Public Health

MPH or PGDip or PGCert

Start dates: January 2024 / September 2024 / January 2025 / September 2025

Full time: MPH: 12 months

Part time: MPH; 24-48 months

Location: Headington, Headington (Marston Road site)

Department(s): Department of Psychology, Health and Professional Development

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Public health professionals explore health in different communities, ensuring people have a better quality of life. They also work to provide interventions that empower communities and individuals to improve health. Study at Oxford Brookes to develop the insight and understanding for a rewarding career in public health.

Throughout this course you’ll look at how health is related to individual biology and genetics. You’ll explore the behavioural, social and environmental factors that affect public health. And you’ll look at ways to gather and examine evidence, and see how your findings can be put into practice to make a difference in society.

This is not just a course for those with a clinical background. It’s suitable for anyone interested in working to improve and support the wellbeing and health of wider communities.

Whether you’re interested in improving the lives of society’s most vulnerable, or furthering your career in public health services, we want to help you make a difference.

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Why Oxford Brookes University?

  • Learn with experts

    You will be taught by people who are involved in research and practice in a range of public health fields.

  • A global perspective

    At Oxford Brookes we take a global perspective on public health, giving you an insight into the various ways health is influenced in diverse cultures all over the world.

  • The Health and Wellbeing Research Group

    Oxford Brookes is home to The Prevention Science Group, a body that specialises in studying prevention efforts for physical and psychological health and wellbeing.

  • An interdisciplinary qualification

    This interdisciplinary Master of Public Health is a globally recognised qualification that covers a range of disciplines including psychology, sociology, anthropology, medicine and research.

  • A stepping stone to a rewarding career

    Uncover ways to take health out of the clinical settings and into the community. This course will allow you to make a difference through community empowerment and advocacy.

Course details

Course structure

Throughout this course you’ll expose the problems that face public health across various communities, looking at environmental, behavioural and social influences.

During your studies you’ll explore various research techniques and look at how to analyse data in order to make decisions. You’ll also look at how evidence can influence and develop policy change and make a difference to society.

We’ll spend time exploring advanced health promotion, looking into ways in which we can support, improve and impact various populations and groups through health behaviour and lifestyle choice. You’ll have the opportunity to study leadership in public and social health settings, as well as communicable diseases.

You will also write a dissertation on a subject of your choice. Previous graduates have taken on subjects like:

  • interventions to empower vulnerable groups,
  • school-based programmes to reduce obesity in young children,
  • how to better support women who have experienced intimate partner violence.

Female student studying on a laptop

Learning and teaching

You will learn through the following methods:

  • lectures
  • directed reading
  • workshops
  • seminars
  • virtual learning environment activities
  • project work.

Many of the core competencies identified in the UK Public Health specialist training curriculum from the UK Faculty of Public Health are met through this study programme.

You will be taught on a module-credit basis, through blended learning or face-to-face contact. Each module requires 200 hours of study.

You will learn to work at an advanced level within public health and inter-professional teams. Focus on developing critical self-reflection and interpersonal skills.

Effective use of blended learning will help you to achieve digital and information literacy.

You will be taught by staff actively engaged in public health research. And receive insight from visiting lecturers within key domains of public health, including:

  • health improvement (NICE)
  • health protection (Oxfam)
  • service improvement (Local Authorities).


You will be assessed through the following methods:

  • written work
  • design work
  • verbal presentations
  • essays
  • seminar papers
  • verbal presentations
  • workshop exercises
  • practical exercises.

Start this course in January

You have the option to start this course in January. You will study a range of modules between January and May. During the summer months of June, July and August you will study further modules and begin work on your dissertation. Between September and December you will complete your final modules and focus on your dissertation.

Study modules


Compulsory modules

  • Foundations in Public Health (20 credits)

    This module explores historic and current trends in public health, with an emphasis on the reduction of health inequalities and the causes of premature death through pre-emptive action. Weekly units will examine the key determinants of health including environmental, behavioural, socio-economic, cultural and disease factors. Global perspectives are integrated into each unit providing knowledge and skills that demonstrate cross-cultural awareness, and valuing human diversity. 

  • Epidemiology (20 credits)

    This module provides you with an introduction to the concepts and methods of epidemiology and its application in primary and community health. It covers the principles of epidemiological research, provides an overview of different study designs and when each design is indicated, drawing on real-life examples. It also covers the interpretation of results of epidemiological studies, explains sources of bias and confounding and different methods of statistical measurements used in epidemiology. No prior statistical experience is required, however familiarity with quantitative data would be an advantage.

  • Data Analysis and Interpretation (20 credits)

    This module allows you to understand and evaluate statistical data using SPSS software. You will also gain an understanding of how appropriate statistical techniques are chosen for a particular context and present and interpret statistical information in a report. You will need to participate in the workshop / lectures and gain a minimum of 50% in the coursework submitted at the end of Semester 1 of each academic year.

