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Course overview

With over 25 years of experience in public health education, our Public Health course will provide you with the theoretical knowledge and practical skills you need to succeed in public health.

You'll be taught by a wide range of our globally renowned public health experts who are at the forefront of public health in their specialisms including Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England Professor Jonathan Van Tam and Honorary Professor and WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

From health protection to health and lifestyle behaviour choices to more specific areas like tobacco control, you'll learn the skills needed to improve the health of our populations. You'll also learn to put public health questions into practice, with support in methodological skills, in research and on the ground.

Our collaborative approach means that our academics' brilliant networks are shared with you, so you'll benefit from our relationships and connections with a range of external partners like Public Health England, WHO and local authorities. We also offer excellent pastoral support – including research support, personal tutoring, careers guidance, alumni support and social events - to help you make the most of your time with us.

Whether you're a doctor, a nurse, or a healthcare professional, you can join our Public Health family and we'll help you lead the way in public health.

Why choose this course?

Over 25 years

of experience in public health education

Award-winning team

Lord Dearing Award 2019 winners for excellence in learning and teaching.

Strong alumni network

Alumni regularly come back to visit and do talks on their careers

Active student reps

Student representatives have helped make fundamental changes to our Public Health course.

COVID-19 Responders

Learn from academics like Professor Van Tam who are leading the response to COVID-19.

Tobacco Control

We host the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies, a network of 13 institutions in the UK and New Zealand, funded by the UK Clinical Research Collaboration.

Course content

You'll study across a number of compulsory modules designed to give you a broad overview of all aspects of public health training like epidemiology and medical statistics as well as how to perform research.

You'll also have a selection of optional modules to help you tailor your studies to your specific interests and work balance. These will introduce you to various specialities in public health including health promotion, tobacco control, and health economics.

Study takes place over three semesters, autumn, spring, and summer. Typically taught modules are delivered in the autumn and spring semesters with the summer used for the research project, though this is dependent on your mode of study.

MPH students will take all of the compulsory modules and choose 70 credits' worth of optional modules for a total of 180 credits.

Students taking the Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) cover:

  • The same core modules as MPH without the Dissertation module
  • 70 credits' worth of optional modules

for a total of 120 credits.

Students taking the Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) cover:

  • The same core modules as MPH without the Dissertation module
  • 10 credits' worth of optional modules

for a total of 60 credits.

Modules

Compulsory modules

Fundamentals of Public Health 10 credits

An introduction to all of the fundamental and central concepts within public health including:

  • Health Inequalities
  • Determinants of Health
  • Health Economics
  • Health Promotion
  • Health Protection
  • Sociology of Health
  • Global Public Health
  • Health Systems UK and non-UK
  • Public Health Policy
  • Public Health Practical Skills
Epidemiology 10 credits

This module considers the basic concepts of epidemiology and will give you the knowledge and skills to access, describe and interpret epidemiological data, including:

  • the main research designs used in epidemiology
  • the strengths and weaknesses of the different types of study and how the evidence obtained contributes to the assessment of causality.
  • how to carry out critical appraisal of published papers
  • other important epidemiological concepts including bias, confounding, basic infection rate and demography
Planning and Evaluating Public Health Interventions 10 credits

Develop skills in planning and evaluating interventions including public health programmes, services and policies.

You will cover the full intervention cycle:

  • assessing need and priorities (including health needs assessment, health equity audit and health impact assessment)
  • intervention planning (including programme theory and choosing interventions)
  • monitoring and evaluation (including quasi-experimental study designs for assessing outcomes)

The course assessment include writing a protocol for a public health intervention (individual coursework). Students may submit an optional formative assessment (of no more than half a page). Verbal feedback is provided to support the writing of this protocol

Medical Statistics 10 credits

Learn the basic concepts of medical statistics and develop the knowledge and skills to analyse univariate data. Explore the basic principles and application of medical statistics in epidemiology.

Research Methods for Public Health 10 credits

Gain the skills to develop and deliver a research proposal from beginning to end, including:

  • refining a research topic / idea into a manageable research project
  • writing and refining a research question, aims and objectives
  • sources of data, including new technologies and searching
  • study design for feasibility and practicality
  • qualitative data collection (interviews, focus groups, other data sources)
  • quantitative data collection (eg survey design)
  • qualitative data analysis
  • ethics and research governance (GCP on-line task)
  • basic theory around mixed methods
  • introduction to patient and public involvement (PPI)
  • dissemination / writing / presenting research
  • introduction to project management including financing
  • CASP for critical appraisal
Dissertation 60 credits

The final dissertation provides the opportunity to carry out an extended piece of research to address a real public health problem, integrating the skills gained throughout the course and well-supported by experienced researchers.

