The MSc in Population Health provides key skills needed to work in public health, as well as offering a wide range of modules which can be targeted towards a range of careers in or parallel to this area, including health policy, programme management, health inequalities and urban and environmental planning.
Students will learn how to define and measure health, understand the role of socioeconomic and behavioural determinants of health, appreciate how health systems and public policy impact on health, and learn how to evaluate interventions to improve population health.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of four core modules (60 credits), four optional modules (60 credits) and a dissertation/report (60 credits).
A Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits), full-time nine months, flexible study 2-5 years, is offered. Students take four core modules (60 credits) and four optional modules (60 credits).
A Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits), full-time nine months, flexible study two years, is offered. Students take three core modules (45 credits) and one optional module (15 credits).
Students can choose up to four of the following:
A full list of modules available can be found at the programme webpage Population Health MSc
Other open UCL MSc modules can also be chosen.
All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 7,500 words. An oral presentation and a lay summary of 500 words are also required. The dissertation can include primary research, secondary data analysis, a literature/historical review or a project proposal in a field related to population health.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures and tutorials. Assessment is through a variety of methods, including essays, unseen examinations, project proposals and oral presentations. Students will also produce a research dissertation of 7,500 words, alongside an oral presentation and a lay summary of 500 words.
Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Population Health MSc
Home/EU applicants may apply for the MSc Population Health Bursaries.
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
Students interested in careers in public health, health policy and healthcare management - as well as in associated areas such as urban and environmental planning and health financing - will benefit from the knowledge and transferable skills gained during this programme.
Students will gain interdisciplinary skills and knowledge in population health which are core to careers in the health sector and beyond. Optional modules will enable students to focus the development of their skills in research methods; public health and health systems; sexual health and infectious disease; and health across the lifecourse. Discussions on the policy and practice of population health will help students become engaged, critical thinkers about real-world problems.
UCL has a worldwide reputation in understanding health inequalities, and the social determinants of population health and causes of diseases. Students will benefit both from learning from and networking with leaders in these fields. UCL can also bring the full power of a multi-faculty university to bear on discussions on population health, involving academics from the wide range of disciplines necessary to tackle some of the most difficult issues in public health.
The Usher Institute of Population Health Sciences & Informatics supervises postgraduate research students in a wide range of population health disciplines, including epidemiology, genetic epidemiology, health promotion, health services research, medical statistics, molecular epidemiology and sociology and on a wide range of topics including allergic and respiratory disease, clinical trial and statistics methodology, eHealth, ethnicity and health, genetic epidemiology of complex diseases, global health, palliative care and cancer, society and health and families and relationships.
A principal aim is to foster interdisciplinary research involving quantitative and qualitative approaches via effective collaboration with biomedical scientists, epidemiologists, social scientists and clinical researchers throughout the University and beyond.
Students will be integrated within the existing student-led approach at the Usher Institute, where structures are already in place to ensure a high-quality student experience.
University Quality Assurance monitoring and reporting processes will be adhered to. All supervisors will satisfy University requirements in terms of training and mentoring.
Expectations on the students, including assessment guidelines, will be clearly communicated by multiple channels (e.g. at interview, during induction, in the Postgraduate Research Student and Supervisor Handbook, by supervisors, at annual review meetings and on relevant web pages). All students will have at least two supervisors who will also give pastoral care and career advice in addition to student services provision.
Students will attend appropriate training, including transferrable skills, at appropriate courses (e.g. from the Institute of Academic Development) identified in consultation with the supervisors.
The Usher Institute of Population Health Sciences & Informatics brings together researchers active in population health science research, including public health and primary care.
Within the school the Usher academic staff play a large role in research project supervision.
There are also links with the Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine and the Queen's Medical Research Institute.
Over six core modules, two electives and a dissertation, you explore and critique key concepts and models in public health theory, policy and practice.
The course is interesting to
You explore the links between policy, evidence and practice and you address key questions including
The course builds on the growing importance of health promotion, public health, and health and community development on local, national and international levels.
You learn how successful management of public health requires development of critical approaches to theory, practice, and outcome measurement. We give you the knowledge and skills to be more effective in your role.
You develop knowledge in the 10 key public health competencies and standards needed to join the UK Voluntary Register for Public Health specialists. This registration allows you to work at a senior level in public health.
These include • strategic leadership for health • working with and for communities • developing health programmes and services • reducing inequalities.
If you don’t already work in this sector, we work closely with local health organisations and may be able to provide you with access to work experience that will help you get the most out of your studies and improve your chances of find a job after the course.
International students are most welcome on this course. At Sheffield Hallam University we provide international students with a wealth of support, from pre-arrival right up to, and including, study support whilst you are studying here. Please see the International Experience Team webpage for more information.
Full-time – 18 months (four modules a semester plus dissertation)
Part-time – typically three years (two modules a semester plus dissertation). Part-time students attend four hours a week on campus during the day.
Each of the modules is an independent module of study and can be taken alone. The core modules do, however, have a number of themes developed across them. These include
Choose one from
Students are assessed using a variety of methods: reports, presentations, book reviews and essays and for all but three assessment tasks students are able to choose a public health topic and/or population group on which to focus their work. There are no examinations.
By successfully completing this course, you may find that it makes it easier to gain promotion, or enter jobs in public health departments of primary care trusts. Previous graduates have gained roles such as teenage pregnancy coordinator, health promotion specialist and five-a-day co-ordinator. Others have joined local authorities, the voluntary sector such as Agewell, and become Sure Start managers.
