Postgraduate study

Public Health, Master of (full-time) MPH

Awards: MPH

Online learning

Funding opportunities

Public Health is about preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health through the efforts of society.

Gain a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree over a year of study by studying this full-time programme, which will be delivered 100% online.

Our degree is designed for those interested in a career in public health.

You may be from a clinical or non-clinical background. You may already working in a public health role or be keen to move into a public health role. You might be interested in public health for its own sake.

You will gain an understanding of how different scientific disciplines are used to investigate and then develop the best professional practice in epidemiology, public health and social science, ethics and health.

This programme is affiliated with the University's Global Health Academy.

*(Revised 24 November 2020 to include changes to teaching and learning, including plan for on-campus study.)

*(Revised 26 February 2021 to remove Covid-19 update.)

*(Revised 4 March 2021 to update plans for 100% online delivery.)

The MPH programme is entirely online with a study commitment of approximately 30-45 hours per week.

Online learning is a way to study for an internationally recognised qualification without needing to attend classes on campus.

Online programmes are of equal value to on-campus programmes. The only difference is the way the course is delivered.

Our online learning platform enables you to communicate with our highly qualified teaching staff from the comfort of your own home.

As an online student you have access to the University's excellent resources and you become part of a supportive online community, bringing together students and tutors from around the world.

You will study alongside and share your knowledge and experience with students from around the world through active discussion boards, blogs, group work and videos.

Part time study is not available for this programme.

The 2021-22 full-time Master of Public Health will be fully online. Courses are subject to change.

Taught courses run in five week blocks with a week between blocks for students to work on assignments.

Courses use a variety of types of assessments, including essays, online activities, blogs, group work and tests. The assessments are designed to assess the learning outcomes of each course.

You will take six core courses (70 credits) and choose 50 credits of elective courses. After successfully completing the taught courses you will then complete a 60 credit dissertation on a public health topic of your choice, with support from an experienced supervisor.

The taught courses available include the following:

Compulsory courses:

  • Epidemiology and Statistics for Public Health
  • Foundations of Public health
  • Qualitative Research for Public Health
  • Research Design for Public Health
  • Systematic Reviews for Public Health
  • Health Promotion

Elective courses:

  • Communicable Disease Control and Environmental Health
  • Data Analysis with R for Public Health
  • Developing and Evaluating Complex Public Health Interventions
  • Epidemiology for Public Health
  • Global Health Epidemiology
  • Health in all Policies
  • Introduction to Health Economics
  • Sociology of Health & Illness
  • Statistical Modelling for Public Health

Although we endeavour to provide a wide range of optional courses to choose from, these can be subject to change or cancellation at short notice.

Places on optional courses can be limited, due to course capacity and timetabling constraints. It may not be possible to guarantee every offer holder their top choice of optional courses.

Semester dates for the academic year 2021-2022

These are key dates in the academic year, which vary slightly year to year. For your programme these are:

  • Welcome Week: 13 – 17 September 2021
  • Term 1: 20 September - 3 December 2021
  • Term 2: 10 January – 25 March 2022
  • Term 3: 11 April - 24 June 2022

*(Revised 24 November 2020 to include changes to teaching and learning)

*(Revised 4 March 2021 to update plans for 100% online delivery and remove part-time study option.)

*(Revised 20 April 2021 to update the credit weighting of compulsory and elective courses.)

*(Revised 26 May 2021 to update semester dates for academic year 2021-2022.)

The Master of Public Health programme aims to equip students with evidence-based conceptual and practical tools, to take a critical interdisciplinary approach to public health challenges.

You will:

  • Demonstrate a critical understanding of the theories, concepts and principles underpinning public health practice, policy and research.

  • Apply knowledge and skills and engage with relevant literature, in qualitative and quantitative disciplines.

  • Apply critical analysis, evaluation and synthesis to develop effective responses to contemporary public health challenges.

  • Communicate complex public health concepts and issues to both public and professional audiences using a range of media and methods.

  • Exercise autonomy, take responsibility for own work and work constructively with peers on complex public health issues.

A MPH is internationally recognised as essential for professional advancement in the fields of public and global health.

Our MPH programmes will prepare you for as career as a global or public health researcher or practitioner, working in the public and NGO sectors, universities and international institutions.

As well as acquiring technical skills in a wide range of public health-related disciplines, you will develop collaborative team working, communication and research skills.

The Masters can also offer a good basis for further study in the form of a PhD or Professional Doctorate.

A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in medicine, nursing, social science, science, biomedicine, or other related discipline.

Students from China

This degree is Band B.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic: total 7.0 (at least 6.5 in each module)

  • TOEFL-iBT (including Special Home Edition): total 100 (at least 23 in each module)

  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 176 in each module)

  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries.

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.

Find out more about our language requirements:


Successful applicants will be required to pay a deposit before an unconditional offer can be made.

  • £1,500 (this contributes towards your tuition fees)

Find out more about tuition fee deposits:

Living costs

You will be responsible for covering living costs for the duration of your studies.

Tuition fees

The department does not hold any funding for this programme and only a small number of applicants are awarded other scholarships annually. Please ensure that you have sufficient funding available to cover your studies before submitting an application.

UK government postgraduate loans

If you live in the UK, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan from one of the UK’s governments.

The type and amount of financial support you are eligible for will depend on:

  • your programme
  • the duration of your studies
  • your tuition fee status

Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Centre for Population Health Sciences
  • Medical School
  • Teviot Place
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9AG

Selection deadlines

Due to high demand, we operate a number of selection deadlines for this programme.

Applicants who are not made an offer at a specific selection deadline will either be notified that they have been unsuccessful in securing a place on the programme, or that their application will be carried forward to the next selection deadline for further consideration at that time.

The selection deadlines for applying to study in 2021/22 are:

Round Application deadline Places awarded*
1 18 December 2020 29 January 2021
2 26 February 2021 26 March 2021
3 22 April 2021 28 May 2021
4 25 June 2021 30 July 2021
5 2 August 2021 30 August 2021**
Final 23 August 2021 6 September 2021**

*(Revised 15 October 2020 with added application deadlines.) **(Revised 1 March 2021 with added application deadlines.)

We will be looking for evidence in your personal statement that you have thought carefully about what you can bring to the programme and what impact you feel it will have on your future career.

Please ensure that you address the following issues in your statement, to help us select the students who will benefit most from the programme:

  • What skills, qualities and experiences have prepared you to undertake this programme?
  • What value do you think you can add to the learning community as part of an internationally diverse group?
  • What impact do you hope to make in your future career, and how will this programme contribute to your aspirations?

Your personal statement should be around 500 words in length.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • Centre for Population Health Sciences
  • Medical School
  • Teviot Place
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9AG