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Master of Public Health - MPH

Do you have a health-related background? Do you want to become key to tackling threats to health across the world? If have experience and a degree in health related area, Health science, Health Promotion, public health nursing, nutrition, Medicine, Veterinary science....

Studying with us in 2021/22

It is possible that the 2021/22 academic year may be affected by the ongoing disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.  Information about the arrangements the University has put in place for the 2021/22 academic year in response to Covid-19 and the emerging variants can be found here.

Should the impact of Covid-19 continue in subsequent years of your course, any additional and/or alternative arrangements put in place by the University in response will be in accordance with the latest government public health advice, pandemic-related/health and safety legislation, and the terms and conditions of the student contract.

  • Level Postgraduate Taught
  • Study mode Full Time/Part Time
  • Location City South
  • School School of Health Sciences
  • Faculty Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences


Do you have a health-related background? Do you want to become key to tackling threats to health across the world? If have experience and a degree in health related area, Health science, Health Promotion, public health nursing, nutrition, Medicine, Veterinary science. This Master of Public Health (MPH) could enhance your career prospects, enabling you to progress on to senior roles at either operational, policy or commissioning level in a wide range of areas. Public health research and practice is at the heart of tackling many of the world’s current threats to health so this course provides the opportunity to develop the skills and understanding you need to become a leader and agent for change in Public Health.

This course is open to International students.

What's covered in this course?

This course aims to enable you to become a leader and change agent, developing the knowledge and skills needed to work within this new multi-disciplinary public health landscape.

You will advance your public health knowledge, skills and approach to teamwork, multi-agency collaboration and community partnerships throughout the modules on this course and critically evaluate strategies to improve public health outcomes. These skills are increasingly relevant for the public health workforce who may be located within a variety of settings including multilateral and international NGOs, local health authorities, National Public Health authorities, the voluntary or the private sector.

You will be taught by highly experienced tutors who come from a range of disciplinary backgrounds including, research and policy, health psychology, epidemiology, sociology of health, health policy, health economics and leadership. You will also experience guest lectures from visiting relevant professionals from organisations such as Public Health England, the Faculty of Public Health, the voluntary sector and local government.

Your peers on the course will be from various public health backgrounds, degree discipline, and cultural, national and international experiences.  These previous experiences, along with the knowledge gained through the programme, are used to inform real-world scenario discussions and enhance problem-solving abilities. 

Upon successful completion of this course you will have the skills and knowledge to perform a variety of public health related jobs, including:

  • Public Health intelligence analyst.
  • Public health practitioner
  • Health promotion advisor
  • Monitoring and Evaluation officer
  • Health data analyst.
  • Health trainer and training coordinator
  • Field Epidemiologist
  • Community development and community outreach worker
  • Health information officer
  • Youth worker
  • Health researcher.

Why Choose Us?

  • We have been recognised for our research projects - positively impacting on local policy and practice innovation e.g. through the Be Active campaign; and sexual health research within the Somali community.  Our involvement in the ‘Promoting Health and Wellbeing’ research cluster has been highlighted by a previous re-validation panel as an example of good practice and innovation
  • You can study at our extended £71 million City South Campus with access to cutting-edge facilities to support your learning and development
  • This course has been developed in alignment with the Public Health Knowledge and Skills Framework (PHKSF, 2016) and the UK National Occupational Standards for Public Health.
  • The course is flexible and responsive and offers lots of opportunities for future development.  The dissertation module allows you to choose a topic of study that you want to broaden your knowledge in, advancing your career and opening up new opportunities
  • You will have the opportunity to present your work at the University Faculty conference and at other relevant conferences
  • You can choose to work with undergraduate Public Health students to help develop the next generation of the Public Health workforce
  • We are committed to continued diversity and equality in the classroom has been highlighted as good practice and innovation in our courses - we have students from across the globe, as well as students of a variety of ages and abilities
  • We have an international reputation – we hosted a series of events to rewrite the world-renowned Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion (World Health Organisation) as the UK Charter
  • A previous student has said that we are ‘the perfect course for those with the ambition to become future Public Health leaders.’

Entry Requirements

UK students

An honours degree (2:2 or above) in a subject associated with or of relevance to public health

Current or recent experience of working in a public health or health promotion role or capacity. (This may be as your main role or as an aspect of your role. It may also be in a paid or voluntary capacity and as a professional or non-professional)

International students should additionally have an English Language qualification (IELTS 6.0 or above with no individual component less than 5.5).


