Postgraduate study

Public Health, Master of (full-time) (Online Learning) MPH

Awards: MPH

Study modes: Full-time

Online learning

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 an Master of Public Health (MPH) degree over a year of online study by studying full time from home, without the uncertainty and risk of travel during the pandemic.

This programme is taught by online distance learning; a well-established approach to learning and teaching which has been a particular specialism of the University of Edinburgh over the last 10 years.

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.

As we already run a well established and highly commended part time MPH online, we have the experience and skills to offer high quality teaching in an online environment.

Online programmes are of equal value to on-campus programmes. Our online learning platform enables you to communicate with our highly qualified teaching staff from the comfort of your own home or work place.

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

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 or work place.

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.

The MPH is an entirely online, full-time, one year programme with a study commitment of approximately 30-45 hours per week.

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.

The programme is mainly flexible and there are no specific times you need to attend class. It is designed to complement the work commitments and diverse geographical locations of our students. Part time study is not available for this programme.

Evaluation of the programme is through a mixture of coursework and online participation. The programme has a variety of types of assessments, including essays, online activities, blogs, group work and tests. The assessments are designed to fit with the learning outcomes of each course.

Studying online at Edinburgh

Find out more about the benefits and practicalities of studying for an online degree:

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 five 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

  • Introduction to Public Health (10 credits)
  • Introduction to Epidemiology and Statistics (20 credits)
  • Introduction to Health Promotion (10 credits)
  • Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods (10 credits)
  • Research Design for Public and Global Health (10 credits)
  • Systematic Reviews (10 credits)

Elective course choices

  • Public Policy for Health (10 credits)
  • Fundamentals of Health Economics (10 credits)
  • Societies, Reproduction and Health (10 credits)
  • Introduction to Environmental and Occupational Epidemiology (10 credits)
  • Global Burden of Mental Health (10 credits)
  • Governance and Financial Management (10 credits)
  • Data Analysis for Epidemiology (10 credits)
  • Epidemiology for Public Health Practice (10 credits)
  • Global Health Epidemiology (10 credits)
  • Evaluation of Global Health & Development Programmes (20 credits)
  • Intermediate Epidemiology (10 credits)
  • Qualitative interviewing and data analysis (10 credits)
  • Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (10 credits)
  • Innovative Approaches to Health Challenges Across Disciplines (10 credits)
  • Statistical Modelling (10 credits)
  • Communicable Disease Control and Environmental Health (10 credits)
  • Sociology of Health and Illness (10 credits)
  • Developing and Evaluating Complex Public Health Interventions (10 credits)  

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

*(Revised 21 April 2020 to include TOEFL-iBT Special Home Edition in 2020 and 2021 entry requirements.)

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:

Tuition fee deposit

Successful applicants will be required to pay a deposit of £1,500 before an unconditional offer can be made. This will be offset against tuition fees upon entry to the programme.  

Find out more about tuition fee deposits:

Tuition fees

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MPH1 YearFull-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
Programme start date Application deadline
14 September 2020 18 August 2020

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 2020/21 are:

Round Application deadline Decision date
1 20 December 2019 31 January 2020
2 28 February 2020 27 March 2020
3 24 April 2020 29 May 2020
Final 18 August 2020 28 August 2020

*(Revised 4 October 2019 to add in wait list information.) *(Revised 31 January 2020 to replace wait list information with information about application being carried forward to next selection deadline.) *(Revised 8 June 2020 to update final deadline.) *(Revised 22 July 2020 to update final deadline and decision date.)

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