the key concepts, debates and methods. The module aims to evaluate a range of health promotion strategies in different fields.

    15 credits
    Introduction to Statistics and Critical Appraisal Online

    The unit, which is delivered online, introduces students to basic concepts and techniques such as hypothesis testing and confidence interval estimation in statistics. Students will learn some simple statistical methods and the principles behind some advanced methods such as regression. It will equip students with the knowledge and skills necessary to understand and critically appraise statistics in research literature.

    15 credits
    Introduction to Research Methods Online

    This module, which is delivered via online learning, provides students with an introduction to quantitative and qualitative research methods and to the types of skills necessary for the planning, data gathering and dissemination stages of health-related research.
    Topics covered include:
    •Research Design;
    •Methods of Data Collection;
    •Approaches to Analysing Data and Writing a Research Proposal.
    The course provides a foundation for further learning in specific research methods. It is primarily designed for new students beginning Masters courses in the School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR) and there is an emphasis on research techniques used in public health and health services research (HSR).

    15 credits
    Systematic Approaches to Evidence Assessment Online

    This module , which is delivered online, provides the skills and knowledge required to conduct rapid assessments of the evidence base and then to apply these assessments to health management and/or clinical practice. It introduces and explains rapid review methodologies that seek to optimise the balance between rigour and relevance, ensuring the timely and judicious use of evidence that is both user sensitive and context dependent. This module will also address the growing demand for knowledge translation of research findings, specifically within the context of developing countries. A key feature is production of a culturally-sensitive action plan that takes into account local feasibility and implementation issues.

    15 credits
    Dissertation Online

    The unit, which is supervised online, enables students to develop an understanding of the processes and the skills required to undertake a supervised research project in health care. Having successfully completed the unit, a student will be able to: demonstrate researcher skills commensurate with the achievement of a Master's degree; demonstrate independence of inquiry; produce a cogently argued piece of writing that demonstrates researcher competence and the ability to operate independently; address issues of research design, methodology, ethics and theoretical arguments, and locate their own research in relation to these issues.

    60 credits

    Optional modules - two from:

    Using Policy to Strengthen Health Systems Online

    This module, which is delivered online by distance learning, seeks to build on students' own experiences and knowledge of health policy and health systems. Over the course of the module, students will work individually and also in small online groups to develop a critical understanding of health policy and particular health systems, and to develop ideas and proposals about how these health systems can be strengthened, and who might benefit or not benefit. These improvements can be targeted at any combination of the regional, national, district, and community level. In this module, policy is understood in a broad way, as courses of action and inaction which shape health systems, and health systems are understood both as broad public health systems (including the social determinants of health), and as particular forms of organisation of health care (both formal and informal). The module is suitable for students with broad health and health care understanding, but also for those with more limited knowledge and experience of health systems.

    15 credits
    Further Statistics for Health Science Researchers Online

    The module will cover fundamental statistical concepts, including both simple statistical methods and the more widely used advanced methods of multiple linear regression, survival analysis and generalised linear models. It will be a practical module, including the teaching of the statistical software SPSS, equipping students with the knowledge and skills necessary to design and analyse a study to answer specific research questions; to understand and critically appraise the literature more thoroughly; and to present research findings in a suitable fashion.This is a Distance Learning version of the face-to-face HAR6045 module.

    15 credits
    Communicable Disease Control Online

    The control of communicable diseases is a key function of public health. This module covers the core principles of communicable disease control including infectious disease surveillance, outbreak management, immunisation programmes, as well as the prevention and control of infectious diseases. It will also present a broad range of common infectious disease topics including HIV, tuberculosis, meningitis, diarrhoeal illnesses and hospital acquired infections. Students will gain a firm foundation in both factual knowledge and an understanding of how to apply this knowledge for the control of infectious diseases at the population level. This module will be delivered by online learning.

    15 credits
    Leading and Managing Health Services Online

    This module integrates the principles of managing health care services and leading on rapid changes and advances in regional, national and international contexts. Principles of health management will be demonstrated through case-based teaching, in order to enable students to understand how to solve common management problems. Cases will be used to illustrate the complexity of the operating environment for health systems and health services. Students will be supported in developing critical thinking about the relative effectiveness of different approaches to management by analysing their own health care services within a broader cultural, political and policy context.

    15 credits

    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.

    Open days

    An open day gives you the best opportunity to hear first-hand from our current students and staff about our courses. You'll find out what makes us special.

    Upcoming open days and campus tours


    • MPH: 2 years, part-time
    • PG Certificate: 2 years, part-time


    All of your teaching will take place online. You will learn through videos, podcasts and online lectures.

    Our teaching combines three key elements:

    • Authentic learning: We use real-world, real-life, up-to-date case studies, examples and scenarios. You can immediately see how your learning is applicable to your own working life
    • Social learning: We learn from each other as much as from purely independent study. This course uses multiple tools to deliver content and facilitate interaction with and between tutors and students
    • Flexibility: The majority of the online reading materials are heavily supplemented with videos, screencasts, internet-based materials, and the use of interactive online tools. Materials are provided in blocks usually lasting two or three weeks.


    You will be assessed through coursework and online exams.

    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. 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 our 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.

    Entry requirements

    Minimum 2:1 undergraduate honours degree or a relevant medical degree.

    We may also consider your application if you do not meet the standard academic requirements but you have considerable relevant professional experience in public health.

    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.

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


    You can apply for 2024 postgraduate study using our Postgraduate Online Application Form. It's a quick and easy process.

    Apply now


    +44 114 222 5454

    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.