This programme focuses on the application of the key principles of multidisciplinary public health practice to the breadth of 21st Century public health challenges. Our aim is to develop reflective public health practitioners capable of designing, implementing and evaluating community-focussed public health interventions – in Wales, the UK and internationally.
In this programme we will challenge your preconceptions and practice, developing your knowledge, skills and competences, helping you develop as a reflective public health practitioner. We place a strong emphasis on your own area of practice, and encourage you to base your studies on the issues and situations you face in your own field.
The programme has been designed to meet the needs of a wide range of public health practitioners, professionals, community workers and volunteers working to achieve improvements in the wider determinants of health. Our objective is to support you in further developing your public health knowledge and skills in order to improve your current and future practice, and enhance your career options.
The programme is aimed at anyone with an interest in improving the full range of social, economic and environmental determinants of health: for example, people working in education, health promotion, housing, transport, leisure, environmental health, community development, health & wellbeing partnerships, planning, social services, school nursing, and health visiting (not an exhaustive list!). We welcome applicants from all sectors: public, private and the voluntary & independent sector. The programme retains an international focus, addressing public health issues faced around the world, as well as in Wales and the UK.
The course is designed as a Masters programme but it has exit points at both postgraduate certificate & diploma level. Reflective practice is integrated into the programme: we’ll encourage you to reflect upon your learning as you progress, culminating in an assessed reflective statement demonstrating the integration and development of your learning and practice through the course of your studies. The dissertation also incorporates a reflective practice element. The programme is available on a part-time and full-time basis; you can also apply to study individual modules on a CPD basis.
For the Postgraduate Certificate, you’ll complete the following modules: - Assessing Health, Wellbeing & Inequity (20 credits): Assess, evaluate and communicate information about the health and wellbeing of populations & communities
- Health Risk Perception & Communication (10 credits): Appraise the sociocultural, emotional and psychological factors that influence responses to threats to population health and wellbeing
- Public Health Policy Development (10 credits): Evaluate the political, social and economic framework within which policies influencing health & wellbeing are developed
- Applied Research Methods and Design (20 credits): Develop the qualitative and quantitative research skills necessary to undertake research and evaluate interventions and day-to-day practice.
For the Postgraduate Diploma, you’ll undertake the above modules, plus the following modules: - Frameworks for Public Health Intervention (30 credits): Explore approaches to intervention for the protection and improvement of health and wellbeing, and integrate learning from across the programme in the development a coherent multidisciplinary intervention on an identified public health issue.
- Health Protection (20 credits): Assess, prevent and manage risks to health arising from the general environment, communicable disease and environmental health hazards.
- Reflective Public Health Practice (10 credits): Reflect on your learning, practice and experiences in order to evidence the development of your professional public health practice.
To obtain the MSc, you will also complete a Dissertation (60 credits): Design, plan and undertake a piece of independent applied research, and present the findings.
Learning & Teaching
- Course Delivery Attendance for taught modules is usually one evening per week (part time) or two evenings per week (full time). SHS7000 Applied Research Methods & Design is currently delivered as a blended learning module over four contact days, two days in the autumn term (October) and two further days in the spring term (February), supported by e-learning materials and activities. The APH7008 Health Protection module follows a similar approach, being taught via three 2-day short courses spread through the academic year (November, February, April), plus an assessment day in May. During your dissertation studies, you will attend research project workshops and be allocated individual supervision time. These usually begin in March (of the 2nd year of study for part-time students).
- Learning & Teaching Activities The teaching and learning strategy for the programme places a strong emphasis on application of theoretical frameworks to real problems and situations, and allows for substantial student input and discussion. During the programme you will engage with a variety of learning & teaching activities, including:
- Lectures Lectures will be used to provide you with a framework of ideas and theory, into which you can fit material obtained from independent study and tutorials. Whilst lectures are seen as opportunities for imparting key information they are also intended to be interactive, and debate is encouraged.
- Seminars These will provide you with the opportunity to discuss problems related to specific subjects. Group seminars will enable you to share experiences and discuss, analyse and evaluate possible solutions.
- Workshops Tasks will be set requiring you to work together to develop problem solving strategies and to analyse issues.
- Student Symposia Learning activities led by students will form part of the programme. You will be required to develop and present short papers and facilitate discussion relating to specific issues.
