Postgraduate study

Public Health, Master of (full-time) MPH

Awards: MPH

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding opportunities

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

This is the ideal programme if you are a professional or new to the subject and you wish to address today’s problems in public health.

Gain a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree over a year of on-campus study by studying a full-time programme.

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

This programme is taught by lecturers at the Usher Institute for Population Health Sciences and Informatics, an interdisciplinary research hub that draws together researchers, clinicians and practitioners from public health, primary care, medical informatics and biomedical and social sciences.

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.)

The 2020-21 full-time Master of Public Health is fully online, courses are subject to change when delivery returns to on-campus teaching.

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 (60 credits) and choose 60 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:

  • Dissertation Planning
  • Principles of Public Health
  • Introduction to Epidemiology
  • Introduction to Qualitative Research
  • Introduction to Statistics
  • Introduction to Systematic Reviews

Elective courses:

  • Advanced Epidemiology
  • Communicable Disease Control and Environmental Health
  • Developing and Evaluating Complex Public Health Interventions
  • Epidemiology for Public Health
  • Further Statistics
  • Genetic Epidemiology
  • Global Health Epidemiology
  • Health in all Policies and Health Impact Assessment
  • Health Promotion
  • Investing in Global Health and Development
  • Public Health Ethics
  • Qualitative Research in Health
  • Introduction to Health Economics and Resource Allocation
  • Sociology of Health & Illness
  • Statistical Modelling

Changes to teaching and learning

Although we hope to return to a fully on-campus MPH in 2021-22, the safety of you and our staff is paramount. Therefore, in response to public health and Scottish Government guidelines, there may be changes to course options and delivery, including due to Covid-19.

A hybrid model allows us to respond quickly to the evolving health situation. The MPH will be welcoming you on campus for in-person classes and using technology for some aspects of your teaching.

We have the experience and skills to offer high quality teaching in both an on-campus and online environment to ensure we all have the best teaching and learning experience possible.

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.

Part-time study

As we are committed to helping people into education while continuing to work or managing family and personal commitments, you may study this programme part-time over 2 years.

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

Find out more about compulsory and optional courses

We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MPH1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2020/21

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.

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:

Tuition fees

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MPH1 YearFull-timeTuition fees
MPH2 YearsPart-timeTuition 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, and your residency status. (Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.)

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Postgraduate Administrator, Charlotte Munden
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 650 3227
  • Contact:
  • 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
Final 25 June 2021 30 July 2021

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

You must submit one reference with your application.

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

  • Postgraduate Administrator, Charlotte Munden
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 650 3227
  • Contact:
  • Centre for Population Health Sciences
  • Medical School
  • Teviot Place
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9AG