Master of Public Health (online) (MPH/Diploma/Certificate)

For enquiries about this course contact the Course Director, Angie Rees, at or call (+44) 0114 222 4268

Key Information

Programme Starts
  • September 2017
  • Intro Week: 18-23 September
  • Teaching starts: 25 September
Modes and duration
  • 2 - 4 years (MPH and PG Diploma)
  • 1 year (PG Certificate)
  • One semester (individual modules)
  • £10,500 for the full MPH
  • £7,000 for the Diploma (120 credits, 8 modules)
  • £3,500 for the Certificate (60 credits, 4 modules)
  • £875 for single 15 credit modules
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 this course

The online Master of Public Health course (MPH-online) has been designed to provide high quality education in Public Health. At Sheffield, we focus on providing research, evaluation and analytical skills relevant to understanding the social determinants of health in a rapidly changing environment.

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)

The MPH-online is suited to both clinical and non-clinical professionals who aspire to be leaders in their health care organizations, either in the UK or in their own country.

The form of delivery, using innovative, online learning materials and methods is suited to those with busy work commitments.

*** Please note that ScHARR is changing the way we talk about distance learning. It will now be referred to as "online learning". During this transition, you may see both terms used while central systems update. Please note that the courses and their content remain unaffected by the change in terminology. ***

Programme Content
Course fees
Fees Length of course
£10,500 for the full MPH
£7,000 for the Diploma (120 credits, 8 modules)
£3,500 for the Certificate (60 credits, 4 modules)
£875 for single 15 credit modules
2 - 4 years (MPH and PG Diploma)
1 year (PG Certificate)
One semester (individual modules)
Course philosophy

The programme is informed by three key elements:

  • Authentic learning
  • Social learning
  • Flexibility
Image via assetbank

Authentic learning

This is a key element that drives the content of all modules. It means that we use real-world, real-life, up-to-date case studies, examples and scenarios. Students can immediately see how their learning is "authentic" and applicable to their own working life, now and in the future. The focus is therefore not only to impart or communicate to students fundamental concepts, ideas and critical understandings of Public Health, but to contextualise this with real life examples. This way, students can see exactly how what they are learning can be applied in their own work.

Social learning

Learning is social. We learn from each other as much as from purely independent study. The sharing of ideas and the opportunity to debate and discuss has been demonstrated to enhance the learning process, and is a key means of developing, refining and challenging our own evolving ideas. This course uses multiple tools to deliver content and facilitate interaction with and between tutors and students, including screencasts, discussion tools, wikis, blogs, webinar software for live discussion and collaboration. The online tools used in the programme enable and support such reciprocal learning.

Variety and flexibility

The majority of the online reading materials are heavily supplemented, where appropriate, with videos, screencasts, internet-based materials, and the use of interactive online tools.

Materials are provided in blocks or "sessions" of usually 2-3 weeks duration. We have found that this approach enables flexible learning and encourages the student group to work collaboratively through each module.

The idea for delivering materials in this flexible manner, employing such diverse methods, is based on large part on published research conducted by core staff, which is described here. We want to ensure the development and delivery of the programme is evidence based.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding:

  • Understand how public health principles apply to professional practice
  • Assess how the research process applies to public health practice
  • Apply the use of public health tools to protect and promote the public's health
  • Understand health service organisations and management
  • Critically reflect on the broader influences on health and health care provision

Skills and other attributes:

  • Work independently to define and address public health problems
  • Critically appraise research literature
  • Plan and utilise health services research
  • Design and implement programmes which protect and promote the public's health
  • Work with others to address the broader determinants of health
How this course is taught

The Master of Public Health (MPH-online) is delivered online using high-quality web-based materials, written by leaders in the field of Public Health in the School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR). Each module will provide opportunities for students to work with staff from ScHARR and as a student group.

You will have access to tutors from ScHARR, and your fellow students by means of a virtual learning environment. Materials will be delivered in a variety of formats which are designed to enhance the online learning experience. These include screencasts, videos and podcasts, alongside guided reading, case studies and online self-assessments.

The MPH-DL can be studied part-time over 2 to 4 years.

