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Public Health MSc

In modern times public health interventions have consistently made major contributions to social progress, yet at the start of the 21st century familiar public health problems still persist and new challenges are emerging.

The MSc Public Health at the University of Worcester is a postgraduate programme for health practitioners and professionals from the wider workforce who impact on public health. The course will develop your public health skills and establish an advanced knowledge base for your chosen field of public health practice, whether in the UK or internationally. Public Health requires an interdisciplinary approach to the analysis of health problems and the professional practice needed to address them, and meeting the new complex health problems of the 21st Century requires integration of thinking and practice across many disciplines. 

Public Health at the University of Worcester is therefore an exciting progressive course that is relevant to both the ‘traditional’ public health workforce and a wide range of ‘allied’ professionals seeking to enhance their ability to impact on the public’s health. The course is structured so that applicants from diverse backgrounds have the opportunity to gain a sound foundational knowledge base in contemporary public health practice that is of equal relevance to your career progress, whether in the NHS, internationally, in private health care organisations, in allied health sciences, or in third sector organisations. Having established this foundational knowledge, students can select option modules in order to maintain a broad based approach to public health, or choose options in a way that enables them to pursue more focussed interests in UK practice, international public health or health and sustainability. 

The course can be studied either full or part-time and students are required to take the mandatory modules listed below plus two option modules

Mandatory Modules
MSPH4001 Introduction to Public Health
MSPH4002 Health Education and Promotion
MSPH4003 Health Policy, Economics, and Management
MSPH 4004 Methods in Public Health
MSPH 4010 Dissertation 

Option Modules
MSPH 4005 Global Health
MSPH 4006 Community Focussed Health Improvement in the United Kingdom
MSPH 4007 Climate Change, Sustainability and Public Health
MSPH 4008 Health and Social Care Quality 

In any given year the availability of option modules will depend on student numbers and in the event of an option module not being able to run due to a low number of students registering for that module, students will in these circumstances be able to choose an alternative option module or the negotiated study module as an alternative.

Postgraduate Loans

Postgraduate Loans of up to £10,609 are now available for UK students. For more information visit our postgraduate loans page


How to apply

Apply for September 2018 enrolment

Please make your application via our online application form. If you have any questions, please contact the Admissions office on 01905 855111 or

When we receive your application form, your details will be passed to the Masters Programme Leader who may contact you to arrange an informal interview. You may include additional material, such as references, in support of your application or bring them with you to interview.

You can apply for postgraduate taught courses and PG Certs at any time, but preferably as early as possible before the start of the academic year, which begins in September. 

Entry requirements

Applicants should hold an honours degree preferably in a subject associated with public health, health or social care or other subjects of relevance to public health and health improvement. If you don’t have a degree we are always open to discuss equivalents.

The programme is open to professionals and non-professionals as well as those in practice and not in practice.

Students may be asked to an informal interview, depending on their application information. All students are asked to supply an academic reference, preferably from an academic who has taught you in the last few years. If this is not possible, a professional reference is required.

Study options

The course can be studied full time in one year or part-time.

Each module you achieve will give you 20 CAT (Credit Accumulation and Transfer) points. You need a total of 180 for the whole MSc. Most modules are run during the day in a variety of different formats, and usually run during the afternoon and evening to accommodate the needs of full time and part time students. Each module is run over a single semester.

Get in touch

Admissions Office
01905 855111


The course content is aligned with the guidelines for accreditation at the International level (W.H.O) European level (The European Agency for Accreditation in Public Health Education, APHEA) and the National level (The Faculty of Public Health and the UK Public Health Register). The course is aimed at the wider public health workforce and therefore the range of public health career opportunities is very diverse and will depend on whether you want to work for a local, national or international organisation. Career opportunities include local, national and international NGOs, government health departments including the NHS, local authorities and policy departments at national government level, the World Health Organisation and the United Nations, and other private sector and third sector organisations.

Careers Support for Postgraduate Students:

Post graduate students have often undertaken a Masters degree with specific career development in mind, but in some cases students may be seeking to change their career direction, either way the career support and guidance for progression in the public health field will help you to target your next move effectively. The course team and University career advisors will advise you how to:

  • Access relevant networks 

  • Develop a career development strategy

  • Compile effective CV and portfolio material for approaching interviews and presenting yourself to relevant organisations

Course content


Mandatory modules

MSPH4001 - Introduction to Public Health (20 credits)

An introduction to the key public health issues in the developed and developing world considering population health and its determinants.

