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This course has been designed to provide you with an integrated, coherent and multidisciplinary approach to public health activity. Our MSc Public Health places particular emphasis on advancing your critical awareness and problem solving skills in order to develop innovative, reflective and pro-active approaches to meeting challenging and complex health needs. Examples of our pro-active approach to teaching and learning include; the analysis of contemporary non-communicable health issues such as obesity, diabetes and mental health, as well as those linked with public protection such as infectious disease surveillance and control.
Our MSc Public Health will be delivered by a range of teaching methods such as core lectures, group work, online activities, use of case studies and directed learning approaches. Shared learning with other professionals will be a focus of this course and you will be encouraged to develop a critical, evaluative approach to the knowledge which underpins present-day public health practice.
“I came to the MSc Public Health with modules to carry across which the university managed without a problem. I was given support to return to studying the course by Kirsty Mason, as I took a break from study for two years. The MSc Public Health course was very supportive with all lecturers giving excellent feedback and advice so that you could improve. Learning was flexible with a mix of teaching methods and assessment which made for interesting learning. It was a real place of opportunity where the hard work and support from lecturers could lead to great things. The MSc Public Health has given me a love of research and study which enabled me to return to the job market.”
Jane Petch 2016 Graduate
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This postgraduate award prepares you for a career in Public Health at both strategic and operational levels. The full MSc consists of six compulsory modules, which include:
- Leading Public Health
- Health Promotion
- Comparative Health Care Systems
- Research Methods
- Professional Project
You will need to study all of the compulsory modules on this course as well as choosing from one designated module from the following subject areas:
- Substance Use and Misuse
- Voluntary Sector Placement
- Therapeutic Communication Interventions and Leadership
- Leading People in Health and Social Care Organisations.
These designated modules have been identified as offering a range of public health topics which you can choose dependent on your experience. All modules (except the Professional Project) incorporate 200 hours of learning, which includes taught sessions as well as self-directed independent study and assignment preparation. Furthermore, (included in the 200 hours) are six study days, in which you are expected to either attend lectures or work online on electronic activities via the online learning environment, NILE.
The teaching team have created a flexible and challenging Public Health programme, which incorporates face to face teaching, workshops and tutorials, as well as three of the core modules having an extensive self-directed online component. Opportunities exist to undertake a volunteering post within a Public Health environment and to gain experience of working within a Non-Governmental Organisation whilst ‘giving back’ to the vulnerable in society. This reflects the University’s Changemaker ethos which strives to identify and respond to societal issues in a proactive, sustainable and ethical manner.
Embedded within the course are sessions from the Changemaker Hub, who offer support and advice in cohort groups and on a one-to-one basis for CV writing, interview techniques and help with locating a volunteer placement. These skills are invaluable when it comes to applying for employment or PhD study.
Programme and Module Leader: Mrs Kirsty Mason
Kirsty Mason has been a Programme Leader of Masters Level Courses in the Faculty of Health and Society for numerous years and has 14 years’ experience of working as a Senior Lecturer in Public Health. Prior to working in academia, Kirsty worked as a Specialist Public Health Practitioner within Primary Care and has extensive experience of working with individuals, families and communities to improve their health and wellbeing. Kirsty is interested in teaching Public Health and Health Promotion as well as supervising Public Health Masters Dissertations. Her MSc in Public Health and Primary Health Care was gained from the University of Warwick and Kirsty has a keen interest in undertaking research using a phenomenological approach, her recent research activity includes researching non-medical prescribing in public health and how Children’s Centres enhance health outcomes for families.
Module Leader: Dr Melinda Spencer
Dr Melinda Spencer has been lecturing at the University of Northampton since 2013. She has taught on psychology undergraduate modules and presently leads on several undergraduate and Master’s modules in Health Studies including Health and Society, Contemporary Issues in Healthcare and Integrated Perspectives on Disease and Epidemiology. Prior to lecturing, Melinda worked on a number of research projects with the Institute of Health and Wellbeing, University of Northampton. Melinda’s main research interests are health and wellbeing, family life, transitions and development over the life course.
Subject Specialist and Marker: Mrs Helen Kimble
Helen Kimble joined the University of Northampton in 2012 as a member of the Primary Health Senior Lecturer team and is Programme Leader for Specialist Community Public Health Practice in the Faculty of Health and Society. Prior to working in academia, Helen worked as a Specialist Community Public Health Practitioner within Primary Care for over ten years and gained extensive experience of working with individual children and young people, families and communities during that time. Helen has interests in teaching Public Health and supervising Public Health Masters Dissertations. As well as her Postgraduate Diploma in SCPHN, Helen holds a Master’s in Education and values promoting learning as a lifelong skill within public health practice.
Course modules (18/19)
Leading Public Health Practice (20 Credits)
- Module code: NURM009
- Core module Y
This module aims to develop your knowledge and skills to initiate change, and respond to a continuously evolving public health agenda that takes account of global influences on the nation's health.
Principles and Perspectives of Health Promotion (20 Credits)
- Module code: NURM018
- Core module Y
This module aims to explore the concept of health promotion, and develop appropriate knowledge, attitudes and skills to plan, implement and evaluate health promotion interventions that address contemporary health needs of both individuals and the wider community.
Epidemiology (20 Credits)
- Module code: SLSM001
- Core module Y
This module aims to enable you to develop critical awareness of the variety of sources and methods for acquiring appropriate information for research purposes, and advance their capabilities of communication of epidemiological studies and procedures of investigation in appropriate contexts.
Research Methods – Philosophy and Study Design (20 Credits)
- Module code: SLSM004
- Core module Y
This module aims to develop skills, knowledge and understanding of health and social care related research, and facilitates selection and proper utilisation of analytical and interpretive methods in order to develop a research design for a project.
