Course specification and structure
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PMPUBHEA - MSc Public Health

Course Specification


Validation status Validated
Highest award Master of Science Level Masters
Possible interim awards Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate, Advanced Diploma in Professional Development
Total credits for course 180
Awarding institution London Metropolitan University
Teaching institutions London Metropolitan University
School School of Social Professions
Subject Area Health, Social Care and Early Childhood
Attendance options
Option Minimum duration Maximum duration
Full-time 1 YEARS  
Part-time 2 YEARS  
Course leader  

About the course and its strategy towards teaching and learning and towards blended learning/e-learning

This course provides opportunities for developing advanced knowledge and skills using a non-clinical multi-disciplinary social science approach that enables its graduates to take-up work in various aspects of public health and health promotion, nationally and internationally. It focuses on the various social factors that shape population health outcomes and the causes and strategies to tackle inequalities in health. Through its core and optional modules, this course also seeks to enhance a broader understanding and analysis of the key contexts, policies and practices influencing developments in public health and health promotion at local, regional, national and international levels. Its curriculum is underpinned by the core values and principles of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities (FSSH): multi-disciplinary learning, social justice, the right to health, equal opportunity, community involvement and empowerment, service user involvement and rights, and social inclusiveness. Further to this, the course recognises that public health issues span far from the immediate remits of the health sector. Hence, by offering a range of optional (designate) modules in a multi-disciplinary learning environment, the course offers its students an opportunity to combine the core programme with knowledge from other cluster areas important for public health work found in FSSH such as housing and regeneration, partnership working, project management, community development, youth work, social work, sociology and social policy, families and vulnerable population groups, criminology, policing and community safety, information and knowledge management, the media, education, human rights and social justice, sustainability and global climate change.
The course also recognises that many public health and health promotion challenges have become globalised. Therefore, its learning and teaching strategy will embed the principles of global learning underpinned by the motto “think globally to act locally” to help students develop knowledge, skills and competences required to be effective public health and health promotion professionals and leaders in a globalised world. Learning and teaching will be organised mainly as blended learning, with a mixture of contact and on-line activities such as lectures, group work and group assessments, interactive seminars and workshops, and independent study. Students will also be required to engage critically with the course reading material provided in different modules. Learning resources will also include web-material from key public health and health promotion organisations, videos, and DVDs.

Course aims

The MSc Public Health course will use a multi-disciplinary social science approach to help students develop knowledge, a range of skills and competences adequate at level 7 to enable them to have autonomy and expertise in areas of public health. The course will also help students to acquire attributes that will help them to be effective public health professionals and leaders in a globalising world; experts who are aware and sensitive to the contemporary and future global dimensions of public health and health promotion. Thus, the overall aim of this course is to develop effective and autonomous experts who are aware of global influences and can perform and lead on areas of public health or health promotion at various geographical levels: local, regional, national or international. This conforms to level 7 of the UK Public Health Skills and Career Framework (PHSCF) developed by the Skills for Health (Department of Health) in 2008. Thus, the course provides the opportunity to:

  • Develop a critical understanding of the impact of social determinants of health on populations using a multi-disciplinary social science approach
  • Engage with historical and contemporary public health discourses, theories, research methodologies, policy and practice.
  • Understand and evaluate key principles and concepts that underpin developments in public health and health promotion
  • Develop research skills, critical analysis and interpretation of evidence crucial for decision-making and problem-solving in public health policy and practice
  • Develop systematic methods of enquiry and analysis in handling population health issues
  • Understand the ethical dimensions of public health and develop critical reflective abilities and moral responsibility for population health
  • Provide a multi-disciplinary learning and teaching environment that helps students acquire attributes as socially responsible active global citizens and effective public health professionals and leaders capable of examining situations from multiple perspectives, participating in pro-social action and improving awareness of own and other cultures to a high level of global consciousness

Course learning outcomes

The following learning outcomes incorporate and depend on a systematic understanding of knowledge, and a critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights, much of which is at, or informed by, the forefront of the academic discipline, field of study or area of professional practice.

On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

  • Apply methods and techniques appropriate to their own research or advanced scholarship in Public Health
  • Apply knowledge with originality, based on a practical understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in Public Health
  • Evaluate critically current research and advanced scholarship in Public Health
  • Evaluate methodologies and develop critiques of them and, where appropriate, to propose new hypotheses
  • Deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively, make sound judgements in the absence of complete data, and communicate their conclusions clearly to specialist and non-specialist audiences
  • Exercise self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems, and act autonomously in planning and implementing tasks at a professional or equivalent level
  • Advance their knowledge and understanding, and to develop new skills to a high level
  • Exercise initiative and personal responsibility, including decision-making in complex and unpredictable situations
  • Learn independently for the purposes of continuing professional development.

