Introduction

Our Master of Public Health (MPH) provides a flexible programme that students can tailor to meet their own needs across a broad range of professional accreditation standards in public health and/or to pursue an academic career.

MPH is also available to study part-time online.

This programme is studied on campus.

This MPH covers the core topics required for professional accreditation in public health that is relevant to both UK and international students. The programme offers an excellent range of specialist elective options to allow you to tailor your learning to your needs and includes a flexible project component enabling you to gain experience oriented towards either the development of a professional career in public health practice or the pursuit of an academic career.

You will be taught by experienced tutors from a broad range of disciplines including epidemiology, statistics, public health, psychology, sociology, philosophy, economics and management. Tutors include both renowned academics and expert practitioners. Your learning is enriched by interaction with other students from varied clinical, non-clinical, professional and cultural backgrounds.

Undertaking this MPH does not require any particular specialist knowledge (e.g. clinical).

Key Programme Information

At a Glance

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
MPH
Duration
12 months or 24 months
Study Mode
Full Time or Part Time
Start Month
September

What You'll Study

Semester 1

Semester 1

In the first semester, students undertake three core compulsory courses and also select two elective courses.

View the structure of our MPH

Compulsory Courses

Applied Statistics (PU5017) - 15 Credit Points

This course intends to develop the student's awareness of the fact that statistical techniques are integral to scientific research. Researchers must be able to specify a precise research question in statistical terms and then select an appropriate study design in order to carry out an effective research project. They must also be able to assess the adequacy of the research presented in scientific or medical literature. The same skills are also required for many MSc dissertation projects.

View detailed information about 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.

View detailed information about this course

Study Skills for Life (GS50M2)

This course gives students the opportunity to develop the transferable skills required to both complete their degree programme and progress in their future career. The course provides guides and workshops on a variety of skills, including literature appraisal, academic integrity, writing, presentations, note taking and time management. It provides online resources for developing IT and numeracy skills, and acts as a resource for advertising development opportunities both within and outside the university.

The course strongly relies on self-reflection and identification of opportunities by the students to use the support sessions and online resources available. Although completion of the course itself is compulsory the majority of the course sessions offered are optional, and support is given to the students to help them identify what they most need to work on. Completion of the course is achieved through formative assignments.

This course is the first of two courses relating to cross-discipline skills development that is compulsory for all taught postgraduate students in the School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition.

View detailed information about this course

Optional Courses

Choice of 2 elective courses from the following:

Health Behaviour and Behaviour Change (PU5022) - 15 Credit Points

Unhealthy and risky behaviours – such as a poor diet, sedentary behaviour, not attending screening programmes, or not taking medication as prescribed – are leading causes of suboptimal health and premature death, health care expenditure, and sickness absence. Health Psychology examines what drives these behaviours and how they can be changed. This course aims to provide students with the core knowledge and skills for developing and implementing effective interventions to promote healthier behaviours.

View detailed information about this course

Fundamentals of Research Design (PU5027) - 15 Credit Points

This course is an introduction to the skills and information needed to appraise and undertake health-related research. This course provides a foundation for further learning in quantitative and qualitative research methods. Within this course you will develop the skills necessary for the planning, conducting and dissemination stages of health-related research. Topics covered include: - Developing a Research Question, Research Design; Methods of Data Collection; Approaches to Analysing Data; Dissemination of Research findings and Writing a Research Proposal.

View detailed information about this course

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 as applied to health care
  • some of the main techniques of health care evaluation
  • main arguments concerning alternative systems for organising and financing health care

View detailed information about this course

Evidence - Based Health (PU5031) - 15 Credit Points

This course is taken by students registered for the PGCert in Research Methods for Health and the MPH. It is delivered online and provides interaction with fellow students and faculty both synchronously and asynchronously. Everyone taking part must be registered for the course and complete all assessments. This course aims to enable the fundamental understanding and application of evidence based health at an individual- and population-level, focusing on the use of systematic reviews to synthesise evidence as well as methods to translate and implement evidence to inform health practice and policy.