A number of graduates have remained in their roles as health visitors, public health nurses or midwives, working more strategically and in more depth. Overseas students have used the qualification to work successfully in their own countries. Some people have taken the course to work towards becoming a nurse consultant.
The course also provides an excellent foundation for further academic study including PhDs.
This programme is for registered nurses or midwives who want to gain registration on Part 3 of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) register as a specialist community public health nurse (occupational health). It offers you the opportunity to gain registration as an occupational health nurse and for academic development at master’s level.
You develop public health practice knowledge and skills in addressing health inequalities and the health needs of the working population, through development of expertise in hazard and risk assessment, health surveillance and protection, sickness absence management and public health leadership skills, to enable you to contribute to improving the health of the working population.
You study evidence based practice and the factors which impact on the health and well-being of the working population; the recognition of hazards and risks within the working environment, the application of health and safety legislation, health surveillance and sickness absence management skills within the workplace; public health, personal leadership philosophies and behaviours and their application within organisational settings; public health nursing practice, legal and ethical dimensions also designing and managing a service evaluation.
Modules offered may vary.
Where you study
The programme comprises 50% theory and 50% practice within an integrated approach. Practice based learning – you are allocated a practice teacher by your sponsoring organisation who facilitates your learning in practice and is responsible for the assessment of your competence in practice.
How you learn
Teaching methods include lecturers, seminars, experiential learning, scenarios, problem based learning, case study work, simulations, action learning sets, and peer led seminars and discussions.
Learning in practice is supported with the development of a practice progress file, which includes self-assessment activities, learning contracts, learning logs, reflective dialogue and discussion with practice teachers, mentors and academic staff.
How you are assessed
Assessments include examinations, a defended poster, essays, case study analysis, research proposal and simulations. Practice is assessed via the practice progress file through the mechanism of the tripartite meetings which include you, your practice teacher and your academic mentor.
Following successful completion of the required theoretical learning outcomes (120 credits at master’s level) and the specialist community public health nursing practice competencies (NMC 2004) you are eligible to register as a specialist community public health nurse (occupational health) and are eligible for the award of Postgraduate Diploma in Specialist Community Public Health Nursing (Occupational Health Nursing).
Following completion of the PgDip in Specialist Community Public Health Nursing (Occupational Health Nursing) an opportunity will be available to continue your studies and complete a 60 credit master’s level dissertation module leading to an MSC Specialist Community Public Health Nursing (Occupational Health Nursing). This is undertaken as one year part-time or six months full-time study after SCPHN (OH) registration with the NMC. It must be completed within five years of commencing the PgDip.
The course prepares you to work as an occupational health nurse and to take practice forward to meet the challenges of improving health within a wide range of workplace settings.
Globally health is changing rapidly and in many countries millions of people are dying from preventable diseases. The World Health Organization calculates that two thirds of an estimated annual 56 million deaths are due to non-communicable diseases including cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and chronic lung diseases.
Obesity is a key determinant of these diseases and yet, at the other extreme, over 7.5 million preschool children die each year from malnutrition. Cardiovascular diseases alone represented 30 per cent of global deaths in 2012. About three quarters of the global NCD deaths occur in low-and middle-income countries, and infectious diseases including AIDS/HIV and other immunisable diseases, still affect many people in developing and developed countries alike.
Supporting people to stay well is the essence of public health. Practitioners advise and develop programmes to make a difference in areas such as nutrition, immunisation, tobacco and alcohol, drug addiction recovery, sexual health, pregnancy and children’s health. They are also concerned with issues such as health inequality, health care service equity, population programmes and disease surveillance.
What does our MSc provide?
We offer a challenging and rewarding masters programme in all aspects of public health with optional pathways specialising in nutrition, intelligence (working with information) and global health. Our modules cover a broad range of subjects taught by expert academic staff with a focus on professional practice. They will equip you for a successful career in the public or private sector, or a role as an academic researcher.
Who should study?
Our programme will suit graduates or experienced health professionals who want to develop their knowledge of public health or learn new skills.
Our MSc Public Health degree will prepare you for a challenging rewarding career to improve the health of individuals and communities. You will develop essential skills in epidemiology, quantitative and qualitative research methods, medical statistics, health improvement and in devising effective public health programmes. This masters degree course offers pathways in intelligence, global health and nutrition to equip you for professional practice in these specialisms.
Public health professionals apply core competences from epidemiology and social sciences to develop, implement and evaluate evidence-based programmes to improve health and wellbeing. They are also concerned with equity, quality, effectiveness, cost effectiveness and accessibility of health care and will become involved in policy and strategy development, particularly where this impacts on community health and wellbeing.
Our comprehensive MSc provides a broad public health learning experience and supports the development of relevant expertise. We offer three pathways in nutrition, intelligence and global healthwith specialist modules to equip you for a career in these specialisms.
We will provide you with thorough training and support to develop essential skills in epidemiology, and quantitative and qualitative competencies, which you will need to analyse healthcare data and develop your own campaigns.
During the programme you will have the opportunity to debate contemporary issues with leading public health experts. You will also meet international researchers in lifecourse epidemiology, geographical aspects of health, health inequalities, maternal and child health and nutrition.
You will learn with and from other students, sharing your experiences from a range of health systems around the world.
Our programme aims to develop your intellectual and practical skills in the core areas of public health to maximise your opportunities for employment as a practitioner or researcher. It will:
We support the careers of aspiring public health researchers and actively encourage applications for further study at PhD level.
This programme is offered by the Faculty of Medicine and as such you will receive most of your teaching in the Faculty of Medicine located in Southampton General Hospital.
View the different pathways for this programme here.