You will gain skills that are highly valued by a range of national and global employers, including national health services, governmental and non-governmental organisations, academic institutions and industry.

Students from overseas are encouraged bring with them ideas and material suitable for their project, and may discuss these in advance with staff.

Previous projects include:

Optional modules

Communicable Disease Control and Health Protection

An exciting new module relevant to global communicable disease control, including COVID-19.

Global Health 20 credits

Study a wide overview of global public health issues, in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals and other global health policies. You will gain insight into ethical and economic issues within which health care is delivered in resource rich and resource poor settings.

Health Promotion 10 credits

The module will provide students with an opportunity to explore a broad approach to Health Promotion to address inequalities in health at local, national and international development contexts.

Further Medical Statistics 10 credits

This module introduces students to a higher level of statistical methods, building on the content of the Medical Statistics module (EPID4030) and including statistical regression modelling techniques.

For example, students will learn to interpret and apply the techniques of multiple linear regression, logistic regression, rates and survival analysis in a statistical software package

Qualitative Methodology and Analysis 10 credits

The module will provide students with:

  • an understanding of the basic concepts of qualitative research, and of the relations between quantitative and qualitative research
  • an understanding of how qualitative research can be used to investigate matters pertinent to public health
  • basic skills in appraising qualitative research papers and reports
  • preliminary skills in designing qualitative research – in terms of recognising the sorts of questions and areas of investigation relevant to qualitative research, and appropriately selecting methods of data collection and analysis
  • preliminary skills in conducting and writing up collection and analysis of qualitative data.
Tobacco Control Interventions 10 credits

This module introduces students to the key issues in understanding smoking behaviour and tobacco control policies, a number of the concepts will also be applicable to the wider arena of other addictive behaviours.

Health Economics 10 credits

The module will:

  • Introduce students to a sociological perspective on health, illness and healthcare
  • Consider the ways in which patterns of health and illness vary across different social groups
  • Consider the ways in which our society responds to illness
  • Critically explore the role of medicine in society.
Data Organisation and Management in Epidemiology 10 credits

The module will provide students with knowledge of the use of statistical analysis software for organising and manipulating data. This will include an understanding of the importance of adequate data management prior to the commencement of statistical analysis and how to use advanced functionality to ensure that data management is carried out efficiently and with the potential for errors minimised.

Systematic Reviews 10 credits

The module will enable students to develop the necessary knowledge and skills to conduct a systematic review of a topic relevant to their own area of health or healthcare practice.

Public Health Nutrition 20 credits

This module will provide an integrated programme of epidemiology, basic nutrition and molecular science and public health nutrition and policy to examine the relationship between nutritional status and major human disease. The emphasis of the module will be upon understanding population-wide approaches to evaluation of disease risk factors and development and implementation of preventive strategies.

Promotion of Workplace Health and Wellbeing (eLearning) 20 credits

A healthy workforce is a productive workforce and the workplace provides an ideal location in which to promote healthy behaviours. This module considers the business case for workplace health promotion, introduces psychological theories of behaviour change, and examines the application of these theories to informing the design of effective workplace health promotion interventions.

This module is delivered online through video lectures and reading materials that students engage with at their own pace. Online learning is supported by a series of activity- and discussion-based webinars facilitated by the module convenor, Jonathan Houdmont.

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on Monday 12 July 2021.

Compulsory modules

Fundamentals of Public Health 10 credits

An introduction to all of the fundamental and central concepts within public health including:

  • Health Inequalities
  • Determinants of Health
  • Health Economics
  • Health Promotion
  • Health Protection
  • Sociology of Health
  • Global Public Health
  • Health Systems UK and non-UK
  • Public Health Policy
  • Public Health Practical Skills
Epidemiology 10 credits

This module considers the basic concepts of epidemiology and will give you the knowledge and skills to access, describe and interpret epidemiological data, including:

  • the main research designs used in epidemiology
  • the strengths and weaknesses of the different types of study and how the evidence obtained contributes to the assessment of causality.
  • how to carry out critical appraisal of published papers
  • other important epidemiological concepts including bias, confounding, basic infection rate and demography
Planning and Evaluating Public Health Interventions 10 credits

Develop skills in planning and evaluating interventions including public health programmes, services and policies.