View detailed information about this course

Introduction to Global Health (PU5033)

The course introduces students to the field of 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.

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Designing Real - World Trials (PU5038) - 15 Credit Points

Randomised Controlled Trials (RCTs) are used to test the effectiveness of interventions. The aim of this course is to take a student through the process of designing RCTs. The course will focus on RCTs in the evaluation of real world healthcare and public health settings.

View detailed information about this course

Semester 2

Semester 2

In the second semester, there are two options available. Students who wish to complete a standard project (60 credits) undertake 1 core and 3 elective courses in the second semester and start their project in the third semester. Alternatively, students who wish to undertake an extended project (90 credits) undertake 1 core and 1 elective course in the second semester and will initiate their project in the second semester, including a protocol presentation.

View the structure of our MPH

Compulsory Courses

Health Needs Assessment (PU5525) - 15 Credit Points

Public health is the art and science of improving health through the organised efforts of society. This course supports students in developing a critical understanding of the breadth of public health approaches to protecting, promoting, monitoring and improving health among the population as a whole.

The course is core to the MPH programme, but also open to students interested in understanding the population-based approach to health. All must be registered for the course and complete all assessments. The course is suitable for students wanting a professional (specialist/ practitioner) public health career and also for those wanting a related academic career.

View detailed information about this course

Beyond Your Degree (GS55M2)

This course gives students the opportunity to develop the skills needed to progress in their degree programme and beyond into their chosen career. It focuses on the job application process, the support available from the university both during and after their degree, and the skills that apply to undertaking projects. Sessions include an introduction to the careers service, CV, cover letter and interview skills, workplace professionalism and managing projects. Online resources are provided to support transferable skill development.

The course strongly relies on self-assessment and identification of opportunities by the students to use the support sessions and online resources available. Although completion of the course is compulsory, most of the course sessions offered are optional, and completion of the course is achieved through formative assignments.

This course is the second of two courses relating to generic skills that are compulsory for all taught postgraduate students in the School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition.

View detailed information about this course

Optional Courses

Option A: Take three optional courses with a view to undertaking a Standard Project in stage 3

Option B: Take just one optional course with a view to undertaking an Extended project, including a protocol presentation in stage 2

The Leadership Challenge (BU5584) - 15 Credit Points

This course provides an opportunity to explore and develop an understanding of your own leadership behaviour. Through seminars, group activities and discussions we investigate how personality, past experience, current situations and culture shape the way each of us behave in a leadership role. Using this information as a starting point we then explore how different leadership theories and approaches can be used as frameworks for developing a deeper understanding of leadership behaviour. You will also have an opportunity to try out a range of practical tools and techniques to assist you in the development of your own approach to leadership.

View detailed information about this course

Qualitative Health Research (PU5529) - 15 Credit Points

This course provides a sound introduction to qualitative health research. You will consider the relevance and value of qualitative methodologies which respond to current health agendas. The course introduces planning to conduct relevant 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 a range of experienced contributors, and you will gain insight into the practicalities of undertaking qualitative research via practical workshops and stimulating lecture sessions.

View detailed information about this course

Health Informatics (PU5532) - 15 Credit Points

We live in a time of ‘Big Data’ with the rapid growth in the digital capture of health information. Health Informatics is the science of data capture, linkage and analysis of large datasets to improve health. The demand for health researchers with training and experience in health informatics is high. For people practicing in Public Health, it is a key skill. It will equip students for any career in health research or public health practice and this course is an excellent stepping stone for those wishing to develop a specialist interest in the field.

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Values and Ethics in Public Health (PU5528) - 15 Credit Points

This course challenges you to engage robustly with questions about what is good and right (and why) in public health policy and practice. You will develop your ability to critique and participate effectively in debates about what matters – and what is morally justified - in efforts to improve the health and wellbeing of communities and populations. You will develop the knowledge and confidence to identify value-based assumptions as you examine a range of real-world health problems and practice justifying and objecting to different strategies for addressing them

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Health Systems and Policy Research (BU5594) - 15 Credit Points

The course aims to instill knowledge but, much more importantly, stimulate students’ thinking about the major challenges within different health systems and the options for the health services management. Furthermore, it aims to take a genuinely international perspective on health care, providing knowledge of different health care systems and encouraging comparison and critique. It covers a wide variety of topics including an overview of the health systems around the world, the effects of social inequalities on health inequalities and their repercussions for social policy and issues of public health policy towards tobacco, alcohol and obesity.

