Skip to main content

Public Health and Health Promotion

BSc (Hons)

School - School of Health and Society

Subject area - Psychology and Public Health

UCAS Code: BB91

Start Date(s): September


Three years (full-time)

Six years (part-time)


UK - £9,250 per year

Part-time - Your annual fee will be calculated pro rata to the full-time fee according to the number of credits you are studying.

International - £14,820 per year

In Brief:

  • Influential and life-changing career paths that work to improve the health and wellbeing of local and global communities, through health, social care and housing policy, international development strategies and public health information analysis
  • Use your skills and knowledge to make a difference to the lives of people in rural Uganda with a heavily subsidised 10-day field trip
  • Work with local employers on real world public health and health promotion issues to give you experience of practical application
  • Part-time study option
  • International students can apply

Course Summary

This course unravels the complex links between the economic, social and political factors that cause inequalities in the health of communities locally, nationally and globally. By understanding these causes, we can drive change by creating new policies and strategies to tackle problems such as obesity, poor mental health, and alcohol and drug misuse.

As part of the course you will have an exciting opportunity to take a heavily subsidised trip to Uganda*, to experience first-hand the public health challenges in the Global South. You’ll be able to put your new skills to work, helping to improve the lives of people living in rural communities – find out more in the video below.

During this course, you will learn how to assess the effectiveness of health interventions and learn core public health skills including surveillance and assessment of the population’s health, health protection, and leadership and collaborative working for health. You will learn how to use these core skills to inform and drive health policy and public health practice. The core skills have been identified by professional bodies such as the UK Faculty of Public Health Curriculum and the Public Health Skills and Knowledge Framework (2013) and Association of Schools of Public Health in the European Region (ASPHER). The School is a member of ASPHER.

Under new devolved powers, Greater Manchester local authorities are driving new health and social care policies that work for local people, with a greater focus on prevention. You will have the opportunity to work closely with key professionals responsible for the public’s health in the Greater Manchester area. We have also developed a three year sandwich degree (BSc (Hons) Public Health and Health Promotion with Placement) where you will have an extended (five month) placement in your second year.

You will take modules during your second year that focus on working on local public health priorities, with input from key personnel from local councils and other agencies. You will also have the opportunity to work on a public health priority in rural Uganda*. This will expose you to real-world challenges and give you the opportunity to work with professionals to begin to establish professional networks. You will have the opportunity to further develop your links with key professionals as you carry out your third year research project.

To find out more about the subject of public health and how it relates to the world we live in, watch this video which has been created by the NHS. You can also follow our public health team @SalfordPH and via our blog. You can read more about our work in Uganda here and watch our video about the field trip here.

Year 1

Year 1 provides a solid foundation across the breadth of the subject, and includes study skills development, data handling and interpersonal skills. You will take five 20 credit modules and a 40 credit introductory module in year 1.

Public health is defined as ‘the science and art of promoting and protecting health and well-being, preventing ill-health and prolonging life through the organised efforts of society’ (UK Faculty of Public Health, 2010). In this extended module we will use lectures and seminars to explore the development of public health and the key definitions and concepts underpinning this discipline. We will do this alongside considering the conditions that influence health and health inequalities; systems that can improve health and reduce health inequalities; and the interaction between the two systems.
This module will help you to develop the academic skills you will utilise throughout the course, as well as helping your develop your personal and professional skills needed for study and longer term. This module will introduce data presentation and report writing. You will also gain an understanding of the most important literature databases and their main fields, to help you with identifying different types of literature, for example: theoretical literature, empirical studies and reviews and meta-analysis. Tutorials will involve discussion, debate, problem solving and practicals. This will allow you to be provided with regular formative feedback on your progress.
A policy is ‘a course or method of action selected usually by a public or private body, at international, national or local level, from among alternatives to guide and determine present and future decisions’ (ASPHER, 2011). You will learn about the historical context of public health, health, social care and wellbeing policies, political ideologies impacting on health and social care. The module also covers inequalities in health and social care and the collaboration of policy between health and social care.
Epidemiology is the science that focuses on the occurrence of health phenomena in populations. You will learn about the history and developments of public health and epidemiology. The module also covers practical disease concepts in epidemiology, such as natural history of disease, immunisation and disease immunity, antibiotics and resistance, and health surveillance. You will learn the basic skills to be able to measure health and disease states in the population, such as prevalence, incidence and rates. You will learn about the different epidemiological study types, their advantages and disadvantages, and how these apply to simple examples.
This module will enable you to develop your knowledge of the way that policies are shaped, influenced, and developed, and the impact social policies have on those affected by them. You will gain understanding of how social policies are enacted in different areas of social policy-related work. You will learn to recognise links between your learning experience, policy-related work and employment opportunities.