You will cover the full intervention cycle:

  • assessing need and priorities (including health needs assessment, health equity audit and health impact assessment)
  • intervention planning (including programme theory and choosing interventions)
  • monitoring and evaluation (including quasi-experimental study designs for assessing outcomes)

The course assessment include writing a protocol for a public health intervention (individual coursework). Students may submit an optional formative assessment (of no more than half a page). Verbal feedback is provided to support the writing of this protocol

Medical Statistics 10 credits

Learn the basic concepts of medical statistics and develop the knowledge and skills to analyse univariate data. Explore the basic principles and application of medical statistics in epidemiology.

Research Methods for Public Health 10 credits

Gain the skills to develop and deliver a research proposal from beginning to end, including:

  • refining a research topic / idea into a manageable research project
  • writing and refining a research question, aims and objectives
  • sources of data, including new technologies and searching
  • study design for feasibility and practicality
  • qualitative data collection (interviews, focus groups, other data sources)
  • quantitative data collection (eg survey design)
  • qualitative data analysis
  • ethics and research governance (GCP on-line task)
  • basic theory around mixed methods
  • introduction to patient and public involvement (PPI)
  • dissemination / writing / presenting research
  • introduction to project management including financing
  • CASP for critical appraisal

Optional modules

Communicable Disease Control and Health Protection

An exciting new module relevant to global communicable disease control, including COVID-19.

Global Health 20 credits

Study a wide overview of global public health issues, in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals and other global health policies. You will gain insight into ethical and economic issues within which health care is delivered in resource rich and resource poor settings.

Health Promotion 10 credits

The module will provide students with an opportunity to explore a broad approach to Health Promotion to address inequalities in health at local, national and international development contexts.

Further Medical Statistics 10 credits

This module introduces students to a higher level of statistical methods, building on the content of the Medical Statistics module (EPID4030) and including statistical regression modelling techniques.

For example, students will learn to interpret and apply the techniques of multiple linear regression, logistic regression, rates and survival analysis in a statistical software package

Qualitative Methodology and Analysis 10 credits

The module will provide students with:

  • an understanding of the basic concepts of qualitative research, and of the relations between quantitative and qualitative research
  • an understanding of how qualitative research can be used to investigate matters pertinent to public health
  • basic skills in appraising qualitative research papers and reports
  • preliminary skills in designing qualitative research – in terms of recognising the sorts of questions and areas of investigation relevant to qualitative research, and appropriately selecting methods of data collection and analysis
  • preliminary skills in conducting and writing up collection and analysis of qualitative data.
Tobacco Control Interventions 10 credits

This module introduces students to the key issues in understanding smoking behaviour and tobacco control policies, a number of the concepts will also be applicable to the wider arena of other addictive behaviours.

Health Economics 10 credits

The module will:

  • Introduce students to a sociological perspective on health, illness and healthcare
  • Consider the ways in which patterns of health and illness vary across different social groups
  • Consider the ways in which our society responds to illness
  • Critically explore the role of medicine in society.
Data Organisation and Management in Epidemiology 10 credits

The module will provide students with knowledge of the use of statistical analysis software for organising and manipulating data. This will include an understanding of the importance of adequate data management prior to the commencement of statistical analysis and how to use advanced functionality to ensure that data management is carried out efficiently and with the potential for errors minimised.

Systematic Reviews 10 credits

The module will enable students to develop the necessary knowledge and skills to conduct a systematic review of a topic relevant to their own area of health or healthcare practice.

Public Health Nutrition 20 credits

This module will provide an integrated programme of epidemiology, basic nutrition and molecular science and public health nutrition and policy to examine the relationship between nutritional status and major human disease. The emphasis of the module will be upon understanding population-wide approaches to evaluation of disease risk factors and development and implementation of preventive strategies.

Promotion of Workplace Health and Wellbeing (eLearning) 20 credits

A healthy workforce is a productive workforce and the workplace provides an ideal location in which to promote healthy behaviours. This module considers the business case for workplace health promotion, introduces psychological theories of behaviour change, and examines the application of these theories to informing the design of effective workplace health promotion interventions.

This module is delivered online through video lectures and reading materials that students engage with at their own pace. Online learning is supported by a series of activity- and discussion-based webinars facilitated by the module convenor, Jonathan Houdmont.

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on Monday 12 July 2021.

