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Course content

The Master of Public Health (MPH) course aims to deliver high quality, integrated, multi-disciplinary learning for leadership and problem-solving across the broad field of public health. 

It is a required course for public health trainees in Wales preparing for the examination for membership of the Faculty of Public Health, for whom a supplementary course is available.

The course aims to provide students with the knowledge to:

• Quantitatively and qualitatively assess the population’s health and health needs, including the determinants and status of health and well-being and development of effective action.

• Critically assess the evidence relating to the effectiveness of health and healthcare interventions, programmes and services.

• Promote the health of populations by influencing lifestyle and socio-economic, physical and cultural environment through methods of health promotion, including health education.

• Protect the public’s health from communicable and environmental hazards.

• Collect, generate, synthesise, appraise, analyse, interpret and communicate intelligence that measures the health status, risks, needs and health outcomes of defined populations.

Distinctive features

• Multi-disciplinary and trans-professional in both its content and the students it attracts. 

• The programme is the product of a collaboration between academic partners and the NHS including the Schools of Medicine and Social Science at Cardiff University, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Swansea University, Public Health Wales NHS Trust, and Public Health England.

• The MPH has been run successfully in Cardiff since 1989 and has a national and international reputation. The course is designed to fit closely with the syllabus of the UK Faculty of Public Health and to take account of the changing nature of public health practice globally.

• Required course for public health trainees in Wales preparing for the examination for membership of the Faculty of Public Health, for whom a supplementary course is available.


The course can be completed in one year with full-time study or in three years by part-time study.

The course consists of two stages – “stage T” (6 x 20 credit modules) and “stage R” (60 credit research dissertation):

You may exit after stage T with a Postgraduate Diploma, if you have gained at least 120 credits, only where this includes the award of credit for all ‘required’ modules.

If you have not obtained 120 credits, but have gained at least 60 credits, you may exit after stage T with a Postgraduate Certificate, only where this includes the award of credit for three out of four of the ‘required’ modules.

Your dissertation, which will normally be of not more than 16,000 words and supported by such other material as may be considered appropriate to the subject, will embody the results of your period of project work. The subject of each student’s dissertation will be approved by the Chair of the Board of Studies concerned or his/her nominee.

Core modules:

Statistical Methodology
Basic Epidemiology
Applied Epidemiology
Health Economics, Policy and Planning
Dissertation: Public Health


Knowledge and understanding is assessed summatively through tutor assessed essays, project reports, poster presentations, oral class presentations and unseen examinations. The assessment for core modules consists of an unseen examination (contributing 50% of module mark) and a module assignment (contributing 50% of final mark). The specialty modules are assessed by written assignments, oral presentations, and a practical test based on real-life scenarios.  There are no unseen examinations for the speciality modules.

The MPH dissertation stage will be wholly assessed based on the final dissertation. Expectations for the format, submission and marking of the dissertation will follow the current Senate Assessment Regulations, supplemented where appropriate with additional requirements of the Programme/School/College and any specific requirements arising from the nature of the project undertaken.

Career Prospects

The course helps students in their preparation for the Faculty of Public Health Part A examinations, enabling graduates to pursue professional careers in public health as well as a wide range of other careers, including postgraduate research.

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





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Recipient: Cardiff University

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