Fruits and vegetables

Measuring a newborn

Cholera outbreak gravestones

Washing hands

Cigarette butt

Water pollution

Do not spit

Master of Public Health (MPH)

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Programme leader: Amanda Mason-Jones   

The essence of public health is to prevent disease, promote health and prolong life. It focusses on populations and is concerned with whole system approaches rather than on individuals. Public health professionals include those from a wide variety of backgrounds including nursing, medicine and dentistry, environmental health, public policy, law and social sciences.

The three functions of public health include the assessment and monitoring of community needs for health and wellbeing, the formulation of policies that promote health and wellbeing and to ensure that equal access to appropriate care and services is prioritised.

Our programme will enable you to develop the appropriate skills through training that covers epidemiology and research methods, statistics, public health foundations and an understanding of the epidemiology of infection, disease and injury. You will also have the opportunity to choose particular modules that suit your future career plans.

The MPH is run in association with the Hull York Medical School (HYMS) and the department is a member of the Association of Schools of Public Health in the European Region (ASPHER) 

Our expertise

When you join our department you will benefit from training at one of the UK's top health services research, health economics and public health research environments. The department is ranked first in the country for research environment and 7th nationally for public health, health services and primary care in the latest national assessment the Research Excellence Framework REF (2014).

Who is eligible?

Who is eligible?

The public health training offered at York is suitable for those from a wide variety of disciplines who plan to work as public health practitioners, to become researchers, to work in governmental or non-governmental organisations in the UK or internationally for those who wish to go on to study medicine or for a PhD. The course also provides a solid foundation for those planning to take the membership examination of the Faculty of Public Health.

Previous students have included:

  • Policy makers
  • Lawyers
  • Paramedics
  • Nurses
  • Midwives
  • Medical students in training who 'intercalate'
  • Doctors
  • Biomedical scientists
  • Dentists
  • Pharmacists
  • Anthropologists
  • Historians

Course content

What does the course cover?

Training involves one-year full-time (3-days a week) or two-years part-time (1-2 days a week) with the option to exit from the course with a Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate in Public Health after successful completion of the taught modules.

The course is modular and provides a range of compulsory and optional modules that will equip you with the necessary knowledge, skills, practice and experience to improve your understanding of:

  • research methods applicable to population-based research
  • the impact of major communicable and non-communicable diseases on population health globally
  • effective methods of disease prevention and health promotion
  • health inequalities and their effect on health and wellbeing
  • health systems approaches to public health globally
  • public health practice and policy
  • epidemiology and statistics
  • the theory and practice of health promotion
  • ethics and human rights in health practice
  • leadership and management skills.


Compulsory modules, (70 credits in total) include:

Optional modules, (50 further credits) can be chosen from the modules below:

Dissertation (60 credits)

The dissertation will enable you to conduct an in-depth piece of work using a range of methods which might include an extended literature review, a systematic review, collection and analysis of primary data or secondary analysis of a quantitative or qualitative dataset that has already been collected. You will be guided through this process by a member of staff who will act as your supervisor. The purpose of the dissertation is to consolidate the learning from the taught and optional modules and from your own prior learning and experience and to further the development of your skills as an independent public health researcher. 

Master of Public Health timetable

MPH timetable 2015/16 (PDF  , 82kb)

Entry requirements

What are the entry requirements?

You should normally be a graduate with a 2:1 degree or higher, or an equivalent qualification from an overseas university and be able to demonstrate that you have the necessary knowledge, interest and experience in public health. Applicants are assessed on a case-by-case basis, and we follow the University’s Equal Opportunities policy.

The Department of Health Sciences' minimum English language requirement is a total IELTS score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component or equivalent. You can, however, receive a conditional offer provided you complete the University of York's higher level pre-sessional course which runs for eight weeks. On successful completion, you can then progress to your programme within Health Sciences. The minimum requirements to join the pre-sessional course can be found here.

Click here for further details of the University of York's English language requirements.

Student life

What do our students say?

Read a blog entry from Kathryn Harvey, a medical student at the Hull York Medical School, who undertook an intercalated degree as a Master of Public Health.

Read another blog entry by former MPH student Rachel Cunningham-Burley, who chose to cover Female Genital Mutilation as part of her global public health policy brief.

Master of Public Health profiles 

Ganesh Veerasekar

Faith Alfa

Brian Moore podcast


What funding might be available to me?

For available studentships please visit our masters studentships webpage.

For information on fees visit Postgraduate fees and funding.

Contact the Student Information, Guidance and Help Team on 01904 321321 or email for further information.

Apply now

Apply now

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How to make a paper application

What do graduates of the programme do once they have completed the course?

This depends largely on what you have done before. However we have students that have gone into public health roles in the NHS or local authorities in the UK, government hospitals and health organisations worldwide, non governmental organisations, have started their own business or some have gone on to study medicine or to do a PhD.

I need to do the MPH part-time because of work commitments is this possible?

Yes it is possible but it’s important to ensure that you make time to study as well as to attend lectures. Otherwise this can be a challenging route as work often takes priority.

What does the timetable look like for part-time students?

Part-time students start the course by attending on Tuesdays in the first year and Thursdays in the second year. They will do their compulsory modules (Epidemiology, Health Research in Practice and Statistics) in year 1 and Public Health Foundations and Practice and Infection and Disease in year 2. They will have to choose optional modules either on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. This will mean that they will have to do at least one term on a Wednesday in year 1 or 2.

When do lectures take place?

Teaching takes place generally over three days for full-time students (Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday). We start at 9am and end usually at 4pm. You can see this year’s timetable on the MPH webpage which will give you an idea of where the modules fit in.

What are the entry requirements?

We normally ask for a 2.1 in your first degree or equivalent. We also require a level of English language ability that will ensure that you are able to write at masters’ level (IELTS overall score of 7, with no lower than 6.5 in any domain). You can find the language requirements link here

I’m currently a medical student is it possible to ‘intercalate’ and do the MPH?

Yes this is possible and a popular route for many medical students.

Useful links

Contact us

If you have any questions about the programme, please contact