Msc Public Health Pathway

Required Credits/Units: 180

Core Modules

Module Credits/Units: 20

Module Aims
To develop ability to critically explore and evaluate the social and biological determinants of health using a range of theoretical concepts in relation to poverty, equity, health inequalities, needs assessment, health impact assessment, and sustainable multi-disciplinary public health practice.

To be able to calculate, interpret and use epidemiological and demographic health data to better understand community health needs, inequalities and determinants of health.

Content Summary
Historical context of Public Health

Perspectives on poverty and models of development in relation to equity and sustainable multi-disciplinary public health across a global context

Examination of key issues in relation to sustainable multi-disciplinary public health across a global context including climate change and current global news issues.

The scope of multi-disciplinary public health including the roles and relationships

The social construction of health and illness including lay and professional, individual and population concepts of health and illness and their implications for public health practice

Demographic and key measurement tools in health including interpretation and calculation of key mortality and morbidity measures.

The social and biological determinants of health, inequalities in health, strategies to tackle health inequalities and the evaluation of their impact to reduce inequalities

Health needs assessment, sources of health status information, their interpretation and utilisation in public health practice and health impact assessment

Learning Outcome

  1. Demonstrate the ability to evaluate and use a variety of theoretical models and approaches to conceptualising public health problems and suggest a range of realistic, evidence based solutions for change.
  2. Critically evaluate, interpret and explain demographic health data in relation to health needs, equity and inequality in a community context.
  3. Demonstrate an evidence based knowledge of how to critically evaluate public health policies and strategies to tackle inequalities in health and suggest new policies to address identified health needs
  4. Demonstrate the ability to use, interpret and calculate appropriate demographic and key measurement tools in health including key epidemiological measures for morbidity and mortality.

Module Credits/Units: 20

Module Aims

To develop the ability to critically appraise the principles, theories and practices of health promotion and social marketing and to develop advanced skills to design health promotion interventions that draw on in-depth analytical understanding of relevant theories of behaviour change, motivation, attitude and consumer behaviour

Content Summary

Critical application of the principles and techniques of health promotion theory including the role of medical, educational, behavioural change, settings, policy and legislative interventions

The nature of health promotion and critical understanding of theories on motivation and attitude

Development and communication of effective health promotion messages

Developing, implementing and evaluating health promotion programmes, interventions and policies

Key settings for health promotion and activity

Discuss lay and professional contributions to health promotion within the context of collaborative multi-disciplinary working

Constraints to effective health promotion practice.

Contribution of concepts and determinants of health to models and approaches to health promotion and social marketing

Measuring health and assessment of health promotion and social marketing needs.

Using the evidence base for health promotion and how to initiate action to fill health promotion gaps.

Designing health promotion resources for improving population health and well being

Strategies for communicating health promotion messages

Knowledge of how to proactively use various media to communication key issues in health promotion

Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate critical understanding of the strengths, limitations and scope of current approaches to health promotion critiquing the evidence base, approaches to health promotion, health promotion policy and main theoretical frameworks that inform practice
  2. Demonstrate clear understanding and application of theory to health promotion interventions that includes the ability to synthesise and critique the evidence based, create measurable outcomes, use appropriate methodologies and evaluation strategies.
  3. Critically discuss the use of mass media in the communication of key health promotion messages and analyse strategies and techniques to create and work effectively with various media sources to communicate key issues relevant to health.

Module Credits/Units: 20

Module Aims
To develop advanced knowledge and skills to critically appraise, evaluate and apply research methods, statistics and epidemiological concepts within the public health arena.

Content Summary
Key terminology used in epidemiological and research studies including prevalence, incidence, sensitivity, specificity, false positives and false negatives

Interpreting graphical representation of epidemiological and statistical data Interpreting calculations used in the assessment of research data such as relative risk, absolute risk and power.

