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Public Health BSc

Learn how public health supports, improves and protects in private and public sectors with our course.
October 2023
3 years full-time
6 years part-time
£9,250 (UK) *
£15,100 (EU / INT) *
Course leader
Dr Patrick Tobi

Build the knowledge required to understand public health

A degree in public health is one that focuses on understanding and supporting people in building a healthy lifestyle, as well as improving and protecting health in the public and private sectors. This degree focuses on how to tackle major health problems at a global, national and local level, as well as understanding how to reduce health inequalities through coordinated actions. The critical importance of the award and the skills you develop on the programme are underpinned by the ongoing Covid 19 pandemic and its differential impact, regionally and within communities.

This is the ideal course for you if you have an interest in public health and science. The kind of person attracted to this course will want to work in the public sector such as hospitals, local authorities and international organisations, or private sector NGOs and insurance companies. Past graduates have gone on to varied roles such as Public Health Practitioner, Health Improvement Practitioner, Epidemiologist, Data Analyst, Public Health Scientist or Health Campaign Manager.

Learn to apply your public health skills

During your public health course, you’ll work with tutors and lecturers who are on the cutting edge of public health practice. All of our academic staff are experts in a broad range of fields such as environmental health, public health epidemiology, demography and the economics of health.

We invite industry experts and specialists from a range of bodies and organisations in support of your teaching, and our close links with Local Authorities ensure your professional skills and knowledge are in line with best practice.

During your BSc in Public Health, you’ll be encouraged to take on a work placement so you can gain professional and practical skills in the workplace. You’ll embed with a local authority or NGO and work on an aspect of public health you're interested in, working on a research project at the same time. Such placements are under the control of our employer partners who may restrict access to placement experience in light of the ongoing Covid 19 outbreak.

Learn in a supportive environment

Our personalised approach gives you the support you need to succeed as a student. While you're an undergraduate or foundation year student, you’ll have a Personal Tutor directly related to your course. If you need support with academic writing, numeracy and library skills, we’ll be sure to provide it. Our Student Learning and Graduate Academic Assistants have studied your subject and can support you based on their own experience.

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What will you study on BSc Public Health?

This course will give you a multi-disciplinary understanding of public health practice to support you in multiple disciplines. You will develop your skills and expertise to identify the health priorities of a community and you will have the ability to design, implement and evaluate appropriate interventions to tackle health inequalities. You will also develop your integrated leadership skills in professional practice.

The course will provide you with strong quantitative skills on which to base professional competence using appropriate research methods to support professional practice. Upon graduation, you will be able to evaluate and appraise new information, review evidence and critically analyse conflicting theories and assimilate best professional practice. You will also be prepared for work at postgraduate level and/or for employment in relevant fields.

What will you gain?

As well as a thorough understanding of the subject, you will also gain the ability to effectively communicate through a range of different methods, work effectively in teams, and use information technology to support your work. You will have the skills to retrieve, collate, analyse, critically evaluate and present information drawing on a range of sources and methods. You will have the knowledge to design health interventions and campaigns using a variety of tools, and make recommendations and identify better strategies for communication aimed to improve the health of the population as well as be able to correctly interpret, design, and apply guidelines and protocols.


We’ve made temporary changes to some course modules for students starting in 2020 in response to the coronavirus outbreak. If you’re applying to start this course or progressing into year one, two or three this autumn, there’s info on these updates below.

  • Year 1 modules

    • Public Health Science and Skills (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to give you the ability to understand basic mathematical, statistical, economic, and computational concepts as well as the ability to communicate scientific knowledge to both technical and non-technical audience. This module also aims to provide a number of key skills to support your future role as public health practitioners.

    • Physiology and Anatomy (15 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to provide you with knowledge of human anatomy and its hierarchical organisation from cell to organ system. An understanding of how the main body systems and mechanisms involved maintaining a "state of health" will be developed along with an introduction to how these systems can malfunction.

    • Public Health, Health Promotion and Health Protection (30 credits) - Compulsory

      The module aims to provide you with a clear understanding of the role of public health and increase your awareness of the multiple strategies implemented to improve the health of the population in a variety of settings such as community and national. Health promotion and health protection principles will be explored and applied to practice.

    • Principles of Health Stressors (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to develop an understanding of the concepts of health and ill-health and factors which influence and contribute to an individual’s “state of health”. You will examine how physical, chemical, biological, social and psycho-stressors impact on human health and the environment.

    • Introduction to Health Economics (15 credits) - Compulsory

      The module aims to provide you with the necessary knowledge of economic techniques and tools in the context of the health care system and to assess the efficacy, value, production and consumption of different public health interventions. The module provides evidence of the role of health and health care for a country successful economy.

  • Year 2 modules

    • Approaches to Experimental Research (30 credits) - Compulsory

      The module aims to provide you with the skills necessary to plan, implement, analyse and report project-based work with focus on preparation for the final year project module. The module also develops core research skills fundamental to a scientific research design, irrespective of discipline. Specific research skills include analytical techniques appropriate to individual programme requirements.

    • Surveillance and Assessment Methods (15 credits) - Compulsory

      Public health surveillance is the continuous, systematic collection, analysis and interpretation of health-related data needed for the planning, implementation, and evaluation of public health practice and this module aims to introduce the concept and main characteristics of public health surveillance activities, programs and tools.