Diploma, Certificate and Single Modules

You can choose to study for a postgraduate Certificate (60 credits) over one year, or a Diploma (120 credits) over two years.

It is also possible to study individual modules to meet your specific learning needs. Please note: you can only study modules in the Semester in which they are being delivered (see the Modules section)

Please get in touch if you are seeking specific training in any aspect of public health.

Course team

Angie ReesThe core staff for this course are listed below:

In addition to these core staff members, the course draws on the expertise of a wide range of internal and external staff, all of whom are actively engaged in Public Health teaching and research. This reflects the commitment of the School to ensuring the excellence of the programme and enhances the depth and breadth of the available learning for students by exposing them to a full range of experience, expertise and specialist knowledge, as well as different voices and perspectives.

The module leaders can be found on the course structure section.

Online open days

The online open days are an opportunity for you to learn more about the course and how it will be taught.

Course structure

We recommend that students on this course spend approximately 150 hours of study for each 15 credit module. This is equivalent to about 10-12 hours of study time per week.

All modules account for 15 credits unless stated otherwise.

Year 1 modules (all core modules - they must be studied)

Code Title Led by Semester
HAR6047 Key Issues in National and Global Public Health (Online) Julie Balen Autumn
HAR6048 Epidemiology (Online) Evangelos Kritsotakis Autumn
CDH623 Health Promotion by Distance Learning Janine Owens Spring
HAR6042 Introduction to Statistics and Critical Appraisal (Online) Dawn Teare Spring

Year 2 modules (HAR6043 and HAR6044 are core, all other modules are optional)

Code Title Led by Semester
HAR6043 Introduction to Research Methods (Online) Alan O'Rourke Autumn
HAR6044 Systematic Approaches to Evidence Assessment (Online) Andrew Booth and Fiona Campbell Autumn
HAR6049 Using Policy to Strengthen Health Systems (Online) Muhammad Saddiq Spring
HAR6061 Further Statistics for Health Science Researchers (Online) Jeremy Dawson Spring
HAR698 Communicable Disease Control (Online) Julie Balen Spring
HAR699 Leading and Managing Health Services (Online) Muhammad Saddiq Spring

Dissertation (required for MSc accreditation)

Code Title Led by Semester
HAR6053 Dissertation (Online) (60 credits) Vanessa Halliday Year long (Sept-Sept)

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.

Our students

Career opportunities

The Master of Public Health Course

Our students typically go on to work in the following areas:

  • Working for large international NGOs (e.g. Save the Children)
  • Senior public health posts within the UK
  • Research manager in early child development
  • UK Public health training
  • Higher research training- PhD
  • Monitoring and evaluation officer eg. AIDS prevention

Student testimonials

Photograph of Dan ArmoohIn my new role in Health Insurance Administration in Ghana I realised that I needed to get a better perspective of public health and the leadership challenges and approaches to management. I had a job to do, a family to keep and still a strong desire to get an education from a very good institution of learning so distance learning was the best fit solution to the challenges I faced. The University of Sheffield also offered me the fees payment plan with the most manageable flexibility and this was important to me at the time.

Online education is quite challenging but exciting. The teaching platform offers you all the materials you need for fulfilling self-study. The teaching support is excellent as all module facilitators are ready and willing to support each student. Personally, my dissertation supervisor was extraordinary and guided me through my work. The MPH has enhanced my knowledge, broadened my scope of career options, my critical thinking abilities and has given me the foundation for further academic work in public health. I enjoyed every bit of the journey."

Dr Dan Armooh, Master of Public Health (online learning) 2015 graduate.
CEO for Acacia Health Insurance Ltd, Ghana

Dan's full testimony is available here.

Photograph of Richard Vis"I chose the School of Health and Related Research at the University of Sheffield as it has an excellent reputation with the medical profession with a national and international focus to the course. The distance learning route enabled me to continue in my job at a pharmaceutical company alongside learning about the many different aspects of public health.

