Why study this course?

The Public Health MSc focuses on wider determinants of health and wellbeing, and is ideal for anyone interested in working to improve population health and health promotion, whether within the NHS, community organisations, government or related agencies. Based on the view that public health strategies reach far beyond the healthcare system, it provides a comprehensive coverage of the twenty-first century complexities of both national and international public health.

More about this course

The course will develop your critical understanding of the impact of social determinants of health on populations and the range of political, social, economic, environmental and health interventions that might improve population health.

You’ll evaluate key principles and concepts that underpin public health developments and interprets evidence crucial for decision-making and problem-solving in public health policy and practice. You’ll also understand the ethical dimensions of public health and develop critical reflective abilities and moral responsibility for population health.

A master's degree in public health will provide you with the multi-disciplinary learning and teaching environment that will help you become effective public health professionals and leaders capable of examining situations from multiple perspectives, participating in pro-social action and improving awareness of your own and other cultures to a high level of global consciousness.

Please note: You will be required to complete all of the core modules and two optional modules, achieving 180 credits in total. A full-time programme of study will consist of 60 credits per semester, normally made up of two core modules and one optional module, followed by the dissertation project.


You’ll be assessed through seminar papers, presentations, essays, coursework reports, mini projects, case studies, unseen examination and a final dissertation.

Professional accreditation

As a London Met student you'll gain complimentary student membership to the Royal Society of Public Health (RSPH). As well as the outstanding networking opportunities available at RSPH member events, you'll also be awarded a certificate of membership and receive online access to the Perspectives in Public Health journal as well as RSPH monthly newsletters with topical public health updates.

Fees and key information

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Entry requirements

You will be required to have:

  • at least a lower second class (2:2) honours degree in a relevant subject or related area (those with relevant professional or technical qualifications or extensive professional experience will also be considered)

Accreditation of Prior Learning

Any university-level qualifications or relevant experience you gain prior to starting university could count towards your course at London Met. Find out more about applying for Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL).

English language requirements

To study a degree at London Met, you must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. If you require a Student visa you may need to provide the results of a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. This course requires you to meet our standard requirements

If you need (or wish) to improve your English before starting your degree, the University offers a Pre-sessional Academic English course to help you build your confidence and reach the level of English you require.

Modular structure

The modules listed below are for the academic year 2022/23 and represent the course modules at this time. Modules and module details (including, but not limited to, location and time) are subject to change over time.

Year 1 modules include:

This module currently runs:
  • autumn semester - Monday afternoon
  • spring semester - Monday afternoon

Health Improvement is one of the three pillars of Public Health, alongside Healthcare Public Health, and Health Protection. The module explores theory, policy and practical aspects of Health Improvement within an International, and England context. This module covers the impact of the wider determinants of health, and the psychosocial aspects of health.

This module aims to:

  • Develop an advanced understanding of the foundations of Health Improvement
  • Provide an understanding and analysis of the social determinants of health, health inequalities, and health across the life course
  • Appraise the complex nature of behaviour and its influences, identifying how to intervene to effect change
  • Give an advanced understanding and application of the principles, models, and concepts of Health Improvement
  • Equip students with the knowledge and skills to assess a public health issue, design an intervention strategy to overcome this issue, including an evaluation plan to assess the implementation process and impact
  • Understand the commissioning of Health Improvement services in England
This module currently runs:
  • autumn semester - Thursday afternoon
  • spring semester - Thursday afternoon

The short headline definition of Healthcare Public Health provided by the Faculty of Public Health is:

Healthcare public health is one of the three core domains of specialist public health practice, alongside health improvement and health protection. Healthcare Public Health is concerned with maximising the population benefits of healthcare while meeting the needs of individuals and groups, by prioritizing available resources, by preventing diseases and by improving health-related outcomes through design, access, utilisation and evaluation of effective and efficient healthcare interventions and pathways of care.

This module will discuss the application of public health sciences to healthcare services, planning, commissioning, and provision. It will describe some of the core skills and tasks required to produce evidence upon which to make evidence-based decisions in regards to these aforementioned areas. The approaches covered in this module, are also applicable to Health Improvement, and Health Protection, but in this module, they are covered in regards to Healthcare Public Health, grounding students in this discipline, while providing transferable skills to the other domains of Public Health.

