This course has been specifically designed for students from any educational background. It is suited for anyone who is interested in any aspect of public health but will be particularly relevant to those considering a future career in public health, either in the UK or internationally. Many students on the course have professional backgrounds and will bring their experience to the course, and the course is popular amongst those with clinical backgrounds in medicine, dentistry, pharmacy and nursing, for example. Other students come from a wide range of non clinical backgrounds, such as geography, social care or information sciences and a key feature of the course is that it is suited to anyone and does not require specialist clinical knowledge.
Professor Liddy Goyder (Public Health Strategic Lead for Academic Studies) talks below about our School's Public Health programmes...
Public health has never been more important, as we encounter new challenges in areas such as obesity, for example, as the epidemiological transition globally means the burden of disease moves away from traditional communicable diseases. In addition, much greater recognition of the role of health inequalities in the UK and globally, means there are new challenges but also opportunities in how we try to improve population-level health.
This course covers the broad range of knowledge and skills required for public health practice in both the UK and internationally. Through a selection of core modules and a wide range of options, students will systematically gain an understanding of key concepts, and learning outcomes that relate to:
how public health principles apply to professional practice
how the research process applies to public health practice
public health approaches to protect and promote the public's health
health service organisations, management and economics
broader influences on health and health care provision
How this course is taught
Full-time and part-time options
This course can be studied full-time over a period of around 12 months, beginning and ending in late September each year. For UK and European students, the course can also be studied part-time for up to 3 years. Study is divided into 2 main semesters in the autumn and spring, each of which involves 12 weeks of attending lectures.
A range of teaching
We use a mix of lectures, seminars, workshops and computer-based activities to ensure you gain high-quality, research-informed teaching. You will study alongside a group of students from the UK and other nationalities, providing a mix of experiences and backgrounds that will augment your learning experience. Several modules are also available to other university students, giving you further opportunities to meet other students from different backgrounds. All teaching takes place in high quality purpose-built accommodation in ScHARR or close-by on the University of Sheffield campus.
Masters, Diploma and Certificate options
All our public health courses can be studied at Masters level which requires students to have obtained 180 credits which includes a 45 credit dissertation. The courses are also available at Certificate (60 credit) and Diploma (120 credit) level without a dissertation. Some UK students even begin study with one or two modules and build-up their credits over time.
Masters course students also undertake a dissertation project over a whole academic year, with most activity on this occurring after the spring semester. Students choose their dissertation topic and methods, which include empirical primary data collection, systematic or narrative literature reviews, and secondary data analysis.
Why study at ScHARR?
ScHARR is a rich academic environment and a key strength is that staff come from many different backgrounds. ScHARR is also an internationally recognised institution with expertise in many fields, which ensures students are provided with research-led teaching. Staff bring a range of practical and theoretical experiences and you will be taught by some of the world's leading scholars in these fields, and benefit from an environment in which teaching and research go hand-in-hand. On the MPH, we have epidemiologists, statisticians, sociologists, managers, evaluation experts, qualitative researchers, and those with extensive public health experience, as well as medicine, nursing and pharmacy backgrounds. These also reflect not just UK but global experiences, to ensure we deliver teaching that is suited to students from any background.
In addition to these core staff members, the course draws on the expertise of a large number of other staff within the School. The module leaders can be found on the course structure section.
Online open days
The online open day will be informative and an opportunity for people who have already applied to ask questions. They are an opportunity for you to learn more about the course and how it will be taught.
All modules account for 15 credits unless stated otherwise. You will be required to take 60 credits worth of optional modules.
* by a module code indicates special information for the module. Please mouse over the module code or visit the module page to find out the details.
The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers.
Our public health masters graduates go on to work in very diverse areas, although many find work in a health or public health setting. Of particular note is that a significant percentage go on to undertake further doctoral/PhD study or to work in research or academic settings, which we feel reflects the quality of our research-led teaching in preparing and inspiring students.
Recent graduates from public health course are now working in the UK, in information analyst roles, in senior public health management positions, in health promotion activities, researching in universities, and as public health specialist in the local authority and in the NHS. Internationally, students have found excellent opportunities in governments, health departments, universities, hospitals, as well as non-governmental organisations, undertaking leadership roles, public health programme interventions and evaluations, research, and policy-making.
"I've been able to build lots of new skills which will be really valuable to me. The content of some of the modules has just been fascinating. It's been really interesting and it's sufficiently flexible for you to be able to tailor it to what you want to get out of it, whether that's in terms of module choice or even within a module."
Anna Watkinson-Powell, Intercalating University of Sheffield Medical Student
"Coming onto the course during my intercalation year, it's really taught me a lot about public health work, and made me appreciate what public health doctors do. Also, I think the course really helped to give me a more holistic view of medicine: it made me look at things less clinically, and made me appreciate the many different factors which affect my patients. I would definitely recommend this course to my fellow medical undergraduates."
Bukky Olaitan, Intercalating University of Sheffield medical student
"The School has renowned world class public health experts, so you gain the knowledge and skills you need to develop your career in public health. During the course, I developed core competences in public health management and leadership, communicable disease control, research, especially how to conduct public health needs assessment.
I recommend ScHARR to anyone still wondering where to go for their master's degree in public health."
Dr Paschal Awingura Apanga, MPH student. Paschal's full testimonial is available here.
*All students consented to the use of their comments in this publicity material.
Programme evaluations are run frequently to assess and improve the programme. We work constantly to develop and enhance the learning experience of our students.