Descriptive and inferential statistical tests and their application

Methodologies uses in qualitative and quantitate research

Critical appraisal skills for quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods research across a range of different health topics

Critical evidence based practice

Ethical issues around the collection, interpretation, dissemination and use of public health research and data

Literature search strategies and their utilization to answer questions generated by public health practice

Generating appropriate research questions using PICO

Systematically locating research studies using robust search strategies

Critical analysis of public health evidence using appropriate frameworks

Communication of recommendations for practice

Learning Outcome

  1. Demonstrate the ability to design an appropriate PICO research question and design and undertake a systematic search strategy in a public health area
  2. Understand and critique the evidence base for public health and how this is utilised in practice and policy development in a wide range of health topics
  3. Apply critical appraisal techniques to quantitative and qualitative research studies and be able to synthesise what findings mean for public health research and practice.
  4. Demonstrate understanding of public health epidemiological study design features including key statistical concepts and interpretation of data, graphs and tables.

Module Credits/Units: 20

Module Aims
To critically evaluate the principles & practice of health protection

To critically examine the concept of risk in relation to population health

To explore ways in which the quality of multi-disciplinary public health practice delivered in diverse environments may be assured

Content Summary
Principles & practice of health protection including social determinants of health, surge capacity, down & up-stream strategies, poverty and health inequalities, & humanitarian principles

Notions of risk, principles of risk assessment & associated frameworks

Principles of managing risk in diverse environments

Relationship of risk to social & biological determinants of health, poverty & health inequalities

Risk management & its role in assuring & improving quality of health protection interventions

Communicable hazards – cross infection & infection control

Non-communicable hazards – risk assessment & management

Health literacy, communication of risk issues & working with the media to protect health

Health improvement programmes

Safeguarding children & vulnerable populations

Peoples’ strategies for survival in risky environments, emergency or major incident situation, conflict zones

Principles of emergency & major incident investigation, planning & reporting

Principles of conducting audit & its role in assuring & improving quality

Learning Outcome

  1. To critically evaluate the theoretical perspectives of risk as applied to diverse populations & environments
  2. To demonstrate an analytical understanding of relationships between risk, social and biological determinants of health, poverty, health inequalities & environment
  3. To demonstrate critical insight into the use of the media to help people protect their health in diverse risky environments

Module Credits/Units: 20

Module Aims

By the end of the module students will be able to;

Develop, understand and critically examine the strategic leadership theories, models, drivers and operations which facilitate personal, institutional and community change.

Critically analyse and apply appropriate methodology for leading change in a multi-disciplinary team context with the specific aims to protect health and achieve health improvement in diverse working contexts.

Identify an area for change and apply decision making processes and criteria to prioritize a change, and debate appropriate leadership styles and strategies for a successful change

Content Summary

1) Theories and models of change

Including ethical theories of change, managing ethical issues during change.

Change models and approaches to managing planned change, rapid and discontinuous change, within multi-disciplinary teams and in communities.

Managing change in diverse communities and development of health impact assessment.

Project management / identification of the stages of change.

2) Theories and models of leadership

Critical analysis of leadership styles, good and poor practice in leadership incorporating ethical issues raised by varying leadership style.

Reflection on and insight into own leadership style, personality and preferences in different circumstances

3) Strategic Leadership

Strategic leadership for public health and how to develop a vision / communicate a vision.

How to manage the project involving change clearly identifying the stages of change.

Gender leadership and change.

4) Team working for change

Effective leadership of reflexive teams in diverse settings and organisational cultures. Balancing the needs of the individual and the team.
Team working / dysfunctional team working.
Effective multi-disciplinary working across organisational boundaries

Communication of complex issues

5) Effective prioritization

Decision making and setting priorities in public health practice. Ethical decision making, decision making processes and using practice frameworks for decision making including criteria for their use,

6) Risk assessment

Consideration of risk from economic, health, social and political perspectives and application of risk assessment tools

7) Stakeholders

Stakeholder analysis, evaluating and selecting strategic options, the role of advocacy in influencing and leading change, empowering individuals and communities for change.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate an in-depth critical understanding of the role and contribution of leadership in conceptualising, creating and inspiring innovation and practice in multi-disciplinary public health
  2. Demonstrate critical insight into effective leadership and analyse a range of leadership styles and strategies that be implemented and utilised for health improvement.
  3. Critically analyse a complex issue and apply, design and utilise prioritization criteria to prioritize a feasible change area
  4. Plan a change event for leadership including stakeholders, risk analysis and leadership decision making tools and frameworks

Module Credits/Units: 20

Module Aims

To develop knowledge of the fundamental principles and key concepts in health economics and to develop an ability to use health economics to inform policy and planning in public health.

To familiarise students with various models of health service financing.