Course learning outcomes / Module cross reference

1. Apply methods and techniques appropriate to their own research or advanced scholarship in Public Health:

SH7P42 Public Health Dissertation
SH7062 Impact Assessment
SH7041 Social Epidemiology

2. Apply knowledge with originality, based on a practical understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in Public Health:

SH7P42 Public Health Dissertation
SH7062 Impact Assessment
SH7041 Social Epidemiology

3. Evaluate critically current research and advanced scholarship in Public Health:

SH7P42 Public Health Dissertation
SH7062 Impact Assessment
SH7041 Social Epidemiology

4. Evaluate methodologies and develop critiques of them and, where appropriate, to propose new hypotheses :

SH7P42 Public Health Dissertation
SH7062 Impact Assessment
SH7041 Social Epidemiology

5. Deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively, make sound judgements in the absence of complete data, and communicate their conclusions clearly to specialist and non-specialist audiences :

SH7P42 Public Health Dissertation
SH7062 Impact Assessment
SH7041 Social Epidemiology
SH7003 Health in the City
SH7029 Public Health & Health Promotion

6. Exercise self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems, and act autonomously in planning and implementing tasks at a professional or equivalent level:

SH7P42 Public Health Dissertation
SH7062 Impact Assessment
SH7041 Social Epidemiology
SH7003 Health in the City
SH7029 Public Health & Health Promotion

7. Advance their knowledge and understanding, and to develop new skills to a high level :

SH7P42 Public Health Dissertation
SH7062 Impact Assessment
SH7041 Social Epidemiology
SH7003 Health in the City
SH7029 Public Health & Health Promotion

8. Exercise initiative and personal responsibility, including decision-making in complex and unpredictable situations:

SH7P42 Public Health Dissertation
SH7062 Impact Assessment
SH7041 Social Epidemiology
SH7003 Health in the City
SH7029 Public Health & Health Promotion

9. Learn independently for the purposes of continuing professional development:

SH7P42 Public Health Dissertation

SH7062 Impact Assessment
SH7041 Social Epidemiology
SH7003 Health in the City
SH7029 Public Health & Health Promotion

Principle QAA benchmark statements

Subject Benchmarks for Health and Social Care Professions (QAA, 2004)

Assessment strategy

This Course utilises a variety of learning and teaching and assessment styles and tools employed by its core and optional modules. Coursework essays, group and individual presentations, role play, multiple perspective analysis, tests, examination, reviews, reports and the dissertation are used as instruments for both formative and summative assessments. The learning outcomes, teaching and learning in the various core and optional modules provide cognitive and transferable skills, knowledge and understanding, plus employability skills expected of the course graduates.

Organised work experience, work based learning, sandwich year or year abroad

Whilst there is currently no formally organised work experience or work-based learning, it is important to note that the majority of home students on this course are in full-time employment and study part-time. Thus, most of such students are able to apply their learning to current problems and challenges they face at their work-place. The contribution of such students to class discussion that look at real-world workplace examples and problem-based learning is immense and important to the overall learning on this Course.

Modules required for interim awards

PG Cert Postgraduate Certificate (PG Cert) in Public Health Students must complete successfully SH7029 (core), 1 core or option and 1 elective to the value of 60 M level credit points.
PG Dip Postgraduate Diploma (PG Dip) in Public Health 4 cores, 1 option and 1 elective to the value of 120 M level credit points.
MSc Master of Science (MSc) in Public Health 4 cores, 1 option, 1 elective and a 60 credit dissertation to the value of 180 M level credit points.

Arrangements for promoting reflective learning and personal development

The learning and teaching programmes in the course modules encourage reflective learning in various ways. Most modules are taught through a combination of lectures, interactive seminars, workshops, group activities, on-line material on WebLearn and critique of videos and material from other forms of learning resources. Interaction in each of these allows students to reflect on their own knowledge and perspectives, adjusting or enhancing their understanding. Social science public health requires students to examine different perspectives when examining a scenario or phenomenon. Thus, by nature, the programme of study and curriculum is underpinned by the need to reflect on and negotiate different meanings that explain health outcomes. Coursework in the core and optional modules including the dissertation require students to reflect critically on the learning outcomes and assessment requirements. In addition, multi-disciplinary learning provides opportunities not only for challenging fast held viewpoints but for acquiring new perspectives. Students are encouraged to plan their studies carefully and effectively in order to develop successfully towards their aspirations and career goals. This allows students to be reflective on the programme and their own personal development. In addition, the long dissertation process requires that each student engages in their own skills audit in order to develop an appropriate personal development portfolio to ensure that the right skills for the programme are acquired timely.