    • Leadership in Public Health (15 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to develop an understanding of leadership in public health organisations both within and across organisations. You will learn about the principles of health and social care, public health governance and their organisational management. Effective leadership styles will be explored with reference to case studies and the theoretical perspective. Skills for implementing policies in public health organisations will be developed and principles for leading more effective change will be explored.

    • Health Policies and Interventions (30 credits) - Compulsory

      The aim of this module is to take a strategic view of public health and to apply relevant policies and strategies to tackle different aspect of population health. You will be provided with the necessary tools and abilities to work towards the improvement of the health of the population. This module supports your future role in the public health sector linking theories to practice and providing transferable knowledge necessary to your career paths and future employment.

    • Health and Society (15 credits) - Compulsory

      This module introduces the relationships between health and society and the factors that affect individual, community and population health. You will learn about health determinants and health inequalities, the socio-economic causes of health and illness arising from poverty and deprivation across the life-course and policies seeking to address these issues.

    • Housing in Public Health (15 credits) - Compulsory

      This module explores the relationship between housing, health and safety and ways in which housing, health and social care organisations can work more effectively together to deliver better health outcomes. You will learn about housing in history and the range of organisations and stakeholders now involved in delivering the housing and public health agenda.

  • Year 3 modules

    • Epidemiology (30 credits) - Compulsory

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

    • Communication, Society, Ethics and Law in Public Health (15 credits) - Compulsory

      This module is aimed at providing a deep understanding of the role of the media in public health and how cultural aspect of public health in today’s society. Through the analysis of different media, you will analyse the multiple way of stimulating the public discussion around public health and improve the health knowledge of the population. Basic understanding of the role of law and legislation in public health and ethics in health research will be provided to support your future role as health practitioners.

    • Introduction to Global Health (15 credits) - Compulsory

      This module focuses on the drivers of the global burden of diseases and issues of inequity surrounding these. The epidemiological, medical, political, social and economic challenges associated with improving Global Health are investigated. This module aims to explore the past, current, and future challenges in the global public health agenda. 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.

    • Professional Practice Learning (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module seeks to provide an opportunity to develop professional and practical skills within a workplace situation and to enable academic study to be placed in a workplace context. The module will enable you to evaluate and reflect your current skills and identify areas for your own personal and professional development both for your degree and within the future workplace.

    • Dissertation (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to synthesise learning from the course and provide an opportunity for you to study independently and investigate a topic in depth. It fosters academic curiosity, an inquiry based approach, and the employment and application of research skills thus facilitating the development of a higher level of theorising. You will select a topic of personal interest you wish to study further and manage your own learning during this module, with the support of an allocated supervisor for this period of independent study.

More information about this course

See the course specification for more information:

Optional modules are usually available at levels 5 and 6, although optional modules are not offered on every course. Where optional modules are available, you will be asked to make your choice during the previous academic year. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module,  or there are staffing changes which affect the teaching, it may not be offered. If an optional module will not run, we will advise you after the module selection period when numbers are confirmed, or at the earliest time that the programme team make the decision not to run the module, and help you choose an alternative module.

  1. Overview
  2. Teaching and learning
  3. Assessment and feedback
  1. Standard entry requirements
  2. International (inc. EU)
  3. How to apply
  1. UK
  2. EU / International
  3. Additional costs

How can the BSc Public Health support your career?

Upo graduation, you will be ideally placed to begin a career in a wide variety of public and private sectors such as the NHS, local and national government agencies, health insurance companies, NGOs and international organisations.

The skills and knowledge you will have developed will leave you well equipped for varied roles such as Public Health Practitioner, Health Improvement Practitioner, Epidemiologist, Data Analyst, Public Health Scientist or Health Campaign Manager.

You could also pursue further study.

Dr Mariachiara Di Cesare

Much of Dr Di Cesare's work has focused on inequalities in non-communicable diseases, risk factors contribution to overall and chronic diseases mortality, and the role of early nutrition on child development. She has experience working in the academia as well as international organisations, United Nations, and the National Office of Statistics. She is part of the NCD- Risk factors collaboration, a network of over 1,000 health scientists who collaboratively works with the World Health Organisation to inform countries on the levels and trends of the health of the population. Her research is currently supported by the Academy of Medical Sciences.

Dr Carmen Aceijas

Dr Aceijas has worked in research and academia in Public Health since 1998 for institutions such the University of East London, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Imperial College and Andalusian School of Public Health. She has been working in Public Health research on drug dependences, HIV, and healthy behaviours among university students.

Dr Jill Stewart

Dr Stewart's environmental health and housing career started in local government for around 10 years before taking her first lecturing post in a London university in 1999. Her work has been widely recognised and features across a range of publications, including books, chapters and papers as well as conference presentations. She is a founding member of the Environmental Health Research Network and there is more information on her Amazon Author page.

We’ll carefully manage any future changes to courses, or the support and other services available to you, if these are necessary because of things like changes to government health and safety advice, or any changes to the law.

Any decisions will be taken in line with both external advice and the University’s Regulations which include information on this.

Our priority will always be to maintain academic standards and quality so that your learning outcomes are not affected by any adjustments that we may have to make.

At all times we’ll aim to keep you well informed of how we may need to respond to changing circumstances, and about support that we’ll provide to you.

Other courses

Environmental Health BSc Honours

Start: September 2023

Duration: 3 years full-time, 5 - 6 years part-time

Code: B910

Biomedical Science BSc/DipHE

Start: September 2023, September 2023: EU/INT induction

Duration: 3 years full-time

Code: BSc: C700, DipHE: B904

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