Postgraduate MSc

Public Health





One year

Two year

Next enrolment

September 2024


In a nutshell

On this course, you'll receive instruction in core public health skills including epidemiology, statistics and research methods, and have the opportunity to gain in-depth knowledge of a range of topics, including evidence-based public health, global health economics and 21st-century global public health challenges. The focus of our curriculum is on the social determinants of health, which makes it unique among the other Greater Manchester universities.

This course aligns with the Public Health Skills and Knowledge Framework (2016). In this regard, the course will equip you with the core skills you'll need to effectively interpret and understand key areas of health research and how this can be used to inform and drive policy. You'll also learn how to use this insight to inform and drive public health.

During your time with us, you can tap into the expertise and skills of our partners, who include external public health practitioners and research staff from across the University. Whilst the programme does not include a placement, or work experience, students have the opportunity to work on external or internal applied research projects as part of their dissertation.

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 (ASPHER).

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

You will:

  • Gain a public health qualification that explores the social determinants of health.
  • Be exposed to a range of important issues that are recurrent in public health practice both nationally and globally.
  • Develop a multi-disciplinary, evidence-based approach to public health.

students accepted

This is for you if...


You want to understand the social determinants of public health issues.


You want to help shape government policy.


You want to work internationally.

Course details

All about the course

The MSc Public Health adopts a multi-disciplinary, evidence-based approach, focusing on the social determinants of health.

The taught modules will give you core public health and epidemiology knowledge and skills, research methods and quantitative analysis skills, and give a focus on health inequality and the social determinants of health. You will also be exposed to a range of important issues that are recurrent in public health practice both nationally and globally.

This course runs full-time over one year or two/three years part-time, giving you the chance to exit with the following awards:            


  • Postgraduate Diploma: five modules over eight months
  • Master's: five modules plus a dissertation over one year

Please note, that there is no option to complete the PgCert on a full-time basis.


    • Postgraduate Certificate: two or three modules over eight months
    • Postgraduate Diploma: five modules over two years
    • Masters: five modules plus a dissertation over two or three years

    Five of the modules on this programme are available as standalone for the purposes of continuing professional development: 


    Epidemiology and Statistics for Public Health

    You will gain advanced knowledge of the principles of epidemiology and statistics in public health along with how to design a simple epidemiological study and understand the key concepts of the study protocol. You will develop the capability to thoroughly and critically assess health status, health needs and analyse the biopsychosocial factors that determine a person's health. 

    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, search for evidence and information and form a critical review of existing research.

    Evidence-Based Public Health

    You will develop an understanding of the key determinants of health and an awareness of the social context of public health and the importance of using the current best evidence in making decisions in the areas of health protection, disease prevention, health maintenance and promotion.

    Global Health Economics

    Health economics is becoming increasingly integral to how healthcare systems are organised in many countries, to maximise the efficiency and value for money of the services provided. The aim of this module is to help students understand how these techniques are used in decision-making around the world, how to collect and analyse the relevant evidence needed for decision-making, and how to work within these systems to obtain funding and support for investment in public health.


    Students will have the opportunity to choose a dissertation topic of their choice, with tutorial assistance from the public health team. This will enable you to tailor your own research to your own needs. This dissertation will allow you will allow you to showcase critical knowledge and application of research/inquiry methods, critical knowledge of salient professional and clinical organisational issues and other issues relating to your practice. You will need to demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of research/inquiry techniques applicable to your area of practice to enhance research and advance scholarship.

    Choose one option from:

    21st Century Global Public Health Challenges

    This module will allow you to increase critical awareness of the key global public health challenges for the 21st Century and develop a critical understanding of approaches to improving global public health, including the role of systems, policy and practice, and the use of digital and media technology.

    Public health within Allied Health Professions

    This module is designed to enhance the practice of AHPs in terms of their understanding and use of public health concepts. This module will explore models of partnership working and the importance of working collaboratively to improve the health of the public. This module will critically evaluate a range of core concepts, theories and frameworks which are fundamental to understanding how public health can be integrated into the work of Allied Health Professionals. To undertake this module you would need to be working in an allied health professional role, as the assessment will be through a work-based portfolio.