The module aims to: -

Develop knowledge and application of a Health Needs Assessment
Enhance evidence-base practice skills, in the area of evidence-based healthcare
Provide a grounding in planning, development, and design of services based on health needs, prevention, early diagnosis, and treatment of illness, quality, efficiency, value, variation, and equality, on a population scale
Develop knowledge and application of service evaluation and Health Impact Assessment
Provide learning opportunities in literature searching including review and critical analysis

This module currently runs:
  • spring semester - Monday afternoon
  • autumn semester - Monday afternoon

This module offers an introduction to the principles, concepts, and methods of epidemiology. It introduces epidemiology as a core discipline for public health practice, policy and research, and emphasises the key role of epidemiology in understanding and responding to the diverse factors and conditions that shape the health and well-being of individuals and populations. The module defines epidemiology and outlines its scope and diverse applications for example in relation to public health practice, health education, health promotion, health service provision and clinical practice. Students are introduced to key topics, including various measures of frequency and association used in epidemiology, and different epidemiologic study designs. Special topics, including investigating the role of nutritional factors in health and the application of epidemiology to disease prevention, are also covered.

This module aims to: -
Provide students with a broad understanding of key epidemiological principles and methods.
Allow students to develop competency in applying basic terminology and definitions of epidemiology
Identify key sources of data for epidemiologic purposes
Describe a public health problem in terms of magnitude, person, time and place
Calculate basic epidemiology measures
Draw appropriate inferences from epidemiologic data
Evaluate strengths and limitations of epidemiologic reports

This module currently runs:
  • spring semester - Friday afternoon
  • summer studies - Friday afternoon
  • autumn semester - Friday afternoon

The dissertation carries triple (60 credits) the weight of a normal module (20 credits) and is designed to give students an opportunity to undertake a substantive independent piece of research on a specific public health issue. It is an integral part of the MSc award.

The dissertation builds upon the taught core modules of the MSc Public Health programme. Students are required to demonstrate a high level of autonomy and self-direction to integrate, synthesise, apply, and evaluate the knowledge and skills developed throughout the course. Students will conduct a research project by critically examining and applying the principles and practice of Public Health. This could include a systematic search and critical review of existing literature, existing data, or collection of primary data in answer to a public health issue. You will present the project in a style and quality appropriate to a research report. Students wishing to complete primary research must discuss this with the module leader as soon as possible, to ensure that the necessary ethical processes are completed, and permission granted within the time frame available. Students will need to identify gaps in knowledge or underlying problems and issues in public health from a social science perspective. The research proposal completed as part of module SH7008 Research Methods for Health and Social Care should form the basis for the dissertation project.

The Public Health Dissertation aims to: -

• Integrate the skills and knowledge underpinning the core modules on the Public Health course and focus these on a specific public health research question
• Apply appropriate skills of analysis and knowledge of research methodologies
• Develop competence in producing evidence in relation to an argued case using appropriate research methods
• Test ability to plan, organise and write a sustained piece of work
• Provide an opportunity for autonomy and critical reflection on a public health research topic / question
• Apply analytical and evaluation skills and knowledge to generate results drawing relevant conclusions and recommendations from evidence, with application within the context of public health

This module currently runs:
  • spring semester - Thursday afternoon
  • autumn semester - Thursday afternoon

The module aims to: -

Equip students with an understanding of quantitative and qualitative research approaches
Facilitate the development of a research proposal in preparation for the dissertation project
Provide learning opportunities in literature searching including review and critical analysis
Provide a grounding in evidence-based decision making

This module currently runs:
  • spring semester - Monday morning

Ethical Issues in Healthcare
This module provides an opportunity for in-depth enquiry at advanced level into the ethical dimensions of contemporary healthcare, and examines the application of ethical theories and approaches to practical dilemmas in healthcare.
Semester: spring
Assessment: Oral Presentation 30%; Essay 70%

This module currently runs:
  • spring semester - Tuesday afternoon

This online module explores one of the major domains of Public Health, that of Health Protection. This module will introduce students to Health Protection, and the principles and practice of this domain of Public Health. This module will have both an international and UK focus, and will give students an understanding of communicable diseases and how they are controlled, environmental public health, and emergency, preparedness, resilience and response. This module will also look at emerging health protection issues, as-well-as giving students an understanding of health protection tools.