Year 2

The second year of the course develops understanding of professional contexts enhancing and deepening skills and understanding of contemporary Public Health theory and practice. In close collaboration with professionals working in public health, a large emphasis of year 2 is to expose you to real-world challenges and the opportunity to work with professionals and begin to establish professional networks. The second year starts with an exciting opportunity to learn practical research skills and apply them to public health issues in rural Uganda*.

This module will introduce you to tools and techniques to allow you to be able to describe and analyse public health quantitative and qualitative data. The quantitative data analysis will be based on the practical application of statistics, and you will use computer programmes to manipulate data and perform analyses. You will also learn how to identify the main aims of qualitative research as well as how to design qualitative topic guidelines and undertake a basic thematic analysis of qualitative data.
In this module you will identify population health challenges relevant for health promotion at various levels of social and political organisation, from global to local. You will learn how to communicate effectively about public health risks, and how to design and describe a health promotion strategy. The module will also cover the general principles of emergency planning and management of the public health element of major incidents, such as those caused by flooding, by a train crash, or by a bomb. You will also learn the basic principles of, and major approaches to, preventing and controlling environmental hazards that pose risks to human health and safety.
On this module, you will develop skills to used different methodologies in undertaking public health research and learn about the theoretical issues of research. You will apply these to a real world public health issue in rural Uganda*. You will gain the skills needed to identify the main types of quantitative and qualitative empirical research methods. You will be able to understand a range of research techniques that can be applied to practice to explore research questions, and be able to carry out a critical analysis of existing research. You will learn how to prepare a practical fieldwork report in order for the theory learnt to be applied to practice.
In this module you will learn how to take information from epidemiological surveillance systems to produce epidemiological documentation (for example, tables, graphs and maps) on the relationships between the socio-economic environment and the health of populations and population groups. You will learn how to identify, retrieve and analyse major trends of social change with special reference to demography and social structure. You will identify population groups with elevated health risks and recognise their health needs, for example children, elderly, people with physical, mental and learning disabilities, and underprivileged groups. You will use your skills in public health intelligence to produce a practical output such as a health needs assessment.
Leadership, communication and collaboration are key requirements for effectively leading the changes required to impact positively on public health. This module will critically explore strategies for planning and managing programmes, services and resources for a particular goal. This will include strategies for managing change, partnership working, evaluating effectiveness, influencing policy and motivating people to accomplish desired goals efficiently and effectively.
This module will enable you to think about how the knowledge and intellectual competencies you have been developing can be applied to a practical public health challenge. You will work either individually or in groups on a project brief. We will work with our external professional partners to provide the brief, which will be a genuine public health challenge for you to investigate. You will learn how to follow a project through from the initial stages, all the way through to the presentation of the findings. This module is designed to support you to apply your learning to a variety of situations to help you both with your studies and to give you practical experience and professional contacts for your future career in public health.

Year 3

In your final year you undertake a research project for your Dissertation and take four taught 20 credit modules, including one optional module, which will allow you to specialise in your area of interest.

This module will examine in depth the changing policies and structures in the delivery of health and community care. It will allow you to analyse and evaluate alternative systems of provision.
Wicked issues are 'persistent, stubborn, deep-seated and intractable problems'. Many public health challenges could be described as wicked issues, including obesity, alcohol misuse, poor mental health and climate change. In this module you will explore the complex causes of these public health challenges. Using a case study approach, you will explore wicked issues as whole systems, and learn how their potential solutions require societal approaches involving action at multiple levels from the individual to central government. You will learn how to define the nation's health as a societal and economic issue and the importance of giving a high priority to the prevention of health problems.
This extended independent module will provide you with the opportunity to carry out a substantive piece of work on a topic of your choice with tutorial assistance from the public health team. The dissertation module builds on the research methods module taught in year 2, and will allow you to apply these skills and showcase your knowledge of research/inquiry methods (including research design, ethical issues in research, recruiting participants, conducting a piece of research, analysing data, and writing up your work), together with your expertise in a public health related topic.
This module aims to introduce you to the concepts, theory, methods and applications of health psychology. It is concerned with the psychological aspects of physical illness, their treatment and management, and includes what it is that keeps people healthy and well.

