Skip to main content

Public Health (Block and Blend)


School - School of Health and Society

Subject area - Psychology and Public Health

Start Date(s): January


Two semesters

Fees 2018-19:

2019-20 fees will be displayed shortly.

Part-time - £1,260 per 30 credit module

Distance Learning - £1,260 per 30 credit module

In Brief:

  • The course provides a mix of online and face-to-face delivery (one week intensive teaching in Salford), which enables you to study in a flexible way
  • The course explores the social determinants of health: is multidisciplinary; and uses research informed teaching
  • The programme is a platform from which to complete a Pg Dip or MSc Public Health in Salford
  • A part-time only course
  • International students can apply

Course Summary

This course will challenge the way that you think about health, using state-of-the-art public health principles and practice. The block and blend teaching methods starts with academic staff from the University of Salford delivering a week’s intensive teaching in Salford per module, giving you a thorough grounding in Evidence Based Public Health and Research Methods applied to international public health priorities, and an overview of the online facilities available to support the programme (e.g. library/blackboard/e-mail etc).

Active researchers in the field of evidence-based public health deliver the teaching, and the programme is designed to satisfy the updated Public Health Skills & Knowledge Framework (UKPHSKF, 2013) and aligns with the UK Faculty of Health’s nine key areas.

The face-to-face (Block) is followed by weekly online input (Blend) and study that builds towards your PG Certificate. Following the intensive week, there are live sessions online and work that you can schedule as it suits you and specialist support from academic staff as well as access to all the (online) facilities that the University of Salford has to offer.

The PG Certificate is a qualification in its own right but can also be a building block towards an MSc in Public Health. Six months further study in the UK and successful completion of relevant modules mean that you can progress on to your dissertation leading to the award of MSc.

The University of Salford’s School of Health and Society is an institutional member of the Association of Schools of Public Health in the European Region.

Course Structure

January – May (Module 1 – Evidence Based Public Health)
September – December (Module 2 – Research Methods Applied to Public Health)

Year 1

This module enables you to develop an understanding of the key determinants of health and an awareness of the social context of public health, appreciate the importance of using the current best evidence in making decisions in the areas of health protection, disease prevention, health maintenance and promotion and critically assess the concept of lifestyle (in relation to health) from a regional, national and international perspective. It also allows you to develop a multidisciplinary understanding of inequalities in health in the UK and abroad, critically evaluate policies and interventions that seek to promote healthier lifestyles and reduce health inequalities and critically assess the concepts of lifestyle and health from a regional, national and international perspective.
In this module you will learn about contemporary issues and debates in research, the nature role and context of research in health and social care and the theoretical issues and approaches to research. You will master developing research questions and hypotheses, searching for evidence and information and form a critical review of existing research. This module prepares you for writing research proposals, and research reports.

Entry Requirements

You will require:

An honours degree - equivalent to a 2:2 or above, preferably in a health related subject.

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)

We welcome applications from students who may not have formal/traditional entry criteria but who have relevant experience or the ability to pursue the course successfully.

The Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) process could help you to make your work and life experience count. The APL process can be used for entry onto courses or to give you exemptions from parts of your course.

Two forms of APL may be used for entry: the Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning (APCL) or the Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL).

English Language Requirements

For admission to programmes of study at the University an applicant whose native tongue is not English must possess a current qualification deemed acceptable by the University as evidence of proficiency in the English Language. For entry to level 7 such a qualification must equate to a minimum average score of 6.5 or above (and for each component 6 or above) from the Cambridge/British Council English Language Testing Service (IELTS) or alternative examinations as recognised by the University.

Suitable For

This course is suitable for UK and international students who want to develop an understanding of public health problems and intelligently appraise the debates over contemporary public health issues.

This will particularly suit you if you value some face to face contact, with the opportunity to continue your learning in a flexible online environment.

We are looking for applicants who are passionate about working towards improving public health and reducing health inequalities.

Fees 2019-20

Fees for entry in 2019 will be displayed shortly.

Fees 2018-19

Type of StudyFee
Part-time£1,260 per 30 credit module
Distance Learning£1,260 per 30 credit module
International Distance Learning£2,310 per 30 credit module

Scholarships and Bursaries

For more information please see our funding section.


For the PgCert Public Health (Block and Blend), students will be taught face-to-face for one week per module, which will be complemented through the use of online learning (University’s Blackboard VLE and Collaborate). Both written and/or oral feedback will be provided using online technology. Students will also be expected to undertake independent reading and learning, to consolidate what is being taught/learned and to broaden knowledge and understanding of the subject.


For both modules (Evidence Based Public Health and Research Methods Applied to Public Health) assessment will be by written assignments (four in total).

Postgraduate Staff Profile

The Public Health team comprise:

  • Professor Eileen Fairhurst
  • Dr Margaret Coffey
  • Professor Penny Cook
  • Dr Anna Cooper-Ryan (Programme leader)
  • Alex Clarke-Cornwell

Dr Margaret Coffey

Dr. Margaret Coffey is a Reader in Public Health and the programme leader. She has a first class degree in Health (2000) and a PhD (2004) titled ‘Stress in the Workplace – An Action Research Case Study of Social Services’.

Margaret’s research focuses on two distinct but interrelated areas: work based health and wellbeing, and health improvement in deprived populations, for which work, or lack of work, are key determinants of health. The unifying theme of her research is the desire to identify the underlying determinants of issues such as: stress, absenteeism and ill health in order to inform the development of specific solutions in a participatory way.

Margaret’s expertise in research is evidenced by an Emerald Literary Award won in 2010 in respect of the ‘Outstanding Paper Award’ for the International Journal of Workplace Health Management, for the paper – ‘Designing a Stress Management Intervention in Social Services’ - Coffey M., Dugdill L., & Tattersall A., (2009). More recently, in 2011, the 'Working Well Team' (Christine Parker, Tamara Brown, Lindsey Dugdill and Margaret Coffey, Vicki Dickens, Teresa Barrett and Krista  Hopkinson) won a Chartered Society of Physiotherapists Award for Research & Practice.

More individual profiles of these staff can be found at:

Associated Honorary Staff

  • Professor Mike Kelly – Director, Unit of Public Health, National Institute of Health & Clinical Excellence
  • David Herne – Director for Public Health, Salford City Council
  • Mel Sirotkin – Public Health England Centre Director for Cheshire and Merseyside
  • Siobhan Farmer – Consultant in Public Health, Salford City Council
  • Dr. Basem Khalil, Department of Peadiatric Surgery, Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital
  • Nick Cavill – Public Health Research Consultant, Cavill Associates
  • Deborah Blackburn – Strategic lead for Business, Salford City Council
  • Ian Ashworth – Consultant in Public Health, Salford City Council


Career Prospects

With this PG Cert you will be well placed to begin developing your public health career, beginning with junior public health roles in local or national government health departments and NGOs.

The qualification will also enable you to bring a public health perspective to your current career/role, in a range of professions.  There is a wide variety of public health jobs, which can include health promotion, health policy development, research or health advocacy.

Links with Industry

Lecturers on the MSc Public Health have close links with a range of national and international agencies and community partnership, most through research, with an ‘applied’ focus. Examples of these links include: Association of Schools of Public Health in the European Region (ASPHER), The Royal Society for Public Health; The NHS; Department of Health; Strategic Health Authority; and The National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE).

The benefits of these links to students include: research informed teaching; a strong applied focus to the programme; and the opportunity to engage with key public health professionals and practitioners.

Further Study

Not the course you're looking for?

If this course isn't for you then please retry our course finder below.


Visit our A-Z list of courses.

A-Z courses