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Short courses & CPD
Nursing & Health

International Public Health University Certificate in Postgraduate Professional Development

This course enables you to examine the key public health principles and factors that contribute to an international public health discipline as well as develop a good understanding of the public health spectrum.


14 weeks


Course overview

These key principles include an in-depth examination of global health, exploring health and health inequalities, taking into account international health systems and economies as well as the key public health principles such as health protection, disease notification, collaborative working and management of major public health incidents.

All learning materials and reading lists are placed on the virtual learning environment (VLE) and all distance and attendance students are encouraged to use this regularly throughout their study.

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Course details

What you study

Indicative content:

  • globalisation and the impact on international public health policy
  • communication in public health
  • principles of global health
  • cultures and society
  • health protection
  • disaster management, preparedness and planning
  • global burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases
  • environmental health
  • health economics and health informatics.

How you learn

This module is taught over a 14-week semester, with weekly sessions for taught materials (lectures) and in-class exercises for attendance and flexible students. Distance learners experience the same level of teaching through the use of online mediums and technologies to promote engagement, learning and student experience. The sessions are half-day sessions.

In week 8 you attend a full day session and take part in a simulated public health event. You play different roles and experience a mock management of a public health incident, which constitutes 40% of your final grade. If you are completing this module through distance learning you have access to an online video comprised of various experts discussing the management of an incident as well as supporting learning materials to aid and guide the writing of your case study based on a public health incident.

Formative opportunity: tutorials are offered at mid-point in the module as an opportunity to provide feedback on assessment preparation.

Attendance learning strategy
Learning and teaching strategies for attendance include mainly seminars, IT practicals, guided independent study, tutorial support and supervision. Within seminars the focus is on student-led debate and discussion to challenge you, develop your ability to think critically and support you in developing the skills to defend your standpoint on issues relevant to your research and practice development, thereby supporting you to become more articulate. You have the opportunity to practice your oral defence skills within seminars.  IT practicals include a range of individual and group activities to support you in developing practical skills in database searching, and using relevant software packages for referencing and data analysis. Individual tutorial support is utilised to support your learning throughout all the modules. All learning materials and reading lists are placed on the VLE and all attendance students are encouraged to use this regularly throughout their study.

Distance learning strategy
The VLE is used as a repository for learning materials and to provide a forum for discussion and debate. Pre-reading, guided independent study and distance-learning materials are made available through the VLE with the use of written learning materials, narrated PowerPoint presentations, interactive, structured learning materials and activities, and a range of discussion forums including the discussion board, wikis and blogs. Maintaining good communication with all students is a key aspect of the learning and teaching strategy and this is particularly important for distance-learners. The VLE is seen as a key method for maintaining good communication through the use of the programme and module VLE sites. It is recognised that this is a new method of learning for some students and the learning and teaching strategy is designed to support the development of these skills incrementally through the programme starting in induction. Early modules support you in accessing learning materials, communicating with staff and other students through the VLE and submitting assignments. Later modules encourage you to become a more independent learner and provide less explicit instructions on using the VLE. All students are be able to access the learning materials and support mechanisms of the VLE for both attendance and distance modes of study regardless of whether you are studying though attendance or distance learning.

The course is designed to ensure as much engagement opportunity and parity for both distance learning students and attendance students utilising a number of web-based technologies and engagement methods. Feedback is sought throughout the course in order to improve the student experience.

Flexible learning strategy
Flexible learning includes a mix of both attendance and distance learning, and the flexible learning strategy therefore includes aspects of the above two learning strategy sections.

How you are assessed

Component 1 (40%)

The first part requires you to write a 1500 word case study based on a mock simulated event (40% of final mark). The case study examines the working partnership between professionals in the management of a public health incident.

Submission is in semester 1, week 10.

Component 2 (60%)

You submit a global health essay of 2500 words. You choose from a selection of topics to critically explore from a global perspective, including: mental health, obesity, maternal health, mortality, tuberculosis, diabetes and other relevant public health issues. The essay critically explores and discusses global health systems in the recording, identification, treatment, management and communication related to the topic. This constitutes 60% of the final mark for this course.


Entry requirements

Entry requirements

A UK Honours degree (2:2 and above) or equivalent in a relevant subject.



Career opportunities

Students who complete this course may progress onto the MPH or the DrPH.



2024/25 entry

Fee for applicants:

  • Length: 14 weeks
  • Start date: September
  • Level: Master's
  • Credits: 20

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Service user and carer involvement

Service users and carers support all aspects of our students' lifecycle from recruitment to graduation.

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