Compulsory modules

Fundamentals of Public Health 10 credits

An introduction to all of the fundamental and central concepts within public health including:

  • Health Inequalities
  • Determinants of Health
  • Health Economics
  • Health Promotion
  • Health Protection
  • Sociology of Health
  • Global Public Health
  • Health Systems UK and non-UK
  • Public Health Policy
  • Public Health Practical Skills
Epidemiology 10 credits

This module considers the basic concepts of epidemiology and will give you the knowledge and skills to access, describe and interpret epidemiological data, including:

  • the main research designs used in epidemiology
  • the strengths and weaknesses of the different types of study and how the evidence obtained contributes to the assessment of causality.
  • how to carry out critical appraisal of published papers
  • other important epidemiological concepts including bias, confounding, basic infection rate and demography
Planning and Evaluating Public Health Interventions 10 credits

Develop skills in planning and evaluating interventions including public health programmes, services and policies.

You will cover the full intervention cycle:

  • assessing need and priorities (including health needs assessment, health equity audit and health impact assessment)
  • intervention planning (including programme theory and choosing interventions)
  • monitoring and evaluation (including quasi-experimental study designs for assessing outcomes)

The course assessment include writing a protocol for a public health intervention (individual coursework). Students may submit an optional formative assessment (of no more than half a page). Verbal feedback is provided to support the writing of this protocol

Medical Statistics 10 credits

Learn the basic concepts of medical statistics and develop the knowledge and skills to analyse univariate data. Explore the basic principles and application of medical statistics in epidemiology.

Research Methods for Public Health 10 credits

Gain the skills to develop and deliver a research proposal from beginning to end, including:

  • refining a research topic / idea into a manageable research project
  • writing and refining a research question, aims and objectives
  • sources of data, including new technologies and searching
  • study design for feasibility and practicality
  • qualitative data collection (interviews, focus groups, other data sources)
  • quantitative data collection (eg survey design)
  • qualitative data analysis
  • ethics and research governance (GCP on-line task)
  • basic theory around mixed methods
  • introduction to patient and public involvement (PPI)
  • dissemination / writing / presenting research
  • introduction to project management including financing
  • CASP for critical appraisal

Optional modules

Communicable Disease Control and Health Protection

An exciting new module relevant to global communicable disease control, including COVID-19.

Health Promotion 10 credits

The module will provide students with an opportunity to explore a broad approach to Health Promotion to address inequalities in health at local, national and international development contexts.

Further Medical Statistics 10 credits

This module introduces students to a higher level of statistical methods, building on the content of the Medical Statistics module (EPID4030) and including statistical regression modelling techniques.

For example, students will learn to interpret and apply the techniques of multiple linear regression, logistic regression, rates and survival analysis in a statistical software package

Qualitative Methodology and Analysis 10 credits

The module will provide students with:

  • an understanding of the basic concepts of qualitative research, and of the relations between quantitative and qualitative research
  • an understanding of how qualitative research can be used to investigate matters pertinent to public health
  • basic skills in appraising qualitative research papers and reports
  • preliminary skills in designing qualitative research – in terms of recognising the sorts of questions and areas of investigation relevant to qualitative research, and appropriately selecting methods of data collection and analysis
  • preliminary skills in conducting and writing up collection and analysis of qualitative data.
Tobacco Control Interventions 10 credits

This module introduces students to the key issues in understanding smoking behaviour and tobacco control policies, a number of the concepts will also be applicable to the wider arena of other addictive behaviours.

Health Economics 10 credits

The module will:

  • Introduce students to a sociological perspective on health, illness and healthcare
  • Consider the ways in which patterns of health and illness vary across different social groups
  • Consider the ways in which our society responds to illness
  • Critically explore the role of medicine in society.
Data Organisation and Management in Epidemiology 10 credits

The module will provide students with knowledge of the use of statistical analysis software for organising and manipulating data. This will include an understanding of the importance of adequate data management prior to the commencement of statistical analysis and how to use advanced functionality to ensure that data management is carried out efficiently and with the potential for errors minimised.

Systematic Reviews 10 credits

The module will enable students to develop the necessary knowledge and skills to conduct a systematic review of a topic relevant to their own area of health or healthcare practice.

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on Monday 12 July 2021.

Learning and assessment

How you will learn

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Computer-based exercises
  • Guided reading
  • Small group learning
  • Workshops
  • Presentations
  • Tutorials

How you will be assessed

  • Computer-based exercises
  • Exams
  • Written work
  • Presentations
  • Dissertation

Your work will be assessed during or at the end of each module through a variety of means.

To complete a module and gain its credits you will need to make sure you attend your timetabled sessions and get over the 50% pass mark.

In order to achieve the MPH, you will need a total of 180 credits.

In order to achieve the PGDip, you will need a total of 120 credits.

In order to achieve the PGCert, you will need a total of 60 credits.

Contact time and study hours

We encourage our students to think of the course like they would a full-time job and spend around 37 hours on it per week including teaching time. Part time students should consider it similar to a part-time job.