Comparative Health Systems (20 Credits)
- Module code: SLSM005
- Core module Y
This module aims to develop your critical awareness of the principal factors that constitute and frame health care systems and influence the health status of populations.
Professional Project (60 Credits)
- Module code: OTHM010
- Core module Y
This module aims to provide you with an opportunity to design and undertake an investigation of a topic of specific interest within your specialist area and support you to produce a project based upon that investigation.
Substance Use and Misuse (20 Credits)
- Module code: NURM002
- Core module N
This module aims to provide a forum to recognise and analyse the impact of substance use and misuse on the health of individuals, families and society, and identify and critically evaluate the clinical, political and societal responses to promote health.
Therapeutic Communication Intervention (20 Credits)
- Module code: NURM008
- Core module N
This module aims to develop psychological skills which promote individual, family and community wellbeing.
Voluntary Sector Placement (20 Credits)
- Module code: NURM029P
- Core module N
The purpose of this placement is to provide post-graduate students with an opportunity to gain experience of working with bona-fide voluntary organizations at local, national or international level. This will facilitate networking opportunities and exposure to a range of experiences which support acquisition of practical skills for promoting public health.
Leading People in Health and Social Care Organisations (20 Credits)
- Module code: PODM007
- Core module N
Every health and social care organisation is made up of individuals whose behaviour, individually or collectively will impact on its ability to succeed and develop. This module considers a range of theories, tools and techniques with consideration of contemporary political and social influences, to help students understand and lead people working within health and social care organisations.
Module information is quoted for 18/19 entry. Please note that modules run subject to student numbers and staff availability, any changes will be communicated to applicants accordingly.
Methods of Learning
This course is offered through a full-time or part-time route. The part-time programme is delivered through flexible modules that enable you to access your modules at a pace that suits your individual needs. The full-time programme is more structured in order to enable you to complete the course within a one year time frame.
There are a range of teaching and learning methods used within this course including core lectures, action learning and group work, online activity, tutorials and workshops. It is anticipated that you will have some background within public health environments and will therefore bring some knowledge and skills to this learning experience. You will be encouraged to debate, discuss and reflect on contemporary public health issues in order to enhance your learning on the course.
This course uses a range of assessment strategies which enable you to demonstrate your knowledge, synthesis and analysis in a variety of forms. Assessment strategies include:
- Viva Voces
- PowerPoint presentations
- Poster Presentations
The aim of the assignment programme is to test your knowledge and skills but also to develop your skills, for instance, your ability to present, or to defend your work. You can expect between one and three items of assessment per module and these are spread evenly throughout the three trimesters which make up the academic year.
Facilities and Special Features
You will have the opportunity to undertake a designated Voluntary Placement module and engage in a minimum of 50 hours of volunteering in a placement relevant to Public Health. This course will also:
- develop and enhance your current knowledge and skills regarding public health practice
- extend and apply both your knowledge and practical skills to current circumstances
- identify your learning needs and develop your independent learning skills to meet these needs
- encourage inter-professional learning
Although many of the books that you will need for your course will be available at no cost from the library, should you wish to purchase your own texts then the following would be suggested:
|Book Title||Author(s)||Retail Price|
|Health Promotion: Planning and Strategies (2015) 3rd edition||Jackie Green, Keith Tones, Ruth Cross and James Woodall||£28.00 (approximately)|
|Practical Health Promotion (2013) 2nd edition||John Hubley, June Copeman and James Woodall||£18.00 (approximately)|
|Essential Public Health: Theory and Practice (2012) 2nd edition||Stephen Gillam, Jan Yates, Padmanabhan Badrinath||£63.00 (approximately)|
Public Health is a growing field of study, therefore there is an abundance of job opportunities to suit a variety of interests and skills. A Master’s degree will help your career advancement within a variety of organisations and professions such as health and social care, local authority, and voluntary organisations.
Our Public Health students develop excellent communication and analytical skills and have entered a diverse range of jobs, such as working as Vaccine Logistic Experts for UNICEF, Medical Consultants with the WHO, Governmental Public Health Researchers and Infection Control Practitioners. Students have also entered further study and are undertaking PhDs.
Students have the opportunity to undertake a designated Voluntary Placement module and engage in a minimum of 50 hours of volunteering in a placement relevant to Public Health.
How to apply
For application information please see our how to apply page.
If English is not your first language you will need to demonstrate that you meet the minimum English language requirement of IELTS 6.5 (or equivalent). For information regarding English language requirements at the University, please see our IELTS page.
If you do not have a first or second class honours degree but can demonstrate its equivalence in terms of experience relevant to the course, you may be able to access the course as an associate student. For more information regarding this please contact the course leader, Kirsty Mason.
Fees and funding
Fees quoted relate to study in the Academic Year 18/19 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.
|Part Time:||£735 per 20 credit module for home and EU students|
It is important to note that there may be additional costs associated with the course in relation to purchasing relevant Public Health and Research books, travelling to and from voluntary placements and travelling to any off-site modules.
If you are starting a postgraduate Master’s course in 2017/18 either full-time or part-time* you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan of up to £10,280 through Student Finance England.
*Please note that the maximum period of study allowed for part-time courses is two years.
This course is available to international students.
Full-time international tuition fees
For information on our international tuition fees, please see our Tuition fees for international students page.
Please note that tuition fees for EU students will remain the same as UK fees for 2018/19. For more information, please visit the Gov UK website.
How to apply as an international student
For information on how to apply to study with us, please see our How to apply page.
Scholarships available to international students
For information on the scholarships available to you as an international student, please see our International scholarships page.