If you have a passion for making changes and want to acquire an interdisciplinary skillset, consider postgraduate public health. Public health has a multitude of specialisations which can be studied as broadly or specifically as you’d like, by either choosing a MSc in Public Health, or a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree. UK universities offer a variety of public health degrees with unique specialisations, making it easier to study what interests you. Here, we’ll go through the reasons to study public health, and how to choose between an MSc or MPH, based on your personal goals.
What Is Public Health?
Public health involves improving the health outcomes of a population, through encouraging, promoting and implementing changes in policies, practices, and education. Public health is especially of importance to vulnerable or underrepresented populations, or in countries where there is inequitable or inadequate access to healthcare. Different areas of specialisation in public health include aged care, maternal health, public health policy and biostatistics, and can be studied on a large scale or at the grassroots level. Utilising concepts and knowledge in science, medicine, statistics, law, and international relations, practising public health requires an interdisciplinary approach to come up with innovative solutions to specific problems.
Why Study a Masters in Public Health in the UK?
Studying an MSc in public health can help you advance in your career, work across industries, and provide fulfilling work that makes a difference. If you’re looking to study an MPH or MSc in public health abroad, the UK is a great option. Here are some reasons why you might want to consider studying public health in the UK:
Variety of Specialisations
UK universities have a range of public health specialisations within their degrees, including unique options such as health and climate change, women’s health, health economics and environmental health. These courses are offered as elective modules, meaning you can choose exactly what you’d like to specialise in.
There are many jobs that you can apply for after studying public health; graduates of public health degrees often work across many industries, such as in healthcare, government, charities, education, and NGOs. You can choose to work at international or grassroots levels, based on your experience and interests. After graduation, international students in the UK can stay and work for up to two years, so you can gain valuable experience.
Many international students choose to study abroad in the UK, which can actually help you when studying public health. As public health issues differ greatly depending on the context in which they occur, having other international students as your classmates can broaden your views and provide unique insights into the health issues and systems from around the world.
Study Public Health in the UK: MSc or MPH?
You can choose between studying public health as a MSc degree, or as its own degree, and both have their own advantages, based on your goals. Luckily, UK universities offer plenty of both MSc and MPH degrees, so you can find a degree that interests you. First, let’s go through what the differences are between an MSc in Public Health and an MPH:
MSc in Public Health
An MSc in public health is a research-based degree, where you will learn fundamental public health concepts and technical skills in analysis and biostatistics in the first year, followed by a research project. You can choose to focus your research project on any public health issue or area and utilise your skills to evaluate, analyse and suggest solutions for the issue. If you want to continue on to a PhD or have a career in public health research or education, a MSc in public health is needed.
Master of Public Health (MPH)
A Master of Public Health is usually studied by healthcare and medical professionals to learn how to apply practical skills in public health to advance their career into government, NGO, charity, or high-level roles. Some MPH degrees in the UK are only for healthcare professionals, however, there are degree options for non-professionals as well, where you will learn the same concepts of public health such as health promotion, health leadership, policy and programs and intercultural health. As with many other UK degrees, an MPH in the UK will also require you to write a dissertation, where you can integrate public health concepts to evaluate your role as a public health professional handling real-world public health issues.
Where to Study a Master's Degree in Public Health in the UK
Studying an MPH or MSc in public health in the UK can provide you with diverse course content, specialised teaching and world-class facilities. Here are our suggestions for studying a master's in public health in the UK:
University of Hertfordshire – Master of Public Health
This MPH program involves comprehensive study of the fundamentals of public health, with a variety of elective courses providing many options for specialisation. There is also the option to choose an extended placement, where you can gain practical experience in a real public health organisation. Courses are taught by medical, nursing and business faculties, meaning you will be taught by experts from many disciplines.
University of Edinburgh – Master of Public Health
The University of Edinburgh’s Master of Public Health is taught by teachers from the Usher Institute, providing world-class education in medical and healthcare courses. The core courses cover the basics of public health, and electives allow you to hone your skills in analysis, evaluation, and technical subjects such as health economics. This course would suit healthcare professionals or anyone with an employment or educational background in medical or health sciences.
University of Newcastle – Public Health and Health Services MSc
This degree is for those with a background in health or sciences, who want to advance their knowledge through public health research. After studying core concepts in public health research methods, students collaborate with a faculty member for their dissertation on a public health topic. There are elective courses which cover fundamental public health topics as well as specialised research skills, so you have flexibility to tailor your degree to what interests you.
Reach Your Study Abroad Goals with Intake
If you’re interested in any of the Master of Public Health degrees mentioned or would like to explore more public health study options in the UK, reach out to an Intake advisor today. We can offer personalised advice on your individual study goals and discuss courses that suit your personal and professional needs, as well as helping you along the admissions process.