For students who do not meet this criterion, or for students who would like some preparative study, please contact Personal Development Department for more information on 0121 331 7011.

International students

A minimum IELTS score of 6.0 is required with no individual component less than 5.5.

If you do not currently have a score of 6.5, our Personal Development Department will be able to help. 

Useful information

All applicants are asked to supply a personal statement identifying their experience and/or knowledge and understanding of public health together with their reasons for application to the programme.

In addition an academic reference should be supplied preferably from an academic who has taught you in the last few years. If this is not possible, a professional reference is required.

Students may be asked to an informal interview, depending on their application information.

We normally operate a cut-off date for applications of the end of August. However, late applications may be considered, if places are still available.

Fees & How to Apply

  • International students

Award: MPH

Starting: Jan 2022

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 1 year
  • £6,600 per year
  • Part Time
  • 2 years
  • £720 per 20 credit module

Award: MPH

Starting: Jan 2022

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 1 year
  • £13,200 per year

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form and equal opportunities PDF form instead.

Access to computer equipment

You will require use of a laptop, and most students do prefer to have their own. However, you can borrow a laptop from the university or use one of our shared computer rooms.


You will receive £5 print credit in each year of your course, available after enrolment.

Field trips

All essential field trips and associated travel costs will be included in your course fees.

Access to Microsoft Office 365

Every student at the University can download a free copy of Microsoft Office 365 to use whilst at university and for 18 months after graduation.

Key Software

You will be able to download SPSS and Nvivo to your home computer to support with your studies and research.

Key subscriptions

Subscriptions to key journals and websites are available through our library.

Free access to Rosetta Stone

All students can sign up to the online learning language platform for free through the Graduate+ scheme.

Excess printing (optional)

Once you have spent your £5 credit, additional printing on campus costs from 5p per sheet.

Books (optional)

All module key texts will be in the University library, but in limited numbers. You may choose to purchase a copy.

Subscriptions (optional)

You may wish to purchase subscriptions to additional journals and websites.

Memberships (optional)

You may wish to join a union or professional body related to this course.

Accommodation and living costs

The cost of accommodation and other living costs are not included within your course fees. More information on the cost of accommodation can be found in our accommodation pages.

Personal statement

Students are required to submit a personal statement as part of their application for this course.

Your postgraduate personal statement is going to shine a light on your personal experience, academic success, personal skills and any other factors that will support your application for further study.

Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:

Your passion and motivations

Studying a postgraduate course usually means you want to specialise in something. So what’s driving you?

Why this course?

Show that you’ve researched the course offering. What is it about this particular course that appeals to you? Is it the lecturers? The modules? Etc.

What makes you a good postgraduate candidate?

Tutors want to know that you can handle postgraduate study, so show them how your undergraduate experiences or work life has equipped you for a more advanced level of study. Key areas to address are research and group work but this can vary depending on your chosen course.

Relevant academic or work experience

Add anything relevant that relates back to your chosen course and shows how your skills will contribute towards your learning. What extra-curricular activities have you taken part in? What awards have you won? What employment or voluntary experience do you have that has helped you develop transferable skills? How do these specifically relate to the course you are applying for?

You should also mention your future plans and how a postgraduate qualification fits in. Try to look beyond your postgraduate study – do you plan to jump straight into a specific career or follow your studies with a research degree? Lastly, use plain, professional English and, where possible, utilise the language of your chosen industry.

Get more information on writing personal statements.

Course in Depth

Level 7

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 180 credits):

This is one of the two ‘applied Public Health’ modules in the programme. It is delivered by specialist public health tutors. These modules draw from the various source disciplines (especially the social and physical sciences) and apply them to considering public health practice. As the programme is highly practice-led, knowledge-applied, the relevance of links between personal and professional development are made in this module. Additionally, as this is one of the introductory modules for the programme, and links are made with the programme induction activities. A non- graded, ‘dry run’ assignment is a valuable early feature of the module.

This is the second of the two ‘applied Public Health’ modules in the programme, delivered by specialist public health tutors. These modules draw from the various source disciplines (especially the social and physical sciences) and apply them to considering public health practice.

This module will build on the knowledge and understanding from the Public Health Foundations module. The aim will be to explore three key themes, their application in practice and critically appraise their effectiveness. This aim will be to explore a Public Health journey through a range of approaches from protecting the public’s health to working with and alongside communities. This can be viewed either historically, conceptually or as defined by the priorities in Public Health practice.

