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MSc Public Health

Course overview

Start date

January 2018

September 2018

Subject area

Health, Sport and Bioscience





On campus

Course summary

The MSc Public Health degree will develop your management competencies and research techniques, equipping you to develop your career as a health professional.

Whether you are a podiatrist, a speech therapist or a nurse – if you work in any kind of clinical setting you will reach a point at which you cannot progress without some kind of additional training and demonstrable management competency.

The skills you will develop on this course will put you in a good position to progress in your career and take on leadership roles. The course will focus on hot topic within health and cover core modules on epidemiology, health promotion and global health. Our health students often organise local health campaigns within the community, so there are plenty of opportunities to get involved and make a difference.

Whatever sector you are working in – the NHS, private health or social care services, community health organisations or a related commercial sector – you will benefit from studying in a superbly resourced environment which is producing research internationally recognised as being of the highest quality. 

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If you have any questions, talk to a member of our Applicant Enquiries team on +44 (0) 20 8223 3333 or email

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Health Studies made a big contribution to the 86 per cent of our Allied Health research that was rated either ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ by the 2014 Research Excellence Framework. This makes us the top modern university in London for our area of research and places us eighth overall in the country.

Leadership quality

UEL’s Public Health course is unique in London . The skills you will develop on this course will put you in a good position to progress in your career and take on leadership roles,  essential for working in the healthcare sector.

Strong public health links

UEL research institutes, staff and students have researched, developed and delivered programmes to improve health and wellbeing, particularly in some of London’s poorest communities.

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What we're researching

Health studies played a significant part in UEL’s research submission in Allied Health Professions (Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy) that was such a big winner in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework – the six-yearly national review of research quality in higher education.

An expert panel rated 67 per cent of the research as ‘internationally excellent’ and 19 per cent of it as ‘world-leading’, the highest possible accolade.

Our research into public health links in with UEL’s internationally renowned Institute for Health and Human Development (IHHD), which regularly carries out research across the UK and overseas.

The IHHD has been heavily involved in more than 50 significant projects since its foundation in 2006. UEL staff and students have researched into and developed programmes to improve health and wellbeing, particularly in some of London’s poorest communities.

Making a difference

UEL is one of the UK’s leading modern research universities. In the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF), 17 per cent of our overall research submission was classified as ‘world-leading’ for its quality and impact – almost double our previous REF score. A further 45 per cent of our work was considered ‘internationally excellent’.

What you'll study

Public Health (core)
Global Health (core)
Epidemiology (core)
Health Promotion(core)
Dissertation (core)

How you'll be assessed

We use a variety of assessment procedures, including unseen exams, essays and presentations as well as peer and self-assessment. Each taught module will be assessed and the various forms of assessment are outlined in the module guide. The assignments are also designed so that you can pursue your interests and specialist areas of practice.

Course specification

How you'll learn

The modules offer strong underlying knowledge and skills development. This emphasis supports you to relate theory to practice in a classroom setting, in all module components and in the dissertation. 

We consider employability to be a crucial element in the knowledge gained and skills assessed in each module. The course will enable you to deal with complex issues within your workplace and display sound judgment, personal responsibility and initiative. 

You might be working with nurses, or podiatrists, or speech therapists. They might be from the UK or elsewhere. The interdisciplinary nature of the course gives you the opportunity to work and learn with peers from different cultural and professional backgrounds.

Recently, UEL MSc students carried out a ‘Small c’ campaign, running a cancer awareness programme at a nearby shopping mall in Stratford. Such ‘learning by doing’ initiatives engage with local people and provide valuable work experience for students to include in their CVs.

You may also have the opportunity to work on one of the research programmes being run by the UEL’s world-renowned Institute for Health and Human Development.

What you'll learn

This course is designed to give you a systematic understanding of your specialist field of public health, taking in the most up-to-the-minute research. You will gain a comprehensive range of techniques applicable to your own research.

You will also gain a practical understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge, developing a range of transferable skills essential to a career in public health.

The course as a whole is based on the principles of the multi-dimensional nature of health.

You will complete a dissertation, and four core modules – Research and Epidemiology for Health Professionals; Public Health: Theory and Practice; Public Health: Policy and Strategy and Health Promotion: Theory and Practice.

Your dissertation is a self-directed, semi-taught, core module of independent research and is undertaken with the guidance of a supervisor and supported by group sessions with the module leader.

Your future career

This unusual and carefully tailored course will help you progress your career – by developing your research skills and by enhancing your managerial abilities. It will also encourage you to think broadly.

For example, while you are treating someone with an obvious ailment such as a broken arm, you might consider whether there are underlying mental health issues which brought about the injury.

This aligns with the growing emphasis in the health care sector on the integration health care services to meet complex health needs. 

The Public Health MSc course offers you enhanced employability prospects within the public health sector. This may involve working as a public health specialist or as a practitioner within the directorates of public health in NHS Foundation Trusts or Clinical Commissioning Groups.

Our graduates have returned to careers within NHS or other healthcare sectors with the skills required to take up new levels of responsibility. After completing this course you will be well placed to advance to senior roles, such as director of public health.

“We’ve got an NHS at the moment that’s going through enormous changes,” says Dr Matthew Almond, Field Leader in Health Studies.

“What people need is a workforce that understands the need to be resilient, that understands service design and transformation and understands there are processes involved in transforming a service like the NHS – and that until the process is mature, there are going to be problems.”

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Our international team travel overseas regularly to meet prospective students and attend recruitment fairs. Our academics also give regular lectures overseas and are happy to speak to prospective students. In addition, we have a large worldwide network of advisors who can provide guidance and support with applying to study at the University of East London.

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