Whether you’re already involved in public health research, policy and practice, or are planning a career in those areas, this Masters course is designed to support your future ambitions.

Shaped by some of the leading thinkers in health research, the course will equip you with unique insights into modern public health theory and methods and teach you how to apply them to your work. You’ll interact with experts in the field as you develop a critical understanding of public health approaches and learn how to make a positive impact on the well-being of individuals and communities.

You can study the course entirely online, making it an ideal option if you want to gain a Masters qualification while working. The module choices are also extremely flexible, allowing you to create a tailored programme that suits your own learning needs, interests and goals in public health.

Top reasons to study with us

#1 Study online and make your coursework fit with your personal and professional schedules

#2 Earn a Masters from Scotland’s top-rated University for Health Sciences research (REF 2014)

#3 Suitable for both novice and experienced Health Sciences practitioners

Course objectives

This course is for anyone who wants to explore the current and emerging issues in public health while reflecting on their own practice, experiences and interests. Through your studies, you’ll learn how to:

  • explore and understand public health theory and techniques appropriate to your own area of interest
  • gain first-hand insight into approaches used by researchers, practitioners and policymakers
  • develop practical and transferable skills, including report writing, team working, literature searching, research methods, and critical appraisal

A distinctive Masters course

This course has a multidisciplinary focus, teaching and delivering both practical and theoretical skills in collaboration with public and third sector partners.

It focuses on how societies, groups and individuals can improve public health and tackle health inequalities, considering both top-down and bottom-up approaches (e.g. government policies versus grassroots movements). There is a focus on helping you develop skills that will be relevant to current and future careers in public health, through individual study and collaborations with other students and staff.

By the time you graduate, you’ll be equipped with expert knowledge and different perspectives from across research, policy and practice, focusing on contemporary public health issues that are relevant locally, nationally and internationally.

Flexible learning

If you’re interested in studying a module from this course, the Postgraduate Certificate or the Postgraduate Diploma then please email Graduate Admissions to discuss your course of study.


Our Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport was ranked 1st in Scotland for Health Sciences in the most recent Research Excellence Framework (2014) – highlighting our commitment to producing world-leading research that improves health care and reduces health inequalities on a global and local scale.

This means you’ll be supported in your studies by a group of influential academics with strong and established research records, public health experience and a wealth of world-class publications.

Course details

Expand your knowledge and skills in public health and redefine your career prospects with this unique online course.

You’ll be required to complete four core modules, two optional modules and a research project to earn your MPH in Public Health. You can also graduate with a Postgraduate Diploma by completing four core modules and two optional modules, or a Postgraduate Certificate by completing three core modules.

Students are expected to complete no more than one module per semester.

Year 1 (core modules):

  • September - What is Public Health? (NURP021)
  • January - Epidemiology and Its Numbers (NURP022)
  • May - What is Public Health Research? (NURP023)

Year 2 (Select two optional and one core module):

  • September - Society and Health (NURP025) OR MRes Quantitative Methods (NURP005) OR MRes Qualitative Methods (NURP003)
  • January - Health Behaviours and Behaviour Change (NURP026) OR MRes Research Ethics and Governance (NURP007)
  • May - Policy in the Real World (NURP024)

Year 3:

  • Research Project (NURP027)


You’ll be assisted in achieving the aims of the course through a range of methods, including:

  • a mixture of lectures (live webinars and recorded podcasts)
  • group work
  • online discussions
  • independent (guided and self-guided) study
  • reflection on learning and independent research

You're expected to complete no more than one module per semester.


You’ll be assessed using a variety of methods, including essays, short-answer exams, project plans, objective test questions, posters, presentations, policy briefs and academic journal manuscripts.

Classroom hours

Some modules have scheduled lectures/discussions which typically take place in the evening (UK time). The exact day and time will vary depending on the module, but these sessions are recorded and can be viewed at a later date.

Course director

Dr Tony Robertson

+44 (0)1786 466360


Fees - 2018/2019


Program taught in:
  • English

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