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Public health is about improving the lives of others by preventing and managing health problems.

Course overview

If you have a personal commitment to the goal of improving people’s health, this Masters provides specialist training for you to make a real difference. We offer flexibility for you to focus on areas that match your interests and skills.

Public health covers three key domains. The first is health improvement, which includes monitoring specific diseases, risk factors and inequalities. The second is improving services, which includes audit, evaluation, service planning and efficiency. The third domain is health protection, which includes responses to infectious diseases and environmental hazards.

Public health professionals often work alongside colleagues in other disciplines. Consistent with this, Sunderland has created an environment that encourages interdisciplinary learning. We also help you develop the advanced skills in communication, reflective practice and group working that underpin professional success.

During the course you will analyse the global and national policy, and its practical implications. Additionally, you will have an opportunity to study an area of health care in depth, through a project.

The research aspects of the course are supported by Sunderland’s on-going research programme. Our Health Sciences and Well-being Research Beacon aims to conduct world-leading research that leads to better physical and mental health and well-being for all.

Course content

The course mixes taught elements with independent projects. We support you with guidance and inspiration, and you will negotiate a final project that matches your personal interests.

Modules on this course include:
-Sociological Perspectives in Health (20 Credits)
-Epidemiology (20 Credits)
-Global Issues in Health (20 Credits)
-Applied Public Health (20 Credits)
-Brief Interventions (20 Credits)
-Applied Research Methods and Project Management (20 Credits)
-Masters Project (60 Credits)

Teaching and assessment

We use a wide variety of teaching and learning methods which include lectures, seminars, workshops, tutorials, self-directed learning and e-learning. Compared to an undergraduate course, you will find that this Masters requires a higher level of independent working.

Assessment methods include coursework, projects, poster and oral presentations, timed tests and exams.

Facilities & location

Sunderland has excellent facilities that have been boosted by multi-million pound redevelopments.

Sciences Complex
This course is based in the Sciences Complex at our City Campus, which has benefited from multi-million pound investment in modern facilities. The technical equipment is backed up with excellent IT facilities, with hundreds of workstations available for students to use. If you have any computer problems, just ask the friendly helpdesk team.

University Library Services
The University boasts a collection of more than 430,000 books in total, with many more titles available through the inter-library loan service. There are nearly 9,000 journal titles, mostly in electronic format. Each year the University invests around £1 million in new resources.

Learning environment
Overall Sunderland offers a vibrant learning environment with an international dimension thanks to the presence of students from around the world. At the same time, the University is fully plugged into relevant health care and industry organisations, with strong links and an exchange of ideas and people.

Employment & careers

On completing this course you will be equipped with the skills and knowledge to work at an advanced level in line with current health legislation and policy.

Public Health professionals work in a range of community health areas such as primary health care teams, public health units, drug and alcohol settings, and health and social care settings. There are also opportunities in epidemiology, biostatistics, environmental health, health administration, health education and health policy.

Potential roles include becoming a manager in the NHS, local authorities and non-statutory sectors. For example, at the top end of the scale, there are roles as Director of Public Health that attract salaries of up to around £100,000. There are also many other opportunities as a public health professional.

A Masters degree will also enhance opportunities in academic roles or further study towards a PhD.

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




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