Social, economic, environmental and political processes impact upon health and public health practices across the globe. In this module, you will explore many of these major challenges for global health and their implications for public health practice. This is in line with the programme philosophy that identifies the dynamic and complex nature of the factors that influence health and public health work. The ethos of the course sees public health work as being most effective when it acknowledges the complexity of the processes which impact upon health, and also that improving the health of populations will require working towards increased global equality. Within the module we will examine global health inequalities and the social determinants of health, and critically explore how they lead to an unequal and inequitable distribution of poor health both within countries and between countries.

In order to work effectively within public health you are required to develop the knowledge and skills provided by the study of epidemiology, including how contemporary public health data locally, nationally and internationally are constructed, identified, measured and utilised in public health programmes and interventions. This module seeks in particular to enable students to focus on gaining understanding of distribution of disease and various statistical and evaluation techniques can be applied to health data to help address some of the pressing contemporary public health issues such as double burden of communicable and non-communicable disease, migration, ageing, health and wealth inequalities, globalisation and the sustainability of resources in Low and middle income countries, developed nations and countries of economic transition. This module also provides an introduction to economic evaluation, health impact assessment, statistical data analysis and health needs assessment.

This module explicitly addresses students’ personal and/or professional development with a view to enhancing competence for service improvement in a rapidly changing health and healthcare environment. Through a flexible provision, students are inspired to reflect critically upon their individual learning needs as well as their organisations’ practices, to appraise and apply concepts from the literature on leadership, to issues of relevance for their role, organisation and overall programme of study.

This module specifically addresses the broader programme aims related to “pursuing excellence” and “practice-led, knowledge applied” through a flexible provision that encourages students to develop their research ideas, enabling those on various Health MSc programmes to satisfy their individual learning needs, whilst contributing to their area of study.

This triple module forms the final bridge between the award of a Postgraduate Diploma and a Health Masters related to a named award. It provides the student with the opportunity to complete a piece of work around a chosen topic in order to demonstrate competence in the planning, execution, analysis and evaluation of a Research Project, a Systematic Review or Project Management. It involves 600 hours of study. The focus is on facilitating the student's independent, critical study in their academic discipline or area of professional practice. It will also serve those who wish to embark on Doctoral studies in the future.

Course structure

We approach learning and teaching on the programme as a cooperative process.  We employ a variety of methods, which include, as well as go beyond, lecturing.  We also place a high value on blended learning (part of the learning experience takes place through digital and online media, which gives you some control over time and place for the learning) problem-based learning (you have the opportunity to learn about a subject through the experience of solving an open-ended problem – this mimics real-life situations where multiple/complex answers are commonplace), and interdisciplinary learning (this includes opportunities to integrate various ‘traditional’ subject areas to find more comprehensive solutions to problems).  Our strategy includes directing you to relevant literature for module session topics for pre-session learning so that we can then use the in-class time for active teaching and group learning methods (blended learning).  This allows us to synthesise the information and apply it to real-world examples (problem-based learning and interdisciplinary learning). 

The course is set up to support continuous learning throughout the programme of study.  This means that we want to support you from the beginning of your time with us at BCU through the programme and eventually to having the tools to continue the life-long learning process after your time at BCU.  We want to make the transition into postgraduate learning as smooth as possible.  You will find that critical appraisal of ideas, practices and literature are at the forefront of study on our programme.  Not only do the weekly in-class and independent learning activities focus on developing these skills, we also work with the university librarians and the Personal Development Department to make sure that you have opportunities to expand your understanding of the differences between learning, teaching and assessment at undergraduate and postgraduate levels and are equipped to embrace study at this level.

Module sessions are set up to have pre-session activities and/or reading, and post-session activities and/or reading. These introduce and summarise the learning that takes place in the classroom. The module tutors direct you to the information and activities that will act as the foundation knowledge for the discussions and activities that take place in the classroom. These are then followed up with exercises and reading to help you make sense of the information, reflecting on how it fits within your previous knowledge and experiences. Directed learning can involve video lectures, reading supported by quizzes, links to external websites, reviewing lecturer’s hand-outs, guided reading for peer reading groups, student/staff online forum discussions, etc. Face-to-face or “scheduled” sessions focus on activities to help you deepen your understanding of the knowledge delivered online.   


