Public Health Research

Key facts

  • Module codeNURP023
  • Start date 2 May 2022
  • Application deadline15 Apr 2022
  • Duration12 weeks
  • Credit value SCQF 20
  • SCQF level Level 11
  • Fees £1056
  • Study mode Online, Part-time


Public health research is multi-disciplinary and broad. It includes a wide range of potential studies that help to improve population health and reduce health inequalities.

In this module, you will examine the realities of research within public health and the various forms this research can take. You will study research design, critical appraisal and research impact. And you will learn about a range of methods for collecting, analysing and disseminating research evidence.

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.


By the completion of this module students should be able to demonstrate the following learning outcomes:

  • LO1: Explain public health research to non-specialised audiences
  • LO2: Describe and critically evaluate the potential uses and value of public health research
  • LO3: Critically compare the methods commonly used in public health research and their suitability to respond to different public health issues
  • LO4: Discuss and critically evaluate the ethical issues facing public health research LO5: Critically appraise the ‘impact agenda’ in research and its potential influence on how public health research is done

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. In this module, students will learn about the realities of research within public health and the various forms this research can take. Students will learn about research methods around collecting, analysing, understanding and disseminating research evidence. The module will cover topics on study design, analysis methods, critical appraisal, research impact and the implementation of research evidence.

Indicative content:

  • Key steps in public health research study design
  • Ethical issues in public health research
  • Principles of quantitative, qualitative and mixed-methods research
  • Approaches to data analysis
  • The design and conduct of different types of literature review/evidence synthesis
  • Appraisal tools for evaluating public health research

Delivery and assessment

The module consists of 10 units across 12 weeks. In each unit, you will explore a different topic through pre-recorded lectures, reading and discussion boards. There will also a be live webinar for each unit, to look back over the previous week’s material and discuss any questions that have emerged.

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.


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 makes them attractive to other employers e.g:

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

What next?