Public Health

MPH, Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma


News

For those applying to start in the 2017/18 academic year we also have three bursaries available to support the cost of one module in year two of the course (equivalent to £945). Please contact the Course Director during the application process for more information about how to apply for one of these bursaries.

Public health is the 'science and art of promoting and protecting health and wellbeing, preventing ill-health and prolonging life through the organised efforts of society' (Faculty of Public Health, 2015). This online Master of Public Health (MPH) course is designed for students who want to explore the current and emerging key issues in the field while reflecting on their own practice, experiences and interests. We are keen for students to collaborate with us in better understanding how public health works across the three key areas of research, policy and practice and how knowledge and expertise in public health can be understood and improved at the local, national and global level.

Introduction

Who is the MPH for?

This new, multidisciplinary online Master of Public Health (MPH) course has been specifically designed for students from various backgrounds who have an interest in public health research, policy and practice, but will be particularly relevant to those considering a future public health career, either in the UK or abroad.

The online nature of the course is ideal for students who want to gain a Masters level qualification concurrently with full-time employment. A varied choice of core and elective modules allow students to tailor their learning and development according to their needs and interests. Modules available help students to develop a critical understanding of public health approaches and their relevance to research, policy and practice at the local, national and global level.

The course has been designed to be suitable for both novice and experienced public health practitioners, making this an ideal option for those currently working in public health and related fields, as well as those with aspirations to do so. Regardless of expertise, students will be equipped with the necessary knowledge and abilities essential to influence the health and wellbeing of individuals, groups, communities and populations.

Key information

EU Applicants
EU students enrolling for a postgraduate taught degree in the 2017/18 and 2018/19 academic year will be admitted as Scottish/EU fee status students and will be eligible for the same tuition support as Scottish domiciled students.

  • Qualification: MPH, Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma
  • Study methods: Online only, Part-time
  • Duration: Part-time: 3 years
  • Start date:
    • September (this is the recommended start date)
    • January
    • May
  • Course Director: Dr Tony Robertson
Download postgraduate prospectus

Dr Tony Robertson

www.stir.ac.uk/people/30583

Course Director and Lecturer in Public Health
Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport
University of Stirling, Stirling FK9 4LA

  1. You will gain a Masters degree from a multi-award winning Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport, led by a group of world-leading academics, with strong and established research records, public health experience and a wealth of world-class publications who will support you both personally and academically.
  2. The flexibility of this programme allows for students to manage their studies around their professional and personal life.
  3. The MPH offers you the opportunity to graduate with a named award recognised globally for public health knowledge and expertise. 
  4. Further flexibility is provided by the diverse variety of optional modules available throughout the entirety of the course.
  5. To ensure that you are equipped with the necessary knowledge and capabilities to conduct a successful dissertation and complete your Masters, there are taught elements within the research project module designed to develop your understanding and practical abilities.

Course objectives

What is the MPH about?

This course is designed for students who want to explore the current and emerging key issues in the field while reflecting on their own practice, experiences and interests. We are keen for students to collaborate with us in better understanding how public health works across the three key areas of research, policy and practice, and how knowledge and expertise in public health can be understood and improved at the local, national and global level.

Through the course, students will be able to:

  • Explore and understand public health theory and techniques appropriate to their own area of practice or interest
  • Gain first-hand insight into approaches used by researchers, practitioners and policymakers
  • Develop as skilled and knowledgeable multidisciplinary public health practitioners and researchers
  • Develop practical and transferable skills, e.g. report writing, team working, literature searching, research methods, and critical appraisal
  • Develop as critical and independent thinkers

What are the distinctive features of the MPH?

This course has a multidisciplinary focus, teaching and delivering both practical and theoretical skills in collaboration with public and third sector partners. The innovative course 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 developing students’ skills relevant to current and future careers in and related to public health through individual study and collaborations with other students and staff.

