Public Health (Health Services Research)


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This 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.

About the course

Key information
Programme starts September 2019
  • Intro week: 23-28 September
  • Teaching starts: 30 September
Modes and duration
  • Taught face-to-face
  • Full time: 1 year
  • Part time: 2 years
  • Check the current programme fee on our fee calculator.

    Fees are charged pro-rata for the 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 HSR 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 HSR 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 CourseThis 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

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
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
HAR6531 Qualitative Research Design and Analysis Semester Two (Spring) 15
HAR674 Randomised Controlled Trials Semester Two (Spring) 15

Optional modules - choose a total of 45 credits

Code Title Semester Credits
HAR6041 Health Needs Assessment, Planning and Evaluation Semester One (Autumn) 15
HAR685 Communicable Disease Control Semester Two (Spring) 15

Evaluation Methods for Complex Settings

**Not running in Spring 2019**

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 & Healthcare 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
HAR655 Public Health Informatics Semester Two (Spring) 15
HAR6501 Systematic Reviews and Critical Appraisal Techniques 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, 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.


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.

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.

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.

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)

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