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MPH Master of Public Health

Join one of the top research departments in the country to focus on on systematic approaches to disease prevention, health and wellbeing.

2018/19 entry


1 year full-time,
2 years part-time

Start date

September 2018 (term dates)

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The essence of public health is to prevent disease, promote health and prolong life. 

In this course we focus on global populations and are concerned with whole system approaches rather than focusing at an individual level.

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 the prioritisation of equal access to appropriate care and services.

The course is relevant to health professionals and those working in related sectors, and caters for working in global settings.​​ 

Public health professionals come from a wide variety of backgrounds and include nurses, dentists, doctors, those working in environmental health, public policy makers, law makers and people working in the social sciences or biological sciences. 

Based in a department with an international reputation for public health research, you will develop the knowledge and skills essential for working in the area of public health. 

The MPH is run in collaboration with the Hull York Medical School (HYMS).

Read about the experiences of an intercalated medical student who studied on the MPH course.

REF 2014

Our 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).

Course content

This course will enable you to develop the appropriate skills through training that covers 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 course 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 well-being
  • 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.

Core training includes the fundamentals of public health, epidemiology, research methods, and statistics. You will also have the opportunity to choose modules that suit your previous training and future career plans.

The course runs over one year for full-time students (three days a week) or two years for part-time students (one to two days a week).


Compulsory modules, (70 credits in total) include:

Option modules, (50 further credits) from the following list:

Please note that you are only able to take one of the humanitarian, 20 credit modules, (marked with an *) and to take either of them you must first have completed the module Global Public Health (10 credits). 

Please note, modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.


The dissertation is worth 60 credits. It will consolidate your learning from the taught and optional modules and further the development of your skills as an independent public health researcher.

You will 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.

Teaching and assessment

You’ll work with world‐leading academics who’ll challenge you to think independently and excel in all that you do. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

Teaching format

You will learn via a combined variety of teaching methods including lectures, seminars and workshops as well as collaborative group work. We also use the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) to support our teaching activities.

Teaching location

You will be based in the Department of Health Sciences which is based on Campus West. Most of your teaching will take place in Alcuin College on Campus West (Seebohm Rowntree Building and the Alcuin Research Resource Centre).

About our campus

Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.

Assessment and feedback

You will be assessed throughout the course using a range of methods including written essays, policy documents, presentations and examinations.

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees for 2018/19

Study modeUK/EUInternational
Part-time (2 years)
Fees for subsequent years are subject to confirmation.
year 1 fee
Full-time (1 year)£7,580£16,780

Additional costs

Additional costs could vary depending on which modules you take. Course books are generally available from the library, but you may wish to purchase your own copies. Former students report that they have paid £40 or less for books they opted to buy. Depending on how you work, you may also wish to print out lecture notes or make photocopies. You will be given an allowance of free printing, but beyond this additional charges will apply.

Fees information

UK/EU or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK/EU or international student.

Funding information

Discover your funding options to help with tuition fees and living costs.

If you've successfully completed an undergraduate degree at York you could be eligible for a 10% Masters fee discount.

Home/EU students

International students

Living costs

You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers accommodation costs and estimated social costs.

Careers and skills

Upon successful graduation from this course you will be prepared to work in a public health capacity in the National Health Service, local authorities, international government ministries of health, the World Health Organization and other non-governmental organisations. The course also provides a solid foundation for those planning to take the membership examination of the Faculty of Public Health.

Career opportunities

  • Public health practitioner
  • Public health practitioner in international governmental and non governmental organisations
  • Researcher within a university
  • Researcher within a private organisation
  • PhD study

Transferable skills

Upon successful completion of the course you will be able to:

  • critically evaluate public health theory, policy and practice, and examine the key challenges faced by public health practitioners, in the UK and globally
  • assess the design and delivery of public health programmes with the aim of enhancing their impact, efficiency and effectiveness
  • interpret and critically appraise public health research evidence
  • communicate public health theory, policy, practice and research clearly and concisely, in oral and written form, to expert audiences
  • critically reflect on your own development needs with respect to the skills of leadership and management, and your ability to build supportive professional networks
  • decide on the most appropriate methodological approach to address public health research questions, and apply methodological approaches with confidence
  • independently formulate, plan undertake, and report on a research project in a public-health related field, with due regard for ethical standards.

Entry requirements

Qualification Grade

You should normally be a graduate with a 2:1 degree or higher, or have a medical degree, 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.

Other qualifications

English language

Overall IELTS of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.5 in writing and no less than 6.0 in any other component.

Further details of the University of York's English language requirements.


You can apply and send all your documentation electronically through our online system. You don’t need to complete your application all at once: you can start it, save it and finish it later.

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Department of Health Sciences

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