Programme Specification for MSc Health Promotion

 This programme is no longer recruiting.

Final award


Intermediate awards available

PgCert, PgDip

UCAS code


Details of professional body accreditation


Relevant QAA Benchmark statements


Date specification last up-dated

July 2013


The summary - programme advertising leaflet

Programme content

Health Promotion is a broad field which draws on the disciplines of psychology, sociology, and epidemiology and community development to achieve its aims of behaviour change and a fairer society for all. The Health Promotion programme looks to examine subjects which impact on the quality of health and offers the opportunity to examine in more detail preventative measures aimed at supporting health.
The postgraduate programme in Health Promotion is designed to meet the needs of students from a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences and is offered to a range of health and social care professionals.  The programme is based on the principles of the multidimensional nature of health and aims to enable participants to develop skills and knowledge required for a variety of roles in health promotion practice.

Evidence-based practice and research are seen as high priorities in health and social care and the programme will help students to develop the ability to analyse and synthesise health data and research findings in critical and inquisitive ways. Inter-professional collaboration is seen as a valuable tool of the multidisciplinary learning and by sharing different aspects of the programme students will gain an understanding and insight into each other’s field of practice. This will enable them to engage in dialogue with a critical community of peers and to develop skills for participatory health policy-making. Our students come from different parts of the world  and from diverse cultures which broadens and enriches professional experience and knowledge

MSc Program in Health Promotion at School of Health and Bioscience, at UEL is

  • Flexible
  • Inter-professional
  • Self-directed
  • Research based
  • Life-long learning
  • Continuing Professional Development

Admission requirements

Admission to the programme is the responsibility of the admissions team. Requirements for entering the programmes are listed below:

  1. A minimum of a second class honours undergraduate degree in a relevant health based subject area from a recognised UK University, or international equivalent. Students may, at the programme leader’s discretion, be admitted with lower classifications if they have suitable professional qualifications or professional experience related to the programme of study.
  2. One year full-time professional experience in a health related field.

In the case of applicants whose first language is not English, then IELTS 6.0 or TOEFL 650 (or equivalent) is required. International qualifications will be checked for appropriate matriculation to UK Higher Education postgraduate programmes.

Students that apply for exemption from parts of the programme may be admitted through normal Accreditation of Experiential Learning (AEL) or Accreditation of Certificated Learning (ACL) processes, or through an approved articulation agreement. Such applicants must be able to demonstrate and evidence that they have the required learning outcomes as listed in the modules for which they are seeking exemption.

Application forms are available on-line.

Candidates might be requested to provide further information and might be invited to an interview with the programme leader.

Programme structure

The MSc programme is structured on a semester basis and can be taken over a period of eighteen months to six years. The first semester runs from September to January; the second semester from February to June.  Completion of the programme requires a minimum study period of 3 semesters.

All modules are at M Level and are awarded 30 M Level Credits. The taught component of each module lasts for 12 weeks. Each of the modules will entail the same amount of study (300 hours). This is divided between contact time at the University, directed study (pursuing learning objectives specifically associated with the module) and private study which includes reading and preparation of assignments. The allocation of the hours will vary between modules.

The completion of this programme involves the successful completion of the four core modules [three taught and one semi-taught; the dissertation] plus two optional modules.

The Dissertation is a self-directed, semi-taught module and is undertaken with the guidance of a supervisor and supported by group sessions with the module leader. There are additional resources available within the University to assist you with your study skills.

In exceptional circumstances, and at the discretion of the Programme Leader, the dissertation may be taken as a double module [60 credits]. To compensate the final number of credits taken,  students accepted in this path are exempted from taking one of the optional modules. 

Learning environment

The Masters programme aims to encourage students to develop a reflective approach to practice, an ability to transfer skills and knowledge across specialities and a commitment to life-long learning.

The teaching facilities relevant for these programme  at the Stratford Campus of UEL comprise of lecture theatres, computer laboratories and seminar rooms and will be utilised, as appropriate, to provide suitable learning environments in line with module requirements. The Stratford Campus library, open 24 hours a day during semesters, is adjacent to the teaching facilities and provides computer, multimedia and paper-based resources for students. Additional Web-based support is available via our virtual learning environment, UELPlus, for off-campus support of students via internet access


A variety of assessment procedures is used including but not exclusively, unseen exams, essays and posters presentations. Each taught module will be assessed and the various forms of assessment are outlined for each module in the module guide. A variety of assessment procedures is used including presentations and peer and self-assessment as part of the development of a life long independent learner who has the ability to assess their own work.  The assignments are also designed so that students can pursue their interests and their own area of practice. Each module will be assessed by differing means but the overall assessment of each single module will not exceed the equivalent of 5,000 words e.g. 3,000 word essay (70%) plus class presentation (30%).  No more than two pieces of work will contribute to the summative assessment of a module.

Relevance to work/profession

The Masters programme will provide students with underlying principles currently held in their professional and academic disciplines. The modules offer strong underlying knowledge and skills and students are encouraged to relate theory to practice both in the class room setting and assessment. Employability is a crucial consideration in both knowledge and skills assessed in each module. The programme enables the student to deal with complex issues within their work place and implement sound judgement, personal responsibility and initiative.  