This module aims to: -
• Provide a broad understanding of Health Protection
• Allow students to develop competency in applying basic terminology, definitions, and principles of key health protection issues
• Identify and critique infectious disease protection and control measures
• Develop knowledge, understanding, and application of the principles of Health Protection through the use of case study examples

This module studies health in cities. The word ‘cities’ here is broadly taken as any human settlement classified as ‘urban’. The future of human settlement is predominantly ‘urban’. The United Nations Urban Observatory data shows that more than 50% of the world’s population already resides in urban / city settings. It is projected that by 2025 at least 60% of the world’s population will be residing in cities. In most developed countries today, at least 80% of the population resides in cities. Thus, most of the work in public health will be done in cities. It is therefore imperative to have an in-depth understanding of how cities influence human health to be more effective in promoting and improving population health around the world. The module uses a multidisciplinary approach to study the influence of ‘place’, wider determinants of health, and the changing urban environment on the health of residents in cities and city neighbourhoods.

The module aims to: -

• Examine the notions of ‘health crisis’, ‘health disadvantage’ and ‘health advantage’ in cities by using reference material from selected global / world cities that include London
• Understand the significance for health and healthcare of London's and other global cities' "world city" status
• Grasp the impact of ‘place’, wider determinants of health and the urban environment on the health of city dwellers around the world
• Engage critically with public health materials regarding the health of city dwellers, including policy formulation process in relation to shifting agendas towards health improvement in city settings
• Create an understanding of the differences in health, health policy and healthcare systems between cities in the developed and developing world against a backdrop of contemporary urbanisation, globalisation and sustainable development goals
• Provide students with an opportunity to develop skills to get to grips with specific public health issues in relation to specific population groups in given cities
• Critically analyse the influence of international and national policies, including the New Urban Agenda and sustainable development goals on health promotion and improvement within urban settings.

This module currently runs:
  • autumn semester - Tuesday morning

The Module introduces the student to the principles of inter-professional practice and offers the opportunity to apply these concepts to their own practice context. The Module uses blended learning in order to develop a range of skills and competencies for effective professional practice.

Module Aims

To provide an opportunity for students of health & social care, public health & associated disciplines to explore key theory, policy and practice elements of inter-professional practice from a user centred perspective.

To enable students to experience in a highly interactive way, inter-professional practice and organisational management in order to inform present and future practice.

To develop students’ capability to reflect upon their own experiences of inter-professional practice and explore both factors that influence this, including resource constraints and the ethical bases across the different professional groups and to see how common values may underpin effective practice.

To locate the changing nature of organisations and evaluate the implications for effective inter-professional working within a theoretical framework.

This module currently runs:
  • spring semester - Thursday morning

Students are introduced to theories, concepts and models of workplace health in order to facilitate their professional knowledge of developing provision in the social professions arena. Contemporary approaches explore the link between health and wellbeing policy and the outcomes of organisational delivery. Workplace health and wellbeing is considered as a balance between personal, professional and organisational perspectives. The Module explores how such a balance can be achieved in organisational settings and considers the impact of a shortfall in health and wellbeing provision on the workplace. The Module includes dedicated time for observations of workplace initiatives to support health and wellbeing which contribute to the final component of assessment: the Health & Wellbeing portfolio.

The aim of this Module is as follows:

• to develop a knowledge of organisational approaches to health and wellbeing and the promotion of health and well-being in the workplace;
• to develop an awareness of early intervention processes for those who develop a health condition in the workplace; and
• consideration of the socio-economic factors which contribute to employment (and unemployment), in order to develop proactive approaches of inclusion, selection and recruitment in the workplace.

This module introduces students to strategic planning and change management in the public service and to how these relate to the policy making process. It requires students to focus on the strategy making process in an organisation of their choice. The module overviews the design, formulation and implementation stages of organisational strategies and assesses the role of political and administrative leaders in the process of innovation and change.

