Applied Public Health MSc/PGDip/PGCert | Middlesex University London
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Applied Public Health MSc/PGDip/PGCert

Learn about the course below
October 2019
1 year full-time
2 years part-time
£9,100 (UK/EU) *
£13,900 (INT) *
Course leader
Carmen Aceijas

From tuberculosis to tapeworms, and sexual health to safety in the workplace, public health is a crucial issue in every society in the world. If you're passionate about improving the quality of people's lives, then a career in public health is an opportunity for you to make a real difference to the health and wellbeing of human beings.

Why study MSc/PGDip/PGCert Applied Public Health* at Middlesex University?

Our course qualifies you to work as a public health practitioner, and is designed to give you a solid body of both theoretical and practical knowledge and experience which will help you make a seamless transition into the workplace.

Course leader Dr Carmen Aceijas, is a fellow of the Royal Society of Public Health with substantial experience in academic public health. Her main body of research expertise is in HIV and Addiction but she has also worked in a variety of public health research areas such as mental health, occupational mental health, nursing practices, health and lifestyles and so on. Her methodological specialties include survey based studies and secondary data analysis [systematic literature reviews and meta-analysis]. Her book "Assessing Evidence to improve Population Health and Wellbeing" is a basic tool for those interested in pursuing a public health career.

Our staff have a wide range of specialisms, including mental health, ageing populations, water and sanitation, palliative care, drugs policy and public health regulation. The university has a strong research profile for systematic reviews, particularly into anti-microbial resistance and environmental pollution, and is the ideal place for you to embark on your own ground-breaking research.

If you do not wish to study the full MSc, you can apply to the PGDip where you will not complete the Research Methods and Dissertation module, or a PGCert where you study only the first three modules listed.

*Please note this course is subject to review.

Course highlights

  • The course is designed to meet the national occupational standards for public health and the careers and training requirements set out on the PHORCAST website, and to match the NHS Knowledge and Skills Competency Framework.
  • This is an international programme, drawing students from all over the world
  • Many students will already have relevant experience and this is an opportunity for students of different nationalities to add a unique depth to their public health studies
  • You'll be eligible for membership, and later fellowship, of the Royal Society of Public Health when you graduate
  • If you're not already working in a public health role and would like to do a work placement – something we encourage - our Employability Service can help you find one
  • Begin your studies in either September or January
  • As a student of this course you'll receive a free electronic textbook for every module.

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What will you study on the MSc/PGDip/PGCert Applied Public Health?

This course focuses on epidemiology and statistics, helping you to build strong foundations on public health monitoring and surveillance. You'll learn how people's health can be affected by their cultural, social and economic circumstances, lifestyle, and environment, as well as covering methods of controlling disease and promoting health. You will also explore the economic, legal and ethical aspects of public health, the National Occupational Standards and the national agenda. It will also explore health inequalities and global public health, including the role of governments, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and their response to emergencies.

What will you gain?

As well as in-depth knowledge of your subject, you will also develop the ability to analyse public health data, and design, develop, implement and evaluate public health interventions and policy. You'll gain an understanding about different methods of public health research and be proficient in collecting, interpreting and communicating data on the health and wellbeing of a population, as well as the socio-economic, environmental and demographic data.

  • Modules

    • Applied Epidemiology (15 Credits) - Compulsory

      This module provides a firm foundation in epidemiological reasoning, data collation, trend analysis at local, regional and national levels and identification of current and future risks to individual and national health.

    • Challenges in Global Public Health (30 Credits) - Compulsory

      The module will explore the grand challenges to public health agenda, millennium development goals and context of differential public health status and seek to explore progress towards global public health. It will also seek to explore some of the societal, political, economic, behavioural and environmental barriers to succeeding in attaining equitable public health, well-being and life expectancy and include for power positions of all stakeholders, communities and individuals. The global to local context will be considered. Time will be spent on responses to emergencies including those derived from natural, economic and political events and examine the necessary short term solutions and the longer term impacts including psychological impacts of those that survive, the potential for disputes, roles of NGOs and their management, and returning the displaced to their homes.