Thesis/Dissertation/project work

The dissertation is a compulsory component of Masters studies and provides students with the opportunity of independent advanced research. The Research and Epidemiology for Health Professionals module is a core module for all students prior to undertaking a dissertation.

Added value

The MSc programme offers students the opportunity to develop and enhance specialist knowledge and skills. It offers students an opportunity to pursue employment and career advancement within their chosen field.

Part-time students on the Masters Programme students are normally in current employment. The programme therefore offers the opportunity of career consolidation, advancement or change. 

Your future career

The MSc programme offers students enhanced employability prospects within the emerging Health Promotion field.  Health promotion specialists may work in particular settings, [e.g.: communities, schools], with a particular issues [e.g.: drugs, healthy eating, etc.], with specific populations {e.g.: young men, the elderly, teenage mothers]. Some may have a more generic role. Many health promotion specialists work at a local level, but others have more strategic roles with national organisations working for health improvement..

How we support you

Students are allocated to a Personal Tutor who will help them through their study by offering pastoral advice and support.  The Programme Leader and module leaders will also advise you about academic and additional learning and support services available in the University.  The University has a comprehensive range of student support services. Modules are normally organised to run on a single day and any extra curricular sessions timetabled to coincide so that part-time students would normally only be expected to attend University on one or two days per week depending on the number of modules undertaken.  The attendance day will vary from semester to semester according to which modules are selected for study. Web-based resources and communication tools are available to students via the internet enabling support to continue off campus.  Libraries can be accessed 24 hours a day during teaching and assessment periods.

Bonus factors

The interdisciplinary nature of the programme affords students the opportunity to work and learn with course members from different cultural and professional backgrounds


Programme aims and learning outcomes

What is this programme designed to achieve?

This programme is designed to give you the opportunity to:

  • Develop a systematic understanding of knowledge and critically evaluate current research in a specialised area of health promotion.
  • Develop a comprehensive understanding of techniques applicable to your own research or advanced scholarship.
  • Demonstrate originality in the application of knowledge, together with a practical understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge.
  • Develop a range of transferable skills appropriate to a career in this field.

What will you learn?

On completion of these postgraduate qualifications, participants will be able to:


  • Demonstrate a broad knowledge of the theoretical, practical and research base which underpins health promotion programmes.
  • Demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of specialised and applied areas of health science and health promotion and have an appreciation of the current range of theoretical and research understanding in this area;

Thinking skills

  • Conceptualise practice issues from alternative theoretical perspectives and synthesise, develop and communicate creative solutions;

Subject-based practical skills

  • Create, design and explore a research question in a specialised area and evaluate this research with appropriate justification

Skills for life and work

  • Reflect critically on your own and others' learning and practice;
  • disseminate to peers in a critical format, underlying evidence in specific areas of practice
  • Demonstrate the skills relevant to independent, life-long learning.


The programme structure


All programmes are credit-rated to help you to understand the amount and level of study that is needed.

One credit is equal to 10 hours of directed study time (this includes everything you do e.g. lecture, seminar and private study).

Credits are assigned to one of 5 levels:

  • 0 - equivalent in standard to GCE 'A' level and is intended to prepare students for year one of an undergraduate degree programme
  • 1 - equivalent in standard to the first year of a full-time undergraduate degree programme
  • 2 - equivalent in standard to the second year of a full-time undergraduate degree programme
  • 3 - equivalent in standard to the third year of a full-time undergraduate degree programme
  • M - equivalent in standard to a Masters degree

Credit rating

The overall credit-rating of this programme is 180 for Masters, 120 for PGDip, 60 for PGCert.

Typical duration

Full-time mode MSc: 18 months (Sept –  Jan, or Feb – Jun,  the following year)

Participants wishing to study full-time may begin studying in either September or February.  The full-time participant will complete six modules [five taught modules and a one semi-taught; the dissertation].

All modules apart from ‘Research and Epidemiology for Health Professionals’ and the Dissertation are offered in one semester only. Successfully completing “Research and Epidemiology for Health Professionals” is a pre-requisite to register in the Dissertation module. 

Part-time mode MSc: Two and a Half to Six Years

Participants wishing to study part-time may begin studying in either September or February.  The part-time participant can control their own pace of learning and will normally study one module [30 credits] per semester over a 3 year period. The modules are distinct entities in themselves and student will register for each module individually. Part-time students are expected to complete ‘Health Promotion: Theory and Practice’ within their first academic year of study and to undertake the “Research and Epidemiology” module at an early stage also.

How the teaching year is divided

The teaching year is divided into two semesters of roughly equal length.  A typical student registered in a full-time attendance mode will study two, 30 credit modules per semester and a typical student registered in a part-time attendance mode will study one module per semester.  Dissertations are undertaken in Semester A or Semester B depending on enrolment point and completion of the ‘Research and Epidemiology’ module.

