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MPH Public Health (Online)

Earn a Masters in Public Health from Scotland’s top-rated University for Health Sciences research.

Public Health (Online)

Key facts

  • Award Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate, MPH
  • Start date September (recommended), January or May
  • Duration MPH part-time: 36 months
  • Mode of study Online, Part-time

Whether you’re already involved in public health research, policy and practice, or are planning a career in those areas, this Masters course is designed to support your future career ambitions, either in the UK or abroad.

Shaped by some of the leading thinkers in health research, the course will equip you with unique insights into modern public health theory and methods and teach you how to apply them to your work. You’ll interact with experts in the field as you develop a critical understanding of public health approaches and learn how to make a positive impact on the wellbeing of individuals and communities.

You can study the course entirely online, making it an ideal option if you want to gain a Masters qualification while working. The module choices are also extremely flexible, allowing you to create a tailored programme that suits your own learning needs, interests and goals in public health.

  • Top reasons to study with us
  • Course objectives

    This course is for anyone who wants to explore the current and emerging issues in public health while reflecting on their own practice, experiences and interests. Through your studies, you’ll learn how to:

    • explore and understand public health theory and techniques appropriate to your own area of interest
    • gain first-hand insight into approaches used by researchers, practitioners and policymakers
    • develop practical and transferable skills, including report writing, team working, literature searching, research methods, and critical appraisal
    A distinctive Masters course

    This course has a multidisciplinary focus, teaching and delivering both practical and theoretical skills in collaboration with public and third sector partners.

    It focuses on how societies, groups and individuals can improve public health and tackle health inequalities, considering both top-down and bottom-up approaches (e.g. government policies versus grassroots movements). There is a focus on helping you develop skills that will be relevant to current and future careers in public health, through individual study and collaborations with other students and staff.

    By the time you graduate, you’ll be equipped with expert knowledge and different perspectives from across research, policy and practice, focusing on contemporary public health issues that are relevant locally, nationally and internationally.

  • Flexible learning

    If you’re interested in studying a module from this course, the Postgraduate Certificate or the Postgraduate Diploma then please email Graduate Admissions to discuss your course of study.

  • Research

    Our Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport was ranked 1st in Scotland and top 15 in the UK for Health Sciences in the most recent Research Excellence Framework (2014) – highlighting our commitment to producing world-leading research that improves healthcare and reduces health inequalities on a global and local scale. Teaching and supervision on the Masters course is delivered by staff from the Population and Public Health Research Group and the world renowned Institute for Social Marketing and Health Research.

    This means you’ll be supported in your studies by a group of influential academics with strong and established research records, public health experience and a wealth of world-class publications.

  • Academic requirements

    A minimum of a second class Honours degree (2:1 preferred) or equivalent. Applicants without these formal qualifications but with significant appropriate/relevant work/life experience are encouraged to apply.

  • English language requirements

    If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:

    • IELTS: 6.5 with 6.0 minimum in each skill
    • Cambridge C1 Advanced (CAE) 176 with minimum of 169 in each skill
    • Cambridge C2 Proficiency (CPE) 180 with minimum 169 in each skill
    • Pearson Test of English (Academic): 60 with 56 in each component
    • IBT TOEFL: 90 with no subtest less than 20

    For more information on ways that you can meet our English language requirements, including options to waive the requirement, please read our information on English language requirements.

Expand your knowledge and skills in public health and enhance your career prospects with this unique online course.

You’ll be required to complete four core modules, two optional modules and a research project to earn your MPH in Public Health. You can also graduate with a Postgraduate Diploma by completing four core modules and two optional modules, or a Postgraduate Certificate by completing three core modules.

Students are expected to complete no more than one module per semester.



The module details given below are subject to change as the University regularly revises and refreshes the curriculum of our taught programmes. The modules outlined below represent those offered in 2019/20 on this course of study.

Course Details

  • Teaching

    You’ll be assisted in achieving the aims of the course through a range of methods, including:

    • a mixture of lectures (live webinars and recorded podcasts)
    • group work
    • online discussions
    • independent (guided and self-guided) study
    • reflection on learning and independent research

    You're expected to complete no more than one module per semester.

