Public Health


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This course has been specifically designed for students from any educational 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.

About the course

Key information
Programme starts September 2020
  • Intro week: 21-25 September
  • Teaching starts: 28 September
Modes and duration
  • Taught face-to-face
  • Full time: 1 year
  • Check the current programme fee on our fee calculator.
    Fees are charged pro-rata for postgraduate diploma and postgraduate certificate. 
    Part-time programme fees are normally the equivalent of the full-time fee, split over the first two years of study. A charge may be made for inflation in the second year. Contact us for more details.
Entry requirements
  • 2:1 honours degree, or a medical degree, or significant experience in public health
    Intercalating medical students are welcome to apply
  • English language requirement: IELTS 6.5 overall with 6.0 in each component or equivalent
Taking modules via the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) route
  • It is possible to complete standalone MPH modules via our Continuing Professional Development programme (please check individual module web pages for CPD availability), and then apply to transfer to one of our MPH qualifications. Any time spent on the CPD route counts toward the time limit a student has to complete their chosen qualification. Please contact the CPD administrator ( for further information.
Disabled applicants

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.

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

The module information given here is for the full time Masters programme

Core modules - compulsory

Code Title Semester Credits
HAR679 Dissertation Academic year (Sept-Sept) 45
HAR619 Epidemiology Semester One (Autumn) 15
HAR6041 Health Needs Assessment, Planning and Evaluation Semester One (Autumn) 15
HAR6030 Introduction to Research Methods Semester One (Autumn) 15
HAR6035 Introduction to Statistics and Critical Appraisal Semester One (Autumn) 15
HAR675 Key Issues in Global Public Health Semester One (Autumn) 15

Optional modules - choose a total of 60 credits

Code Title Semester Credits
HAR686 Disaster and Emergency Management Semester One (Autumn) 15
HAR685 Communicable Disease Control Semester Two (Spring) 15
HAR680 Contemporary Health Psychology and Behaviour Change Semester Two (Spring) 15

Further Statistics for Health Science Researchers

Students must pass HAR6035 or HAR6039 before taking this module

Semester Two (Spring) 15

Economic Evaluation & Health Care Financing

No more than 50 students will be able to enrol for this module

Semester Two (Spring) 15
HAR6021 Health Promotion Semester Two (Spring) 15
HAR682 Leading and Managing Health Services Semester Two (Spring) 15
HAR655 Public Health Informatics Semester Two (Spring) 15
HAR6016 Sociology of Health & Illness Semester Two (Spring) 15
HAR6501 Systematic Reviews and Critical Appraisal Techniques Semester Two (Spring) 15
HAR697 Using Policy to Strengthen Health Systems Semester Two (Spring) 15
HAR6531 Qualitative Research Design and Analysis Semester Two (Spring) 15
HAR6522 Confronting Public Health Problems Semester Two (Spring) 15

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.

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, postgraduate diploma and postgraduate 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 as postgraduate certificates (60 credit) and postgraduate diplomas (120 credit) without a dissertation.


If you are studying for a masters degree, you will undertake a year-long dissertation project. You will attend classes which will prepare you to write the dissertation. Most of the project work will happen over the summer once you have completed the taught modules.

You will develop your own dissertation topic. You will also choose appropriate methods which could include empirical primary data collection, systematic or narrative literature reviews, and secondary data analysis.

Course team

The course team are listed below:

Current students can contact the course administrator at

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.

Your career

Career opportunities

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 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.

(3 years, all ScHARR courses, response rate 58.5%) data available in full at
(choose MPH/... in the course dropdown menu)

Student testimonials

Anna Watkinson Powell, Scharr student"I've been able to build lots of new skills which will be really valuable to me. The content of some of the modules has just been fascinating. It's been really interesting and it's sufficiently flexible for you to be able to tailor it to what you want to get out of it, whether that's in terms of module choice or even within a module."

Anna Watkinson-Powell, Intercalating University of Sheffield Medical Student

Scharr mph student"Coming onto the course during my intercalation year, it's really taught me a lot about public health work, and made me appreciate what public health doctors do. Also, I think the course really helped to give me a more holistic view of medicine: it made me look at things less clinically, and made me appreciate the many different factors which affect my patients. I would definitely recommend this course to my fellow medical undergraduates."

Bukky Olaitan, Intercalating University of Sheffield medical student

scharr mph student"The School has renowned world class public health experts, so you gain the knowledge and skills you need to develop your career in public health. During the course, I developed core competences in public health management and leadership, communicable disease control, research, especially how to conduct public health needs assessment.

I recommend ScHARR to anyone still wondering where to go for their master's degree in public health."

Dr Paschal Awingura Apanga, MPH student.  Paschal's full testimonial is available here.

All students consented to the use of their comments in this publicity material.

Programme evaluations are run frequently to assess and improve the programme. We work constantly to develop and enhance the learning experience of our students.

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t: +44 (0)114 222 5454