Optional Modules

Today the family is very much at the centre of the political and social policy agenda. This module explores the connection between families, politics and social policies. You will look at issues such as poverty, child support, domestic violence and divorce.
This module explores the ways that housing is organised and delivered in the UK. Assessing housing need, access to housing, homelessness and tenure are focused on and you will be able to integrate theoretical knowledge of housing policy and practice and relate this to changing societal contexts.
This module will explore the ethics and practicalities of working with vulnerable groups; supporting communities and the public in articulating and advocating for health and wellbeing and their concerns. You will explore some of the major ethical theories and concepts (in terms of theory and their practical application) relevant to public health and how these relate to working with vulnerable groups. You will explore some of the central concepts in health and public health promotion around empowerment, community development, participation, and health advocacy. As part of the seminars, you will learn how to communicate public health messages with different groups and the variety of methods that can be used.


If you are studying part-time you select two to four modules from each year of study, completing the rest of the modules for the year in the following year. This leads to a maximum six-year duration for a part-time degree. If studying part-time you do not have the placement option.

Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this. *If you wish to take part in the trip to Uganda you will need to pay a contribution of £200. The trip is only viable if there are five or more students. The exact trip or the country visited may vary each year. For those who do not take the trip a learning experience will be provided in Salford that meets the same learning outcomes.

Entry Requirements

Qualification Entry requirements
You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below.
Two GCSE subjects at grade C or above are required. Must include GCSE English language and mathematics at grade C. If you are in England and are taking GCSEs that are awarded from 2017 onwards, grade 4 will be required.
UCAS tariff points 104 UCAS Tariff Points required. Must include one of the following courses: biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, psychology, economics, sociology.
GCE A level 104 UCAS Tariff Points required. Must include one of the following courses: biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, psychology, economics, sociology.
BTEC National Diploma DMM - Must contain an element of science/mathematics. e.g. applied science, health and social care, sport, business, engineering, IT etc. If you wish to determine the suitability of a qualification please contact the institution directly.
Scottish Highers 104 including at least one of either sciences, mathematics, psychology, economics, sociology.
Irish Leaving Certificate 104 including at least one of either sciences, mathematics, psychology, economics, sociology.
International Baccalaureate 104 UCAS Tariff Points required including at least one of either sciences, mathematics, psychology, economics, sociology.

Salford Alternative Entry Scheme (SAES)

We welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to pursue the course successfully. Once we have received your application we will assess it and recommend it for SAES if you are an eligible candidate.

There are two different routes through the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme and applicants will be directed to the one appropriate for their course. Assessment will either be through a review of prior learning or through a formal test.

English Language Requirements

International applicants will be required to show a proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.5 (with no element below 5.5) is proof of this. If you need to improve your written and spoken English, you might be interested in our English language courses.

Fees and Funding


Fees 2019-20

Type of Study Fee
Full-time £9,250 per year
Part-time Your annual fee will be calculated pro rata to the full-time fee according to the number of credits you are studying.
Full-time International £14,820 per year

Fees 2018-19

Type of Study Fee
Full-time £9,250 per year
Part-time Your annual fee will be calculated pro rata to the full-time fee according to the number of credits you are studying.
Full-time International £14,400 per year

If you wish to take part in the trip to Uganda you will need to pay a contribution of £200. The trip is only viable if there are five or more students. The exact trip or the country visited may vary each year. For those who do not take the trip a learning experience will be provided in Salford that meets the same learning outcomes.


The course is taught using the following modes of delivery:

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • One-to-one tutorials
  • Directed study
  • Field Trips
  • Presentations
  • Group Work
  • Practical computer workshops


  • Written exams (seen and unseen)  20%
  • Presentations 20%
  • Group tasks 5%
  • Written course work 55%


Career Prospects

Graduates of the programme would be equipped for a range of employment in public health, including in public health teams and in services that have a public health remit such as housing services and leisure services. Other roles include public health information analysis, international development, public health research assistant, health trainer, health improvement practitioner. Employing organisations include local government, clinical commissioning groups, voluntary/community organisations and national bodies such as Public Health England. You can find out more about the different type of roles within public health and the employers of public health staff via the Health Careers website.

Graduates could also use this multidisciplinary degree in a general sense to enhance their employability. They could also undertake the MSc Public Health to increase employability at a higher level in organisations responsible for delivering health and social care.

Links with Industry

This course works with local and national organisations responsible for delivering public health, including local authorities and the combined Association of Greater Manchester Authorities, Health Protection England, the Greater Manchester Public Health Network and local community and voluntary organisations. These organisations have collaborated on the design of the course to ensure that our graduates have the skills required for the public health workforce. Our partners provide live projects for you to work on during your degree. For example, your Applied Public Health Module will expose you to real-world challenges and give you the opportunity to work with professionals to begin to establish professional networks. You will be able to contribute to public health initiatives with real budgets and time constraints. You will have the chance to practice employability skills, such as personal communication, time management and team work.

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