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Full time & Part time September PGDip, PGCert, Other See website for details.

About the course

This modular multidisciplinary programme in public health is designed to provide academic training to professionals currently working in, or who wish to work in, the public health field.

Students attend compulsory modules then choose from a wide range of approved modules. Students also have to attend a non assessed introductory week at the beginning of the course which provides an introduction to Public Health in particular in the context of health services in the UK.

If you wish to study this programme to Postgraduate Diploma level then you will need to complete the taught elements of the programme but will not need to complete a dissertation.

We also offer:

Read more about this course

Entry Requirements

This programme is open to those with a good first degree in any subject of relevance to public health; this includes most biological sciences. Applications are also welcome from UK medical students who wish to intercalate. For the diploma, applications are also accepted from those with a relevant professional qualification or sufficient Public Health experience at the appropriate level without a primary degree, e.g. registered nurses. If you are unsure about your eligibility, please contact the course administrator.


 Course Content


Where is University of Birmingham

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Student Profile(s)

Paul Fisher

Current role - 4th year student on the West Midlands Public Health Training Scheme

How has your career developed since graduating from the University of Birmingham?

The year after graduating I left my old post at the Health Protection Agency (HPA) and successfully applied for the West Midlands Public Health Training Scheme. I am in my fourth year (I was able to skip the first year as I had my MPH) and next year I will leave the scheme and hopefully start work as a Consultant in Public Health at one of the local authorities in the West Midlands.


Why did you originally apply to do your chosen course at Birmingham?

I was lucky that my employer at the time (HPA) offered to fund the course and allowed me to study part-time. I jumped at the chance to study an MPH as it was a fantastic opportunity to broaden my knowledge of public health beyond the health protection issues I was involved in during my day-to-day work.

What did you think were the best points of the course?

The MPH at the University of Birmingham has a good balance between the different elements of public health. It is taught in a variety of interesting formats by experts in the field and provides the student with a great deal of freedom in constructing the type of course that they want to study through the choice of a wide range of modules.

What advice would you give to current students?

Like all courses the more you put in the more you will get out. Make sure you do the background reading suggested so that you can hit the ground running when modules start. Make sure you chose a subject you are passionate about for your dissertation topic as it will be a big part of your life for the coming months.

How did you grow as a person by studying at University?

Having done my previous masters degree (in ecotoxicology) via distance-learning it was a refreshing change to meet my fellow cohort of students face-to-face. The relationships formed are a key part of the non-academic benefits of studying for an MPH.

4th year student on the West Midlands Public Health Training Scheme

Current role - Deputy Director of Public Health Camden

How has your career developed since graduating from the University of Birmingham?

My background is in Nursing and Health Visiting. I had a secondment into the public health department, where the current Director suggested I did a Master’s degree in order to progress my career. Following completion of my degree, I have been successful in obtaining a Nurse Consultant post in public health. I then did the Faculty of Public Health portfolio and once registered I then progressed to Assistant Director and Deputy Director posts. Without the MPH, and the support of my Director, none of this would have been possible.

What is the best thing about the job you are doing now?

The post enables me to deliver public health in a very challenging environment, with a diverse population and variety of needs. It also enables me to pass on skills to students, including medics etc.

What did you think were the best points of the course and the University?

I found the staff, tutors etc extremely helpful, especially in areas where my experience was limited. Nothing was too much trouble and extra tuition was available when needed. My peers also provided good support at a professional level. There was also a good level of teaching and interactive working.

What advice would you give to current students studying on the course?

Make the most of it! You will benefit from the course every day in your working life.

How did you grow as a person by studying at University? Did it change your life in any way?

It changed my life completely. It gave me the confidence to apply for posts I would otherwise not have considered and helped me reach my goals.

Shamil Haroon

Current role - Specialist Registrar in Public Health and PhD Student (Clinical Research Fellow) at the University of Birmingham

How has your career developed since graduating from the University of Birmingham?

Completing the MPH at the University of Birmingham helped prepare me for my training as a specialist registrar in public health. It particularly helped me to prepare for the Faculty of Public Health membership exams and to apply for and successfully acquire a research fellowship at the University of Birmingham through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).

Why did you originally apply to do your chosen course at Birmingham?

I started training in public health in 2009 after completing three years of hospital-based training as a junior doctor. An MPH is a requirement for the first year of public health specialist training and most trainees in the West Midlands are allocated to the University of Birmingham.

What did you think were the best points of the course ?

Epidemiology, biostatistics and research methods were taught particularly well. The teaching staff are extremely knowledgeable and also approachable. The course has both the required breadth and depth to get a solid foundation on the theory of public health.

What advice would you give to current students ?

Choose a dissertation that really interests you and aim to get it published – this is good for the research community and for your career! Make use of the plentiful expertise available, particularly in epidemiology, biostatistics and research methods. Also try to attend the wide variety of seminars that take place in the University every day.

How did you grow as a person by studying at University?

Studying the MPH really changed my perception of the distribution and determinants of population health, which greatly helped develop my practice of public health in the NHS. During and after the MPH I definitely became more useful to my public health department and was enabled to undertake projects that I simply didn’t have the expertise to do before I embarked on my studies. My dissertation and supervisors directly influenced my decision to apply for an NIHR doctoral fellowship which has been one of the best decisions of my professional career.

Aliki Taylor

Current role - Director of Observational Research in Biotechnology

How has your career developed since graduating from the University of Birmingham?

I have worked both in the NHS as a medical doctor and also in academia. My qualifications have allowed me to work as a director in a specialist field using my medical and epidemiological skills in the biotechnology industry.

Why did you originally apply to do your chosen course at Birmingham?

I am primarily an epidemiologist and love to learn more about different diseases, in particular cancer.

What did you think were the best points of the course ?

Carrying out a PhD in Cancer Epidemiology at Birmingham was rewarding as there are strong existing links with cancer charities and other universities with cancer epidemiology research teams. There are also a number of academics at Birmingham who work in the field. The public health department is also strong.

What advice would you give to current students?

It can take a while to complete a PhD but if you are thinking of a specialist career it may be necessary to do one. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication but it is worth it in the end. It is also a great opportunity to learn about one area in a lot of detail.

How did you grow as a person by studying at University?

I have four degrees and am a member of the Faculty of Public Health so I have spent most of my working life affiliated with one university or another. My current job is the first one I have had that is not linked to studying for a university degree at the same time. I do love learning new things but there comes a time when it is time to move on and use the knowledge and skills you have gained!

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