Master of Public Health, MPH

Master of Public Health, MPH

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.

Study Information

Study Options

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
MPH
Duration
12 months, 24 months or 36 months
Study Mode
Full Time or Part Time
Start Month
September or January
Location of Study
Aberdeen

This MPH covers the core disciplines required for professional accreditation in public health that is relevant to both UK and international students. The programme also 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 lecturers from a broad range of disciplines including epidemiology, statistics, health data science, public health, global health, psychology, sociology, philosophy, economics and management. Lecturers include both renowned academics and expert practitioners to give you the holistic understanding of Public Health. 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).

This programme is available to start in September or January.

*Students who would like to specialise in a research focused career, for example, through PhD or research jobs, may find that the September cohort is better aligned with their needs. The January cohort is more practice-based and has a stronger alignment with non-research intensive jobs such as working in the community or policy development, and our January start students will enrol on extended work-based placement in their second semester. They can also extend your learning by evaluating the existing policies and understanding their effects on public health practice. We recommend that students check the course details of September and January entries to make an informed decision.*

Available Programmes of Study

MPH

Master of Public Health

Qualification Duration Learning Mode Study Mode Start Month Location  
MPH 12 months or 24 months On Campus Learning Full Time or Part Time September Aberdeen More
MPH 12 months or 36 months On Campus Learning Full Time or Part Time January Aberdeen More

Programme Fees

Fee information
Fee category Cost
EU / International students £23,800
Tuition Fees for 2023/24 Academic Year January 2024 Admission
UK £11,077
Tuition Fees for 2023/24 Academic Year January 2024 Admission

Stage 1

Compulsory Courses

Students must complete the following:

Getting Started at the University of Aberdeen (PD5506)

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’.

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.

Optional Courses

Students select three elective courses from the following.

  • PU5565 Health Informatics
  • PU5566 Challenges in Global Nutrition

*Please note that online electives are not available to student visa holders due to UKVI restrictions.

The Leadership Challenge (BU552X)

15 Credit Points

This course provides an opportunity to explore and develop an understanding of your own leadership behaviour. Through workshops, 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.

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.

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.

Sustainable Diets and Global Food Systems (RN5506)

15 Credit Points

The course will explore the complex nature of sustainable diets within a global food system. It will give you an understanding of the need for healthy and more environmentally sustainable diets to tackle some of the greatest global challenges facing us today, including poor dietary health, climate change and environmental degradation, and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. It will cover the multidimensional attributes and the challenge of combining these attributes into a single entity of sustainable diets. The course will explore synergies and trade-offs between attributes, barriers and drivers of change and potential solutions to achieving sustainable diets within a global food system. In addition, external influences affecting the resilience and changes to the food system will be discussed.

Women’s Health in A Global Setting (PU5549)

15 Credit Points

This course will explore the challenges faced in women’s health and health care in a global setting. Students will gain knowledge of how gender differences, equality, women’s family roles, community and society support, and approaches to health care systems all play a role in women’s health. It will also present how women’s health intersects with broader social, economic and political factors.

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.

Challenges in Global Nutrition (PU5547)

15 Credit Points

This course provides up-to-date knowledge of the challenges of nutrition in the global context. It provides students with an opportunity to develop their understanding of the methods of monitoring population nutritional status, a picture of the current global nutritional status, the determinants of nutritional status in different populations, and skills that will enable them to design, implement and evaluate nutrition interventions and programmes aimed at addressing global nutritional issues. The learning is widely applicable to all populations globally although the main focus is on low and middle-income countries (LMIC).

Understanding and Applying Regression Models (PU5559)

15 Credit Points

This course intends to develop a student’s statistical skills and understanding so that they can apply common multivariate regression modelling techniques to a range of health research data. The course will focus on the application, interpretation and communication of common regression models, including general linear models, log-linear models, logistic regression, and survival analysis. It assumes that students will already have completed a first course in statistics and have an understanding of bivariate techniques and basic mathematical skills.

Stage 2

Compulsory Courses

Students must take the following:

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.

Evaluating Policy Effects in Practice (PU5919)

30 Credit Points

The case study provides students with the opportunity to select, design, conduct and report on a detailed systematic investigation of a topic within an applied health field. The aim is to demonstrate an in-depth understanding of a particular topic, including the academic background, relevant policy and the roles played by various actors and agencies. The case study is conducted in an academically robust and ethically sensitive manner.

Stage 3

Compulsory Courses

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.

Optional Courses

Students select two courses from the following:

  • PU5063 Introduction to Health Data Science

*Please note that online electives are not available to student visa holders due to UKVI restrictions.

Evidence - Based Health (PU5031)

15 Credit Points

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. Students on this course will work through the stages of a systematic review unit by unit, completing interactive and practical exercises to develop the skills required to conduct a review. They will then study how the evidence produced from systematic reviews is used to shape health policy and practice, at the level of organisations and individual clinical encounters.