Arrangements on the course for careers education, information and guidance

Employability aspects of curriculum-based skills development on this course are informed by labour market information, experiences and perspectives of employers across the various domain and areas of public health and health promotion. The development of public health knowledge, skills and competences at level 7 are informed by guidelines expressed by the UK Public Health Skills and Career Framework (2008). Other guidelines which informed the development of knowledge, skills and competence for the course include the NHS Knowledge and Skills Framework (KSF), Sector Skills Council for the Health Sector, Assessment of Current and Future Skills Needs (Skills for Health, 2005), the DH Workforce Framework and the Faculty of Public Health's Career Guidance and Workforce Development Framework. These explain the key skills, knowledge and competences required for public health work, areas of employment, levels of employment, career prospects, professional attitudes and ethics expected from those taking work in various areas of public health and health promotion. The course is also linked, through its cores modules, to PHORCaSt website which hosts comprehensive details of career preparation, career opportunities, hundreds of career personal stories and other information about careers in the areas and domain of public health in the UK and abroad, including the United Nations.
In line with Section 8 of the QAA Code of Practice on Careers (CEIG, 2001), this course utilises the University’s Career Development and Employment Service in the Student Services Unit. The Unit provides a range of CEIG services to students which include, among others, comprehensive guidance to process of career choice; a networked interactive career guidance system - Prospects Planner; and a WebLearn site, which students can use to find extra-curricular opportunities in the University, the local community and all over the world. The Unit abides by the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (AGCAS) Code of Practice, and Code of Principles of the Guidance Council to provide services that meet students’ expectations. The Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) also offers various generic skills important for preparing students for employment.

Career opportunities

Completion of the course provides a wide career pathway in population health. Graduates have gone on to positions within the National Health Service (NHS organisations, community organisations, government agencies, local authorities, health promotion agencies, human rights agencies, health sectors abroad, international health institutions, academia, the business and voluntary sectors). Some graduates also undertake advanced research studies.

Entry requirements

You will be required to have:

  • at least an upper second class (2:2) honours degree in a relevant subject or related area (those with relevant professional or technical qualifications or extensive professional experience will also be considered)

All applicants must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. Applicants who require a Tier 4 student visa may need to provide a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

Official use and codes

Approved to run from 2013/14 Specification version 1 Specification status Validated
Original validation date 01 Sep 2013 Last validation date 01 Sep 2013  
Sources of funding HE FUNDING COUNCIL FOR ENGLAND
JACS codes L431 (Health Policy): 100%
Route code PUBHEA

Course Structure

Stage 1 Level 07 September start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
SH7003 Health in the City Core 20 NORTH SPR WED EV
SH7029 Public Health and Health Promotion Core 20        
SH7041 Social Epidemiology Core 20        
SH7062 Impact Assessment Core 20        
SH7P42 Public Health Dissertation Core 60 NORTH AUT FRI AM
          NORTH SPR   NA
GI7003 Strategic Planning and Change Management Option 20 NORTH AUT WED EV
          NORTH SPR TUE EV
SH7001 Management of Health and Social Services Option 20 NORTH SPR MON EV
SH7002 Managing Self and Others Option 20 NORTH AUT    
          NORTH SPR    
SH7025 Perspectives of Ageing Option 20        
SH7053 Ethical Issues in Healthcare Option 20        
SH7058 Children and Families: Policy and Practice Option 20 NORTH SUM    
SH7061 Understanding the Policy Process Option 20 NORTH AUT TUE EV
SH7064 Mental Health Promotion and Recovery Option 20        
SH7065 Partnership Working Option 20        
SS7115 Managing Change in Organisations and Systems Option 20        
SS7131 Housing Strategy Option 20        
SS7152 Social Policy Themes and Priorities: Local, Reg... Option 20 NORTH AUT THU EV
EL0000 Elective Option 30 NORTH AUT    
          CITY SPR    
          CITY AUT    
          NORTH SPR    

Stage 1 Level 07 January start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
SH7003 Health in the City Core 20 NORTH SPR WED EV
SH7029 Public Health and Health Promotion Core 20        
SH7041 Social Epidemiology Core 20        
SH7062 Impact Assessment Core 20        
SH7P42 Public Health Dissertation Core 60 NORTH SPR   NA
GI7003 Strategic Planning and Change Management Option 20 NORTH SPR TUE EV
SH7001 Management of Health and Social Services Option 20 NORTH SPR MON EV
SH7002 Managing Self and Others Option 20 NORTH SPR    
SH7025 Perspectives of Ageing Option 20        
SH7053 Ethical Issues in Healthcare Option 20        
SH7058 Children and Families: Policy and Practice Option 20 NORTH SUM    
SH7061 Understanding the Policy Process Option 20        
SH7064 Mental Health Promotion and Recovery Option 20        
SH7065 Partnership Working Option 20        
SS7115 Managing Change in Organisations and Systems Option 20        
SS7131 Housing Strategy Option 20        
SS7152 Social Policy Themes and Priorities: Local, Reg... Option 20        
EL0000 Elective Option 30 CITY SPR    
          NORTH SPR