Public Health Policy

Develop an understanding of public health policy, including how it is made, what it entails, who is involved, and its underpinning theories.

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Key facts

  • Module codeNURP024
  • Start date 1 May 2023
  • Application deadline10 Apr 2023
  • Duration12 weeks
  • Credit value SCQF 20
  • SCQF level Level 11
  • Fees £1,108
  • Mode of study part time
  • Delivery online


Public health policy has a crucial role to play in helping improve the general health and well-being of a population. In this module, you will learn about public health policy, how it is made, what it entails, the actors involved, and underpinning theories. Examples will be given of the types of policies used to tackle a range of public health problems, and the challenges presented by the industries of unhealthy commodities.

The module is suitable for anyone with an interest in public health. Teaching is delivered by multiple academics working in public health, with at least one presenter attending a one-hour webinar each week alongside the module co-ordinator.


Entrance requirements

A minimum of a second class Honours degree (2:1 preferred) or equivalent in any subject. Applicants without these formal qualifications but with significant appropriate/relevant work/life experience are encouraged to apply.


On successful completion of this module, students will have achieved the following learning outcomes:

  • LO1 Critically examine and discuss evidence-based policy-making theory and its relevance to public health.
  • LO2 Synthesise and critique the evidence for population-level public health interventions to address disease.
  • LO3 Describe and critically analyse how the activities of unhealthy commodity industries influence public health policy.
  • LO4 Outline and appraise a range of strategies for successful public health policy change at the local and national level.

Structure and content

The module is delivered online so you can study at times which suit you. No campus attendance is required. There are real-time online teaching sessions but these are optional and recorded so can be listened to later. You will be expected to participate in online discussions/problem-solving sessions. Students access electronic learning resources such as podcasts.

You will explore:

  • The definition and scope of public health policy
  • Theories relevant to public health policy
  • How unhealthy commodities are marketed and how unhealthy commodity industries attempt to influence public health policy
  • Public health policies for a range of public health problems (including tobacco, alcohol, obesity, drugs)

Delivery and assessment

The module will be delivered using various on-line approaches, including: pre-recorded lectures, reading, powerpoints, webinars, quizzes, and discussion boards. A member of staff who previously worked for a Non-Governmental Organisation will attend one of the webinars to provide insight into a non-academic approach to influencing public health policy making.

The assessment for this module is composed of two parts to address the learning outcomes. Both parts must be passed with at least 50% to pass the overall module.

Module coordinator

Dr James Nicholls


The module will help you develop an understanding of current public health priorities and areas of work which will be directly applicable to the working environment, either within policy, practice or research settings. The majority of our students are already working in health or social care prior to commencement and remain employed throughout the duration of their studies. Our students develop a wide range of transferable skills during their study that make them attractive to other employers e.g:

  • team working
  • IT skills
  • literature searching
  • critical appraisal
  • presentation skills
  • writing and data analysis.

What next?

Contact us

If you have any questions about entry requirements for our continuing professional development and short courses, contact our Admissions team.

For all other questions, please use our enquiry form.