Students will be equipped with expert knowledge and different perspectives from across research, policy and practice, focusing on contemporary public health issues relevant locally, nationally and internationally. The course will be taught by research-active staff from the Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport, alongside input and additional materials from policy and practice partners. Co-creation of content is also a key feature we explore with the course, allowing us to shape the curriculum with our students to build on their experiences, expertise and interests.

This is a fully online, distance-learning course using digital learning technology to allow learners to study from anywhere in the world and better fit study around personal and professional commitments. Flexibility in the course start dates (September, January or May) and module choices in second year helps provide students with a bespoke learning experience designed to match learning needs, interests and aspirations.

What makes us different?

World-class library and teaching facilities

Studying for a degree means learning in different ways; managing your own time; conducting research; mastering new computer skills. We have the facilities and advice on hand to help you do all this - and do it well.

Learn more

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Life at Stirling

Of the many reasons students come to Stirling, such as academic reputation and research standards, one factor is always cited: the outstanding beauty of the University's Stirling campus. View our online films to get a picture of what it's like to live and study on our beautiful campus.

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Live Life

Entry requirements

Academic requirements

A minimum of a second class Honours degree (2.1 preferred) or equivalent in a relevant subject. Applicants without these formal qualifications but with significant 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
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade B
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic): 60 with 56 in each component
  • IBT TOEFL: 90 with no subtest less than 20.

For more information see our English language requirements

If you don’t meet the required score you may be able to register for one of our pre-sessional English courses. To register you must hold a conditional offer for your course and have an IELTS score 0.5 or 1.0 below the required standard. View our range of pre-sessional courses.

Flexible Learning

If you are interested in studying a module from this course, the Postgraduate Certificate or the Postgraduate Diploma then please email graduate.admissions@stir.ac.uk to discuss your course of study.

Fees and costs

 

2018/19 Overseas £8,500
2018/19 Home/EU £8,500

Fees for all new applicants to postgraduate taught courses are held at the level set upon entry.

Please note there is an additional charge should you choose to attend a graduation ceremony. View more information

Cost of Living

Find out about the cost of living for students at Stirling

Payment options

Find information on paying fees by instalments

Scholarships & funding

For information on possible sources of funding, please visit www.stir.ac.uk/scholarships

Scholarship finder

Structure and teaching

Structure and content

This is a fully online, distance-learning course using digital learning technology to allow learners to study from anywhere in the world and better fit study around personal and professional commitments. Flexibility in the course start dates (September, January or May) and module choices in second year helps equip students with a more bespoke learning experience designed to match learning needs, interests and aspirations.

It will be possible to exit the course with a Postgraduate Certificate in Public Health (60 credits – 3 modules), a Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health (120 credits – 6 modules) or a Master of Public Health (120 credits plus a research project of 60 credits). All modules are at level 11 within the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF). 180 credits points are awarded for the programme of study. All core and optional modules are worth 20 credits, with the research project worth 60 credits.

Students are required to take the four core modules (NURP021 - NURP024), followed by two optional modules (from a range of options) and the research project (NURP027). Students who complete the three core modules in Year 1 can exit the course with a Certificate in Public Health. Those who complete the four core modules and the two optional modules (Years 1 and 2) can exit the course with a Diploma in Public Health. Those students who complete all four core modules, the two optional modules and the research project (Years 1, 2 and 3) will exit the course with a Masters in Public Health (MPH).

It will take students a minimum of one year to complete a Postgraduate Certificate, two years to complete a Postgraduate Diploma and three years to complete the Masters in Public Health. Please note, there are some restrictions in the choice of modules due to timetabling conflicts.

Delivery and assessment

Students will be assisted in achieving the aims of the course through a range of methods, including a mixture of lectures (live webinars and recorded podcasts), group work, online discussions, independent (guided and self-guided) study, reflection on learning and independent research. Students will be expected to achieve a series of distinct learning outcomes (LOs) for the course (alongside module-specific LOs).

