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Course content

This course has been designed to provide you with an integrated, coherent and multidisciplinary approach to public health activity. Our MSc Public Health places particular emphasis on advancing your critical awareness and problem solving skills in order to develop innovative, reflective and pro-active approaches to meeting challenging and complex health needs. Examples of our pro-active approach to teaching and learning include; the analysis of contemporary non-communicable health issues such as obesity, diabetes and mental health, as well as those linked with public protection such as infectious disease surveillance and control.

Our MSc Public Health will be delivered by a range of teaching methods such as core lectures, group work, online activities, use of case studies and directed learning approaches. Shared learning with other professionals will be a focus of this course and you will be encouraged to develop a critical, evaluative approach to the knowledge which underpins present-day public health practice.

Course content

This postgraduate award prepares you for a career in Public Health at both strategic and operational levels. The full MSc consists of six compulsory modules, which include:

  • Leading Public Health
  • Health Promotion
  • Epidemiology
  • Comparative Health Care Systems
  • Research Methods
  • Professional Project

You will need to study all of the compulsory modules on this course as well as choosing from one designated module from the following subject areas:

  • Substance Use and Misuse
  • Voluntary Sector Placement
  • Therapeutic Communication Interventions and Leadership
  • Leading People in Health and Social Care Organisations.

These designated modules have been identified as offering a range of public health topics which you can choose dependent on your experience. All modules (except the Professional Project) incorporate 200 hours of learning, which includes taught sessions as well as self-directed independent study and assignment preparation. Furthermore, (included in the 200 hours) are six study days, in which you are expected to either attend lectures or work online on electronic activities via the online learning environment, NILE.

The teaching team have created a flexible and challenging Public Health programme, which incorporates face to face teaching, workshops and tutorials, as well as three of the core modules having an extensive self-directed online component. Opportunities exist to undertake a volunteering post within a Public Health environment and to gain experience of working within a Non-Governmental Organisation whilst ‘giving back’ to the vulnerable in society. This reflects the University’s Changemaker ethos which strives to identify and respond to societal issues in a proactive, sustainable and ethical manner.

Embedded within the course are sessions from the Changemaker Hub, who offer support and advice in cohort groups and on a one-to-one basis for CV writing, interview techniques and help with locating a volunteer placement. These skills are invaluable when it comes to applying for employment or PhD study.

Teaching Team

Programme and Module Leader: Mrs Kirsty Mason

Kirsty Mason has been a Programme Leader of Masters Level Courses in the Faculty of Health and Society for numerous years and has 14 years’ experience of working as a Senior Lecturer in Public Health. Prior to working in academia, Kirsty worked as a Specialist Public Health Practitioner within Primary Care and has extensive experience of working with individuals, families and communities to improve their health and wellbeing. Kirsty is interested in teaching Public Health and Health Promotion as well as supervising Public Health Masters Dissertations. Her MSc in Public Health and Primary Health Care was gained from the University of Warwick and Kirsty has a keen interest in undertaking research using a phenomenological approach, her recent research activity includes researching non-medical prescribing in public health and how Children’s Centres enhance health outcomes for families.

Module Leader: Dr Melinda Spencer

Dr Melinda Spencer has been lecturing at the University of Northampton since 2013. She has taught on psychology undergraduate modules and presently leads on several undergraduate and Master’s modules in Health Studies including Health and Society, Contemporary Issues in Healthcare and Integrated Perspectives on Disease and Epidemiology. Prior to lecturing, Melinda worked on a number of research projects with the Institute of Health and Wellbeing, University of Northampton. Melinda’s main research interests are health and wellbeing, family life, transitions and development over the life course.

Subject Specialist and Marker: Mrs Helen Kimble

Helen Kimble joined the University of Northampton in 2012 as a member of the Primary Health Senior Lecturer team and is Programme Leader for Specialist Community Public Health Practice in the Faculty of Health and Society. Prior to working in academia, Helen worked as a Specialist Community Public Health Practitioner within Primary Care for over ten years and gained extensive experience of working with individual children and young people, families and communities during that time. Helen has interests in teaching Public Health and supervising Public Health Masters Dissertations. As well as her Postgraduate Diploma in SCPHN, Helen holds a Master’s in Education and values promoting learning as a lifelong skill within public health practice.


Career Opportunities

Public Health is a growing field of study, therefore there is an abundance of job opportunities to suit a variety of interests and skills. A Master’s degree will help your career advancement within a variety of organisations and professions such as health and social care, local authority, and voluntary organisations.

Our Public Health students develop excellent communication and analytical skills and have entered a diverse range of jobs, such as working as Vaccine Logistic Experts for UNICEF, Medical Consultants with the WHO, Governmental Public Health Researchers and Infection Control Practitioners. Students have also entered further study and are undertaking PhDs.

Work Experience

Students have the opportunity to undertake a designated Voluntary Placement module and engage in a minimum of 50 hours of volunteering in a placement relevant to Public Health.

Visit the Public Health - MSc page on the University of Northampton website for more details!






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Recipient: University of Northampton

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