I particularly enjoyed our discussions around health inequalities and the live webinars with students from all around the world. Throughout the course, we had excellent support from our tutors who gave us regular feedback on our coursework assignments. As a mature student, completing the MPH has given me confidence and a great sense of achievement. I am indebted to all the teaching staff at ScHARR and the University of Sheffield for their help and support over the past two years."

Richard Vis, Master of Public Health (online learning) 2016 graduate. 
Manager Medical Scientific Liaison, Sanofi Pasteur MSD, UK

Richard's full testimony is available here.

(3 years, all ScHARR courses, response rate 58.5%) data available in full at

When does the course start?

The course starts in September each year.

Do I get academic credit for taking a single module?

Yes. Each module is accredited by the University of Sheffield. You will receive credits from the University, which you can use towards gaining the full Certificate, Diploma or MPH later, if you wish.

Single modules can only be taken in the Semester in which they are to be delivered. Please see the CPD pages for more information.

What is the course structure?

Please see the Course Structure for details.

How long will it take me to complete the MPH-DL programme?

The programme can be taken in a minimum of 2 years and a maximum of 4 years. From our experience of other online learning Masters courses at the University, we expect that most participants on the course will take 2-3 years to complete the full MPH-DL.

What experience do staff who teach on the course have?

The course will be taught by academic staff from the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health, mainly coming from within ScHARR (the School of Health and Related Research). We have been teaching many of the materials on the face-to-face MPH at Sheffield (with over 100 students a year) and other Masters programmes for many years.

All staff involved in developing and delivering this course are active in public health teaching and/or research within the UK and other high-income countries. Several staff also have experience of teaching and conducting research in low and middle-income countries. The core interest of the teaching team is in improving the health of the public at local, regional, national and international levels, through research informed teaching, applied research and close involvement with the National Health Service and other health care organisations.

Students will be taught by staff coming from a wide range of disciplines including: clinical public health specialists, epidemiologists, psychologists, sociologists, information scientists and systematic reviewers, policy and management specialists, international health specialists, public health nutritionists, pharmacists, health visitors and health services researchers.

Do I have to come to Sheffield at all?

No. The course is delivered entirely online, and all materials are made available via the internet. So, for international students there are no visa, travel or residential requirements.

However, we envisage that many students will choose to attend the final degree graduation ceremony in Sheffield.

How will the course be taught?

Please see the Studying online page for more information.

How much does it cost?

Please see the Fees and funding page for more information. The fees are the same for home and overseas applicants.

What equipment will I need to be able to participate in the course?

Please see the Studying online page for more information.

What do I need to be accepted on the course?

Usually, a good first degree (2:1 equivalent or better) is needed. However, applicants without this may be considered on a case-by-case basis dependent on other qualifications and work experience. This is outlined on the How to apply page

If English is not your first language, ScHARR requires an IELTS of 7.0 with 6.5 in each component or equivalent gained within the last 2 years will be required. Please note this is higher than other University of Sheffield courses. See the page on English language requirements for information on other acceptable English language qualifications.

Most of all, you need to be enthusiastic: to be keen to develop your knowledge and skills in public health, to learn from your fellow students and the faculty, and to share your own learning and knowledge with us.

How do I apply?

Master of Public Health, Diploma or Certificate
You will need to apply using the university's postgraduate online system by completing the online form. Read through the information on the How to apply page before beginning the application process.

Single Modules
You can apply for single modules via the Alternative Routes and Programmes system. See the CPD pages for more details.

When can I apply?

Master of Public Health, Diploma or Certificate
We recommend that you apply before the end of July to allow time for uploading and authorisation of supporting documents, such as references.

Single Modules
You can apply for single modules at any time up to the end of August for the autumn semester and mid December for the spring semester. See the CPD pages for more details.

When would I register and begin my studies?

If you are pursuing the Master of Public Health, Diploma or Certificate programmes, you will be sent the information on how to register online prior to commencing the course in September. If you are taking single modules or the certificate, then you could begin your studies at the beginning of either semester (September or February).

Can I talk to someone about the course?

Yes. Please email the Course Administrator (Lynne Thompson) at or on (+44) 0114 222 2973.

Alternatively, for academic enquiries, you can contact the Course Director, Angie Rees at