    • Pollution and Health Protection (15 Credits) - Compulsory

      To interpret and analyse the range of stressors that act on the physical, social and human worlds, the various mechanisms and points of impact and the implications that arise out of these impacts. To be able to review the potential and actual health implications that may arise from these impacts. To reflect on the role of health demographics and indicators of these such as the surveillance of communicable and non communicable diseases.

    • Health Economics (15 Credits) - Compulsory

      To provide students with techniques and tools to develop economic approaches used in public health and the role of health economics within public health practice. It examines both supply side and demand side health and health care and economic evaluation of health care interventions.

    • Health Promotion and Health Development (15 Credits) - Compulsory

      The module aims to increase the students awareness and critical understanding of role and methods utilised in health promotion and health development across a range of local and national settings. Health promotion and social marketing principles will be explored and applied to practice in policy setting, prevention, and interventions. Different stakeholder perspectives will be used to deepen the understanding of the processes at work.

    • Policy and Public Health Strategy (30 Credits) - Compulsory

      The aim of this module is to take a strategic view of public health and to apply relevant policy and strategy to a range of settings. This module provides the means for students to link academic work with a practice situation in order to conceptualise the meaning of theory in the wider world context. This facilitates the embedding of transferable and graduate skills necessary for future career paths and employment. It will provide knowledge, skills and abilities to practice and develop strategies to implement health gain or improvement. This situated learning module will use a variety of case studies, simulations, structured visits and practice learning to embed the theoretical aspects of environmental and public health into a real life setting. It also seeks to provide the student with an understanding of where their practice fits into strategic agendas and how their practice adds value to public health improvement.

    • Research Methodology and Dissertation (60 Credits) - Compulsory

      To provide students with the organisational and management skills to administer an MSc research project. Management skills are supported by knowledge of experimental design, quantitative and qualitative analytical techniques, presentation skills and interactive computing skills. These skills will be applied in the completion of a practitioner based research including the developing of original and independent investigations aimed at integrating theoretical knowledge and technical expertise to solve a practical problem at a relevant postgraduate level.

You can find more information about this course in the programme specification. Module and programme information is indicative and may be subject to change.

How is the MSc/PGDip/PGCert Applied Public Health taught?

Lectures will set out topics, impart technical knowledge and identify links between theory and practice, while workshops and seminars will broaden your understanding through discussions, data analysis exercises, and case studies of practical public health problems. You will also go on visits, use simulations and online learning resources, and supplement all this with your own independent study. You will attend tutorials and IT sessions as part of the Research Methods module to learn how to use both SPSS and NVivo - software to analyse and manage quantitative and qualitative data, respectively.


You will be assessed through written and oral exams, your research project and dissertation, as well as essays and other written assignments, case study work, posters and presentations. For your research project, you'll design, conduct, evaluate and present the results of your own independent investigation into a topical issue in public health. You can expect to spend between 500 to 600 hours on your project, and present your results through a 8,000 to 10,000 word thesis and a 20-minute presentation. Some assessed work might be done in groups or pairs. You will receive regular feedback on all work.

  1. UK & EU
  2. International
  3. How to apply
  1. UK & EU
  2. International
  3. Additional costs

How can the MSc/PGDip/PGCert Applied Public Health support your career?

The combination of scientific knowledge, practical skills and analytical and policy-making ability our course will give you will equip you with the foundations for a high-level advisory or management role in public health. A wide range of opportunities will be open to you in the public, private or voluntary sectors, with organisations including the World Health Organisation, the World Bank, health ministries, the NHS, non-governmental organisations and aid agencies, Public Health England and local authorities, as well as in research and education.

As well as in-depth knowledge of your subject, our course will provide you with many transferable skills. It will improve your research, data collection and interpretation, communication, presentation and teamwork skills, as well as your confidence and your ability to work under your own initiative and manage your own time.

Other courses

Environmental Health MSc

Start: October 2019, EU/INT induction: September 2019

Duration: 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time

Code: PGB919

Occupational Health and Safety and Environmental Management MSc/PGDip

Start: October 2019, September 2019 (EU/INT induction)

Duration: 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time

Code: PGB92A

Sustainability and Environmental Management MSc

Start: October 2019, EU/INT induction: September 2019

Duration: 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time

Code: PGD110

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