    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?


    To accommodate different learning styles and prior student experiences, a combination of teaching and learning strategies are used throughout the course. These include:

    • Lectures
    • Case studies
    • Individual and group work
    • Independent learning
    • Student-led presentations/discussions
    • Seminars

    You will also have access to the University’s virtual learning environment, Blackboard, where you can tap into online resources including discussion boards and wikis.

    Teaching is over 10.5 hours per week across two days.


    Assessment will be based on a variety of strategies to include:

    • Written assessments
    • Examinations
    • Project reports
    • Oral presentations
    • Research project/dissertation

    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.

    Programme tutors

    The public health academic team comprise of:

    Employment and stats

    What about after uni?

    Professionals who wish to develop the skills and knowledge to take a lead role in areas such as prevention, promotion, protection and international health.

    With this qualification, you'll be well-placed to apply for public health roles in local or national government health departments. The range of jobs varies widely and can include health promotion, health policy development, research or health advocacy.

    Full-time students on this course can apply for student membership with The Royal Society of Public Health. Upon completion of the course, students are eligible to apply for a fellowship membership with The Royal Society of Public Health.

    A taste of what you could become

    A Local or National Government Worker

    A Health Policy Developer

    A Health Researcher

    An International Health Worker

    and much more...

    Career Links

    Lecturers on the MSc Public Health have close links with a range of national and international agencies and community partnerships, mostly through research, with an ‘applied’ focus. Examples of these links include: The World Health Organisation’s Collaborating Centre for Research in Oral Health in Deprived Communities; The Royal Society for Public Health; The NHS; the Department of Health; the 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; the opportunity to engage with key public health professionals and practitioners; and access to an exciting seminar series, including speakers of international renown.


    What you need to know

    Applicant profile

    This course is suitable for you if you want to develop an understanding of public health problems and intelligently appraise the debates over contemporary public health issues.

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

    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.

    Personal Statement

    To gain a place on the MSc Public Health, you’ll have to submit a personal statement and meet our entry requirements when you apply.

    Within your personal statement (up to 750 words), we’ll want to understand:

    • What motivates you and what past experience (both academic and non-academic) do you have?
    • What are your main interest around public health, and why?
    • What are your future career goals?
    • Why you have chosen to apply to the University of Salford and the MSc Public Health programme.

    You should also provide an academic/work-related CV and two references (at least one should be an academic reference,  with the second one being an academic one, or a work-related reference – paid/unpaid) provided on letterhead paper, signed and dated.

    An English qualification is an essential entry criteria for the programme, special attention should be paid to your writing style and expression in the statement.

    International students can find more information about what to include in your personal statement.

    English language requirements 

    If you are an international student and not from a majority English-speaking country, you will need IELTS 6.5 with no element below 6.0. We also accept a range of other English language qualifications. If you do not have the English language requirements, you could take our Pre-Sessional English course

    Standard entry requirements

    Undergraduate degree

    We will accept an undergraduate honours degree, normally a 2.2 or above, preferably in a health-related subject. An equivalent academic or professional qualification from the UK or elsewhere. 

    International Students

    We accept qualifications from all around the world. Find your country to see a full list of entry requirements.

    You can find advice about what to include in your personal statement for MSc Public Health

    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
    Full-time home 2024/25 £8,820.00per year
    Full-time international 2024/25 £16,380.00per year
    Part-time 2024/25 Part-time costs will be calculated on a pro rata basis.
    Full-time home 2025/26 £9,100.00per year
    Full-time international 2025/26 £17,000.00per year
    Part-time 2025/26 Part-time costs will be calculated on a pro rata basis.

    Additional costs

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

    Scholarships for international students

    If you are a high-achieving international student, you may be eligible for one of our scholarships. Explore our International Scholarships.

    Apply now

    All Set? Let's Apply

    Still have some questions? Register for one of our Open Days or contact us:

    By email:
    By phone: +44 (0)161 295 4545

    Enrolment dates

    September 2024