What you will study when

The table below outlines the modules for the MSc Health Promotion programme. The offer of optional modules might differ in different academic years. Optional modules are available  subject to minimum student numbers.

LevelUEL Module
Module TitleCreditsStatus



Research and Epidemiology for Health Professionals





Health Promotion. Theory and Practice





Core Themes and Structures in Health Promotion





Public Health: Theory and Practice





Health promotion: Challenges and Solutions





Promoting Mental Health and Wellbeing





Impact of Globalisation on Health and Development





Alcohol and Drug Misuse. Public Health and Health Promotion Perspectives













* The 60 credit dissertation module may be taken in place of the 30 credit module only under exceptional circumstances and only with the prior agreement of the programme leader.

Requirements for gaining an award

In order to gain a Postgraduate Certificate, you will need to obtain 60 credits at Level M.

In order to gain a Postgraduate Diploma, you will need to obtain 120 credits at Level M

In order to obtain a Masters, you will need to obtain 180 credits at Level M. These credits will include a module of advanced independent research.

Masters Award Classification

Where a student is eligible for an Masters award then the award classification is determined  by calculating the arithmetic mean of all marks and applying the mark obtained as a percentage, with all decimals points rounded up to the nearest whole number, to the following classification

70% - 100%


60% - 69%


50% - 59%


0% - 49%

Not Passed

Additional information ...

A good computer-literacy level is necessary. The teaching of two software packages [one for statistical analysis and one for qualitative data management] is embedded in the Research and Epidemiology module as part of core contents.


Teaching, learning and assessment

Teaching and learning

The key teaching and learning methods used are:

  • Lectures
  • Self-directed study
  • Seminars
  • Computer based sessions
  • Students presentations
  • Library based exercises
  • UELPlus (VLE)

This mix of teaching and learning methods is designed to ensure that knowledge, thinking skills, practical skills and skills for life and work are developed through the programme


Knowledge is assessed by

  • Coursework assignments of not more that 5,000 words in total for a module
  • Production of dissertation (7,000 words maximum)
  • Presentations
  • Exam papers

Thinking skills are assessed by

  • Critiques of research studies
  • Literature review undertakings
  • Problem solving exercises
  • Dissertation

Practical skills are assessed by

  • Computer based sessions and exercises
  • Case studies
  • Presentations

Skills for life and work (general skills) are assessed by

  • Individual presentations
  • Developing a learning agenda
  • Presentations


How we assure the quality of this programme

Before this programme started

Before this programme started, the following was checked:

  • there would be enough qualified staff to teach the programme;
  • adequate resources would be in place;
  • the overall aims and objectives were appropriate;
  • the content of the programme met national benchmark requirements;
  • the programme met any professional/statutory body requirements;
  • the proposal met other internal quality criteria covering a range of issues such as admissions policy, teaching, learning  and assessment strategy and student support mechanisms.

This is done through a process of programme approval which involves consulting academic experts including some subject specialists from other institutions.

How we monitor the quality of this programme

The quality of this programme is monitored each year through evaluating:

  • external examiner reports (considering quality and standards);
  • statistical information (considering issues such as the pass rate);
  • student feedback.

Drawing on this and other information, programme teams undertake the annual Review and Enhancement Process which is co-ordinated at School level and includes student participation.  The process is monitored by the Quality and Standards Committee.

Once every six years an in-depth review of the whole field is undertaken by a panel that includes at least two external subject specialists.  The panel considers documents, looks at student work, speaks to current and former students and speaks to staff before drawing its conclusions.  The result is a report highlighting good practice and identifying areas where action is needed.

The role of the programme committee

This programme has a programme committee comprising all relevant teaching staff, student representatives and others who make a contribution towards the effective operation of the programme (e.g. library/technician staff).  The committee has responsibilities for the quality of the programme. It provides input into the operation of the Review and Enhancement Process and proposes changes to improve quality.  The programme committee plays a critical role in the  quality assurance procedures.

The role of external examiners

The standard of this programme is monitored by at least one external examiner.  External examiners have two primary responsibilities:

  • To ensure the standard of the programme;
  • To ensure that justice is done to individual students.

External examiners fulfil these responsibilities in a variety of ways including:

  • Approving exam papers/assignments;
  • Attending assessment boards;
  • Reviewing samples of student work and moderating marks;
  • Ensuring that regulations are followed;
  • Providing feedback through an annual report that enables us to make improvements for the future.

Listening to the views of students

The following methods for gaining student feedback are used on this programme:

  • Module evaluations
  • Student representation on programme committees (meeting each semester)
  • Informal discussions with staff

Students are notified of the action taken through:

  • Publication of programme committee minutes
  • Publication of module reviews
  • Direct communication from the programme  leader using the UELPlus section for this programme

Listening to the views of others

The following methods are used for gaining the views of other interested parties:

  • Annual student satisfaction questionnaire
  • Regular communication with professional and academic bodies
  • Meetings with local employers

Further Information

Alternative locations for studying this programme

LocationWhich elements?Taught by UEL staffTaught by local staffMethod of Delivery





















Where you can find further information

Further information about this programme is available from:

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