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MPH Public Health (Online)

Redefine your future and earn a Masters in Public Health from Scotland’s top-rated University for Health Sciences research.

Public Health (Online)

Key facts

  • Award Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate, MPH
  • Start date September (recommended), January or May
  • Duration MPH part-time: 36 months
  • Mode of study Online, Part-time

Whether you’re already involved in public health research, policy and practice, or are planning a career in those areas, this Masters course is designed to support your future ambitions.

Shaped by some of the leading thinkers in health research, the course will equip you with unique insights into modern public health theory and methods and teach you how to apply them to your work. You’ll interact with experts in the field as you develop a critical understanding of public health approaches and learn how to make a positive impact on the wellbeing of individuals and communities.

You can study the course entirely online, making it an ideal option if you want to gain a Masters qualification while working. The module choices are also extremely flexible, allowing you to create a tailored programme that suits your own learning needs, interests and goals in public health.

  • Top reasons to study with us
  • Course objectives

    This course is for anyone who wants to explore the current and emerging issues in public health while reflecting on their own practice, experiences and interests. Through your studies, you’ll learn how to:

    • explore and understand public health theory and techniques appropriate to your own area of interest
    • gain first-hand insight into approaches used by researchers, practitioners and policymakers
    • develop practical and transferable skills, including report writing, team working, literature searching, research methods, and critical appraisal
    A distinctive Masters course

    This course has a multidisciplinary focus, teaching and delivering both practical and theoretical skills in collaboration with public and third sector partners.

    It focuses on how societies, groups and individuals can improve public health and tackle health inequalities, considering both top-down and bottom-up approaches (e.g. government policies versus grassroots movements). There is a focus on helping you develop skills that will be relevant to current and future careers in public health, through individual study and collaborations with other students and staff.

    By the time you graduate, you’ll be equipped with expert knowledge and different perspectives from across research, policy and practice, focusing on contemporary public health issues that are relevant locally, nationally and internationally.

  • Flexible learning

    If you’re interested in studying a module from this course, the Postgraduate Certificate or the Postgraduate Diploma then please email Graduate Admissions to discuss your course of study.

  • Research

    Our Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport was ranked 1st in Scotland for Health Sciences in the most recent Research Excellence Framework (2014) – highlighting our commitment to producing world-leading research that improves healthcare and reduces health inequalities on a global and local scale.

    This means you’ll be supported in your studies by a group of influential academics with strong and established research records, public health experience and a wealth of world-class publications.

  • Academic requirements

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

  • English language requirements

    If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:

    • IELTS: 6.5 with 6.0 minimum in each skill
    • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade C or above
    • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade B or above
    • Pearson Test of English (Academic): 60 with 56 in each component
    • IBT TOEFL: 90 with no subtest less than 20

    More information on our English language requirements

  • Pre-sessional English language courses

    If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner INTO University of Stirling offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to this degree.

    Find out more about our pre-sessional English language courses.

Expand your knowledge and skills in public health and redefine your career prospects with this unique online course.

You’ll be required to complete four core modules, two optional modules and a research project to earn your MPH in Public Health. You can also graduate with a Postgraduate Diploma by completing four core modules and two optional modules, or a Postgraduate Certificate by completing three core modules.

Students are expected to complete no more than one module per semester.

Year 1 (core modules):

  • September - What is Public Health? (NURP021)
  • January - Epidemiology and Its Numbers (NURP022)
  • May - What is Public Health Research? (NURP023)

Year 2 (Select two optional and one core module):

  • September - Society and Health (NURP025) OR MRes Quantitative Methods (NURP005) OR MRes Qualitative Methods (NURP003)
  • January - Health Behaviours and Behaviour Change (NURP026) OR MRes Research Ethics and Governance (NURP007)
  • May - Policy in the Real World (NURP024)

Year 3:

  • Research Project (NURP027)


The module details given below are subject to change as the University regularly revises and refreshes the curriculum of our taught programmes. The modules outlined below represent those offered in 2018/19 on this course of study.

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Course Details

  • Fees and costs


    £8,500  £8,500 

    The fee is for all three years of the course. It is not an annual fee. Tuition fees are on a pro-rata basis over the three year duration of the course.

    Please note: You will be liable to pay tuition fees for every year you’re in attendance, and your fees will be held level upon entry. If you need to extend your period of study, you may be liable for an additional fee.

    Home/EU Students

    If you’re domiciled in Scotland, you may be eligible to apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) for a loan of up to £10,000 to cover your tuition fees and associated living costs. Students domiciled in the EU can also apply for tuition fee support, although may not be eligible to receive funding to support living costs.

    If you're domiciled in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, you should be eligible to apply for a loan from your regional body.

    English students apply for a loan of up to £10,000 per year as part of the UK Postgraduate Loan SchemeWelsh students can apply for a non-means tested loan of up to £10,280 from the Welsh Government and Northern Irish students are eligible to apply for support of up to £5,500.

  • Scholarships

    For those applying to start in the 2018/19 academic year we also have three bursaries available to support the cost of one module of the course (equivalent to £945). Please contact the Course Director for more information about how to apply for one of these bursaries.

    If you have the talent, ability and drive to study with us, we want to make sure you make the most of the opportunity – regardless of your financial circumstances. That’s why we offer a wide range of scholarships and funding opportunities available.

    To explore our scholarships and learn more about funding opportunities, use our scholarship finder.

  • Additional costs

    If you choose to attend your graduation ceremony, you will be liable for an additional charge. There is no charge if you wish to graduate in absentia. Learn more about additional fees.

  • Cost of living

    If you’re domiciled in the UK, you can typically apply to your relevant funding body for help with living costs. This usually takes the form of student loans, grants or bursaries, and the amount awarded depends upon your personal circumstances and household income.

    EU and overseas students won’t normally be able to claim living support through SAAS or other UK public funding bodies. You should contact the relevant authority in your country to find out if you’re eligible to receive support. .

    Find out about the cost of living for students at Stirling

  • Payment options

    We aim to be as flexible as possible, and offer a wide range of payment methods - including the option to pay fees by instalments. Learn more about how to pay

You’ll graduate with the relevant theoretical and practical skills needed for a career as a public health researcher, policymaker or practitioner across the public, private, voluntary, community and not-for-profit sectors.

  • Increase your value to employers by expanding your public health knowledge and research skills
  • Continue your career as you study through our distance learning approach
  • Expand your knowledge – and opportunities – in multiple aspects of public health
  • 1st in Scotland and top 15 in the UK for Health Sciences (REF2014)
  • 98% of our postgraduate leavers are in employment or further study within six months of graduating (Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey, 2015/16)
  • Top 15 in the UK for nursing (QS World University Rankings 2018)

Public heath practitioner roles differ greatly in the work they focus on and in their specific job titles. Some examples of the types of roles you’ll be qualified for include:

  • Health Policy Advisor
  • Public Health Advisor
  • Substance Misuse Worker
  • Heath Improvement Practitioner
  • Public Health Nutritionist
  • Teenage Pregnancy Co-ordinator
  • Smoking Cessation Advisor
  • Advanced Health Improvement Practitioner
  • Environmental Scientist
  • Health/Education Advisor
  • Support Worker
  • Companies we work with

    This course has a multidisciplinary focus, teaching and delivering both practical and theoretical skills in collaboration with public and third sector partners.

    We have developed this course in collaboration with colleagues from NHS Health Scotland, NHS Forth Valley and Community Health Exchange (CHEX).

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