Applied Health Sciences, MSc

Applied Health Sciences, MSc

Introduction

Our MSc in Applied Health Sciences provides a flexible programme that can be individually tailored to align with your research interests and career goals whether that be in public health, global health, human nutrition or health economics.

This programme is also available to study part-time online.

Study Information

Study Options

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
MSc
Duration
12 months or 24 months
Study Mode
Full Time or Part Time
Start Month
September or January
Location of Study
Aberdeen

Our MSc in Applied Health Sciences provides a flexible programme that can be individually tailored to align with your research interests and careers goals whether that be in public health, global health, human nutrition or health economics.

Our programme aims to equip students with the skills required to explore and evaluate a variety of health science topics, using one or more specific applied health disciplines as a focus point. These include Public Health, Global Health, Human Nutrition, and Health Economics. With a wide range of courses to choose from, you can tailor your qualification to your research interests and career aspirations.

Our MSc Applied Health Sciences is designed for clinicians and other healthcare professionals looking to build towards a certified postgraduate qualification. Excellent training will be provided to enhance your skills and career prospects in public policy, healthcare delivery, healthcare management or research.

Available Programmes of Study

MSc

Applied Health Sciences

Qualification Duration Learning Mode Study Mode Start Month Location  
MSc 12 months or 24 months On Campus Learning Full Time or Part Time September Aberdeen More

Programme Fees

Fee information
Fee category Cost
EU / International students £23,800
Tuition Fees for 2024/25 Academic Year
UK £11,100
Tuition Fees for 2024/25 Academic Year

Stage 1

Compulsory Courses

Students enrolling directly on any of the Applied Health Sciences awards with a September start date must take the following courses:

Getting Started at the University of Aberdeen (PD5006)

This course, which is prescribed for all taught postgraduate students, is studied entirely online, takes approximately 5-6 hours to complete and can be taken in one sitting, or spread across a number of weeks.

Topics include orientation overview, equality and diversity, health, safety and cyber security and how to make the most of your time at university in relation to careers and employability.

Successful completion of this course will be recorded on your Enhanced Transcript as ‘Achieved’.

Optional Courses

Students should select four courses from the following:

PU5063 Introduction to Health Data Science (15 credit points)

PU5068 Designing Real World Trials (15 credit points)

PU5070 Women's Health in a Global Setting (15 credit points)

Applied Statistics (PU5017)

15 Credit Points

This course in Applied Statistics focuses on the application of statistical techniques in postgraduate research for health professionals, with a particular emphasis on the correct interpretation of statistical analyses results. The course will NOT focus on the statistical theory underlying the subject. An important component of the course is the use of a statistical package (IBM SPSS), which can be used to implement all the methods taught on this course.

Epidemiology (PU5030)

15 Credit Points

This course in applied epidemiology gives an introduction to disease measurement at a population level, basic epidemiological study design and analysis, and provides an understanding of key methodological issues needed to apply when designing – or critically appraising – an epidemiological study.

Health Economics (PU5032)

15 Credit Points

Resources available for the provision and payment for health care are limited. However, knowledge of economics helps ensure that available resources are used in the most effective way possible. Economics allows more informed decision making about a variety of issues: choosing between alternative treatments; setting priorities between patients; choosing between alternative new technologies; organising the provision of health care.

In this course students will acquire a knowledge and understanding of:

  • Key themes of economic theory applied to health care
  • Some of the main techniques of health care evaluation
  • Main arguments concerning alternative systems for organising and financing health care
Health, Well Being and Behaviour Change (PU5040)

15 Credit Points

What can health professionals and health care promoters do to improve their own and others health and wellbeing? What influences people’s health behaviours? Why do people find it difficult to change their health behaviour? What are the most promising strategies for improving health and well-being?

Health behaviours cover a wide range of behaviours (e.g. smoking, physical activity, vaccination, diet, taking medication, and practicing safe sex) and have a major impact on peoples’ health, quality of life, and (healthy) life expectancy. Nevertheless, many people have an unhealthy diet, exercise too little, don’t take their medication as prescribed, smoke, drink excessive amounts of alcohol, and so forth.

In this course, we will address these challenges and students will learn key theories about health behaviour and behaviour change, including behaviour change techniques, in order to understand how health behaviours can be influenced by a variety of factors within an individual (e.g., conscious and unconscious thoughts, emotions, goals, and decisions), and also by factors in the environment (e.g., the behaviours and expectations of society; the quality of the communication by health care professionals; or availability and affordability of healthy options in the environment).

