Triangle

Course overview

With over 30 years of experience in public health education, our Public Health MPH course will provide you with the theoretical knowledge and practical skills you need to succeed in public health. The MPH course curriculum is accredited by the Institute for Health Promotion Education (IHPE) and the Agency for Public Health Education Accreditation (APHEA).

You'll be taught by a wide range of globally renowned public health experts who are at the forefront of public health in their specialisms. You may have the opportunity to hear from 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 epidemiology, you'll learn the skills needed to improve the health of our populations. You'll gain the ability 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' networks are shared with you. Meaning you'll benefit from our relationships and connections with a range of external partners like UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), Office for Health Inequalities and Disparities (OHID), the World Health Organisation (WHO) and local authorities. We are proud of our excellent educational partnerships with our local authority public health partners where students may have the opportunity to engage in real-world local level change.

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. Our provision of extracurricular opportunities has won University of Nottingham awards.

Public health is for anyone with an interest in improving the health of the population. You do not need to have a science or medical background to study and work in public health. We actively welcome students with non-medical and non-science backgrounds to our course. Whatever your academic background or community healthcare experience, our Public Health MPH will give you the skills and knowledge needed to lead the way in public health.

Why choose this course?

Celebrating 30 years

of public health teaching excellence

Award-winning team

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

Institutional members

of ASPHER (The Association of Schools of Public Health in the European Region), dedicated to improving education and training of public health professionals for both practice and research.

Strong alumni network

Benefit from regular visits and careers talks from our alumni

Active student reps

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

Accredited Curriculum

Course curriculum content is accredited with APHEA.

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.

The course 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.

If you choose the full MPH, you'll take all of the compulsory modules and choose 60 credits worth of optional modules for a total of 180 credits.

If you choose the Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip), you'll cover the same core modules as MPH without the Dissertation module and take 70 credits worth of optional modules for a total of 120 credits.

If you choose the Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert), you'll study the same core modules as MPH without the Dissertation module and take 10 credits worth of optional modules for a total of 60 credits.

Modules

Compulsory modules

Fundamentals of Public Health 10 credits

The Fundamentals of Public Health module aims to introduce students to the wide range of topics covered in public health and ensure that students undertaking the Master of Public Health Course have a basic understanding of essential public health concepts.

The module is taught as a one-week block module. Within this module, we cover a range of topics including health inequalities, health protection and risk, leadership and ethics in public health, health literacy and health promotion, planning and evaluation of public health interventions as well as an introduction to global health and health systems. The module also introduces the UK health system, which is of particular importance to international students.

During this module you will learn some practical applications of public health by exploring how to understand and interpret public health data and attending two practical skills sessions. One of the sessions is led by a senior public health practitioner and is focused on real-world examples of public health application in the local authority setting.

We also run a session on reflective practice in public health. Introduction to theoretical concepts combined with practical skills sessions ensure that you understand the importance of different elements of public health, how they are linked, and how theoretical concepts are applied in public health practice. After completion of the module, you will have fundamental knowledge of population health, allowing you to successfully continue with your degree, particularly if your background is unrelated to public health.

Many of the topics covered in the Fundamentals of Public Health module are further explored in specialist modules that students take as part of their MPH/ Global Health degree. However, for many students, some of the lectures in this module will be their only introduction to a particular topic. This is of key importance as all public health roles require a basic understanding of the fundamental principles of public health covered in this module.

The module is taught by a range of outstanding academics and public health professionals who have extensive research and practical experience. The taught sessions include interactive elements such as small group discussions, quizzes, and analysis of public health scenarios. As our students come from around the world the module is also an excellent opportunity for knowledge exchange, particularly when it comes to understanding how public health works in different settings. The Fundamentals of Public Health module is usually the first module all our students take in the autumn semester and therefore it is an excellent opportunity for students to meet the teaching team and get to know their peers.

Your module convenors are:

Dr Ilze Bogdanovica – Associate Professor in public health

“I enjoy teaching on Fundamentals of Public Health as it gives me an opportunity to introduce students to the fascinating field of public health.”

Professor Rachael Murray – Professor of Population Health

“I think the Fundamentals of Public Health module is a fantastic foundation on which to base the rest of the MPH/Global health teaching and learning. Seeing students gain an appreciation of how many components feed into the concept of public health and build on their passion is incredibly rewarding.”

 

Population Health Improvement 10 credits

Health improvement is the multi-faceted approach to making population level changes to health, it includes behaviour change, legislation and policy change, organisation of the structure of society and the built environment as a contributor to health. It includes health education, communication theory, and the role of modifiable and non-modifiable lifestyle factors in determining life course health outcomes.

Being able to change and influence health behaviour is a key pillar of public health practice and is recognised as a key public health competency alongside health protection. Health improvement has the potential to fundamentally change population health outcomes which is the overall aim of global public health.

The module focuses on health improvement within important non-communicable disease contexts (e.g. cancer, heart disease and diabetes), and will give you a deep and rich understanding of the role of four key modifiable risk factors for disease: alcohol consumption, smoking, food/obesity and physical activity. Students learn individual, community and organisation level change contextualised by real-world case studies. We cover local, national and global health improvement initiatives including screening programmes and the role of taxation and legislation as drivers to improve health.

The module is heavily focussed on orientating health improvement in the context of the wider societal, cultural, and structural barriers which prevent health improvement. Health improvement is all about meeting people where they are on their health journey and making the healthy choice the easier choice for people. Understanding these nuances and drivers for health behaviours in a population creates an immersive learning experience for students.

All public health roles require a fundamental understanding of the principles of population health promotion and health improvement, it is the bread and butter of all public health practice in any professional public health context.

We are fortunate to be supported by academics and public health practitioners who are experts in tobacco and alcohol control from the UKCTAS and the Nottingham Alcohol and Stop Smoking Services. Our experts showcase globally impactful research into smoking policy change, ethnic minority screening uptake, social physical activity prescribing and global approaches to community health promotion approaches. We work closely with our local health improvement partners in government, NHS, and charitable organisations to provide students with real-world practice and opportunities to design, develop and evaluate health improvement interventions.

We are passionate about teaching this module as it brings together all the core public health concepts and allows you to develop ideas for meaningful interventions to improve population health outcomes. We love seeing the creativity in the intervention ideas students develop during this module.

Your module convenors are:

Professor Emma Wilson – Professor of Public Health

“My first love in public health is without doubt health promotion and health improvement. I love teaching health improvement and in particular, exploring the social and societal barriers people face with health behaviour change. I love seeing students start to piece together the jigsaw pieces to understand lifestyle choices and barriers to behaviour change, and how they can support change as public health practitioners. Much of my research is around barriers to breast screening and understanding how we can use health improvement initiatives to improve breast cancer health outcomes.”

Dr Joanne Morling – Clinical Associate Professor in Public Health Medicine

“Health improvement is ‘real’ public health! I have been heavily involved in the design, delivery, and organisation of the UK bowel cancer screening programme, and I really enjoy being able to share these case studies with the students to help with their learning.”

Public Health Research Project 60 credits

The research project is a substantial piece of independent work where you will have the opportunity to carry out in-depth original research to address a real public health problem. The module enables you to integrate and apply skills gained throughout the Masters course, with a focus on further developing a particular quantitative or qualitative research method through its application to the full research lifecycle, from initial design to dissemination.

The skills you’ll develop will be highly valuable and sought after to a range of employers from national health services, governmental and non-governmental organisations, academic institutions, and industry.

The module, accounting for over a third of the course credits, is a major component of the Masters, running over the whole year and culminating in the presentation of the project as a written academic research paper, a conference-style poster with oral presentation, and a short accessible summary aimed at communicating the research to a public audience.

You will work independently with support from our academic supervisors to guide you along the way and can integrate external supervision from professionals working in public health or other specialist areas relating to the project topic. Your independent work is also supported by interactive workshop sessions throughout the year and opportunities to present and obtain feedback on your research process from fellow students and facilitators with a wide range of research experience.

The research process initially develops an ability to systematically identify medical/public health information and relevant existing evidence in the literature, to critically evaluate or appraise this existing evidence, and use this in the process of developing an original research project. It then moves on to combining the public health and epidemiological theory with the research methodology learned in the course to carry out the project, deepening your understanding through application to the public health question. Based on your research findings, evidence-based recommendations on a health issue to inform public health risk, or need for change in practice, strategy or policy are made, as well as recommendations for further research.

Crucially, the interpretation of the research findings and recommendations are made in the context of the existing evidence and the ability of the researcher to apply critique to their own work. Finally, the module sessions and assessment method develop the ability to effectively communicate the evidence, problem and recommendations with peers, professionals, stakeholders, and the public.

As well as being fascinating and rewarding, the research project requires patience, determination and endurance. The research process is long and challenging and often has bumps in the road, yet our students tell us that ultimately, they learned a lot and were left with a great sense of achievement. Having first-hand experience in the process of leading research from start to finish is key for all public health graduates, itis not only important for those who embark on further research, but for all in public health, so they can fully understand with a critical hat on, what evidence underpins public health practice and policy.

Our students can be supported in developing their own research ideas or developing research within a wide variety of research areas in public health and epidemiology, many of which we have national and world-leading researchers. We feel extremely fortunate to see students develop through their research projects, which can result in valuable academic publications as well as launch them into higher research degrees and key professional public health roles.

Your module leaders are:

Dr Laila Tata – Associate Professor

“I am an epidemiologist with a particular focus on maternal and child health and quantitative research, but a love for exploring with students the variety of different research methods and how they can apply them to designing and carrying out projects that will answer important new public health questions. My teaching is particularly focussed on developing critical thinking skills through practice. I encourage students to seize the opportunity the research project gives to deepen their development of critical thinking, as one of the most important skills they will need to take forward as public health professionals.”

Dr Manpreet Bains – Associate Professor in Qualitative and Mixed Methods Health Research

"I am a mixed methods researcher with expertise in using qualitative methods across a variety of topics, settings, and populations, in public health. I love to share and discuss with students how we can use qualitative methods as part of standalone studies, and how the approach can complement other methodological approaches, within the broad field of public health! These discussions are incredibly important to help students think about how best to develop their own research ideas, and think critically about devising a research question, aims and objectives and a plan to realise these.

Embarking on and working through the research process is also a critical part of the journey – things do not always go our way and it is important for students to appreciate and reflect on the real-world pragmatics of conducting a piece of research. Seeing students apply the learning from their various modules in public health and research methods to their research project, is thoroughly rewarding – it brings everything together and vitally students are equipped with skills they can apply and develop in their public health practice for years to come!"

Professor Rachael Murray – Professor of Population Health

“I am a mixed methods researcher and much of my activity looks to change public health practice. Seeing students explore topics of particular interest to them throughout this module, and understand how they can use the methods they learn to answer a research question that is meaningful to them is really exciting. Watching students progress through the research process, and seeing them develop in confidence as they move through the stages to completion of the research project is incredibly rewarding.

Previous projects include:

Population Health Research Methods and Practice 20 credits

Understanding and applying research methods and techniques is a key skill for public health and global health practice. In our research methods module teaching we give you a broad overview of the types of research techniques which are applicable to global public health. Research is a centrally important component of public health and global health practice as it allows us to build a robust evidence base which helps to inform policy and practice to improve local, national, and global health outcomes.

The module will take you on a journey through the process of designing, developing, implementing, and disseminating quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods research methodologies specifically applied to public health settings.

You’ll learn to embed evidence-based research practices across all their other public health and global health modules to create critical research-informed arguments which will support the development of an independent research project.

Having an understanding and appreciation of research methods is important across all graduate public health careers and forms a fundamental building block for all practice-based and academic public health.

We bring together world-leading academic experts and contemporary case studies to highlight the intricacies of performing local, national, and global public health research to inform and improve future health outcomes.

We have a strong focus on research impact, with research communication skills being embedded within all the learning emphasising how we ensure our research reaches the right people, in the right format, at the right time.

We build on our academic successes being rated as 4* for Impact in Global Research in REF, to deliver highly relevant research-informed teaching, supported by wider learning and practice-based opportunities.

We are dedicated to teaching and sharing this module with our students as it is always wonderful to see students immerse themselves into the world of public health research, for some, this may be their first interaction with research, and we love seeing our students grow into independent researchers. We are always amazed by the creative ideas students have for targeted dissemination of research to public audiences, and the breadth of global experiences within the student group.

Your module leaders are:

Professor Emma Wilson – Professor of Public Health

“I love teaching research methods to the public health students, my particular expertise is qualitative and mixed methods research, and I really enjoy sharing my love for public health related breast cancer research with students through this module. I really enjoy interacting with the students to hear about and build upon their research practice in their local contexts.”

Professor Jo Leonardi-Bee – Professor of Epidemiology and Medical Statistics

“I have always enjoyed academic research and supporting student research. As the Director of the Nottingham Centre for Evidence-Based Healthcare my particular expertise is in evidence-synthesis. I love supporting students to develop and perform systematic reviews and meta-analyses. I really enjoy seeing the students develop their research skills from this module into their own research project.”

Public Health Interventions in Practice 20 credits

Public Health Interventions is an essential aspect of public health practice at local, regional, national, and international levels. Applying principles which are relevant across the full spectrum of public health interventions - from population-level interventions such as vaccination programmes and public information campaigns through to wider health determinants interventions such as speed limits - this module teaches students how to plan evidence-based interventions and take a rigorous approach to evaluation.

 

We take students through the full intervention cycle, from the identification of public health priorities in a given context and identification of evidence-based interventions through to how to plan the delivery of such interventions and how to evaluate whether such interventions have met their goals and how. The module covers techniques such as health needs assessment which are commonly used in public health practice to review health issues and agree on priorities and considers how to plan the delivery of interventions which are evidence-based and feasible given local contexts and through the active involvement of key stakeholders. The module equips students with the skills to answer essential evaluation questions: Did the intervention work in the given context? If yes, why was it effective, and can we improve it? And if not, why didn’t it work?

 

The module is delivered by academics who have experience in the development and evaluation of diverse public health interventions in the UK and international contexts, from local interventions such as falls prevention programmes for the elderly and national-level tobacco control policies through to international projects to prevent and manage non-communicable diseases in low- and middle-income countries. The module includes practical workshops with public health experts from local authorities and international organisations such as the WHO and the UN who help to bring theoretical concepts to life, such as planning and evaluating public health interventions in global emergencies and as part of international development.

 

We enjoy teaching this module because it is highly interactive and develops a range of skills that will be relevant to all students, irrespective of their backgrounds and which areas of public health they go on to work in. Students complete the module with knowledge and skills which they can directly apply in their future public health practice. Much of the learning arises from discussions between the students themselves, and as module leaders, we learn a lot this way too!

 

Your module leaders are:

Dr Tessa Langley – Associate Professor in Health Economics

“Everywhere in the world public health practitioners have to identify and prioritise public health problems, identify solutions to those problems and assess whether those solutions work; helping students learn how to do this effectively is very rewarding. I particularly enjoy seeing students applying the concepts they learn to the public health problems that are most important to them.”

 

Dr Kaushik Chattopadhyay – Associate Professor in Evidence Based Healthcare

“I enjoy doing global health research to improve people’s health and well-being and translating my experiences into teaching. I believe this is one of the most pragmatic MPH modules - students learn how to solve a public health problem using an evidence-based solution, which ultimately will give great satisfaction to any public health practitioner.”

Communicable disease control and health protection 10 credits

The way diseases and infections spread within communities and more widely across the globe is one of the fundamental backbones of public health practice. Health protection is not just concerned with the spread of infectious disease but also includes biological, chemical, radiation, and nuclear health hazards and environmental health. Being able to stop the spread of disease, predict and control disease outbreaks, and protect people’s health through chemical and environmental regulation is not only exciting and rewarding but centrally important to global public health.

Health protection brings together all the core public health competencies – epidemiology, data management, leadership, behaviour change, and many more. It is fast paced and critically can be the difference between life and death.

The module will take you on an exciting journey into communicable disease control and health protection exploring global tropical disease, vaccines, antimicrobial resistance, chemical, nuclear, and biological threats, and specific infectious diseases using real-life scenarios. You’ll learn the theory within the context of communication skills, team working, outbreak control, and prevention measures.

Understanding the theory and practical application of health protection is a key aspect of public health delivery. Most public health professionals will have to support health protection work in their careers, especially when there are disease outbreaks or environmental threats detected. These can become emergency response type situations that require excellent team working and quick responsive decision-making.

We bring together world-leading experts in health protection who contextualise daily practice with academic theory. We have experts in global infectious disease and behaviour change, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), and Local Government public health practitioners contributing to exciting case studies and rich learning. The world of health protection is ever changing and our experts bring the most recent case studies to life for students with their real-life reflections (e.g. Covid-19, HIV treatment PREP, novel environmental planning research, international track and trace, Novichok UK).

We have a strong focus on communication skills that underpin the teaching and module delivery you’ll receive as a core skill required for health protection practice. We enjoy teaching and sharing this module with our students because it is a fundamental core global public health priority. In practice, it is fast-paced and exciting. The content is broad and covers many exciting topics which the public often takes for granted, and being able to offer students an immersive teaching experience in the world of health protection is a great privilege. We particularly enjoy hearing students’ experiences of communicable disease control in international contexts.

Your module leaders are:

Dr Joanne Morling – Clinical Associate Professor in Public Health Medicine

“As a public health consultant I have a lot of experience of health protection in practice, most recently through my involvement in leading part of the Covid-19 test and trace initiative in the UK. Teaching the students health protection is so much fun seeing them develop from what they thought it was all about to a much wider understanding of the breadth of practice opportunities.”

Professor Emma Wilson – Professor of Public Health

“For me, health protection is really exciting, and I am particularly excited by chemical, biological, and nuclear health risks. Health protection is so interlinked with my love of health promotion, and understanding how we can change human behaviour to mitigate health protection. I love seeing the students begin to recognise how there are so many interlinked factors that have an impact on health protection.”

Optional modules

Data Organisation and Management in Epidemiology 10 credits

Data is at the centre of everything that we do. The amount of data created, captured and consumed worldwide is estimated to increase 90-fold between 2010 and 2025. In healthcare, analysis of data is required for the purposes of healthcare planning and evaluation and in the analysis of research data. Data management is an important and time consuming initial phase of ensuring any data we make decisions based on is reliable and usable. Proper data management allows us to be certain that analyses have been conducted correctly and robustly in a reproducible manner.

The Data Organisation and Management in Epidemiology module is a comprehensive course which assumes only fundamental knowledge of the workings of the R software as a pre-requisite. We take you through all stages of the data management journey from exporting data created for an external package to combining information across multiple datasets, and using loops and iterations to perform tasks more efficiently. Much of this is done using the Tidyverse; a set of commands which share an underlying design philosophy, grammar, and data structures to enable consistent coding patterns across a number of common data management tasks.

Students who have completed the module in past years are fully equipped to complete dissertation projects which involve the analysis of large datasets or undertake PhDs in this field. Many more will have learnt a lifelong skill which will equip them to deal with a world where data and how to use it is becoming ever more important. Our evaluations of the module over the years have shown that we have been consistently successful in meeting these aims and playing our own small part in creating a data-literate society.

We love teaching this module, as the skills which you will acquire will be generically applicable in the future – we will teach you what is possible with data, and how to solve problems with data. You will become familiar with reproducible data analyses, and in how to set out data analysis steps when writing technical reports. You will become used to careful storage and management of data, which is central to working with data. You will be a team member who will be cognizant of the need to plan how you will deal with data. It’s great to watch you grow and learn how to deal with data – it’s a practical module and we love seeing students rapidly improve their data analytic skills over the course of the module.

Your module leaders are:

Dr Matthew Grainge – Associate Professor in Medical Statistics

“As a medical statistician, people often come to me for advice on how to analyse their data. However, it soon becomes apparent that what they really need guidance on is how to organise the data they have collected to that it is an acceptable state to proceed with statistical analysis tasks. This module highlights this important step in the research process. I love illustrating to students that playing with and manipulating data is a joyful challenge rather than a necessary evil.”

Dr Andrew Prayle – Clinical Associate Professor in Paediatric Respiratory Medicine

“Data management is often seen as a somewhat dry topic which has little impact. However, in clinical medicine and public health, you frequently encounter projects which could have been massively improved if someone who is well versed in preparing data for analysis had been involved from the outset. In this module we will teach you how to work ‘magic’ on data – for example, combining multiple datasets together in a reliable way to allow novel analyses, identifying problems with data, and automating data analysis tasks. This will allow you to in the future be efficient and effective when working with data.”

Developing and Leading Global Healthcare Systems 10 credits

Strong and effective leadership is a key component in ensuring efficiency and effectiveness within organisations and wider systems including those working to improve health and wellbeing, it is important as it inspires and motivates individuals to create environments and opportunities which lead to positive change and outcomes. Every country faces challenges in relation to cost, quality, and delivery of health services, it is therefore important that students understand the elements which make up health systems and how these can be strengthened.

This module will provide you an exciting exploration of health systems strengthening with teaching structured around the World Health Organisation’s six building blocks of leadership and governance, finance, healthcare products - essential medicine and technology, health workforce, service delivery and health information systems. It demonstrates not only the importance of managing how systems operate and change to internal and external stressors but how strong and effective leadership can inspire confidence, innovation and change which improves health and wellbeing at individual and population levels.

Public health roles require students to understand how health systems work and how to manage and lead interventions and programmes as well as having an appreciation of how leadership can impact organisational culture and delivery of health services. If the goal of universal health coverage is to be achieved, then all those involved in public health must strive to make existing and future services as effective, acceptable and efficient as possible so that as many services as possible can be delivered to the widest population.

As part of the module, you are taught by leading experts in health systems strengthening and leadership who can discuss key elements from a truly global perspective.

We enjoy teaching this module as it is exciting to see our students have the opportunity to expand their knowledge and skills on a range of topics that will help shape their journeys to become the public headers leaders of the future.

Your module convenors are:

Gillian Carleton-Boylan – Assistant Professor in Public Health

"I’m really interested in how systems work and the multitude of ways that efficiency, effectiveness and acceptability of service delivery can be improved. I enjoy watching the students learn more about health systems and leadership and discussing how they wish to apply this knowledge to their future work.”

Professor Emma Wilson – Professor of Public Health

“Leadership is a key public health skill, there will never be a time when you are working on your own in public health and being able to lead a team is important. I enjoy watching the students develop into leaders over the course of the programme.”

Further Medical Statistics 10 credits

A comprehensive understanding of statistical concepts and methods is essential for understanding current public health research and developing effective public health practice. Increasingly, knowledge of, and the ability to apply, more advanced statistical methods using statistical software, is key to being able to analyse and interpret the complexity of public health data. In the further medical statistics module, we introduce many of the more advanced statistical methods and analyses being used in the public health domain, and provide the skills needed to use these methods to analyse and interpret real-world data.

This module will provide you with the knowledge and skills in using a variety of regression methods which allow us to explore the effects of individual and multiple factors on different health outcomes in different study designs. You are introduced to the important statistical concepts needed to understand the theories underlying these methods, but the focus is on practical application to real-world datasets, and you’ll have plenty of opportunities to try different methods and strategies of multivariate analysis in different public health contexts. We cover considerations of missing data and methods such as time series which is increasingly used for the evaluation of public health interventions. We use the freely available R statistical software throughout, building on the skills learned in the Medical Statistics module, and gaining confidence in the use of this software for managing and analysing complex data.

The ability to understand quantitative research findings and information, where more advanced statistical methods have been used, is important across all graduate public health careers, whilst the skills in analysing and interpreting complex quantitative data are crucial for careers as public health analysts, epidemiologists, or information specialists.

We bring together medical statisticians and epidemiologists working across a huge range of public health and clinical domains, with expertise in applying advanced statistical and epidemiological methods to a wide variety of national and international health datasets.

We thoroughly enjoy teaching this module and enjoy finding ways to stimulate your interest in statistics. We show how they can be used to address real public health problems, and we love to watch students, some of whom come to the module with innate trepidation about their ability to work with numerical data, gradually build their confidence in their ability to use the software and to apply complex methods. You will explore and generate new insights from data, and hopefully a genuine love of statistics.

Your module leaders are:

Dr Sonia Gran: “I thoroughly enjoy teaching this module as I see students appreciate the value of medical statistics in the field of public health and develop in their skills, knowledge and confidence. It is also great to see students choose career pathways that involve medical statistics after completion of this module."

Professor Sarah Lewis: “I love sharing my passion for statistics and epidemiology and their application to areas of medicine from tobacco and alcohol research, to older people’s research. I enjoy watching students grow in confidence and appreciation of the subject.”

Global Health 20 credits

Global health is a multidisciplinary field that prioritizes the improvement of health and achievement of health equity for all people worldwide. Our interconnected and globalized world means that threats from communicable and non-communicable diseases, and increasing health inequalities, are common concerns globally. Public health at the local and national level is shaped by global influences such as climate change, conflict, and the global economy. Tackling global health challenges needs the organized efforts of public health practitioners, policymakers, international agencies, and communities. The challenging environments found in the Global South demand creative responses. Learning about what is being done to improve and protect health in under-served settings gives us knowledge and ideas for public health action wherever we work.

This module will give you a critical introduction to global health, before focusing in-depth on key topics such as reproductive, maternal and child health, neglected tropical diseases, non-communicable diseases, migration and health, humanitarian assistance, climate change, and global mental health. We cover cross-cutting subjects such as health systems and epidemiological modelling. This module allows you to apply other public health core topics, for example, public health improvement, in a global context. Throughout the module, we situate our teaching in key international frameworks, such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals. We have stimulating discussions on theoretical and ethical issues and there is a strong emphasis on exploring our own positionality as students, researchers and practitioners.

This module will equip you with the knowledge and skills to critically examine and generate solutions to key global health challenges. We aspire to produce public health experts who can make a real contribution to achieving global health equity.

We draw together researchers, clinicians and public health practitioners with world-leading expertise in global health. Our contributors bring technical expertise in global disease surveillance and mathematical modelling; intervention implementation; and strategic experience from the United Nations and the UK Health Security Agency. We draw on external speakers and material from around the world including the Global South. Experts share their hands-on experiences through illuminating case studies in areas such as mental health, maternal health, infectious diseases and humanitarian assistance.

This module gives us the chance to interrogate the historical and political origins of global health inequalities and power dynamics between Global North and Global South. In doing so we enjoy some lively debates. We love drawing on the wide-ranging experiences of our students to maximise the learning of the whole cohort.

Dr Laura Asher – Clinical Associate Professor in Public Health

“I love sharing my experiences of working in mental health in Ethiopia and South Africa, particularly the challenges of undertaking research and effecting change in under-resourced environments. I enjoy debating ethical issues with students and always come away with new perspectives.”

Dr Laura Nellums – Associate Professor in Global Health

“An exciting aspect of this module for me is the shared knowledge exchange and learning that happens between our cross-sectoral contributors and the students who bring their lived experience and diverse academic and occupational knowledge from around the world into the classroom.”

Health and Society 10 credits

This module will introduce you to the different ways in which sociology can help us to understand health, illness and healthcare, viewing public health challenges through the lens of sociology. You’ll understand differing perspectives on why people, communities and societies behave the way they do, and what barriers they may face, helps us to address the fundamental issue of health inequality.

You will explore sociological and anthropological theory and importantly apply this to public health challenges such as healthy weight, mental health and infectious diseases. We use group discussion, interactive media, personal study, and lectures to deliver and consolidate learning and the assessment is the production of a poster and commentary on a public health topic of the student’s choice.

The pandemic has revealed and indeed exacerbated existing health inequalities in different segments of society. It is vital that public health practitioners understand the structural issues in society that contribute to these inequalities and how phenomena such as class and stigma can help explain and therefore help to mitigate impacts.

The module brings together sociologists and public health practitioners to deliver an extremely applied module that is relevant to the challenges faced by society today. We place a strong focus on examples from every day public health practice in the UK and overseas so that students with no background in sociology can learn to think sociologically.

We get an immense sense of pride when we hear our students, who have often never heard of sociological theories, talking about gender bias, structural inequalities and grand theories of Marxism, functionalism, and symbolic interactionism. It is even more pleasing to see how our students translate these theories into practical action that can be taken on the ground to improve the health of the population.

Your module leaders are:

Dr Elizabeth Orton – Associate Professor and Consultant in Public Health

“I studied Sociology at ALevel, many years ago. I didn’t really know why back then, just that I liked the subject. I then revisited the theory whilst training to be a Public Health Consultant and now I think I use my knowledge of sociology every day, whether this is in thinking about how to encourage women or people with disabilities to be more physically active, or how to encourage people to take up vaccinations. Its applications are literally in everything I do.”

Dr Paul Leighton – Associate Professor of Applied Health Research

I am a lapsed sociologist with a background in sociology and social anthropology. Now I spend my time doing applied health research trying to bring a more social/sociological focus to large health studies and randomised controlled trials. In the past, I have done more community research with an interest in how concepts such as social capital, social class and social exclusion can help us to understand individual and community experiences and outcomes. The critical perspective that sociology offers opens the eyes and broadens the reach of public health endeavours.”

Grace Brough – Assistant Professor and Registrar in Public Health

“I loved Sociology when I was first introduced to it at A-level, so much so I went on to do a Sociology degree. I felt like it really helped me understand the world around me. The theories resonated with what I was observing, helping me understand and contextualise the world, society and societal behaviours. I have found Sociology incredibly applicable to public health and helpful in my training as a public health consultant, being able to merge the two disciplines I am passionate about brings me great enjoyment. I would recommend anyone in Public Health undertake the module to deepen their understanding of populations and their health behaviours.”

Health Economics 10 credits

Scarcity of resources means that choices need to be made about how resources should be used; Health Economics is the study of how those choices are made in relation to health and health care. More countries are moving to decision making using evidence-based medicine, with Economic Evaluation used to demonstrate which interventions provide good value for money a vital component of the decision making process. This is particularly important in Public Health as many of the interventions don’t have immediate health benefits and therefore risk being overlooked in favour of healthcare interventions that do. Health Economics can also be used to understand other health-related decisions, including individuals’ health-related behaviours, such as unhealthy lifestyle choices, and different approaches to funding healthcare.

In this module, you will learn key economic concepts and how they are applied to inform the funding and structure of healthcare systems and explain how people’s behaviour with regard to their health. For Economic Evaluation, you will discover the key stages of an evaluation, with the aim of being able to critically appraise an Economic Evaluation. In addition, we deliver two practical workshops on decision modelling and decision making which allow you to put the skills you have earned into practice.

Anyone involved with decision making in Public Health needs to be able to understand and interpret Economic Evaluations, therefore having these skills will be a major attraction for employers. Furthermore, students gain transferable skills in writing and critical thinking which are important for any role.

The module leaders are experienced Health Economists with different specialities, thus providing students an insights into multiple aspects of health economics. Our teaching is research-led, drawing on our own research in Health Economics.

We are passionate about teaching this module, especially the challenge of explaining a subject that is often seen as complex and very different from other health related subjects. It is always gratifying to see students develop the necessary skills to be able to critically assess an Economic Evaluation or be able to explain how and why a healthcare system is funded in a particular way.

Your module leaders are:

Dr Tessa Langley – Associate Professor in Health Economics

“Health Economics is an integral aspect of contemporary Public Health, and I believe that economics has a role to play in explaining and addressing most if not all public health problems. Health Economics doesn’t give us all the answers, but is like a toolbox that helps in decision making. I really enjoy teaching students how to view Public Health through the lens of Health Economics and how to apply economic theory in public health practice.”

Dr Matthew Jones – Assistant Professor in Health Economics

“Teaching Health Economics has always been a pleasant challenge. I have had many fascinating conversations with students about the rights and wrongs of Economic Evaluation, and decision making in healthcare and Public Health. Teaching on this module has improved my understanding of key aspects of Health Economics and helped me to become a better academic.“

Public Health Sustainability, Climate and Environment 10 credits

Ensuring that sustainability is at the heart of public health action is not only key to improving the quality of life for humans but is also a means for protecting planetary health and developing intergenerationally ethical ways of living. One health is a core pillar of how we can work in ways that meet the needs of all life on the planet now and in the future as it recognises that human health is inextricably linked to the health of animals and our shared environment and so provides a framework for action to migrate/control the largest issue currently facing public health that of climate change.

This module provides you with a compelling insight into environmental health, one of the most diverse and exciting areas of public health, and introduces the fascinating concept of one health and what this collaborative, multisectoral, and transdisciplinary approach has to offer. It explores climate change in a way that not only enhances understanding of cause and affect but inspires thought and discussion of innovative and inspirational interventions to address negative impacts and enhance human and planetary renaissance.

Understanding the interconnectedness of human health, animal health and the environment is at the heart of strong public health service development and delivery which meets the needs of current and future populations. All those working in public health will need to understand and embrace these areas if the goal of improving the health of the global population is to be realised.

The module has a strong focus on developing your critical thinking skills and encourages you to be confident in embracing new ideas and ways of working, through understanding the importance and benefits of innovation and partnership working. You will develop communication skills that will allow you to deliver public health messages to a variety of audiences.

We enjoy teaching this module as it is a pleasure to see our students’ passion for this important area of health and how much they want to make a positive difference and the world a better place. It is gratifying to know that we had a role however small in helping our future public health leaders on their public health journey.

Your module convenors are:

Gillian Carleton-Boylan – Assistant Professor in Public Health

“My professional background is in environmental health and so the interconnectedness of the wider environment and human health is an area I have been passionate about for over 20 years and truly love sharing with the students. I very much enjoy seeing students make connections between the various concepts and look to understand how they can work to make a positive difference."

Professor Emma Wilson – Professor in Public Health

“I have always loved geography in the context of human health. I am very interested in urban planning and how our environment around us contributes to our health positively and negatively.”

 

Public Health Nutrition 20 credits

Public health nutrition is the promotion of good health through nutrition and the prevention of disease and illnesses in the population. It includes activity to improve diets with the intention of maintaining and protecting wellbeing. This can be achieved through a variety of ways, most notably through the development of nutrition interventions that support people to make healthier choices and health policies that can create health promoting environments. Nutrition is a significant part of health and good nutrition is related to improved maternal, infant and child health as well as lowering the risk of non-communicable diseases (e.g. cancer, heart disease and diabetes).

You’ll focus on exploring the relationship between diet, health and disease in human populations and gain a rich understanding of the current major public health nutrition challenges. You’ll learn how nutrition can impact health from early life (pregnancy, breastfeeding, children) to older age. Students get the opportunity to critique and discuss public health nutrition interventions and policies. We look at real-world interventions including supplementation, fortification, taxation and nutrition education programmes. We also consider the wider societal, cultural and structural barriers which prevent population groups from achieving a balanced diet and ultimately overall good nutritional health.

Roles in public health and nutrition require skills in intervention and policy development, interpreting epidemiological data in relation to diet and disease as well as communicating accurate nutritional information.

We value teaching excellence, and you’ll have the benefit of being taught by several academics who have a special interest in public health nutrition. Our academics have worked in practice (NHS, local government, NGO’s) and can relate real-world examples in the teaching they deliver to you, giving you a fuller and well-rounded learning experience.

We love teaching this module as we can bring in current nutrition topics and challenges to discuss and debate. We can explore the importance of nutrition across the life course to improve population health outcomes. The assessment will allow you to develop your critical evaluation skills as well as developing skills in intervention and policy development.

Jemma Orr – Assistant Professor in Public Health Nutrition

“As a registered nutritionist I have been involved in the development of public health nutrition programmes locally, such as supporting holiday hunger initiatives, weight management programmes, and weaning education sessions for parents. I absolutely love sharing my experience and knowledge of these to help support their learning. Nutrition is a complex topic, and there are many sociological and psychological factors that influence food choice I love discussing the nuances associated with nutrition and public health.”

Promotion of Workplace Health and Wellbeing 20 credits

A healthy workforce is a productive workforce, and the workplace provides an ideal context to promote health. This module considers the business case for workplace health promotion, introduces contemporary psychological theories of behaviour change, and explores how these theories provide an understanding of workers’ behaviours and inform the design of interventions to encourage healthy choices.

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.
Systematic Reviews 10 credits

Public health is an evidence-based discipline. Systematic reviews are an important type of evidence that public health practitioners use as they are regarded as the gold standard for supporting decision making. Systematic reviews comprehensively identify, collate, and summarise the body of knowledge on a particular topic or question to provide a complete interpretation of the research. This means that public health decisions can be made based on the best available evidence. Systematic reviews are important for decision making because their rigorous and explicit methodology promotes findings that are free of bias.

The methodology of systematic reviews enables students to link across many core public health topics related to study design, critical appraisal, data management, analysis skills, and library skills.

The module will take you on an exciting journey through the steps involved in conducting a systematic review. We cover the methods that apply to a range of different types of public health interventions, including those focusing on feasibility, appropriateness, meaningfulness, and effectiveness. We look at how to frame the question for the systematic review, searching and screening the evidence, critical appraisal of the evidence, synthesis of the evidence, and assessing the confidence in the findings of the review. Students learn the theory of these steps and have practical sessions throughout the module to apply their learning.

Understanding the theory and practical application of systematic reviews is a key aspect of public health. All public health professionals will need to be able to read and understand the findings from systematic review articles and critique the quality of a review. Additionally, some public health graduates may need to conduct their own systematic review of the evidence for a specific topic or area. Gaining knowledge of the process and experience in conducting the steps of a systematic review will provide the foundations for conducting your own systematic review.

The module convenors are Directors of the Nottingham Centre for Evidence Based Healthcare, which is a JBI Centre of Excellence. The Centre is internationally recognised as a leader in evidence synthesis, comprising of world-leading experienced academic researchers, information scientists, and clinical practitioners, all specialising in evidence synthesis. We are highly experienced in delivering accredited short courses and bespoke workshops locally, nationally, and internationally on all aspects of evidence synthesis, including systematic reviews and scoping reviews.

As experts in evidence synthesis and systematic reviews, we enjoy teaching and sharing our knowledge, hints, and tips with our students. The content follows a linear format focusing on the steps of a systematic review and the delivery is split between the expertise of the two module leads, where we cover approaches to systematic reviews for quantitative and qualitative study designs. We particularly enjoy discussing the topic of the assignment with the students since choosing their own topic means that students apply the principles and practices of systematic reviews to a context which has meaning to them.

Your module leaders are:

Professor Jo Leonardi-Bee – Professor of Medical Statistics and Epidemiology

I love teaching students how systematic reviews can be used to help make the most of existing research evidence to help healthcare professionals, patients, and the public to make informed decisions about health. I work closely with JBI, which is one of the main organisations at the forefront of evidence synthesis, to develop systematic review methods.”

Professor Catrin Evans – Professor of Evidence Based Healthcare

I am an enthusiastic and award-winning educator who enjoys supporting students to achieve their potential. I am passionate about working with health professionals to understand how to use evidence to inform policy and practice.

Understanding, Predicting and Changing Health Behaviour 20 credits

It is widely accepted that the behaviours we engage in can have a direct impact on our health, well-being, and ultimately life expectancy. This module focuses on the role of modifiable health-related behaviours and explores what health psychology can bring to our understanding of behaviour. It helps us explain why some people may engage in a health behaviour whereas others may not, as well as how we might develop effective behaviour change interventions.

This module critically examines the role of health behaviour in the UK as well as its contribution to global public health priorities. It considers the application of several commonly used social cognition models (e.g., Health Belief Model; Theory of Planned Behaviour) to a range of health-protective (e.g., breast self-examination, physical activity) and health-compromising (e.g., smoking, alcohol consumption) behaviours.

The extent to which social cognition models can assist in understanding the key determinants of health behaviours is considered as well as their ability to provide a useful theoretical basis for behaviour change interventions. However, it quickly becomes apparent that these models have several limitations, and the module considers why more recent developments in the scientific study of behaviour change, may offer new and potentially more effective ways to design and evaluate behaviour change interventions.

The module provides you with a comprehensive overview of the behaviour change wheel and how it may be applied to the design of health-related behaviour change interventions. It offers practical guidance on how to apply the behaviour change wheel and the COM-B model to real-world health behaviour problems (e.g., mask-wearing during the pandemic) and how to select relevant behaviour change techniques (i.e., the ‘active ingredients’ of an intervention) to bring about the desired change in the target behaviour. It considers the functions of interventions as well as how policy may support behaviour change. Finally, the model acknowledges the fact that we live in a technological world, and we consider how this can impact the delivery of behaviour change interventions.

We will equip you with the knowledge and skills to be able to diagnose a problem in terms of problematic health behaviour and design an intervention which is acceptable, feasible, theoretically informed, and measurable, which is a key skill within the public health domain.

You’ll be taught this module by experts who share a passion for the application of psychological theory and research evidence to the design and evaluation of behaviour change interventions. They draw upon many years of research and practice in the field to bring to life how contemporary real-world problems can be addressed through the scientific study and practice of behaviour change, giving you an enriched learning experience.

Your module convenor is:

Professor Neil Coulson – Professor of Health Psychology

“For me, this module provides such an exciting opportunity to showcase what psychological theory can offer public health. I particularly enjoy seeing students get to grips with key theories and then being able to work with them and develop imaginative and innovative behaviour change interventions.”

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 Thursday 28 March 2024.

Compulsory modules

Epidemiology 10 credits

Epidemiology is the basic science of public health. It is the discipline which quantifies disease burden and tries to identify the important modifiable risk factors for disease. This information, enhanced by contextual information from qualitative work, can be used to design clinical trials and/or implement policy to improve public health.

The application of the method is wide – encompassing acute and chronic disease, physical and mental illness, community and hospital settings and all populations. The questions we can ask are varied but always return to the basic concept of how we can improve public health. We look to understand disease causation, understand the behaviour of people and populations, or highlight inequitable access to health care.

The aim of this module is to give you an introduction to epidemiology. We want to focus on three main things: how to ask important questions, how to design appropriate studies, and how to understand and use the study results. In addition, to examine the epidemiological studies to understand the strength and limitations of design to answer the question. We want to teach the key principles which underpin each of these parts so that you can readily use them in their daily practice which can be from reading research to inform practice or evaluating public health practices.

To improve your epidemiological skills is not just enough to learn the principles but you need to practice these skills of design and critical review of research. All of the lectures have a practical component where the students apply what was taught either through short answer questions or through examining research papers from a wide variety of sources. Reading the work of others with a critical eye and thinking how best to answer your own questions will help you to grow as an epidemiologist.

We enjoy teaching this module as students come with a wide variety of perspectives and experiences which feed into group discussions. To improve public health, you need to ask good questions and understand the strengths and limitations of the study design.

Your module conveners are:

Richard Hubbard – Clinical Professor of Epidemiology

“My role as a Respiratory physician is drawn upon to demonstrate the interface between practice and research. I can share my own experience of research and putting research into practice. It is important for public health students to have a good understanding of Epidemiology for all their career pathways for MPH students.”

Tricia McKeever – Professor of Epidemiology and Medical Statistics

“As an Epidemiologist, I can draw upon my experience of designing and conducting research to highlight the challenges that are faced when conducting research and the importance of good design when designing studies. I love teaching students the fundaments of study design, so they have a good base to build the rest of their public health knowledge.”

Fundamentals of Public Health 10 credits

The Fundamentals of Public Health module aims to introduce students to the wide range of topics covered in public health and ensure that students undertaking the Master of Public Health Course have a basic understanding of essential public health concepts.

The module is taught as a one-week block module. Within this module, we cover a range of topics including health inequalities, health protection and risk, leadership and ethics in public health, health literacy and health promotion, planning and evaluation of public health interventions as well as an introduction to global health and health systems. The module also introduces the UK health system, which is of particular importance to international students.

During this module you will learn some practical applications of public health by exploring how to understand and interpret public health data and attending two practical skills sessions. One of the sessions is led by a senior public health practitioner and is focused on real-world examples of public health application in the local authority setting.

We also run a session on reflective practice in public health. Introduction to theoretical concepts combined with practical skills sessions ensure that you understand the importance of different elements of public health, how they are linked, and how theoretical concepts are applied in public health practice. After completion of the module, you will have fundamental knowledge of population health, allowing you to successfully continue with your degree, particularly if your background is unrelated to public health.

Many of the topics covered in the Fundamentals of Public Health module are further explored in specialist modules that students take as part of their MPH/ Global Health degree. However, for many students, some of the lectures in this module will be their only introduction to a particular topic. This is of key importance as all public health roles require a basic understanding of the fundamental principles of public health covered in this module.

The module is taught by a range of outstanding academics and public health professionals who have extensive research and practical experience. The taught sessions include interactive elements such as small group discussions, quizzes, and analysis of public health scenarios. As our students come from around the world the module is also an excellent opportunity for knowledge exchange, particularly when it comes to understanding how public health works in different settings. The Fundamentals of Public Health module is usually the first module all our students take in the autumn semester and therefore it is an excellent opportunity for students to meet the teaching team and get to know their peers.

Your module convenors are:

Dr Ilze Bogdanovica – Associate Professor in public health

“I enjoy teaching on Fundamentals of Public Health as it gives me an opportunity to introduce students to the fascinating field of public health.”

Professor Rachael Murray – Professor of Population Health

“I think the Fundamentals of Public Health module is a fantastic foundation on which to base the rest of the MPH/Global health teaching and learning. Seeing students gain an appreciation of how many components feed into the concept of public health and build on their passion is incredibly rewarding.”

 

Medical Statistics 10 credits

Medical Statistics is the basic building block for Epidemiology and Public Health. It allows us to quantify the health of individuals and populations to compare health and health behaviours between different population groups, and compare the effectiveness of different treatments and interventions.

The course is taught from a very practical viewpoint, and we want to give you the skills to understand and do basic medical statistics. The module focuses on being able to present and describe different types of data, and to test for differences between two groups of either categorical or continuous data, as well as correlation and simple linear regression. You will be introduced to the freely available R statistical software, and learn how to conduct all the analyses using R. You will also gain experience in looking at how all these analyses are presented in research papers.

We assume no prior knowledge of statistics and slowly build student learning throughout the module. These skills are best learned from doing it, and every session is very practical with examples in the data analyses package to work through as well as examples from a wide variety of research papers.

This module is one that some students have most trepidation about coming into the masters course but it is so rewarding to see students’ fears disappear throughout the course as they build knowledge over the weeks. A previous student said on a module evaluation form, “I never realised statistics could be so easy”. It is very rewarding to see students learn and understand the basic concepts and know that we give them the skills to interpret data and analyses data in their future public health careers.

Your module conveners are:

Tricia McKeever – Professor of Epidemiology and Medical Statistics

“This is such a rewarding module to teach and as convenors, we have worked hard to make Medical Statistics accessible for everyone as it is an important fundamental building block for people in public health.”

Sarah Lewis – Professor of Medical Statistics

"I love sharing my passion for statistics and epidemiology and their application to areas of medicine from tobacco and alcohol research, to older people’s research. I enjoy watching students grow in confidence and appreciation of the subject.”

Research Methods for Applied Health 10 credits

Understanding and applying research methods and techniques is a key skill for public health and global health practice. In our research methods module teaching we give you a broad overview of the types of research techniques which are applicable to global public health. Research is a centrally important component of public health and global health practice as it allows us to build a robust evidence base which helps to inform policy and practice to improve local, national, and global health outcomes.

The module will take you on a journey through the process of designing, developing, implementing, and disseminating quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods research methodologies specifically applied to public health settings.

You’ll learn to embed evidence-based research practices across all their other public health and global health modules to create critical research-informed arguments which will support the development of an independent research project.

Having an understanding and appreciation of research methods is important across all graduate public health careers and forms a fundamental building block for all practice-based and academic public health.

We bring together world-leading academic experts and contemporary case studies to highlight the intricacies of performing local, national, and global public health research to inform and improve future health outcomes.

We have a strong focus on research impact, with research communication skills being embedded within all the learning emphasising how we ensure our research reaches the right people, in the right format, at the right time.

We build on our academic successes being rated as 4* for Impact in Global Research in REF, to deliver highly relevant research-informed teaching, supported by wider learning and practice-based opportunities.

We are dedicated to teaching and sharing this module with our students as it is always wonderful to see students immerse themselves into the world of public health research, for some, this may be their first interaction with research, and we love seeing our students grow into independent researchers. We are always amazed by the creative ideas students have for targeted dissemination of research to public audiences, and the breadth of global experiences within the student group.

Your module leaders are:

Professor Emma Wilson – Professor of Public Health

“I love teaching research methods to the public health students, my particular expertise is qualitative and mixed methods research, and I really enjoy sharing my love for public health related breast cancer research with students through this module. I really enjoy interacting with the students to hear about and build upon their research practice in their local contexts.”

Professor Jo Leonardi-Bee – Professor of Epidemiology and Medical Statistics

“I have always enjoyed academic research and supporting student research. As the Director of the Nottingham Centre for Evidence-Based Healthcare my particular expertise is in evidence-synthesis. I love supporting students to develop and perform systematic reviews and meta-analyses. I really enjoy seeing the students develop their research skills from this module into their own research project.”

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

Population Health Improvement 10 credits

Health improvement is the multi-faceted approach to making population level changes to health, it includes behaviour change, legislation and policy change, organisation of the structure of society and the built environment as a contributor to health. It includes health education, communication theory, and the role of modifiable and non-modifiable lifestyle factors in determining life course health outcomes.

Being able to change and influence health behaviour is a key pillar of public health practice and is recognised as a key public health competency alongside health protection. Health improvement has the potential to fundamentally change population health outcomes which is the overall aim of global public health.

The module focuses on health improvement within important non-communicable disease contexts (e.g. cancer, heart disease and diabetes), and will give you a deep and rich understanding of the role of four key modifiable risk factors for disease: alcohol consumption, smoking, food/obesity and physical activity. Students learn individual, community and organisation level change contextualised by real-world case studies. We cover local, national and global health improvement initiatives including screening programmes and the role of taxation and legislation as drivers to improve health.

The module is heavily focussed on orientating health improvement in the context of the wider societal, cultural, and structural barriers which prevent health improvement. Health improvement is all about meeting people where they are on their health journey and making the healthy choice the easier choice for people. Understanding these nuances and drivers for health behaviours in a population creates an immersive learning experience for students.

All public health roles require a fundamental understanding of the principles of population health promotion and health improvement, it is the bread and butter of all public health practice in any professional public health context.

We are fortunate to be supported by academics and public health practitioners who are experts in tobacco and alcohol control from the UKCTAS and the Nottingham Alcohol and Stop Smoking Services. Our experts showcase globally impactful research into smoking policy change, ethnic minority screening uptake, social physical activity prescribing and global approaches to community health promotion approaches. We work closely with our local health improvement partners in government, NHS, and charitable organisations to provide students with real-world practice and opportunities to design, develop and evaluate health improvement interventions.

We are passionate about teaching this module as it brings together all the core public health concepts and allows you to develop ideas for meaningful interventions to improve population health outcomes. We love seeing the creativity in the intervention ideas students develop during this module.

Your module convenors are:

Professor Emma Wilson – Professor of Public Health

“My first love in public health is without doubt health promotion and health improvement. I love teaching health improvement and in particular, exploring the social and societal barriers people face with health behaviour change. I love seeing students start to piece together the jigsaw pieces to understand lifestyle choices and barriers to behaviour change, and how they can support change as public health practitioners. Much of my research is around barriers to breast screening and understanding how we can use health improvement initiatives to improve breast cancer health outcomes.”

Dr Joanne Morling – Clinical Associate Professor in Public Health Medicine

“Health improvement is ‘real’ public health! I have been heavily involved in the design, delivery, and organisation of the UK bowel cancer screening programme, and I really enjoy being able to share these case studies with the students to help with their learning.”

Optional modules

Communicable Disease Control and Health Protection 10 credits

The way diseases and infections spread within communities and more widely across the globe is one of the fundamental backbones of public health practice. Health protection is not just concerned with the spread of infectious disease but also includes biological, chemical, radiation, and nuclear health hazards and environmental health. Being able to stop the spread of disease, predict and control disease outbreaks, and protect people’s health through chemical and environmental regulation is not only exciting and rewarding but centrally important to global public health.

Health protection brings together all the core public health competencies – epidemiology, data management, leadership, behaviour change, and many more. It is fast paced and critically can be the difference between life and death.

The module will take you on an exciting journey into communicable disease control and health protection exploring global tropical disease, vaccines, antimicrobial resistance, chemical, nuclear, and biological threats, and specific infectious diseases using real-life scenarios. You’ll learn the theory within the context of communication skills, team working, outbreak control, and prevention measures.

Understanding the theory and practical application of health protection is a key aspect of public health delivery. Most public health professionals will have to support health protection work in their careers, especially when there are disease outbreaks or environmental threats detected. These can become emergency response type situations that require excellent team working and quick responsive decision-making.

We bring together world-leading experts in health protection who contextualise daily practice with academic theory. We have experts in global infectious disease and behaviour change, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), and Local Government public health practitioners contributing to exciting case studies and rich learning. The world of health protection is ever changing and our experts bring the most recent case studies to life for students with their real-life reflections (e.g. Covid-19, HIV treatment PREP, novel environmental planning research, international track and trace, Novichok UK).

We have a strong focus on communication skills that underpin the teaching and module delivery you’ll receive as a core skill required for health protection practice. We enjoy teaching and sharing this module with our students because it is a fundamental core global public health priority. In practice, it is fast-paced and exciting. The content is broad and covers many exciting topics which the public often takes for granted, and being able to offer students an immersive teaching experience in the world of health protection is a great privilege. We particularly enjoy hearing students’ experiences of communicable disease control in international contexts.

Your module leaders are:

Dr Joanne Morling – Clinical Associate Professor in Public Health Medicine

“As a public health consultant I have a lot of experience of health protection in practice, most recently through my involvement in leading part of the Covid-19 test and trace initiative in the UK. Teaching the students health protection is so much fun seeing them develop from what they thought it was all about to a much wider understanding of the breadth of practice opportunities.”

Professor Emma Wilson – Professor of Public Health

“For me, health protection is really exciting, and I am particularly excited by chemical, biological, and nuclear health risks. Health protection is so interlinked with my love of health promotion, and understanding how we can change human behaviour to mitigate health protection. I love seeing the students begin to recognise how there are so many interlinked factors that have an impact on health protection.”

Data Organisation and Management in Epidemiology 10 credits

Data is at the centre of everything that we do. The amount of data created, captured and consumed worldwide is estimated to increase 90-fold between 2010 and 2025. In healthcare, analysis of data is required for the purposes of healthcare planning and evaluation and in the analysis of research data. Data management is an important and time consuming initial phase of ensuring any data we make decisions based on is reliable and usable. Proper data management allows us to be certain that analyses have been conducted correctly and robustly in a reproducible manner.

The Data Organisation and Management in Epidemiology module is a comprehensive course which assumes only fundamental knowledge of the workings of the R software as a pre-requisite. We take you through all stages of the data management journey from exporting data created for an external package to combining information across multiple datasets, and using loops and iterations to perform tasks more efficiently. Much of this is done using the Tidyverse; a set of commands which share an underlying design philosophy, grammar, and data structures to enable consistent coding patterns across a number of common data management tasks.

Students who have completed the module in past years are fully equipped to complete dissertation projects which involve the analysis of large datasets or undertake PhDs in this field. Many more will have learnt a lifelong skill which will equip them to deal with a world where data and how to use it is becoming ever more important. Our evaluations of the module over the years have shown that we have been consistently successful in meeting these aims and playing our own small part in creating a data-literate society.

We love teaching this module, as the skills which you will acquire will be generically applicable in the future – we will teach you what is possible with data, and how to solve problems with data. You will become familiar with reproducible data analyses, and in how to set out data analysis steps when writing technical reports. You will become used to careful storage and management of data, which is central to working with data. You will be a team member who will be cognizant of the need to plan how you will deal with data. It’s great to watch you grow and learn how to deal with data – it’s a practical module and we love seeing students rapidly improve their data analytic skills over the course of the module.

Your module leaders are:

Dr Matthew Grainge – Associate Professor in Medical Statistics

“As a medical statistician, people often come to me for advice on how to analyse their data. However, it soon becomes apparent that what they really need guidance on is how to organise the data they have collected to that it is an acceptable state to proceed with statistical analysis tasks. This module highlights this important step in the research process. I love illustrating to students that playing with and manipulating data is a joyful challenge rather than a necessary evil.”

Dr Andrew Prayle – Clinical Associate Professor in Paediatric Respiratory Medicine

“Data management is often seen as a somewhat dry topic which has little impact. However, in clinical medicine and public health, you frequently encounter projects which could have been massively improved if someone who is well versed in preparing data for analysis had been involved from the outset. In this module we will teach you how to work ‘magic’ on data – for example, combining multiple datasets together in a reliable way to allow novel analyses, identifying problems with data, and automating data analysis tasks. This will allow you to in the future be efficient and effective when working with data.”

Developing and Leading Global Healthcare Systems 10 credits

Strong and effective leadership is a key component in ensuring efficiency and effectiveness within organisations and wider systems including those working to improve health and wellbeing, it is important as it inspires and motivates individuals to create environments and opportunities which lead to positive change and outcomes. Every country faces challenges in relation to cost, quality, and delivery of health services, it is therefore important that students understand the elements which make up health systems and how these can be strengthened.

This module will provide you an exciting exploration of health systems strengthening with teaching structured around the World Health Organisation’s six building blocks of leadership and governance, finance, healthcare products - essential medicine and technology, health workforce, service delivery and health information systems. It demonstrates not only the importance of managing how systems operate and change to internal and external stressors but how strong and effective leadership can inspire confidence, innovation and change which improves health and wellbeing at individual and population levels.

Public health roles require students to understand how health systems work and how to manage and lead interventions and programmes as well as having an appreciation of how leadership can impact organisational culture and delivery of health services. If the goal of universal health coverage is to be achieved, then all those involved in public health must strive to make existing and future services as effective, acceptable and efficient as possible so that as many services as possible can be delivered to the widest population.

As part of the module, you are taught by leading experts in health systems strengthening and leadership who can discuss key elements from a truly global perspective.

We enjoy teaching this module as it is exciting to see our students have the opportunity to expand their knowledge and skills on a range of topics that will help shape their journeys to become the public headers leaders of the future.

Your module convenors are:

Gillian Carleton-Boylan – Assistant Professor in Public Health

"I’m really interested in how systems work and the multitude of ways that efficiency, effectiveness and acceptability of service delivery can be improved. I enjoy watching the students learn more about health systems and leadership and discussing how they wish to apply this knowledge to their future work.”

Professor Emma Wilson – Professor of Public Health

“Leadership is a key public health skill, there will never be a time when you are working on your own in public health and being able to lead a team is important. I enjoy watching the students develop into leaders over the course of the programme.”

Further Medical Statistics 10 credits

A comprehensive understanding of statistical concepts and methods is essential for understanding current public health research and developing effective public health practice. Increasingly, knowledge of, and the ability to apply, more advanced statistical methods using statistical software, is key to being able to analyse and interpret the complexity of public health data. In the further medical statistics module, we introduce many of the more advanced statistical methods and analyses being used in the public health domain, and provide the skills needed to use these methods to analyse and interpret real-world data.

This module will provide you with the knowledge and skills in using a variety of regression methods which allow us to explore the effects of individual and multiple factors on different health outcomes in different study designs. You are introduced to the important statistical concepts needed to understand the theories underlying these methods, but the focus is on practical application to real-world datasets, and you’ll have plenty of opportunities to try different methods and strategies of multivariate analysis in different public health contexts. We cover considerations of missing data and methods such as time series which is increasingly used for the evaluation of public health interventions. We use the freely available R statistical software throughout, building on the skills learned in the Medical Statistics module, and gaining confidence in the use of this software for managing and analysing complex data.

The ability to understand quantitative research findings and information, where more advanced statistical methods have been used, is important across all graduate public health careers, whilst the skills in analysing and interpreting complex quantitative data are crucial for careers as public health analysts, epidemiologists, or information specialists.

We bring together medical statisticians and epidemiologists working across a huge range of public health and clinical domains, with expertise in applying advanced statistical and epidemiological methods to a wide variety of national and international health datasets.

We thoroughly enjoy teaching this module and enjoy finding ways to stimulate your interest in statistics. We show how they can be used to address real public health problems, and we love to watch students, some of whom come to the module with innate trepidation about their ability to work with numerical data, gradually build their confidence in their ability to use the software and to apply complex methods. You will explore and generate new insights from data, and hopefully a genuine love of statistics.

Your module leaders are:

Dr Sonia Gran: “I thoroughly enjoy teaching this module as I see students appreciate the value of medical statistics in the field of public health and develop in their skills, knowledge and confidence. It is also great to see students choose career pathways that involve medical statistics after completion of this module."

Professor Sarah Lewis: “I love sharing my passion for statistics and epidemiology and their application to areas of medicine from tobacco and alcohol research, to older people’s research. I enjoy watching students grow in confidence and appreciation of the subject.”

Global Health 20 credits

Global health is a multidisciplinary field that prioritizes the improvement of health and achievement of health equity for all people worldwide. Our interconnected and globalized world means that threats from communicable and non-communicable diseases, and increasing health inequalities, are common concerns globally. Public health at the local and national level is shaped by global influences such as climate change, conflict, and the global economy. Tackling global health challenges needs the organized efforts of public health practitioners, policymakers, international agencies, and communities. The challenging environments found in the Global South demand creative responses. Learning about what is being done to improve and protect health in under-served settings gives us knowledge and ideas for public health action wherever we work.

This module will give you a critical introduction to global health, before focusing in-depth on key topics such as reproductive, maternal and child health, neglected tropical diseases, non-communicable diseases, migration and health, humanitarian assistance, climate change, and global mental health. We cover cross-cutting subjects such as health systems and epidemiological modelling. This module allows you to apply other public health core topics, for example, public health improvement, in a global context. Throughout the module, we situate our teaching in key international frameworks, such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals. We have stimulating discussions on theoretical and ethical issues and there is a strong emphasis on exploring our own positionality as students, researchers and practitioners.

This module will equip you with the knowledge and skills to critically examine and generate solutions to key global health challenges. We aspire to produce public health experts who can make a real contribution to achieving global health equity.

We draw together researchers, clinicians and public health practitioners with world-leading expertise in global health. Our contributors bring technical expertise in global disease surveillance and mathematical modelling; intervention implementation; and strategic experience from the United Nations and the UK Health Security Agency. We draw on external speakers and material from around the world including the Global South. Experts share their hands-on experiences through illuminating case studies in areas such as mental health, maternal health, infectious diseases and humanitarian assistance.

This module gives us the chance to interrogate the historical and political origins of global health inequalities and power dynamics between Global North and Global South. In doing so we enjoy some lively debates. We love drawing on the wide-ranging experiences of our students to maximise the learning of the whole cohort.

Dr Laura Asher – Clinical Associate Professor in Public Health

“I love sharing my experiences of working in mental health in Ethiopia and South Africa, particularly the challenges of undertaking research and effecting change in under-resourced environments. I enjoy debating ethical issues with students and always come away with new perspectives.”

Dr Laura Nellums – Associate Professor in Global Health

“An exciting aspect of this module for me is the shared knowledge exchange and learning that happens between our cross-sectoral contributors and the students who bring their lived experience and diverse academic and occupational knowledge from around the world into the classroom.”

Health and Society 10 credits

This module will introduce you to the different ways in which sociology can help us to understand health, illness and healthcare, viewing public health challenges through the lens of sociology. You’ll understand differing perspectives on why people, communities and societies behave the way they do, and what barriers they may face, helps us to address the fundamental issue of health inequality.

You will explore sociological and anthropological theory and importantly apply this to public health challenges such as healthy weight, mental health and infectious diseases. We use group discussion, interactive media, personal study, and lectures to deliver and consolidate learning and the assessment is the production of a poster and commentary on a public health topic of the student’s choice.

The pandemic has revealed and indeed exacerbated existing health inequalities in different segments of society. It is vital that public health practitioners understand the structural issues in society that contribute to these inequalities and how phenomena such as class and stigma can help explain and therefore help to mitigate impacts.

The module brings together sociologists and public health practitioners to deliver an extremely applied module that is relevant to the challenges faced by society today. We place a strong focus on examples from every day public health practice in the UK and overseas so that students with no background in sociology can learn to think sociologically.

We get an immense sense of pride when we hear our students, who have often never heard of sociological theories, talking about gender bias, structural inequalities and grand theories of Marxism, functionalism, and symbolic interactionism. It is even more pleasing to see how our students translate these theories into practical action that can be taken on the ground to improve the health of the population.

Your module leaders are:

Dr Elizabeth Orton – Associate Professor and Consultant in Public Health

“I studied Sociology at ALevel, many years ago. I didn’t really know why back then, just that I liked the subject. I then revisited the theory whilst training to be a Public Health Consultant and now I think I use my knowledge of sociology every day, whether this is in thinking about how to encourage women or people with disabilities to be more physically active, or how to encourage people to take up vaccinations. Its applications are literally in everything I do.”

Dr Paul Leighton – Associate Professor of Applied Health Research

I am a lapsed sociologist with a background in sociology and social anthropology. Now I spend my time doing applied health research trying to bring a more social/sociological focus to large health studies and randomised controlled trials. In the past, I have done more community research with an interest in how concepts such as social capital, social class and social exclusion can help us to understand individual and community experiences and outcomes. The critical perspective that sociology offers opens the eyes and broadens the reach of public health endeavours.”

Grace Brough – Assistant Professor and Registrar in Public Health

“I loved Sociology when I was first introduced to it at A-level, so much so I went on to do a Sociology degree. I felt like it really helped me understand the world around me. The theories resonated with what I was observing, helping me understand and contextualise the world, society and societal behaviours. I have found Sociology incredibly applicable to public health and helpful in my training as a public health consultant, being able to merge the two disciplines I am passionate about brings me great enjoyment. I would recommend anyone in Public Health undertake the module to deepen their understanding of populations and their health behaviours.”

Health Economics 10 credits

Scarcity of resources means that choices need to be made about how resources should be used; Health Economics is the study of how those choices are made in relation to health and health care. More countries are moving to decision making using evidence-based medicine, with Economic Evaluation used to demonstrate which interventions provide good value for money a vital component of the decision making process. This is particularly important in Public Health as many of the interventions don’t have immediate health benefits and therefore risk being overlooked in favour of healthcare interventions that do. Health Economics can also be used to understand other health-related decisions, including individuals’ health-related behaviours, such as unhealthy lifestyle choices, and different approaches to funding healthcare.

In this module, you will learn key economic concepts and how they are applied to inform the funding and structure of healthcare systems and explain how people’s behaviour with regard to their health. For Economic Evaluation, you will discover the key stages of an evaluation, with the aim of being able to critically appraise an Economic Evaluation. In addition, we deliver two practical workshops on decision modelling and decision making which allow you to put the skills you have earned into practice.

Anyone involved with decision making in Public Health needs to be able to understand and interpret Economic Evaluations, therefore having these skills will be a major attraction for employers. Furthermore, students gain transferable skills in writing and critical thinking which are important for any role.

The module leaders are experienced Health Economists with different specialities, thus providing students an insights into multiple aspects of health economics. Our teaching is research-led, drawing on our own research in Health Economics.

We are passionate about teaching this module, especially the challenge of explaining a subject that is often seen as complex and very different from other health related subjects. It is always gratifying to see students develop the necessary skills to be able to critically assess an Economic Evaluation or be able to explain how and why a healthcare system is funded in a particular way.

Your module leaders are:

Dr Tessa Langley – Associate Professor in Health Economics

“Health Economics is an integral aspect of contemporary Public Health, and I believe that economics has a role to play in explaining and addressing most if not all public health problems. Health Economics doesn’t give us all the answers, but is like a toolbox that helps in decision making. I really enjoy teaching students how to view Public Health through the lens of Health Economics and how to apply economic theory in public health practice.”

Dr Matthew Jones – Assistant Professor in Health Economics

“Teaching Health Economics has always been a pleasant challenge. I have had many fascinating conversations with students about the rights and wrongs of Economic Evaluation, and decision making in healthcare and Public Health. Teaching on this module has improved my understanding of key aspects of Health Economics and helped me to become a better academic.“

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.

Public Health Nutrition 20 credits

Public health nutrition is the promotion of good health through nutrition and the prevention of disease and illnesses in the population. It includes activity to improve diets with the intention of maintaining and protecting wellbeing. This can be achieved through a variety of ways, most notably through the development of nutrition interventions that support people to make healthier choices and health policies that can create health promoting environments. Nutrition is a significant part of health and good nutrition is related to improved maternal, infant and child health as well as lowering the risk of non-communicable diseases (e.g. cancer, heart disease and diabetes).

You’ll focus on exploring the relationship between diet, health and disease in human populations and gain a rich understanding of the current major public health nutrition challenges. You’ll learn how nutrition can impact health from early life (pregnancy, breastfeeding, children) to older age. Students get the opportunity to critique and discuss public health nutrition interventions and policies. We look at real-world interventions including supplementation, fortification, taxation and nutrition education programmes. We also consider the wider societal, cultural and structural barriers which prevent population groups from achieving a balanced diet and ultimately overall good nutritional health.

Roles in public health and nutrition require skills in intervention and policy development, interpreting epidemiological data in relation to diet and disease as well as communicating accurate nutritional information.

We value teaching excellence, and you’ll have the benefit of being taught by several academics who have a special interest in public health nutrition. Our academics have worked in practice (NHS, local government, NGO’s) and can relate real-world examples in the teaching they deliver to you, giving you a fuller and well-rounded learning experience.

We love teaching this module as we can bring in current nutrition topics and challenges to discuss and debate. We can explore the importance of nutrition across the life course to improve population health outcomes. The assessment will allow you to develop your critical evaluation skills as well as developing skills in intervention and policy development.

Jemma Orr – Assistant Professor in Public Health Nutrition

“As a registered nutritionist I have been involved in the development of public health nutrition programmes locally, such as supporting holiday hunger initiatives, weight management programmes, and weaning education sessions for parents. I absolutely love sharing my experience and knowledge of these to help support their learning. Nutrition is a complex topic, and there are many sociological and psychological factors that influence food choice I love discussing the nuances associated with nutrition and public health.”

Public Health Sustainability, Climate and Environment 10 credits

Ensuring that sustainability is at the heart of public health action is not only key to improving the quality of life for humans but is also a means for protecting planetary health and developing intergenerationally ethical ways of living. One health is a core pillar of how we can work in ways that meet the needs of all life on the planet now and in the future as it recognises that human health is inextricably linked to the health of animals and our shared environment and so provides a framework for action to migrate/control the largest issue currently facing public health that of climate change.

This module provides you with a compelling insight into environmental health, one of the most diverse and exciting areas of public health, and introduces the fascinating concept of one health and what this collaborative, multisectoral, and transdisciplinary approach has to offer. It explores climate change in a way that not only enhances understanding of cause and affect but inspires thought and discussion of innovative and inspirational interventions to address negative impacts and enhance human and planetary renaissance.

Understanding the interconnectedness of human health, animal health and the environment is at the heart of strong public health service development and delivery which meets the needs of current and future populations. All those working in public health will need to understand and embrace these areas if the goal of improving the health of the global population is to be realised.

The module has a strong focus on developing your critical thinking skills and encourages you to be confident in embracing new ideas and ways of working, through understanding the importance and benefits of innovation and partnership working. You will develop communication skills that will allow you to deliver public health messages to a variety of audiences.

We enjoy teaching this module as it is a pleasure to see our students’ passion for this important area of health and how much they want to make a positive difference and the world a better place. It is gratifying to know that we had a role however small in helping our future public health leaders on their public health journey.

Your module convenors are:

Gillian Carleton-Boylan – Assistant Professor in Public Health

“My professional background is in environmental health and so the interconnectedness of the wider environment and human health is an area I have been passionate about for over 20 years and truly love sharing with the students. I very much enjoy seeing students make connections between the various concepts and look to understand how they can work to make a positive difference."

Professor Emma Wilson – Professor in Public Health

“I have always loved geography in the context of human health. I am very interested in urban planning and how our environment around us contributes to our health positively and negatively.”

 

Promotion of Workplace Health and Wellbeing 20 credits

A healthy workforce is a productive workforce, and the workplace provides an ideal context to promote health. This module considers the business case for workplace health promotion, introduces contemporary psychological theories of behaviour change, and explores how these theories provide an understanding of workers’ behaviours and inform the design of interventions to encourage healthy choices.

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.
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.

Understanding, Predicting and Changing Health Behaviour 20 credits

It is widely accepted that the behaviours we engage in can have a direct impact on our health, well-being, and ultimately life expectancy. This module focuses on the role of modifiable health-related behaviours and explores what health psychology can bring to our understanding of behaviour. It helps us explain why some people may engage in a health behaviour whereas others may not, as well as how we might develop effective behaviour change interventions.

This module critically examines the role of health behaviour in the UK as well as its contribution to global public health priorities. It considers the application of several commonly used social cognition models (e.g., Health Belief Model; Theory of Planned Behaviour) to a range of health-protective (e.g., breast self-examination, physical activity) and health-compromising (e.g., smoking, alcohol consumption) behaviours.

The extent to which social cognition models can assist in understanding the key determinants of health behaviours is considered as well as their ability to provide a useful theoretical basis for behaviour change interventions. However, it quickly becomes apparent that these models have several limitations, and the module considers why more recent developments in the scientific study of behaviour change, may offer new and potentially more effective ways to design and evaluate behaviour change interventions.

The module provides you with a comprehensive overview of the behaviour change wheel and how it may be applied to the design of health-related behaviour change interventions. It offers practical guidance on how to apply the behaviour change wheel and the COM-B model to real-world health behaviour problems (e.g., mask-wearing during the pandemic) and how to select relevant behaviour change techniques (i.e., the ‘active ingredients’ of an intervention) to bring about the desired change in the target behaviour. It considers the functions of interventions as well as how policy may support behaviour change. Finally, the model acknowledges the fact that we live in a technological world, and we consider how this can impact the delivery of behaviour change interventions.

We will equip you with the knowledge and skills to be able to diagnose a problem in terms of problematic health behaviour and design an intervention which is acceptable, feasible, theoretically informed, and measurable, which is a key skill within the public health domain.

You’ll be taught this module by experts who share a passion for the application of psychological theory and research evidence to the design and evaluation of behaviour change interventions. They draw upon many years of research and practice in the field to bring to life how contemporary real-world problems can be addressed through the scientific study and practice of behaviour change, giving you an enriched learning experience.

Your module convenor is:

Professor Neil Coulson – Professor of Health Psychology

“For me, this module provides such an exciting opportunity to showcase what psychological theory can offer public health. I particularly enjoy seeing students get to grips with key theories and then being able to work with them and develop imaginative and innovative behaviour change interventions.”

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 Thursday 28 March 2024.

Compulsory modules

Epidemiology 10 credits

Epidemiology is the basic science of public health. It is the discipline which quantifies disease burden and tries to identify the important modifiable risk factors for disease. This information, enhanced by contextual information from qualitative work, can be used to design clinical trials and/or implement policy to improve public health.

The application of the method is wide – encompassing acute and chronic disease, physical and mental illness, community and hospital settings and all populations. The questions we can ask are varied but always return to the basic concept of how we can improve public health. We look to understand disease causation, understand the behaviour of people and populations, or highlight inequitable access to health care.

The aim of this module is to give you an introduction to epidemiology. We want to focus on three main things: how to ask important questions, how to design appropriate studies, and how to understand and use the study results. In addition, to examine the epidemiological studies to understand the strength and limitations of design to answer the question. We want to teach the key principles which underpin each of these parts so that you can readily use them in their daily practice which can be from reading research to inform practice or evaluating public health practices.

To improve your epidemiological skills is not just enough to learn the principles but you need to practice these skills of design and critical review of research. All of the lectures have a practical component where the students apply what was taught either through short answer questions or through examining research papers from a wide variety of sources. Reading the work of others with a critical eye and thinking how best to answer your own questions will help you to grow as an epidemiologist.

We enjoy teaching this module as students come with a wide variety of perspectives and experiences which feed into group discussions. To improve public health, you need to ask good questions and understand the strengths and limitations of the study design.

Your module conveners are:

Richard Hubbard – Clinical Professor of Epidemiology

“My role as a Respiratory physician is drawn upon to demonstrate the interface between practice and research. I can share my own experience of research and putting research into practice. It is important for public health students to have a good understanding of Epidemiology for all their career pathways for MPH students.”

Tricia McKeever – Professor of Epidemiology and Medical Statistics

“As an Epidemiologist, I can draw upon my experience of designing and conducting research to highlight the challenges that are faced when conducting research and the importance of good design when designing studies. I love teaching students the fundaments of study design, so they have a good base to build the rest of their public health knowledge.”

Fundamentals of Public Health 10 credits

The Fundamentals of Public Health module aims to introduce students to the wide range of topics covered in public health and ensure that students undertaking the Master of Public Health Course have a basic understanding of essential public health concepts.

The module is taught as a one-week block module. Within this module, we cover a range of topics including health inequalities, health protection and risk, leadership and ethics in public health, health literacy and health promotion, planning and evaluation of public health interventions as well as an introduction to global health and health systems. The module also introduces the UK health system, which is of particular importance to international students.

During this module you will learn some practical applications of public health by exploring how to understand and interpret public health data and attending two practical skills sessions. One of the sessions is led by a senior public health practitioner and is focused on real-world examples of public health application in the local authority setting.

We also run a session on reflective practice in public health. Introduction to theoretical concepts combined with practical skills sessions ensure that you understand the importance of different elements of public health, how they are linked, and how theoretical concepts are applied in public health practice. After completion of the module, you will have fundamental knowledge of population health, allowing you to successfully continue with your degree, particularly if your background is unrelated to public health.

Many of the topics covered in the Fundamentals of Public Health module are further explored in specialist modules that students take as part of their MPH/ Global Health degree. However, for many students, some of the lectures in this module will be their only introduction to a particular topic. This is of key importance as all public health roles require a basic understanding of the fundamental principles of public health covered in this module.

The module is taught by a range of outstanding academics and public health professionals who have extensive research and practical experience. The taught sessions include interactive elements such as small group discussions, quizzes, and analysis of public health scenarios. As our students come from around the world the module is also an excellent opportunity for knowledge exchange, particularly when it comes to understanding how public health works in different settings. The Fundamentals of Public Health module is usually the first module all our students take in the autumn semester and therefore it is an excellent opportunity for students to meet the teaching team and get to know their peers.

Your module convenors are:

Dr Ilze Bogdanovica – Associate Professor in public health

“I enjoy teaching on Fundamentals of Public Health as it gives me an opportunity to introduce students to the fascinating field of public health.”

Professor Rachael Murray – Professor of Population Health

“I think the Fundamentals of Public Health module is a fantastic foundation on which to base the rest of the MPH/Global health teaching and learning. Seeing students gain an appreciation of how many components feed into the concept of public health and build on their passion is incredibly rewarding.”

 

Medical Statistics 10 credits

Medical Statistics is the basic building block for Epidemiology and Public Health. It allows us to quantify the health of individuals and populations to compare health and health behaviours between different population groups, and compare the effectiveness of different treatments and interventions.

The course is taught from a very practical viewpoint, and we want to give you the skills to understand and do basic medical statistics. The module focuses on being able to present and describe different types of data, and to test for differences between two groups of either categorical or continuous data, as well as correlation and simple linear regression. You will be introduced to the freely available R statistical software, and learn how to conduct all the analyses using R. You will also gain experience in looking at how all these analyses are presented in research papers.

We assume no prior knowledge of statistics and slowly build student learning throughout the module. These skills are best learned from doing it, and every session is very practical with examples in the data analyses package to work through as well as examples from a wide variety of research papers.

This module is one that some students have most trepidation about coming into the masters course but it is so rewarding to see students’ fears disappear throughout the course as they build knowledge over the weeks. A previous student said on a module evaluation form, “I never realised statistics could be so easy”. It is very rewarding to see students learn and understand the basic concepts and know that we give them the skills to interpret data and analyses data in their future public health careers.

Your module conveners are:

Tricia McKeever – Professor of Epidemiology and Medical Statistics

“This is such a rewarding module to teach and as convenors, we have worked hard to make Medical Statistics accessible for everyone as it is an important fundamental building block for people in public health.”

Sarah Lewis – Professor of Medical Statistics

"I love sharing my passion for statistics and epidemiology and their application to areas of medicine from tobacco and alcohol research, to older people’s research. I enjoy watching students grow in confidence and appreciation of the subject.”

Research Methods for Applied Health 10 credits

Understanding and applying research methods and techniques is a key skill for public health and global health practice. In our research methods module teaching we give you a broad overview of the types of research techniques which are applicable to global public health. Research is a centrally important component of public health and global health practice as it allows us to build a robust evidence base which helps to inform policy and practice to improve local, national, and global health outcomes.

The module will take you on a journey through the process of designing, developing, implementing, and disseminating quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods research methodologies specifically applied to public health settings.

You’ll learn to embed evidence-based research practices across all their other public health and global health modules to create critical research-informed arguments which will support the development of an independent research project.

Having an understanding and appreciation of research methods is important across all graduate public health careers and forms a fundamental building block for all practice-based and academic public health.

We bring together world-leading academic experts and contemporary case studies to highlight the intricacies of performing local, national, and global public health research to inform and improve future health outcomes.

We have a strong focus on research impact, with research communication skills being embedded within all the learning emphasising how we ensure our research reaches the right people, in the right format, at the right time.

We build on our academic successes being rated as 4* for Impact in Global Research in REF, to deliver highly relevant research-informed teaching, supported by wider learning and practice-based opportunities.

We are dedicated to teaching and sharing this module with our students as it is always wonderful to see students immerse themselves into the world of public health research, for some, this may be their first interaction with research, and we love seeing our students grow into independent researchers. We are always amazed by the creative ideas students have for targeted dissemination of research to public audiences, and the breadth of global experiences within the student group.

Your module leaders are:

Professor Emma Wilson – Professor of Public Health

“I love teaching research methods to the public health students, my particular expertise is qualitative and mixed methods research, and I really enjoy sharing my love for public health related breast cancer research with students through this module. I really enjoy interacting with the students to hear about and build upon their research practice in their local contexts.”

Professor Jo Leonardi-Bee – Professor of Epidemiology and Medical Statistics

“I have always enjoyed academic research and supporting student research. As the Director of the Nottingham Centre for Evidence-Based Healthcare my particular expertise is in evidence-synthesis. I love supporting students to develop and perform systematic reviews and meta-analyses. I really enjoy seeing the students develop their research skills from this module into their own research project.”

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

Population Health Improvement 10 credits

Health improvement is the multi-faceted approach to making population level changes to health, it includes behaviour change, legislation and policy change, organisation of the structure of society and the built environment as a contributor to health. It includes health education, communication theory, and the role of modifiable and non-modifiable lifestyle factors in determining life course health outcomes.

Being able to change and influence health behaviour is a key pillar of public health practice and is recognised as a key public health competency alongside health protection. Health improvement has the potential to fundamentally change population health outcomes which is the overall aim of global public health.

The module focuses on health improvement within important non-communicable disease contexts (e.g. cancer, heart disease and diabetes), and will give you a deep and rich understanding of the role of four key modifiable risk factors for disease: alcohol consumption, smoking, food/obesity and physical activity. Students learn individual, community and organisation level change contextualised by real-world case studies. We cover local, national and global health improvement initiatives including screening programmes and the role of taxation and legislation as drivers to improve health.

The module is heavily focussed on orientating health improvement in the context of the wider societal, cultural, and structural barriers which prevent health improvement. Health improvement is all about meeting people where they are on their health journey and making the healthy choice the easier choice for people. Understanding these nuances and drivers for health behaviours in a population creates an immersive learning experience for students.

All public health roles require a fundamental understanding of the principles of population health promotion and health improvement, it is the bread and butter of all public health practice in any professional public health context.

We are fortunate to be supported by academics and public health practitioners who are experts in tobacco and alcohol control from the UKCTAS and the Nottingham Alcohol and Stop Smoking Services. Our experts showcase globally impactful research into smoking policy change, ethnic minority screening uptake, social physical activity prescribing and global approaches to community health promotion approaches. We work closely with our local health improvement partners in government, NHS, and charitable organisations to provide students with real-world practice and opportunities to design, develop and evaluate health improvement interventions.

We are passionate about teaching this module as it brings together all the core public health concepts and allows you to develop ideas for meaningful interventions to improve population health outcomes. We love seeing the creativity in the intervention ideas students develop during this module.

Your module convenors are:

Professor Emma Wilson – Professor of Public Health

“My first love in public health is without doubt health promotion and health improvement. I love teaching health improvement and in particular, exploring the social and societal barriers people face with health behaviour change. I love seeing students start to piece together the jigsaw pieces to understand lifestyle choices and barriers to behaviour change, and how they can support change as public health practitioners. Much of my research is around barriers to breast screening and understanding how we can use health improvement initiatives to improve breast cancer health outcomes.”

Dr Joanne Morling – Clinical Associate Professor in Public Health Medicine

“Health improvement is ‘real’ public health! I have been heavily involved in the design, delivery, and organisation of the UK bowel cancer screening programme, and I really enjoy being able to share these case studies with the students to help with their learning.”

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 Thursday 28 March 2024.

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 2024 entry.

Undergraduate degree2:1

Applying

If you have any course-specific questions you can contact the course director, Dr Emma Wilson.

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

How to apply

Fees

Qualification MPH PGDip PGCert
Home / UK £10,500 £6,167 £3,083
International £25,250 £16,833 £8,417

Additional information for international students

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you may be asked to complete a fee status questionnaire and your answers will be assessed using guidance issued by the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) .

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

All students will need at least one device to approve security access requests via Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). We also recommend students have a suitable laptop to work both on and off-campus. For more information, please check the equipment advice.

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
  • along with careers in journalism, politics and science

Career progression

78.4% 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 £28,505.*

*HESA Graduate Outcomes 2019/20 data published in 2022. The Graduate Outcomes % is derived using The Guardian University Guide methodology. The average annual salary is based on graduates working full-time, postgraduate, home graduates within the UK.

APHEA accredited

Institute of Health Promotion and Education accredited

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. "
Professor Emma Wilson, Course Director

Related courses

This content was last updated on Thursday 28 March 2024. 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.