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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.

Students will learn to formulate a clear research question and understand the principles and main steps for undertaking systematic reviews. In particular, they will learn how:

i) to develop an adequate search strategy;

ii) to critically appraise primary studies;

iii) to extract data from primary studies;

iv) to identify the main sources of heterogeneity among primary studies;

v) to analyse findings from primary studies;

vi) to interpret results;

vii) to assess the quality of existing systematic reviews.

View detailed information about this course

Semester 3

Semester 3

All MPH students undertake a project in the third semester. Students can choose to undertake either a standard project (starting in the third semester) or an extended project (initiated in the second semester as described previously).

View the structure of our MPH

Optional Courses

Standard Project in Public Health (PU5910) - 60 Credit Points

This course will provide the students with a ‘hands on’ experience in conducting a project for three months, in a Public Health context. This project will address a particular Public Health issue and is designed to develop the core competence in identifying and handling Public Health questions and their answers by the methods of enquiry and analysis relevant to the full range of health services and public health activities

View detailed information about this course

Extended Project in Public Health (PU5530) - 90 Credit Points

This course will provide the students with a ‘hands on’ experience in conducting an extensive individual project over a period of 6 months, in a Public Health context. This project will address a particular Public Health issue and is designed to develop the core competence in identifying and handling Public Health questions and their answers by the methods of enquiry and analysis relevant to the full range of health services and public health activities. Students will experience the application of the knowledge and skills in health care investigation, in a Public Health context.

View detailed information about this course

Course Availability

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.

How You'll Study

Learning Methods

  • Individual Projects
  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Workshops

Assessment Methods

A variety of different approaches are used to assess student understanding, progress and performance throughout the programme.

Why Study Master of Public Health?

  • The MPH provides international perspectives on health and is set within the traditional strengths of an ancient Scottish University and a Medical School which is ranked in the top 5 in the UK (Guardian League Tables).
  • You will experience a supportive collegiate learning environment that offers interaction with both leading academic researchers and experienced public health practitioners.
  • The programme covers core topics in public health from a broad range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives.
  • You can create a tailor-made programme by selecting from a broad range of elective courses that include the emerging public health domains of health informatics and public health ethics.
  • Tutors will work with you to guide the selection of elective courses and topic area/length for your public health project at an early stage to ensure your MPH is aligned to your career aspirations.
  • Flexible options include work-based placements and extended research projects which provide career insights and opportunities for networking.
  • Full and part-time flexible study includes opportunities to apply the skills gained from the taught elements of the course to current real life public health issues in the workplace.
  • Dedicated student support consistently achieves a successful completion rate of over 90% among enrolled students.
  • In 2014 in a national assessment, the University of Aberdeen came first in Scotland for ‘impact’ in: Public health, Health Service Research and Primary Care and Business and management.
  • The Foresterhill Health Campus at the University is one of the largest clinical complexes in Europe which includes a Medical School, large teaching hospital, maternity and children's hospitals, and the Rowett Institute of Nutrition & Health.
  • The University of Aberdeen is a Top 30 UK University, Complete University Guide 2020.
  • The University of Aberdeen is a  World Top 170 University, (Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020).

Entry Requirements

Completion of our PgCert in Research Methods for Health allows you to enter the PgDip stage of the programme.

Qualifications

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

Applicants will usually possess a health-related Honours degree (at a 2:2 level or at least 60%) or be able to demonstrate evidence of equivalent experience in health care practice or research. Students from non-health backgrounds who have Honours degrees (as above) in science, social science or humanities subjects and who are interested in a public health related career will also be considered for the programme.