Enhancing employability skills

The course will enhance your career prospects, enabling you to progress onto more senior public health roles at either operational, policy or commissioning level. The transferable nature of the course also means you could move into a management or research post.

Past graduates include a number of people now working in prominent roles regionally and nationally such as; National Mental Health Promotion Lead, Regional Commissioning Manager, Consultant in Public Health and Director of Public Health.

Get further information on the wide variety of careers available.

Awards and Credits
  • Postgraduate Certificate Public Health awarded on the successful completion of 60 credits* at level 7. The duration of this award is one academic year

  • Postgraduate Diploma Public Health awarded on the successful completion of 120 credits at level 7. The duration of this award is two academic years for part time students and one academic year for full time students.

  • MPH Public Health awarded after the successful completion of the modules comprising the postgraduate diploma (120 credits at level 7) plus successful completion of the dissertation (60 credits at level 7). The length of this course is three academic years for part time students and one calendar year for full time students.

NB. Regarding Postgraduate Certificate*

The successful completion of an acceptable combination of 60 credits at level 7 allows you to receive an award of Postgraduate Certificate.

An acceptable combination is a total of 60 credits to include successful completion of either:

  • Public Health Foundations: Models, Approaches and Practice
  • Public Health from Health Protection to Community Development


OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.

It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.

International Students

Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.

The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.

Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:

Facilities and Staff

Our Facilities

We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £340 million on new learning facilities.

We boast up-to-date, innovative facilities that simulate the real situations that medical staff may come across.

These resources are essential in offering students a hands-on introduction to health and social care practice. Much of our teaching is carried out within our state-of-the-art, £30m Seacole Building, which houses cutting-edge learning facilities.

Take a virtual tour of our skills suites at Seacole

In a sector where new techniques are constantly being discovered, we work hard to ensure that students learn using the most up-to-date equipment available. These include the only mock operating theatre in an English university and a cutting-edge radiography virtual clinical training facility, virtual ward and virtual case creator.

Virtual Case Creator

For pre-registration midwives, Virtual Case Creator software contains a range of scenarios to let you experience birthing situations and decide on appropriate interventions in a safe environment.

Hospital Ward

Our mock wards enable you to get a feel of what a ward is really like before you head out for your first placement. They contain ‘Sim Men’, which are demonstration dummies that develop ailments, allowing you to treat them as you would a real patient and build your confidence in reacting to the changing needs of patients.

The Hospital Ward can be adapted from a low care to high dependency care environment with the necessary monitoring equipment.

Part of the package is our SIM baby, SIM man and Mega code kid. There are also nursing manikins for fundamental skills teaching and various equipment to support essential skills teaching, such as blood pressure monitoring venepuncture and cannulation equipment.

Skills Practice and Clinical Enhancement facility

The SPACE (Skills Practice And Clinical Enhancement) learning facility lets you further practice the skills taught in class, at your own pace and convenience.

It is fully stocked with the specialist items and equipment needed for procedures such as taking blood pressure, giving an injection, abdominal examination of a pregnant woman and caring for ill babies in an incubator.

Biomedical Laboratories

We have recently installed new laboratory facilities to help you explore understand the scientific principles underpinning many of our courses. The physiology laboratory is equipped to help you learn about the way the human body works by performing investigative experiments. The biomedical science laboratory is undergoing an upgrade over the summer and will allow you to learn about anatomy, cellular processes, immunology and enzymology in a hands-on way that links directly to day-to-day health care.

Simulation Mannequins

We have several Simulation men (SIM men) and Simulation babies (SIM babies) which are leading edge, anatomically correct mannequins used for teaching specific techniques such as advanced adult and paediatric life support skills, acute and high dependency clinical skills, first aid and communication skills.

The SIM men and SIM baby mannequins are complete with software, which is used to replicate real symptoms, and are enhanced by the manipulation of for example blood pressure, pulse and heart rate for extra realism. SIM Man can also “talk” to the students which adds another dimension to their use in teaching clinical skills and in simulation exercises.

Mary Seacole Library

The Seacole library, based at City South Campus, is one of the UK's largest specialist health education libraries. The state-of-the art facility offers an extensive range of range of information and reference materials set out in a relaxing environment, conducive to studying. There are comfortable seating areas, group study areas, a silent study area and private study rooms.

You will have access to all of the University’s libraries.

