Postgraduate PgCert

Public Health (Block and Blend)

School of Health and Society


Distance Learning


One year

Next enrolment

September 2023


In a nutshell

This course explores the social determinants of health, is multidisciplinary and uses research informed teaching. It will challenge the way that you think about health, using state-of-the-art public health principles and practice.

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 and Knowledge Framework (UKPHSKF, 2013) and aligns with the UK Faculty of Health’s nine key areas.

You can read more about the Public Health team and activities on our blog: 

You will:

  • Develop an understanding of the key determinants of health and an awareness of the social context of public health
  • 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

students accepted

This is for you if...


You want to learn in a flexible way


You want to understand the social determinants of public health issues


You want to continue onto a PgDip or MSc in Public Health

Course details

All about the course

Using a mix of online and face-to-face delivery (one week intensive teaching in Salford), you can study in a flexible way.

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 which includes work that you can schedule as it suits you in addition to 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.

Year one

Evidence Based Public Health

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.

Research Methods Applied to Public Health

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.

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.

What will I be doing?


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. You will 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).

The School of Health and Society

The School of Health and Society is a forward-thinking, dynamic school with a commitment to lifelong learning and real world impact.

We live in a rapidly changing world, and we’re keen to leave a productive legacy of helping people at all stages of their lives, improving their physical, psychological and social wellbeing.

Staff profile

Dr Margaret Coffey

Margaret’s research focuses on two distinct but interrelated areas: work based health and well being, 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.

Employment and stats

What about after uni?

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.

A taste of what you could become

A junior public health worker

A local or national government worker

A health researcher

And more...

Career Links

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.


What you need to know

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.

Standard entry requirements

Previous study

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

Alternative entry requirements

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).

How much?

Type of study Year Fees
Part-time 2023/24 Your annual fee will be calculated pro rata to the full-time fee according to the number of credits you are studying.
Distance learning 2023/24 £2,850 (Home), £5,250 (International)

Additional costs

You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.

Apply now

All set? Let's apply

Enrolment dates

September 2023