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Available at our Glasgow and London campuses

Turn public health theory into social action and create meaningful change at the local, national and international levels with our MSc Public Health. You'll join practitioners from a wide range of backgrounds in this unique and highly relevant programme. Develop the knowledge and skills you need to advance your career and improve the lives of people round the world.

Through a blended approach of traditional instruction supported by online study, your programme prepares you to make a positive impact across a broad range of issues in public health- from preventing disease and minimising its consequences to prolonging life and improving health equity. We've designed a variety of assessments - including written assignments, project proposals, small-scale research and systematic reviews - to make sure you get the most out of your studies.

Whether you choose to study at our Glasgow campus or our London campus, you'll learn from GCU staff who embody our commitment to the common good through their close working relationships with local and international communities - and through their contributions to world-class research in the field of public health.

What you will study

Principles and Theory of Public Health

This module will include an overview of the history of public health and current theoretical frameworks, the principles of epidemiology and health needs assessment and the importance of public health policies and the wider public health workforce in supporting the application of theory to practice.

Health Economics and Development

This module is designed to provide students with the analytical tools to understand, from an economic perspective: the nature of health care systems internationally; how to assess health care reforms and specific health intervention programmes; and frameworks of health determinants. The module is divided into three main parts; the basic economics of health care systems, evaluation of health care and economic perspectives on health determinants.

Public Health Theory to Social Action

This module will encourage students to undertake activities that will enhance their knowledge on how community development approaches aim to support communities to address health inequalities. In addition it will provide students with the skills to be able to critically analyse and evaluate the relationship between public health theory and its application to social action.

Advanced Epidemiology, Application and Evaluation in Practice

During this module students will further develop and enhance their knowledge and understanding of epidemiological approaches and their application to public health practice.

It particularly aims to develop a practical understanding of how the techniques used to undertake epidemiological studies can be used to gather and interpret knowledge which can support the planning and implementation of new social action initiatives and evaluate existing activities.

Evaluating Evidence to Develop Research and Inform Practice

This module is designed to develop students' critical and practical understanding of research methods which can be applied to inform practice. It requires students to learn about the evaluation of literature, research design along with data collection and interpretation that relates to the student's field. Students will engage with the critical appraisal of evidence from published research literature, qualitative and quantitative methodologies, structured literature reviewing, research ethics, research design, data collection and relevant data analyses.

Placement module

This module is available to our campus-based students.

This module is designed to gain first-hand experience of organisations currently delivering a social determinant approach to delivering public health goals. Students spend 15 days working alongside organisation staff to experience specific aspects of Public Health policy research and practice.

Students select a relevant organisation allowing them to explore, organise and administer an educational placement in an area/organisation of their choosing in terms of specialty and/ or geographical location. The student will consider a person centred approach as well as the key strategic local, national and international imperatives. Students will take responsibility for their learning by setting personal and professional learning outcomes for their placement. The module allows students to demonstrate reflection and reasoning in relation to a specific aspect of Public Health. Longer placements are possible if attached to their chosen dissertation.

Examples of recent placements include spending time at the National Institute of Health and Social Care Excellence; Social Action for Health (a voluntary agency in the East End of London - http://www.safh.org.uk; Health Action Partnership International (a charity advocating for change at a national and global level) and the Centre for Health in Valencia, Spain.


This module requires students to undertake an independent research project, in the form of a critical literature review, on an area of interest that also contributes to the body of knowledge in their profession.

Teaching methods

Modules are delivered via lectures, seminars, tutorials, interactive discussions, directed and self-directed study.

Assessment methods

All modules provide opportunities for you to receive feedback on your academic work. The length and nature of assessments is dependent on module specific learning outcomes. Examples of assessment activities within the programme include written assignments on a given public health perspective, open book examinations, project plans, research proposals and a small scale research study or systematic review.

Modules will have either one larger summative assessment at the end of the module or two smaller assessments, spaced throughout the module. A Pass mark is awarded at 50% or above, and students must gain Pass marks in all modules.

Graduate prospects

Whether you choose a future in academia or pursue a career in the private, public or third sector, you'll be ready to compete for top positions in the UK and beyond. Our recent graduates contribute in a variety of fields including health improvement and health protection, hold roles in teaching and research and serve in public health teams round the world.

Visit the MPH Public Health page on the Glasgow Caledonian University website for more details!





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