Health psychologists and health professionals are expected to be able to develop, evaluate and implement intervention programs to promote healthier behaviour, through changing individuals and their environment.

Within this course you will develop your understanding of health behaviours, what influences them and how to change them. You will experience the role of health behaviours from both the participant’s and researcher view, by developing, participating in and analysing your own behavioural intervention.

Fundamentals of Research Design (PU5052)

15 Credit Points

Fundamentals of research design provides the student with skills in both quantitative and qualitative design enabling the student to plan ethical research in a health context. Students are taken through each step - from formulating the research question, to study design, sample selection, methods for data collection to dissemination of results.

Upon completion of this course you will be able to:

  1. Summarise the key factors involved in the research process
  2. Evaluate the appropriateness of study designs commonly used in applied health research studies
  3. Identify the advantages and disadvantages associated with quantitative and qualitative research methodologies
  4. Develop a research proposal to answer a health-related research question which maximises research quality and rigour.
Key Concepts in Global Health (PU5062)

15 Credit Points

This course introduces students to key concepts in global health and develops skills to critically appraise organisations, actors, debates and data. Teaching material will cover: key definitions and terminology; institutions, practitioners and scholars in global health; and key drivers and challenges in the global health field. Students will learn about established and emerging topics, how these intersect with broader social, economic and political factors, and how research can make credible contributions in this context.

Foundations of Nutrition (RN5003)

15 Credit Points

Course Aims:

The course aims to enable you to develop a broad knowledge, understanding, and application of the scientific basis of human nutrition.

Learning Outcomes:

By the end of the course, you should be able to:

  1. Summarise the underlying physiology related to human nutrition.
  2. Explain the key concepts of nutrient and energy metabolism.
  3. Distinguish between the metabolism of different macronutrients.
  4. Outline the role of micronutrients and non-nutritive dietary components in human nutrition.
  5. Assess the interactions between nutrients as part of a whole diet.
  6. Prepare, process, interpret, and present topics in human nutrition using formal presentation.
Assessment of Nutritional Status (RN5008)

15 Credit Points

This course will give you a detailed theoretical and practical understanding of the methods used to assess nutritional status, including dietary intake, assessment of body composition and energy expenditure applied in the context of energy balance. Theory will be put into practice through a series of practical workshop and laboratory sessions to give you ‘hands-on’ experience of using a range of assessment techniques using state-of-the-art equipment routinely employed by nutritional scientists.

Stage 2

Optional Courses

Students should select four courses from the following, except where students are taking PU5560 Advanced Research Project, who should take two of these courses alongside starting their project.

PU5565 Health Informatics

PU5566 Challenges in Global Nutrition

PU5567 Machine Learning for Healthcare

PU5568 Women's Health in a Global Setting

PU5569 Understanding and Applying Regression Models

RN5509 Molecular Nutrition

RN5510 Sustainable Diets and Global Food Systems

Global Health (PU5505)

15 Credit Points

This course focuses on the issues that affect the health of all nations of the world, the problems that unite developing and developed countries – the shared risks and vulnerabilities. This is not merely the study of emerging diseases and epidemic threats such as HIV, Ebola, Zika and Sars Cov-19 but also the dual burden of over and undernutrition, communicable and non-communicable diseases, the impact of war, conflict and climate change on the health of individuals, nations and world populations.

Systematic Reviewing (PU5526)

15 Credit Points

This course will equip students with the relevant skills to interpret and conduct systematic reviews on the effectiveness of healthcare interventions. Using lectures and practical sessions, students will understand the principles of systematic reviewing and the differences between narrative and systematic reviews. They will learn to formulate a clear research question and undertake each stage of systematic reviewing of randomised controlled trials. They will also learn about the importance of the levels of evidence and systematic reviews of other different study designs. This course will also introduce the students to advances in systematic reviews such as network meta-analysis and use of Individual Patient Data (IPD)

Qualitative Health Research (PU5529)

15 Credit Points

This course provides a sound overview of the methods involved in qualitative health research. You will consider the relevance and value of different qualitative methodologies which respond to current health agendas. The course covers planning to conduct qualitative research and a range of methods to generate, handle and analyse qualitative data. You will gain insight into issues of rigour, quality and ethics, and understand the importance of engaging with relevant audiences. The course is delivered by experienced qualitative researchers, and you will gain insight into the practicalities of undertaking qualitative research via practical workshops and lecture sessions.