Students should:

  1. Develop and demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of the essential principles in public health research, policy and practice.
  2. Critically appraise the public health evidence base.
  3. Critically reflect on the links (and gaps) between public health research, policy and practice.
  4. Apply learning to public health practice.
  5. Critically appraise the relevance of how public health can be influenced at a local, national and global level.
  6. Design, undertake, analyse and discuss their own independent research in a critical manner.

These course learning outcomes and the module learning outcomes will be assessed using a variety of assessment methods including essays, short answer exams, project plans, objective test questions, posters, presentations, policy briefs and academic journal manuscripts.

Modules

Students are required to take the four core modules (NURP021 - NURP024), followed by two optional modules (from a range of options) and the research project.

Please note, there are some restrictions in the choice of optional modules given timetabling conflicts. See the module flowchart at the end of the module list. There is also a timetable flowchart in the example timetable section.

  • Master of Public Health (MPH) - complete all four core modules, two optional modules and the research project (Years 1, 2 and 3).
  • Postgraduate Diploma - complete the four core modules and two optional modules (Years 1 and 2)
  • Postgraduate Certificate - complete the three core modules in Year 1

Core Modules

NURP021 – What is Public Health?

(20 credits SCQF level 11, September-December)

This core module will provide students with a grounding in the key theories and methods involved in public health today. Students will be introduced to concepts including, but not limited to, physical and mental health, population health vs. public health, health inequalities and health monitoring/surveillance.

NURP022 - Epidemiology & Its Numbers

(20 credits SCQF level 11, January-April)

This core module will provide students with an understanding of epidemiology, the study of the distribution and determinants of health and disease in different groups of people and why. The module will demonstrate how epidemiological evidence is used to plan and evaluate strategies to prevent illness and as a guide to the management of patients in whom disease has already developed.

NURP023 - What is Public Health Research?

(20 Credits, SCQF Level 11, May-August)

In this core module 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.

NURP024 – Policy in the Real World

(20 Credits, SCQF Level 11, May-August)

This core module will provide students with a critical understanding of public health policy-making. Students will explore what policy means and key theories of how it is created, constructed and implemented at different levels of government including the role of advocacy and shaping ideas and beliefs. Students will gain detailed knowledge of a range of population-level public health policy interventions including pricing, availability and other marketing measures relating to unhealthy commodities, and how they are evaluated.

 

Optional Modules

NURP025 – Society & Health

(20 credits SCQF level 11, September-December)

This optional module will build students’ knowledge of the social determinants of health and how these are shaped by the distribution of money, power and resources at local, national and global levels. Students will also engage with the policies and courses which try to reduce health inequalities, set in a broader narrative around ensuring social justice, enforcing human rights and changing the unequal power dynamics in our societies.

NURP026 - Health Behaviours & Behaviour Change

(20 credits SCQF level 11, January-April)

In this optional module students will learn about the role health behaviours (such as smoking, alcohol consumption, physical activity and diet) play in determining the health of the population. Students will also learn about how public health goes about trying to change health behaviours in the context of the complex world people live their lives in.

NURP003 - Qualitative Research and Analysis

(20 credits SCQF level 11, September-December)

This module (part of the Masters in Health Research programme) provides an introduction to Qualitative Research methodology and methods, with particular reference to health and social care research.  Students are introduced to some basic philosophical concepts that underpin qualitative approaches and given practical training in qualitative analysis using QSR NVivo software.

NURP005 - Quantitative Research and Analysis

(20 credits SCQF level 11, September-December)

The module is part of the Masters in Health Research course and aims to develop students’ understanding of the theoretical ideas behind quantitative research and applicability of these methods to their own work. It provides applied experience of organising data and undertaking quantitative analysis using statistical software SPSS. Students will be able to decide which statistical test to use and critically evaluate results of analysis performed in SPSS statistical software.

NURP007 - Research Ethics and Governance

(20 credits SCQF level 11, January-April)

The module is part of the Masters in Health Research course and will provide students with an opportunity to consider the application of legal, regulatory and ethical requirements in health research. Students will consider how such principles apply in their own area of practice/interest.