The module places great emphasis on the strategic management analysis of public organisations. Key tools, such as SWOT and PEST analysis, Scenario Planning, Brainstorming, Cost-Benefit analysis, Stakeholders analysis will be presented and applied on a series of case studies that will inform the teaching and learning process.

An introduction to concepts of strategy, policy, leadership, innovation and change management is followed by an analysis of contexts, core values, problem identification, options analysis, models of decision-making, and implementation. Strategies of, and management of change are a key focus. The evaluation of the success of strategic decisions and an appraisal of ethical issues arising are also considered.

This module currently runs:
  • autumn semester - Tuesday afternoon

This module aims to provide a critical understanding of the policy process and of challenges confronting countries in policy development, analysis, implementation and evaluation. The module uses a range of theoretical and practice-based perspectives from social science disciplines to examine the varying contexts in which health policy is developed and implemented and which shape health policy.

To introduce students to a range of theoretical perspectives related to policy process.
To develop an awareness of the varying social, political, economic and institutional contexts that influence the development of policies in different countries.
To foster students’ engagement with major contemporary issues and debates in the policy process through group participation in them.

This module currently runs:
  • autumn semester - Wednesday afternoon

This module explores the unfolding of the ageing process, and the lived experiences of older people in contemporary societies, across diverse biological/physical and psychosocial domains. The module introduces students to key topics, including global ageing patterns and trends, beliefs and perceptions about ageing and older people in different cultures, major theoretical frameworks on ageing, health and social care provision for older people, social inequalities and economic security in later life.

This module aims to: -
Introduce students to key concepts, models and theories related to both individual and population ageing in contemporary societies
Foster critical reasoning and ability to apply these concepts, and relevant research skills, appropriately when working with older people or in relation to public health/social policy and practice
Help students acquire knowledge of the lived experiences of older persons
Develop relevant practical research skills which will be valuable for further study, career and employment
Allow students to appreciate ageing as a process characterised by much diversity, to critically reflect on relevant evidence, policies and services for older people
Develop a positive attitude towards health promotion for older persons
Foster a holistic view of health and well-being in later life, including its determinants

What our students say

“What I loved about this course was the teaching staff and their enthusiasm. They engaged me and my peers in a very positive way.”

"What I enjoyed most about this course is how it developed my mind to research more problems of the world, for example, Ebola in West Africa. I appreciate what I've learnt through London Met and I recommend it." 

Olaoluwa Isaac Taiwo, graduate

Where this course can take you

Completion of the course provides a wide career pathway in population health. Graduates have gone on to positions within the National Health Service (NHS organisations, community organisations, government agencies, local authorities, health promotion agencies, human rights agencies, health sectors abroad, international health institutions, academia, the business and voluntary sectors). Some graduates also undertake advanced research studies.

Important information about this course

We're committed to continuously improving our degree courses to ensure our students receive the best possible learning experience. Many of the courses in our School of Social Sciences and Professions are currently under review for 2023-24 entry. We encourage you to apply as outlined in the how to apply section of this page and if there are any changes to your course we will contact you. All universities review their courses regularly and this year we are strengthening our social sciences and professions courses to better reflect the needs of employers and ensure you're well-equipped for your future career.

Additional costs

Please note, in addition to the tuition fee there may be additional costs for things like equipment, materials, printing, textbooks, trips or professional body fees.

Additionally, there may be other activities that are not formally part of your course and not required to complete your course, but which you may find helpful (for example, optional field trips). The costs of these are additional to your tuition fee and the fees set out above and will be notified when the activity is being arranged.

Important information for international applicants

Due to unprecedented demand for our courses for the autumn 2023 intake, international admissions are now closed for this postgraduate course. Please check back at a later date to view future available intakes.

How to apply

Use the apply button to begin your application.

If you require a Student visa and wish to study a postgraduate course on a part-time basis, please read our how to apply information for international students to ensure you have all the details you need about the application process.

When to apply

You are advised to apply as early as possible as applications will only be considered if there are places available on the course.

To find out when teaching for this degree will begin, as well as welcome week and any induction activities, view our academic term dates.

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