Please check the In My Country pages to find out if your degree is equivalent.

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 - 5.5; Speaking - 5.5; Writing - 6.0

TOEFL iBT:

OVERALL - 90 with: Listening - 17; Reading - 18; Speaking - 20; Writing - 21

PTE Academic:

OVERALL - 62 with: Listening - 51; Reading - 51; Speaking - 51; Writing - 54

Cambridge English Advanced & Proficiency:

OVERALL - 176 with: Listening - 162; Reading - 162; 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.

CV
an up-to-date CV/Resumé
Degree Certificate
a degree certificate showing your qualifications
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

Fees and Funding

You will be classified as one of the fee categories below.

Fee information
Fee category Cost
Home / EU / RUK Students £9,000
Tuition Fees for 2020/21 Academic Year
International Students £21,000
Tuition Fees for 2020/21 Academic Year

Additional Fees

  • 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.

Funding Opportunities

The following options are available to support your studies. Please click the links for full details and eligibility criteria.

Our Funding Database

View all funding options in our Funding Database.

Careers

Completing the MPH at the University of Aberdeen will equip you with broad Public Health knowledge and essential research skills relevant for application in both academic and workplace practitioner environments, including:

  • Career in Public Health Sector: Pursue a career in world ranking academic research institutions for projects commissioned by coordinating authorities of health such as WHO, Ministries of Health and NGOs. You will be able do this by developing a critical awareness of the wide public health domains and demonstrating evidence based knowledge.
  • Influence Public Health policy: Influence public health policies through independent research with publication in peer reviewed journals; and contribute to translating research evidence to practice in professional and health authority settings.
  • Become an independent researcher: Identify research priorities and goals set by global and national health authorities. You will learn to address these priorities by understanding the key concepts of Public Health through taught courses and formulating research questions, developing appropriate research methodology, conducting research, analysing data and writing a report.
  • A pathway to a PhD and/or Public Health role: With its emphasis on a knowledge of relevant research disciplines, skills in both quantitative and qualitative research methods, critical thinking and scientific writing - an MPH is a common entry pathway to undertaking further research including a health-related PhD.

Industry Links

The University has excellent links with NHS Grampian which is responsible for providing health and social care to a population of just over 500,000 in the Northeast region of Scotland and employs around 17,000 staff.

Programme Overview

Dr Mike Crilly describes our flexible MPH programme that you can tailor to meet your own needs.

Watch video

What our Alumni Say

John Handal

John Handal

John Handal

Graduated 2018

My favourite part about studying at the University of Aberdeen is the diversity you experience not only in students, but lecturers as well. This gave our lectures a dynamic environment that allowed us to discuss topics from various perspectives and backgrounds. The supportive environment helped foster a strong student community within our programme. My classmates became new lifelong friends!

Elaine Whitely

Elaine Whitely

Elaine Whitely

Graduated 2018

I am a medical student and studied for my Masters in Public Health as an intercalated degree. The MPH has opened loads of new doors for me both within clinical medicine and public health, and I now feel I have so many more career options than I did before.

Our Experts

Our MPH is delivered by experienced academic researchers and public health specialists from across various disciplines, professions and research methodologies.

Other Experts
Dr Mike Crilly
Professor Corri Black
Dr Miriam Brazzelli
Professor Marijn de Bruin
Dr Chris Burton
Dr Lucia D'Ambruoso
Dr Alison Elliott
Professor Vikki Entwistle
Dr Shona Fielding
Dr Gordon Prescott
Dr Kathryn Martin
Dr Patricia Norwood
Professor Ioannis Theodossiou
Dr Zoë Skea
Dr Turu Stadler
Dr Daniel Powell
Programme Coordinator
Dr Amudha Poobalan

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 of Nutrition and Health.

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Library facilities

Library facilities

A dedicated Medical Library on the Foresterhill Health Campus and the fantastic facilities in the Sir Duncan Rice Library at King’s College, are complemented by online access to the key medical and health sciences journals and textbooks.

Get in Touch

Contact Details

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