Computer Facilities

The Seacole building houses a large open access IT Suite which comprises of 96 PCs, full colour printers, photocopiers and scanners. Our PCs utilise the latest Intel i5 core technology, all with:

  • Fast (unrestricted) internet connectivity
  • Ability to save files to USB, DVD & CD
  • Microsoft Office software
  • Research and statistical software
  • Storage space which can be accessed from any PC across the University and from home

Our PCs are also designed to support students who may have difficulties with reading and writing, featuring specialised software with zooming/magnification and screen reading capabilities, which may also be customised for individual student needs.

The IT Suite offers extended opening hours and is supported by a specialist Open Access Assistant during term time. In addition to the open access PCs within the IT Suite, there are 12 networked student PCs available within Seacole library.

Our staff

Dr Olatunde Aremu

Health Economist & Programme Leader, Master of Public Health (MPH)

Dr. Aremu specialises in Health Economics and Management and Population health. Dr. Aremu completed doctoral training at the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm. He has more than 15 years of experience spanning MedTech consulting, Public Health, clinical practice and academia. Dr. Aremu has held a couple of postdoctoral academic research fellowships and lectureship positions. During these periods, he worked across a range of funded research and commissioned reports both as a co-investigator and grant holder. Prior to coming to academia, Dr. Aremu was the European Lead, Evidence Generation - HEOR Medical Device and invitro diagnostics for a globally renowned consulting firm.  

More about Olatunde

Lynda Stobert

Senior Lecturer MSc Public Health

Lynda Stobert is the Programme Director to the MSc Public Health Programme and is also the module lead for the Social Science and Public Health module delivered on the course. She has extensive experience in teaching healthcare and public health students across a range of modules related to the sociology of health and illness, the sociology of the body and health inequalities.

She is an experienced qualitative researcher and has recently contributed to a HTA-funded study in women’s healthcare (qualitative arm of the study concerned with women’s experiences).

She is a part of the team that will also deliver a BSc Public Health from September 2013.

Lynda is a member of the British Sociological association and is also an assessor with the United Kingdom Public Health Register (UKPHR).

More about Lynda

Aldo Mussi

Tutor, Health Promotion / Public Health

Aldo trained in Earth sciences and social sciences, and has been a qualified teacher for over 25 years. He has worked in industry, education and as a VSO in Malawi, before spending 12 years in the NHS in various health promotion/public health teams. His particular interests are in Community Development and Sustainable Development.

For the last 10 years he has applied his experience to teaching BSc and MSc students here at BCU. Aldo is an Assessor for the West Midlands pilot of the UK Public Health Register for practitioners, and continues his involvement in health promotion/public health practice via his voluntary activities.

More about Aldo

Professor Fatemeh Rabiee-Khan

Professor of Public Health Promotion

Prof Fatemeh Rabiee is a professor in Public Health Promotion and a registered Public Health Nutritionist with extensive experience of teaching, research, and research supervision in UK, Iran, Netherlands, Uzbekistan and other countries of economic transition. She has initiated, designed, managed and implemented a number of applied research projects in the broad area of health and social care using a range of quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods. Her main area of speciality is translational research working with a range of stakeholders to implement research findings into policy and practice.

Fatemah regularly contributes as a chair and key note speaker to a number of international conferences in the broad area of public health.

More about Fatemeh

Dr Anne Robbins

Senior Lecturer, Public Health

Anne's background is in public health and health promotion, on research based projects at a local, regional and national level. This has been within the NHS, Local Authorities, BBC and National Charities.

She has undertaken a wide range of research and consultancy appointments on health promotion and public health which have focused on qualitative research and multiagency collaboration. Key areas of interest include communication and community engagement.

More about Anne

Dr Fouad Berrahou

Senior Lecturer (subject lead), Health Leadership and Management

Dr Fouad Berrahou joined the University in 2014 as Subject Lead in Health Leadership and Management and Programme Director for the online MBA in Health.

In 2010, founded a start-up company, Founouvel Informatics, Inc., in Oran, Algeria and directed the development and testing of an intuitive and integrated electronic health records (EHR) system for single and multi-site medical practices.

Dr Berrahou began his career as a Health Planner in 1993 with the Texas Department of Health and was promoted to several different managerial positions within the Department. In 2003, he became a member of the leadership and management team as the Director of Maternal and Child Health Services, including children with special health care needs, for the State of Texas. Dr Berrahou brings to his post practical experience in ensuring that members of the healthcare workforce are equipped with the leadership and management talent to match the increased complexity of the healthcare environment.

More about Fouad