You are expected to work roughly 10 hours for each credit on the course including teaching and independent study, so a 20 credit module should take around 200 hours to complete or around a total of 25 eight-hour days.

Full Time

Full time students learn over a period of two semesters and a summer period totalling around 12 months.

During the autumn semester you'll typically be taught the core modules on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Optional modules are delivered in the spring semester and are usually taught on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays or Fridays.

You'll have an average of 14 to 18 hours of contact time each week, however time and days of teaching will depend on the optional module you choose.

Non-teaching days are intended for private study and research.

Part Time

Part time students can learn the same course content over a period of 24 months.

During the autumn semester you'll typically be taught the core modules on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Optional modules are delivered in the spring semester and are usually taught on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays or Fridays. This is dependent on when you choose to study specific modules.

Students typically attend teaching one to two days a week or about 10 hours per week.

The timetable is set up flexibly to allow you to schedule your learning around your other commitments.

You're expected to devote around two to three days per week to the course including attending teaching, private study, and research.

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2022 entry.

Undergraduate degree2:1

Applying

If you have any questions about applying to the course or studying at the University of Nottingham, please use our enquiry form

You can also contact the course director, Dr Emma Wilson, if you have any questions about the course content.

Our step-by-step guide covers everything you need to know about applying.

How to apply

Fees

UK fees are set in line with the national UKRI maximum fee limit. We expect fees for 2022 entry to be confirmed in August 2021.

Additional information for international students

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you will pay international tuition fees in most cases. If you are resident in the UK and have 'settled' or 'pre-settled' status under the EU Settlement Scheme, you will be entitled to 'home' fee status.

Irish students will be charged tuition fees at the same rate as UK students. UK nationals living in the EU, EEA and Switzerland will also continue to be eligible for ‘home’ fee status at UK universities until 31 December 2027.

For further guidance, check our information for applicants from the EU.

These fees are for full-time study. If you are studying part-time, you will be charged a proportion of this fee each year (subject to inflation).

Additional costs

As a student on this course, you should factor some additional costs into your budget, alongside your tuition fees and living expenses such as travel and accommodation.

You should be able to access the books and resources you need for the course through our libraries, however you may wish to purchase your own copies or get specific books which may cost up to £80 each.

Funding

There are many ways to fund your postgraduate course, from scholarships to government loans.

We also offer a range of international masters scholarships for high-achieving international scholars who can put their Nottingham degree to great use in their careers.

Check our guide to find out more about funding your postgraduate degree.

Postgraduate funding

Careers

We offer individual careers support for all postgraduate students.

Expert staff can help you research career options and job vacancies, build your CV or résumé, develop your interview skills and meet employers.

Each year 1,100 employers advertise graduate jobs and internships through our online vacancy service. We host regular careers fairs, including specialist fairs for different sectors.

International students who complete an eligible degree programme in the UK on a student visa can apply to stay and work in the UK after their course under the Graduate immigration route. Eligible courses at the University of Nottingham include bachelors, masters and research degrees, and PGCE courses.

Graduate destinations

Our graduates go on to a wider range of careers.

Some recent graduate destinations include:

  • health services, such as the NHS
  • local or national government, for example councils, Public Health England, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Ministries of Health
  • multilateral organisations (World Health Organisation) and non-governmental organisations (Christian Aid, International Medical Corp, World Wildlife Fund)
  • academic careers around the world

Career progression

90.3% of postgraduates from the School of Medicine secured graduate level employment or further study within 15 months of graduation. The average annual salary for these graduates was £38,889.*

*HESA Graduate Outcomes 2020. The Graduate Outcomes % is derived using The Guardian University Guide methodology. The average annual salary is based on graduates working full-time within the UK.

Two masters graduates proudly holding their certificates
" We genuinely want to see everybody make the best of their time with us and we’ll do whatever we can to make their experience as valuable and as enriched as possible. We go above and beyond for our students and we value their individuality. We want you to focus on what you're personally interested in. When you’ve got good academic track record and add into that a good student experience, you can’t really beat that. "
Dr Emma Wilson, Course Director

Related courses

The University has been awarded Gold for outstanding teaching and learning (2017/18). Our teaching is of the highest quality found in the UK.

The Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) is a national grading system, introduced by the government in England. It assesses the quality of undergraduate teaching at universities and how well they ensure excellent outcomes for their students in terms of graduate-level employment or further study.

This content was last updated on Monday 12 July 2021. Every effort has been made to ensure that this information is accurate, but changes are likely to occur given the interval between the date of publishing and course start date. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply.