The course is based in the Division of Epidemiology and Public Health within the School of Medicine which has a strong record of supporting and developing professional careers through postgraduate taught courses, and in helping students to acquire the knowledge and skills they need to take up new opportunities in the fields of public health and epidemiology.
Core modules are taught in on Tuesdays and Thursdays in semester one.
Optional modules are taught on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays in semester two.
Full-time students attend on all timetabled days; part-time students attend depending on their choice of which year to take core and optional modules. Our part-time timetable is flexible where possible to accommodate individual needs.
Through our comprehensive set of core modules you will gain skills that are transferable to public health practice in all contexts. This includes skills in epidemiology, statistics, research methods, critical appraisal, and applied public health techniques such as health needs assessment.
Planning and Evaluating Public Health Interventions
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
Learn the basic concepts of medical statistics and develop the knowledge and skills to analyse univariate data. Explore the basic principles and application of medical statistics in epidemiology.
This module considers the basic concepts of epidemiology and will give you the knowledge and skills to access, describe and interpret epidemiological data, including:
- the main research designs used in epidemiology
- the strengths and weaknesses of the different types of study and how the evidence obtained contributes to the assessment of causality.
- how to carry out critical appraisal of published papers
- other important epidemiological concepts including bias, confounding, basic infection rate and demography
Fundamentals of Public Health
An introduction to all of the fundamental and central concepts within public health including:
- Health Inequalities
- Determinants of Health
- Health Economics
- Health Promotion
- Health Protection
- Sociology of Health
- Global Public Health
- Health Systems UK and non-UK
- Public Health Policy
- Public Health Practical Skills
Research Methods for Public Health
Gain the skills to develop and deliver a research proposal from beginning to end, including:
- refining a research topic / idea into a manageable research project
- writing and refining a research question, aims and objectives
- sources of data, including new technologies and searching
- study design for feasibility and practicality
- qualitative data collection (interviews, focus groups, other data sources)
- quantitative data collection (eg survey design)
- qualitative data analysis
- ethics and research governance (GCP on-line task)
- basic theory around mixed methods
- introduction to patient and public involvement (PPI)
- dissemination / writing / presenting research
- introduction to project management including financing
- CASP for critical appraisal
Optional modules will offer the opportunity to gain more in-depth skills in subjects of particular interest to you, including qualitative research methods, health data management, health economics, health promotion, sociology and health protection.
Health Systems Strengthening
Study a wide overview of global public health issues, in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals and other global health policies. You will gain insight into ethical and economic issues within which health care is delivered in resource rich and resource poor settings.
Further Medical Statistics
Qualitative Methodology and Analysis
Tobacco Control Interventions
Sociology of Health and Illness
Health Protection Principles and Practice
Data Organisation and Management in Epidemiology (DOME): A Practical Course in Stata
Public Health Nutrition Policy
Promotion of Workplace Health and Wellbeing
Principles and processes of comprehensive systematic reviews
The final dissertation provides the opportunity to carry out an extended piece of research to address a real public health problem, integrating the skills gained throughout the course and well-supported by experienced researchers.
You will gain skills that are highly valued by a range of national and global employers, including national health services, governmental and non-governmental organisations, academic institutions and industry.
Students from overseas are encouraged bring with them ideas and material suitable for their project, and may discuss these in advance with staff.
Previous projects include:
- Reporting and management of fertility problems in general practice: Obtaining population-based estimates of the current clinical burden in the UK
- Do cravings predict smoking cessation? An investigation into the utility of the “urges to smoke” measures
- Do school characteristics predict school obesity prevalence?
- Risk of acute appendicitis in and around pregnancy
- Reducing under-five child mortality in sub-saharan Africa: An audit
- Smoking, drinking and television: An exploration of the depiction and contextualisation of alcohol and tobacco consumption in popular TV series, with a focus on social norming
- Why do parents use A&E: A qualitative interview study
- Viewing smoking in movies and its association with initiating smoking in adolescents: A systematic review and meta analysis
- An evaluation of the Nottingham Breastfeeding Peer Support Programme for young mothers
- Expectations versus reality: couples' experiences of infant feeding
- Are mass media campaigns aimed at changing alcohol consumption effective: A systematic review
- The association between preoperative stroke and 30-day mortality following non-cardiac elective surgery
- An exploration of service users’ perspectives of Nottinghamshire Women’s Aid – A specialist domestic violence and abuse service
- Teens and sexting; are there any emerging public health messages associated with this 21st century phenomenon
- A systematic review of the use of internet and social media for the delivery of health promotion on smoking, nutrition and physical activity
- Premature birth and respiratory health in adulthood
- A systematic review of epidemiological studies investigating risk factors for road traffic crashes in low and middle income countries
- Content analysis of press coverage in the UK of Zika virus during 2016
- Healthcare worker seasonal influenza vaccine
- The role of male involvement in family planning in developing countries: a systematic review and meta analysis
- E-cigarettes: A qualitative study of attitudes in the workplace
- A cross-sectional study of the impacts of standardised tobacco packaging legislation on University of Nottingham students
- Qualitative systematic review: views and perceptions of HIV
The above is a sample of the typical modules that 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. This course page may be updated over the duration of the course, as modules may change due to developments in the curriculum or in the research interests of staff.
Teaching methods and assessment
Teaching methods vary in line with the objectives of the course but include a range of methods from lectures and tutorials to private study, from guided and independent group exercises to problem-based and self-directed learning.
Most modules are delivered to small groups. Use of the internet, the virtual learning environment (Moodle) and email is expected, and appropriate support and training given.
Students will also learn to use statistical software and NVivo software for qualitative research.
Assessment methods vary, and include:
- written assignments demonstrating different styles of writing
- closed book examinations
- verbal communication skills (e.g. oral presentations)
- management and analysis of data
- assessed group work
Depending on your chosen pathway, you may also complete further verbal and poster presentations. Some work is assessed as group work.
Assessments may take place during timetabled sessions, but most are prepared by students in their own time.