To develop understanding of the theoretical basis for the role of commissioning and health economics in reducing inequalities and improving quality in the context of a publicly funded health care system.

To introduce the principles, nature, methods and models of quality improvement in health care

Content Summary

Health Economics:

Key concepts in health economics, including scarcity, marginal analysis, opportunity cost, efficiency and equity.

Demand and supply in healthcare.


The relationship between health and wealth

Economic evaluation; cost-benefit, cost-minimisation, cost-effectiveness and cost-utility analysis.

Health service organisation and financing:

Health and social care service organisation and healthcare financing

Different models of health service financing.

Budget preparation, financial allocation and service commissioning.

Allocative efficiency, use of economic methods in priority setting and exceptionality.


Key concepts and principles of good governance for quality improvement, including:

Evaluation and audit

Standard setting

Learning from adverse events

Use of data and information in quality assurance

Information governance

Research and service development

Regulation, accountability, leadership and risk management in organisational governance

Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate a critical understanding of health economics, health economics methodologies and their role in evaluation, public health policy formulation and decision making.
  2. Critically evaluate the differences in organisational structure and function and discuss various models of health service financing.
  3. Analyse the principles, nature, methods and models of quality improvement in health care in the context of public health.
  4. Critically discuss principles and concepts of governance and suggest practical ways to improve health and reduce inequalities using good governance.

Module Credits/Units: 20

Module Aims
To develop critical understanding of, and gain experience in, the process of generating evidence & transferring it into public health practice

To enable critical engagement in the development of the knowledge & skills required to contribute to public health scholarship & its dissemination using audience appropriate methods

Content Summary
Developing ideas, questions & designs for generating public health evidence. Study protocols. Research conduct & research ethics issues. On-line searching. Appraising evidence. Matching designs to questions. Matching data collection/generation methods to designs. Matching analysis techniques to data collection/generation methods. Dissemination strategies & techniques for different audiences (policy makers; public health service providers; populations/sub-groups)

Learning Outcomes

  1. Critically evaluate research findings in a specific area of public health practice
  2. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the relationship between ideas, research questions, research designs & research methods
  3. Explore the dissemination strategies & techniques for reaching different audiences
  4. Design an original, evidence based, accurate and ethically appropriate research study protocol

Module Credits/Units: 20

Module Aims

This module aims to introduce students to both fundamental and advanced concepts in epidemiology and biostatistics and the application of these concepts within the study of public health.

Content Summary

Key Principles of Epidemiology: measuring the frequency of outcomes; measures of association and impact; interpreting associations and understanding chance, bias and confounding; standardization.

Epidemiological Research Studies and biostatistical techniques: ecological studies; cross-sectional studies and surveys; cohort studies; case-control studies; intervention studies and the management of trials.

Common Statistical Methods used in Epidemiology and biostatistics: regression analysis; odds; risk; survival analysis.

Applied Epidemiology: health needs assessment; health impact assessment; screening; outbreak investigation and surveillance; public health planning; critical appraisal and systematic reviews.

Learning Outcome

  1. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of different epidemiological study designs and interpret routine epidemiological measures of health and disease.
  2. Apply epidemiological and biostatistical methods and concepts within the context of public health planning, investigation and surveillance.
  3. Review, critically appraise, and summarise published epidemiological papers and reports.

Module Credits/Units: 20

Module Aims

To evaluate the Sustainable Development Goals, targets and wider issues
To develop a partnership programme to facilitate achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals in a low income country context
To explore a range of health related issues pertaining to international health and low income countries
To analyse and evaluate the concept of partnerships and mutual learning.

Content Summary

Sustainable Development Goals; international organizations; developing and maintain partnerships, partnership working logistics, ethics and philosophy; health systems in low and middle income countries; public health
issues; family health; maternal and child health; effects of poverty on family health; human rights, women’s rights and gender issues; war and conflict, families in disaster situations, vaccine preventable diseases, neglected
tropical diseases, barriers and innovations for family health.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Evaluate the Sustainable Development Goal and debate their implications for a specific low income countries.
  2. Analyse key issues affecting the health and health care provision for families in low income countries in a specific Sustainable Development Goal area
  3. Identify and develop a partnership philosophy identifying areas of recropocity, sustainability and good practice.
  4. Plan a partnership based programme of change within the context of a low income country

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