  • Assessment

    You’ll be assessed using a variety of methods, including essays, short-answer exams, project plans, objective test questions, posters, presentations, policy briefs and academic journal manuscripts.

    For example, we have also developed a unique research project module where instead of a traditional 12,000 word dissertation following your research project, our students write a draft journal article manuscript (with a real submission possible and encouraged), a policy brief and a presentation.

  • Classroom hours

    Some modules have scheduled lectures/discussions which typically take place in the evening (UK time). The exact day and time will vary depending on the module, but these sessions are recorded and can be viewed at a later date.

  • Course director
  • Key staff

    Teaching on the course will be provided by colleagues across the Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport, particularly from the Population and Public Health Research Group (led by Professor Sally Haw) and the Institute for Social Marketing and Public Health Research.

    Ask an expert

    Jayne Donaldson

    Professor Jayne Donaldson explains why Stirling is the ideal place to study health sciences and sport.

    Ask an expert in health sciences and sport

  • Fees and costs
    Home/EU £8,500 £8,500
    Overseas £8,500 £8,500

    The fee is for all three years of the course; it is not an annual fee. Tuition fees are on a pro-rata basis over the three year duration of the course.

    Please note: You will be liable to pay tuition fees for every year you’re in attendance, and your fees will be held level upon entry. If you need to extend your period of study, you may be liable for an additional fee.

    Home/EU Students

    If you’re domiciled in Scotland, you may be eligible to apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) for a loan of up to £10,000 to cover your tuition fees and associated living costs. Students domiciled in the EU can also apply for tuition fee support, although may not be eligible to receive funding to support living costs.

    If you're domiciled in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, you should be eligible to apply for a loan from your regional body.

    English students apply for a loan of up to £10,000 per year as part of the UK Postgraduate Loan SchemeWelsh students can apply for a non-means tested loan of up to £10,280 from the Welsh Government and Northern Irish students are eligible to apply for support of up to £5,500.

  • Scholarships and funding

    If you have the talent, ability and drive to study with us, we want to make sure you make the most of the opportunity – regardless of your financial circumstances.

    Learn more about available funding opportunities or use our scholarship finder to explore our range of scholarships.

  • Additional costs

    There are some instances where additional fees may apply. Depending on your chosen course, you may need to pay additional costs, for example for field trips. Learn more about additional fees.

  • Payment options

    We aim to be as flexible as possible, and offer a wide range of payment methods - including the option to pay fees by instalments. Learn more about how to pay

You’ll graduate with the relevant theoretical and practical skills needed for a career as a public health researcher, policymaker or practitioner across the public, private, voluntary, community and not-for-profit sectors.

  • Increase your value to employers by expanding your public health knowledge and research skills
  • Continue your career as you study through our distance learning approach
  • Expand your knowledge – and opportunities – in multiple aspects of public health
  • 1st in Scotland and top 15 in the UK for Health Sciences (REF2014)
  • 96% of our postgraduate leavers are in employment or further study within six months of graduating (Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey, 2016/17)
  • Top 15 in the UK for nursing (QS World University Rankings 2018)

Public heath practitioner roles differ greatly in the work they focus on and in their specific job titles. Some examples of the types of roles you’ll be qualified for include:

  • Health Policy Advisor
  • Public Health Advisor
  • Substance Misuse Worker
  • Heath Improvement Practitioner
  • Public Health Nutritionist
  • Teenage Pregnancy Co-ordinator
  • Smoking Cessation Advisor
  • Advanced Health Improvement Practitioner
  • Environmental Scientist
  • Health/Education Advisor
  • Support Worker
  • Companies we work with

    This course has a multidisciplinary focus, teaching and delivering both practical and theoretical skills in collaboration with public and third sector partners.

    We have developed this course in collaboration with colleagues from NHS Health Scotland, NHS Forth Valley and Community Health Exchange (CHEX).

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