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Postgraduate study

Course overview

A master’s degree in public health helps you develop the advanced critical thinking, administrative and problem solving skills you need to prepare you to lead public health teams, initiatives and research in the UK and internationally. You apply contemporary public health theory to practice, developing a critical understanding of complex global public health issues, and translate theoretical scientific knowledge in public health into tangible sustainable interventions for improved health.

Our master’s degrees are developed in line with the Public Health Skills and Knowledge Framework (2018), the Faculty of Public Health core competencies (2014) and the United Nations sustainable development goals (2016).

The course is offered as a one-year full-time intensive course (Master of Public Health), or as a two-year full-time course which includes applied practice.

The one-year course is a great option if you want to gain a traditional Master’s qualification, graduate and start on your career path within 12 months, or if you want a stepping stone to gain entry onto the Doctor of Public Health.The two-year master’s degree with applied practice offers you the chance to enhance your qualification by spending one semester completing a vocational internship, research internship or an opportunity to study abroad.

Supporting information for applicants

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Course details

Course structure

Year 1 core modules

Data Analysis Methods

This module provides you with an understanding of both quantitative and qualitative methods of data analysis employed in public health research. The content covers both theoretical and practical aspects of data analysis, ranging from basic exploratory analysis to more complex multi-variable analysis.

Developing Research Projects

You gain the knowledge and skills you need to design and manage a primary or secondary research audit or evaluation project that’s relevant to your practice. You also cover research governance and ethics, and prepare for applying for ethical approval or release. And we prepare you for your dissertation if you choose to progress to the master’s course.


You explore the role of epidemiology in the understanding of health and disease, policy development and service provision. The module includes an introduction to the basic principles of epidemiology and the most commonly used research methods. Emphasis is placed on the strengths and weaknesses of various study designs with regard to confounding, bias and validity. You review measures of disease occurrence, and sources of routinely collected data. Key concepts in epidemiological methodology are explored, and you develop skills in the evaluation of epidemiological research.

International Public Health

You examine the key public health principles and factors that contribute to an international public health discipline and develop a good understanding of the public health spectrum. These key principles include an in-depth examination of global health, exploring health and health inequalities globally, 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 nationally and globally. Specific areas covered include:
• globalisation and the impact on international public health policy
• communication in public health
• principles of global health
• cultures and society
• health protection
• overview of molecular biology of disease
• environmental health
• health economics.

Leadership and Management in Public Health

You are provided with a detailed understanding of the role of public health leadership and management in improving population and community health. You critically explore key strategic drivers, collaborative working for health and wellbeing outcomes; as well as critical professional reflection and ethical conduct in leadership. You are supported in cultivating leadership and management skills and knowledge. This module is ideal for those who are existing, emerging leaders or aspire to be future leaders in public health, as well as those working in a health and social care context or those wanting to gain knowledge and understanding of the role of leadership and the strategic challenges related to public health practice. Specific areas covered include:
• types of leadership: styles and theory
• resource allocation in health care
• using health data to inform strategic direction
• use of an ethical framework in decision making/priority setting
• evaluating public health interventions
• organisational culture
• public health law
• how to use reflection for continued professional development
• report writing.

Public Health in Context

This module is designed to enable you to develop a comprehensive understanding of the context of public health. It is aimed at students who have a role or partial role in public health, or are wishing to move into the field.


Year 2 core modules


Here you consolidate and develop further skills and knowledge from previous modules. More specifically you synthesise learning as you apply your research-related knowledge to identify a researchable problem, plan and execute a study. You use a range of different methodologies for your study, such as quantitative, qualitative or systematic review.

Public Health Internship

You have the opportunity to undertake a vocational internship with an external host organisation, research internship within the University or a study abroad opportunity. You are encouraged to identify your preferred internship option at the start of semester 2 in Year 1 – you are able to choose from the options provided or identify a host organisation yourself. You must apply for your preferred internship option and you are not guaranteed a place at the internship you select. The internship administrator supports you in securing a suitable internship.


Modules offered may vary.


How you learn

You are supported by using our virtual learning environment, Blackboard, and other readily available software.

You participate in lectures, seminars, group activities and computer-based workshops such as blogs and webinars. Skills development is supported through computer-based simulations. Individual tutorial support is available to all students throughout the course.

How you are assessed

You are assessed through a range of methods to provide a variety of learning experiences and to challenge and extend your knowledge. These include written reports and essays, defended poster, case study, reflective essay, research proposals and a dissertation. You are given written feedback on all assignments to outline your progress and encourage further development.


Entry requirements

An honours degree (2.2 and above) or equivalent in a subject related to social sciences, health and health sciences, life sciences, or public health.

Applicants whose first language is not English will need to satisfy the English language requirements which are a minimum overall score of 6.5 IELTS and minimum 5.5 in each band, or equivalent as set out in the Teesside English Language Policy.

For general information please see our overview of entry requirements

International applicants can find out what qualifications they need by visiting Your Country



Career opportunities

After completing the course, potential career opportunities may include:

  • a variety of roles in a contemporary public health workforce
  • public health research
  • a professional development role.

Work placement

Host organisations for internships are predominantly within the North East of England. However, you may identify your own host organisations anywhere within the UK. Travel, subsistence and any accommodation costs are at your own expense.


Information for international applicants


International applicants - find out what qualifications you need by selecting your country below.

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Useful information

Visit our international pages for useful information for non-UK students and applicants.

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2021/22 entry

Fee for UK applicants
£3,935 a year

More details about our fees

Fee for international applicants
£7,500 a year

More details about our fees for international applicants

  • Length: 2 years
  • Attendance: Attendance or distance learning
  • Start date: September
  • Semester dates

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Telephone: +44 (0) 1642 738900

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