This course provides a sound overview of the methods involved in qualitative health research. You will consider the relevance and value of different qualitative methodologies which respond to current health agendas. The course covers planning to conduct qualitative research and a range of methods to generate, handle and analyse qualitative data. You will gain insight into issues of rigour, quality and ethics, and understand the importance of engaging with relevant audiences. The course is delivered by experienced qualitative researchers, and you will gain insight into the practicalities of undertaking qualitative research via practical workshops and lecture sessions.

Work - Based Placement in Applied Health Sciences (PU5548)

15 Credit Points

This work-based placement elective offers a professional placement with a government/public, industrial, civic or voluntary health and/or development sector organisation. You will undertake a ten-week placement with your host organisation, either within the organisation, remotely from Aberdeen, or using a combination of both. Placements are subject to availability and may be offered on a competitive basis.

Public Health in Action (PU5552)

15 Credit Points

Public health is the art and science of improving health through the organised efforts of society. This course provides an introduction to a population-based perspective on health, illness and disease. The course illustrates the practical application of numerical ways of thinking about the health of a population. The course covers the three major public health domains of Health Improvement, Health Protection and Healthcare Public Health.

This course aims to support students in developing a critical understanding of the breadth of public health approaches to protecting, promoting, monitoring and improving health among a population as a whole.

Clinical Nutrition (RN5505)

15 Credit Points

Clinical nutrition is the study of diet in relation to the development and treatment of human disease. This specialism course provides an up-to-date and detailed knowledge on the role of nutrition in the aetiology, prevention and treatment of disease in humans, with particular emphasis on disease prevention. The course covers key topics surrounding nutrition and disease, and how clinical nutrition links with public health and molecular nutrition. The course also provides an overview of research tools widely used in clinical nutrition research, and a training on evidence-based analysis of nutrition case studies.

Please note, some of the material on this course will discuss animal research.

Nutrition and Health (RN5507)

15 Credit Points

This course will provide a detailed knowledge of the relationships between diet, human development, health, and disease. Topics covered include diet and nutrition across the life course, integration and adaptability of different metabolic pathways to e.g. starvation, exercise, and the role of diet in the development of diseases including cancer and cardiovascular disease. In addition, it will also provide insight into the effects of malnutrition and food processing on health. A combination of lectures, and a laboratory class will help consolidate your understanding of the impact food and nutrients on health.

Stage 3

Optional Courses

Students should select two 30 credit courses or one 60 credit course or the 90 credit course.

PU5925 Evaluating Policy Effects in Practice (30 credit points)

Advanced Research Project (PU5560)

90 Credit Points

This course offers students the opportunity to lead a substantial piece of data-driven, empirical work within their field of study, under the supervision of an experienced researcher. Topics available will be varied but within the domain of their field of study. Alongside supervisors, students will identify a suitable topic area, develop a research protocol, design and implement an empirical study. Students will be involved alongside the supervisors in the process of defining the research question, and developing the research protocol, and where appropriate obtaining all regulatory approvals.

Masters Research Project (Laboratory) (MB5904)

60 Credit Points

This course offers students the opportunity to complete a substantial piece of data-driven, empirical work within their field of study under the supervision of an experienced researcher.

Topics available will be varied but within the domain of their field of study. Alongside supervisors, students will identify a suitable topic area, describe an appropriate study design and implement an empirical study to be completed within a laboratory setting. Students will be involved alongside the supervisors in the process of defining the research question, and developing the research plan and, where appropriate, obtaining regulatory approvals. This course is for laboratory-based projects (if you are intending to undertake a project in non-laboratory setting you should register on PU5913)

Masters Research Project (PU5922)

60 Credit Points

This course offers students the opportunity to complete a substantial piece of data-driven, empirical work within their field of study under the supervision of an experienced researcher.

Topics available will be varied but within the domain of their field of study. Alongside supervisors, students will identify a suitable topic area, describe an appropriate study design and implement an empirical study to be completed within a laboratory setting. Students will be involved alongside the supervisors in the process of defining the research question, and developing the research plan and, where appropriate, obtaining regulatory approvals. This course is for non-laboratory based projects (if you are intending to undertake a project in a scientific laboratory setting you should register on MB5913)

Extended Work - Based Placement in Applied Health Sciences (PU5923)

30 Credit Points

This work-based placement elective offers a professional placement with a civic, government, industrial, public, research or voluntary health and/or development sector organisation. You will undertake a ten-week placement with your host organisation, either within the organisation, remotely from Aberdeen, or using a combination of both. Placements are subject to availability and are offered on a best match basis.

MSc 12 months or 24 months On Campus Learning Full Time or Part Time January Aberdeen More

Fees for individual programmes can be viewed in the Programme(s) above.