- Case Studies These sessions will present a case for discussion based on previous events, and you’ll be expected to analyse the situation and suggest appropriate public health interventions in response. These studies will be aimed at improving your skills with respect to the analysis of problems and the synthesis and evaluation of solutions. Preparation for such a case study may include the following: - Presentation of available data and information about the case. - Group discussions, tutorial and individual learning to enable you to identify the problem and synthesise possible solutions. - Discussions and lectures with relevant professionals to understand the rationale behind the adoption of specific solutions. - Debriefing by way of tutorials and seminars.
- Contact Time and Self-Directed Learning The direct contact time between student and tutor varies from module to module. Generally, unless otherwise stated on the module guide, 10 credit modules will include up to 18 hours contact time and 20 credit modules will include up to 36 hours contact time. An exception to the above is APH7010 Frameworks for Public Health Intervention, which includes student-led group work supported by keynote lectures.
In addition to direct contact time you are generally expected to undertake a further 3-4 hours of self-directed learning for every 1 hour of contact time.
- Introduction to Academic Skills Included within the introduction to the programme is an introduction to the academic skills needed to study at Masters level. This includes the provision of specific e-learning material, a formative assignment and access to a Personal Tutor.
- Moodle You can access programme material both on and off campus via Moodle, the University’s virtual learning environment. This includes access to lecture presentations, recommended and required reading, group forums, e-portfolios and a range of other learning and teaching resources specific to the modules and programme.
- Personal Tutors & Professional Development In addition to a general open door policy, we encourage you to meet with the Programme Director and tutors regularly throughout the programme to discuss feedback on assignments and the development of academic skills. You’ll be an allocated a Personal Tutor at the beginning of the programme, who you can work with to develop your academic skills and consider how you can integrate your learning experiences with your own professional development needs and aspirations. Your aspirations for professional development will be discussed during the induction to the programme. Support and guidance will then be tailored throughout the programme to ensure that you are best able to fulfil your chosen professional development needs.
To reflect the applied nature of study, the programme contains no unseen written examinations. Instead, teaching and assessment will focus on case studies, exercises & scenarios reflecting contemporary issues in public health practice, often located within your own professional experience and environment. Examples of assessment tasks include: reports, essays, briefings, oral presentations, group work, observed practice scenarios, online tests and posters.
Throughout the programme, the assessment tasks we set will encourage you to select specific topics of study that are relevant to your interests and practice. For example, in the Assessing Health, Wellbeing and Inequity module, you will be asked to assess and evaluate the health and wellbeing of a specified population (in general or focussed on a specific issue/range of issues). You’ll be free to select a population and issue of professional and/or personal interest to you.
Employability & Careers
The promotion, protection and improvement of public health are key objectives for the Welsh Government, UK Government and at an international level, as exemplified by the WHO Commission on the Social Determinants of Health.
Our programme is closely mapped to Levels 6 & 7 of the Public Health Skills & Knowledge Framework - the recognised competence framework for public health at all levels in the UK. The programme provides the underpinning knowledge to enable you to pursue UK Public Health Practitioner registration (which requires completion of an assessed portfolio through a recognised development scheme, such as that operated by Public Health Wales – see http://www.wales.nhs.uk/sitesplus/888/page/49062 for details). We are also working on a project with Public Health Wales to develop and pilot a scheme to enable recognition of Advanced Practice (Public Health), supported by work-based learning.
If you'd like to find out more about career development opportunities in public health, we strongly recommend the PHORCAST website - http://www.phorcast.org.uk/.
Graduates from the programme have progressed to advanced positions in their chosen specialist career areas. Examples of roles our graduates have attained include: - Project lead for Safeguarding, Public Health Wales - Director of Business Performance for a large UK voluntary organisation - Senior Project Co-ordinator, mental health charity - Public Health Fellow (American India Association) and Project Manager, Tata Steel Rural Development Society - Senior Public Health Practitioner, Public Health Wales - Community Health Advocate - Environmental Health Team Leader, Welsh local authority - Program Manager, Maternal and Child Health, Pakistan non-profit organisation - Data and Information Officer, research funding organisation - Project Co-ordinator, community regeneration charity - Lecturer in Health, Wellbeing and Sport, Welsh university - Service Improvement/Change Manager at NHS Wales
Graduates have also progressed to further study on research degrees leading to MPhil and PhD qualifications.
The programme team are currently investigating opportunities for accrediting the programme with the International Union for Health Promotion and Education (http://www.iuhpe.org) and the Agency for Public Health Education Accreditation (http://www.aphea.net/). We will provide further updates on this process as it progresses.