NURP027 - Research Project

(60 Credits, SCQF Level 11, September - August)

The Masters course culminates in a research project. The core and optional modules will equip students with the skills and knowledge to carry out a research project that is robust and relevant to public health. Students will refine their research project topic in collaboration with their personal research project supervisor who will advise and support students throughout this process. Students will research a relevant public health topic, critically evaluate the evidence on the scale of the issue and potential solutions and develop research, policy and practice solutions. This will be assessed in in the form of a policy brief, a presentation and a manuscript for submission to an academic journal.

                MPH MODULES

Core Modules

What is Public Health? (NURP021) (20 credits)

Epidemiology & Its Numbers (NURP022) (20 credits)

What is Public Health Research? (NURP023) (20 credits)

Policy in the Real World (NURP024) (20 credits)

 

All 4 Core Modules above are Mandatory

Optional Modules

Society & Health (NURP025) (20 credits)

Health Behaviours & Behaviour Change
(NURP026) (20 credits)

MRes Quantitative Methods (NURP005)
(20 credits)

MRes Qualitative Methods (NURP003) (20 credits)

MRes Research Ethics and Governance (NURP007)
(20 credits)

Select 2 Optional Modules from the 5 Options above

Dissertation

  Research Project (NURP027)
           (60 credits)

Example timetable

The timetable below is a typical example, but your own timetable may be different.

 

 

                  MPH TIMETABLE

 

September to December

January - April

May - August

Year 1

What is Public Health? (NURP021)
(20 credits) Core module

Epidemiology & Its Numbers (NURP022)
(20 credits)  Core module

What is Public Health Research? (NURP023)
(20 credits) Core module







Year 2

Select two optional modules(from the list of five below)

Select core module (Year 2)

Society & Health (NURP025)
(20 credits)

Health Behaviours & Behaviour Change (NURP026)  (20 credits)

Policy in the Real World (NURP024)  (20 credits)  Core module

MRes Quantitative Methods (NURP005)
(20 credits)

MRes Research Ethics and Governance (NURP007)  (20 credits)

MRes Qualitative Methods (NURP003)
(20 credits)

Year 3

  Research Project (NURP027)
            (60 credits)

Why Stirling?

REF2014

In REF2014 Stirling was placed 6th in Scotland and 45th in the UK with almost three quarters of research activity rated either world-leading or internationally excellent.

1st for Research

REF2014

Our research is world class and is recognised for its quality and innovation. We are the premier faculty for health sciences research in Scotland.

In the research assessment exercise REF2014: The Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport came top for health research in Scotland and was ranked 12th in the UK overall. This showcases our commitment to producing world-leading research which improves the health of people and populations and reduces health inequalities through impact on policy and practice.

International Students

The University of Stirling welcomes students from around the world. Find out what studying here could be like for you .

Our staff

Course Director 

Teaching on the course will be provided by colleagues across the Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport, particularly from the Centre for Population Health and Public Health Research (led by Prof. Andrew Watterson and Prof. Sally Haw) and the Institute for Social Marketing (led by Prof. Linda Bauld). 

Module Co-ordinators are the staff who oversee and co-ordinate the modules.  For the MPH, we have:

Careers and employability

Employability

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 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 Workers and many more.

Graduates will receive the relevant theoretical and practical skills that are needed for careers as researchers, policymakers and/or practitioners across the public, private and voluntary/community/not-for-profit sectors. A great resource for seeing the range of roles and jobs available (in the UK at least) is @PubHealthJobsUK on Twitter.

 

 

Subject to approval

Please note that this course is subject to approval. Courses advertised as 'subject to approval' have successfully completed the first stage of the approval process. The full academic detail is still subject to consideration and approval by the University and is in the final stage of the approval process.

We welcome enquiries for these courses. Please get in touch or register your interest using the online enquiry form.

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