MSPH4002 - Health Education and Promotion (20 credits)

An over view of the main activities encompassed in Health Improvement and the theoretical approaches used in practice

MSPH4003 - Health Policy, Economics, and Management (20 credits)

A module covering health economics, healthcare systems planning, organisation and management

MSPH4004 - Methods in Public Health (20 credits)

This module explores the key research and evaluation methods used in public health

MSPH4010 - Dissertation (60 credits)

Your own Independent Research Project.

Option modules

MSPH4005 - Global Health (20 credits)

This module evaluates global health issues from international perspectives to the analysis at regional and national levels


MSPH4006 - Community Focussed Health Improvement in the United Kingdom (20 credits)

This module considers professional health improvement practice at the community level, considering methods such as community needs assessment and the integration of health and social care provision.

MSPH4007 - Climate Change, Sustainability and Public Health (20 credits)

Many current and future public health issues have synergies with climate change and sustainability (e.g. ‘obesogenic environments’ are characterised by low levels of physical activity such as walking and cycling which are also issues for promoting sustainable transport). This module explores the many links between these two critical issues for the 21st Century

MSPH4008 - Health and Social Care Quality (20 credits)

This module explores the underlying principles of quality assurance and evaluation in the delivery of public health and health and social care

Teaching and Learning

The University places emphasis on enabling students to develop the independent learning capabilities that will equip you for lifelong learning and future employment, as well as academic achievement.  A mixture of independent study, teaching and academic support through the personal academic tutoring system enables you to reflect on progress and build up a profile of skills, achievements and experiences that will enable you to flourish and be successful.


You are taught through a combination of interactive workshops, lectures and seminars. Interactive workshops take a variety of formats and are intended to enable the application of learning through discussion and small group activities.  Seminars enable the discussion and development of understanding of topics covered in lectures.

Contact time

In a typical week you will have around 6 contact hours of teaching.  The precise contact hours will depend on the optional modules selected and in the second semester and up to the submission date of the Dissertation you should allow more time for the independent study required for your research study. 

Typically weekly class contact time for full time students will be structured around:

  • Three 1 hour lectures followed by a 1 hour workshop or seminar

For part time students the contact time will vary according to the time in which you intend to complete course and further details can be obtained from the course leader.

Independent self-study

In addition to the contact time, you are expected (as a full time student) to undertake a minimum of 12 hours of personal self-study per week.  A full time Masters degree is challenging and typically, this will involve extensive reading to make sure you have a thorough knowledge of the literature on each topic. 

Independent learning is supported by a range of excellent learning facilities, including the Hive and library resources, the virtual learning environment, and extensive electronic learning resources. 

Teaching staff

You will be taught by a teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. The team includes senior academics and professional practitioners of public health and areas of related experience from a wide range of professional areas.

Teaching is informed by the team’s research and consultancy, and 56 per cent of University lecturers have a higher education teaching qualification or are Fellows of the Higher Education Academy. You can learn more about the staff by visiting our staff profiles.


The course provides opportunities to test understanding and learning informally through the completion of practice or ‘formative’ assignments.  Each module has one or more formal or ‘summative’ assessments which are graded and count towards the overall module grade.  

Assessment methods include a range of coursework assessments such as essays, reports, portfolios, performance, presentations and a final year independent studies project.

The precise assessment requirements for an individual student in an academic year will vary according to the mandatory and optional modules taken, and whether you are full or part time, but a typical formal summative assessment pattern for each year of the course is:

  • 3 Essays
  • 3 Case Studies
  • 2 Reports
  • 1 Individual Presentation
  • 1 Research Proposal
  • 1 Dissertation


You will receive feedback on practice assessments and on formal assessments undertaken by coursework. Feedback is intended to support learning and you are encouraged to discuss it with personal academic tutors and module tutors as appropriate.

We aim to provide you with feedback on formal course work assessments within 20 working days of hand-in.

Student views

Peng Li

"My views in sustainability have become broadened since I came to the UK and studied at the University of Worcester, I was not only welcomed as a student of the University but also offered opportunities to involve in various university projects to help making the university one of the ‘Greenest’ in the UK. I have thoroughly enjoyed my experiences as a student, and now I hope my enjoyment and experiences could pass on to my community to make a positive impact."

Academic department

Institute of Health & Society

“The committed and enthusiastic staff in the Institute of Health and Society will assist you to develop your knowledge, skills and attitudes in order to achieve personal success and to ensure that you can ‘make a positive difference’ when you apply this learning to your chosen career or to your future life and study.”

Dr Jan Quallington, Head of Institute