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
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.

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

1. Specify and critically evaluate the key elements of trial design.

2. Justify trial design decisions.

3. Describe the differences between pragmatic and explanatory trials.

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 (PU5056)

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.

Introduction to Health Data Science (PU5058)

15 Credit Points

Nationally and internationally there is recognition of the critical shortage in data-intensive analytic capacity applied to healthcare. This course is an introduction to the field of health data science, with examples of real-life healthcare applications, using the popular data science language R.

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 change - see our Student Terms and Conditions page.

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 Tuition Fees page.

Funding Opportunities

The Remmes & Martin Award offers a student on the 2023-2024 Masters of Public Health (MPH) programme an award of £2,000 to part fund their studies. The award is open to Home, Rest of UK and International students studying the on-campus MPH programme.

Scholarships

Self-funded international students enrolling on postgraduate taught (PGT) programmes will receive one of our Aberdeen Global Scholarships, ranging from £3,000 to £8,000, 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

  • 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 Master of Public Health?

  • The MPH will help you develop the knowledge and the skills to tackle Public Health challenges by providing a multi-disciplinary approach to health care and is set within the traditional strengths of an ancient Scottish University and a leading UK Medical School.
  • 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 that will set you up to respond to the needs of communities and populations around the world. 
  • You can create a tailor-made programme by selecting from a broad range of elective courses that include the traditional and emerging public health domains such as health informatics, challenges in global nutrition and public health ethics.
  • Co-ordinators 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 projects based in academic and work-based settings; and extended research projects which provide career insights and opportunities for networking.     
  • Real life research projects in public health issues will provide you with opportunities to apply the skills gained from the taught elements of the course to influence policy and practice.
  • Full and part-time flexible study will help you navigate your learning effectively and have a good work-life balance.
  • Dedicated student support with ‘SUCCESS PLUS’ programme (with matched mentors) consistently achieves a successful completion rate of over 90% among enrolled students.
  • 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. 

What Our Students Say

Cindy Zheng

Cindy Zheng

Cindy Zheng

I am enjoying the degree as it gives me the opportunity to learn more about Public Health which is a field that I am very interested in. I am really excited to be able to gain more understanding about academia and evidence-based medicine.

Adegoke Alabi

Adegoke Alabi

Adegoke Alabi

I like that the modules encourage a practical thought process rather than a focus on 'reeling out information'. The staff are incredibly supportive and always willing to help. I honestly wouldn’t trade this opportunity for anything!

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 - 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.

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

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

Completing the MPH at the University of Aberdeen will equip you with a cutting-edge knowledge of Public Health and essential research skills relevant for application in both academic and workplace practitioner environments across the globe, 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 translate them to 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.

Students starting the programme in Jan 2024 may be able to apply for the Post-MPH Internship, gaining experience of working in a service Public Health Directorate and interacting with the NHS Board and Local Authorities. This internship is open to home and international students and will take place from February 2025 to May 2025. Please contact Prof A Poobalan (a.poobalan@abdn.ac.uk) and Dr S Hanley (sharon.hanley@abdn.ac.uk) for more information.

Industry Links

The University has excellent links with NHS Grampian and the City Council 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.

What our Alumni Say

Dr Gajarishiyan Rasalingam

Dr Gajarishiyan Rasalingam

Graduated 2020

I surely recommend Masters in Public Health here at the University of Aberdeen for the future students, you will surely develop professional skills and you will feel very competitive to tackle the global health crisis.

Mohammed Talha Bashir

Mohammed Talha Bashir

Mohammed Talha Bashir

Graduated 2020

I enjoyed studying with such a diverse and interesting group of people! Being surrounded by individuals from different backgrounds and perspectives broadened my understanding beyond what I had expected. The Masters of Public Health programme in Aberdeen gave me the skills and experience to undertake my own research and I feel a lot more confident in my endeavour to pursue academic medicine.

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.

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!

Our Experts

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

If you have any questions regarding our September start programme please contact Dr Kathryn Martin. For queries on the January start programme please direct these to Dr Sharon Hanley or Dr Andrew Maclaren.

Other Experts
Dr Amudha Poobalan
Professor Corri Black
Dr Miriam Brazzelli
Professor Vikki Entwistle
Dr Patricia Norwood
Professor Ioannis Theodossiou
Dr Zoë Skea
Dr Daniel Powell
Dr Leone Craig
Dr Mairead Black
Dr Kirsty Kiezebrink
Dr Heather Morgan
Professor Jennie Macdiarmid
Professor Shantini Paranjothy
Programme Coordinators
Dr Kathryn Martin
Dr Sharon Hanley
Andrew MacLaren

Information About Staff Changes

You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. However, these may be subject to change - see our Student Terms and Conditions page.

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.

Get in Touch

Contact Details

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