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Course content

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.

Introducing your course

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.

Comprehensive programme

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.

Professional skills

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:

  • Provide opportunities for you to develop mastery in public health through advancing your analytical skills, communication skills and knowledge.
  • Prepare you to lead teams and individuals, build healthy alliances, develop capacity and capability and work in partnership to improve health and wellbeing.
  • Enable you to promote the health of populations by influencing the lifestyles of populations, communities and individuals.
  • Enable you to prevent ill-health through risk assessment and the promotion and implementation of evidence-based interventions.
  • Enable you to use or evaluate research using sound methodological principles.
  • Provide you with relevant tools, skills and understanding of concepts and terms, which will support effective public health practice.

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 programme specification document for this course.

View the programme specification document for the PG Certificate in Public Health

View the programme specification document for the PG Diploma in Public Health


View the different pathways for this programme here.

Visit the Public Health - MSc/PgDip/PgCert page on the University of Southampton website for more details!





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Recipient: University of Southampton

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