We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to timetabling and other constraints. Please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

Fee Information

Additional Fee Information

  • Fees for individual programmes can be viewed in the Programmes section above.
  • In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses, for example field trips. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.
  • For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including payment plans and our refund policy, please visit our InfoHub Tuition Fees page.

Scholarships

Self-funded international students enrolling on postgraduate taught (PGT) programmes will receive one of our Aberdeen Global Scholarships, ranging from £3000 to £8,500, depending on your domicile country. Learn more about the Aberdeen Global Scholarships here.

To see our full range of scholarships, visit our Funding Database.

How You'll Study

Learning Methods

  • E-learning
  • Individual Projects
  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Workshops

Assessment Methods

A variety of different approaches (e.g. essays, exams, poster presentation in mini conference style, oral presentation) are used to assess student understanding, progress and performance throughout the programme.

Why Study Applied Health Sciences?

  • You can create a tailor-made masters programme by selecting from a broad range of elective courses that include health services research, health economics, clinical trials and other core skills.
  • Coordinators will work with you to guide the selection of elective courses at an early stage to ensure your qualification is aligned to your research interests and career aspirations.
  • You will be taught by academics from the Institute of Applied Health Sciences, a multidisciplinary grouping of University and NHS researchers, who have been training healthcare professionals for decades and who work to promote health and healthcare delivery.
  • Many of the academics involved in the delivery of our nutrition courses are based at the Rowett Institute, one of the leading and oldest nutrition research institutes in Europe.

Entry Requirements

Qualifications

The information below is provided as a guide only and does not guarantee entry to the University of Aberdeen.

A health-related honours degree (a 2:2 or at least 60%) or be able to demonstrate evidence of equivalent experience in healthcare practice or research. We also consider applications from students with a pure science, social science or a humanities first degree who have a keen interest in health.

Please enter your country to view country-specific entry requirements.

English Language Requirements

To study for a Postgraduate Taught degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows:

IELTS Academic:

OVERALL - 6.5 with: Listening - 5.5; Reading - 6.0; Speaking - 5.5; Writing - 6.0

TOEFL iBT:

OVERALL - 90 with: Listening - 17; Reading - 21; Speaking - 20; Writing - 21

PTE Academic:

OVERALL - 62 with: Listening - 59; Reading - 59; Speaking - 59; Writing - 59

Cambridge English B2 First, C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency:

OVERALL - 176 with: Listening - 162; Reading - 169; Speaking - 162; Writing - 169

Read more about specific English Language requirements here.

Document Requirements

You will be required to supply the following documentation with your application as proof you meet the entry requirements of this degree programme. If you have not yet completed your current programme of study, then you can still apply and you can provide your Degree Certificate at a later date.

Degree Transcript
a full transcript showing all the subjects you studied and the marks you have achieved in your degree(s) (original & official English translation)
Personal Statement
a detailed personal statement explaining your motivation for this particular programme

Aberdeen Global Scholarship

Eligible self-funded post graduate taught (PGT) students will receive the Aberdeen Global Scholarship. Explore our Global Scholarships, including eligibility details, on our dedicated page.

Aberdeen Global Scholarships

Careers

This flexible degree allows you to develop your knowledge, experience, and a portfolio of work relating to your interests, strengths, previous training, and career aspirations. Whatever your professional goals, a qualification tailored this closely to your strengths and areas of interest will help you unlock a rewarding career.

Our Experts

Programme Coordinator
Dr Leone Craig

Information About Staff Changes

You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

Facilities

Image for Health Sciences Building
Health Sciences Building

Health Sciences Building

The Health Sciences building, located on the Foresterhill Health Campus, houses the purpose built Clinical Research Facility, researchers from the Institute of Applied Health Sciences and the Imaging Department which boasts state-of-the-art equipment

Image for Foresterhill Health Campus
Foresterhill Health Campus

Foresterhill Health Campus

The Foresterhill Health Campus is one of the largest clinical complexes in Europe which includes the Medical School, large teaching hospital, the Institute of Medical Sciences and the Rowett Institute.

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Sir Duncan Rice Library

Sir Duncan Rice Library

The University’s award winning Sir Duncan Rice Library is listed in the “Top 20 spellbinding University libraries in the World”. It contains over a million volumes, more than 300,000 e-books and 21,000 journals.

Find out more

Get in Touch

Contact Details

Address
Student Recruitment & Admissions
University of Aberdeen
University Office
Regent Walk
Aberdeen
AB24 3FX