MPH and PGDip

Compulsory modules

  • Public Health Policy (20 credits)

    This module considers the context and techniques involved in global public health policy development, the factors influencing evidence-based public health policy and its impact on the health and wellbeing of specific populations and groups. It explores ideological frameworks that impact on organisation perspectives and policy making, with an emphasis on the policy process and assessment of policy impacts. 

  • Advanced Health Promotion (20 credits)

    This module explores theoretical and practical aspects of health promotion, including how to develop action plans for health promotion. You will be introduced to behavioural theory as it relates to changes in health behaviour and lifestyle, as well as looking at the larger social dimensions related to lifestyle. The module will also provide you with tools for assessing community health needs, planning health promotion activities, and considering the advantages and disadvantages of engaging communities in developing their own healthy lifestyles.

  • Applied Research Methods (MPH only) (10 credits)

    This module focuses on research as part of a body of evidence used for professional practice and provides you with an overview of methodologies and methods currently used in research in health and social care working environments. It equips you with skills to locate, appraise and apply research, and to plan and execute a piece of research work. It seeks to prepare you to develop a suitable research question as a basis for identifying an appropriate research methodology for a small-scale research-based literature review. By the end of the module, you will be able to prepare a rationale for your chosen research project.

Optional modules

Communicable Diseases and Public Health (20 credits)

This module helps you to develop a sound knowledge and understanding of the complexity of communicable diseases in the context of public health. This practice-focused module examines the history, causes and epidemiology of communicable diseases from a broad public health perspective. Associated morbidity and mortality, nationally, internationally and globally are considered together with trends in established and emerging infections. Methods to prevent and control infection are explored including outbreak management, using surveillance, screening and vaccination strategies. 

Leadership in Health and Social Care (20 credits)

This module gives you the opportunity to develop and apply the knowledge, conceptual and practice skills needed to be an effective leader within health and social care environments, both in the public and private sector. Through a range of assessment and learning opportunities such as coaching, seminar/group work and guided personal study, you will deepen your awareness of key theories and the research evidence on leadership practice and its application at a personal, organisational and inter-organisational level.

Final project

Compulsory modules

  • Dissertation (MPH only) (50 credits)

    The aim of this module is to draw together and enhance your ability to use the knowledge, understanding and skills developed previously across the whole programme (especially Applied Research Methods) in a piece of investigative or literature-based research. You will be expected to demonstrate the ability to define a clearly focused research issue, as well as a wide appreciation of the context of the chosen topic. Research methods may vary considerably and you will work with an individual supervisor to evolve a methodology appropriate to the chosen topic. The subsequent inquiry should be based on systematic reading and data collection (as appropriate) and be accompanied by an awareness of the direct implications of the research to Professional Practice and Policy as well as other research in the area.

Please note: As our courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the modules you can choose from may vary from those shown here. The structure of the course may also mean some modules are not available to you.



Graduates of our Public Health MPH develop a vast amount of expertise, allowing them to pursue a range of careers in public health. You’ll be able to further existing careers in areas of health care such as nursing, but will also be able to enter the public health sector within areas such as:

  • local authorities,
  • charities,
  • data analysis,
  • health care management,
  • health education.

Student profiles

Entry requirements

International qualifications and equivalences

How to apply

Application process

International applicants will need to apply early to allow enough time for obtaining visas.

If you are offered a place you may be asked to pay a deposit of £3,000 to secure a place on the course.

Applications are dealt with on a first come, first served basis, so please act early to avoid disappointment.

Tuition fees

Please see the fees note
Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time
£1,190 per single module

International full time

Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time
£1,210 per single module

International full time

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees

2024 / 25
Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time
£1,190 per single module

International full time

2025 / 26
Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time
£1,210 per single module

International full time

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

+44 (0)1865 534400

Fees quoted are for the first year only. If you are studying a course that lasts longer than one year, your fees will increase each year.

The following factors will be taken into account by the University when it is setting the annual fees: inflationary measures such as the retail price indices, projected increases in University costs, changes in the level of funding received from Government sources, admissions statistics and access considerations including the availability of student support.

How and when to pay

Tuition fee instalments for the semester are due by the Monday of week 1 of each semester. Students are not liable for full fees for that semester if they leave before week 4. If the leaving date is after week 4, full fees for the semester are payable.

  • For information on payment methods please see our Make a Payment page.
  • For information about refunds please visit our Refund policy page

Financial support and scholarships

Please contact the Programme Administrator to find out whether funding is available to assist with costs. Self-funding applicants are also welcome to apply.

General sources of information about finance and financial support for international applicants can be found on our site.

All applicants (UK, EU and international) will be required to provide details of their funding arrangements prior to enrolment on the course.

For general sources of financial support, see our Fees and funding pages.

Additional costs

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course are detailed below.

Programme changes:
On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published on the website. For more information, please visit our changes to programmes page.