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Brighton & Sussex Medical School

Public Health

BSMS > Postgraduate > Public Health

Public Health

Key facts

MSc, PGDip, PGCert

Full-time: 1 year

Part-time: 3 years

Eligible applicants: UK, EU, international

Location: University of Brighton Falmer campus

Course Leader: Dr Priya Paudyal 

Read Dr Priya Paudyal's profile here >

General enquiries:

This course is validated by the University of Brighton and the University of Sussex.

apply for the public health course here >


Watch our Public Health video below to find out more about the course from current students.



Our COVID-19 contigency plans for 2020-2021

Public Health has never been more important. At a time of national and global crisis, we are swiftly adapting to changes and maximising opportunities for enhancing learning on our Public Health MSc. As a Public Health team, our priority is the safety and well-being of our students. Here is what you should know about the upcoming academic year (2020-2021). 

The academic year  will start as normal and term dates will not be changed. Visit the University of Sussex website for up-to-date information on term dates here. However, teaching will be delivered by a blend of in-person and online teaching, and we will adapt our timetables, teaching methods and course content to make the most of this approach. The balance of the blend will depend on the stringency of social distancing and other regulations in force at the time.

For students who are unwilling or unable to do anything in person, it will be 100% possible to complete all coursework remotely via online engagement in 2020 (details about 2021 are to be decided).  

Students' praise for our recent Online Global Public Health module (May 2020):

"I think once everyone has good internet connection there's nothing really stopping us from enjoying the module like an in-person taught module. I also really liked how there was a student from Greece present during the module, it gave me a sense of community even though we were far apart. I loved the online teaching." 

"I was really impressed by how smoothly it went. To be honest I was a little sceptical about the online week module but it has been really enjoyable. It all ran pretty much to time. [...] It was lovely to hear from different teachers with various backgrounds. Big thanks to Marija, Priya and Claire for making it happen and being enthusiastic."

"I really enjoyed having representation from around the world (people with different nationalities and interests). I enjoyed how thought provoking some of the sessions were."

"I thought the module was excellent and the standard of teaching was exceptional."

student talking at a workshop

Key areas of study

  • Principles and practice of public health
  • Epidemiology
  • Research methods and critical appraisal
  • Essential statistics in health and medical care
  • Health protection
  • Global public health
  • Health economics
  • Nutrition in public health

Course overview

The MSc in Public Health provides a solid foundation for public health research and practice, empowering graduates to lead in a variety of public, NGO and international settings. 

Interactive lectures are delivered by academics, practitioners and activists from the frontlines of public health. Our aim is to equip you to join the dynamic field of public health with a strong grasp of research methods and interdisciplinary skills. Students are assessed through a wide range of methods to build confidence and practical skills, including TED talks, poster presentations and PechaKucha presentations. Find out more about PechaKucha here > 

The course combines a set of four compulsory core modules (Principles and Practice of Public Health, Epidemiology, Essential Statistics in Health and Medical Research, and Research Methods and Critical Appraisal), a range of optional modules (eg Health Protection, Nutrition in Public Health, Global Public Health etc), and the dissertation, allowing students to focus on areas relevant to their work and professional interests. Each module is delivered within an intensive immersive week, with ‘breaks’ between modules during which time students focus on seminars, tutorials, assignments, research and extracurricular activities. This structure also works very well for part time, working students.



The research dissertation module provides an excellent opportunity to integrate interests with research skills, while improving students' competencies and skills to enhance their long-term career in public health.

Students who do not have a dissertation topic in mind are welcome to join existing research projects run by our faculty or external partners either in the UK or abroad. 

Publications resulting from our students' dissertations 

  • E Ford, Y Kazempour, M Cooper, S V Katikireddi, A Boyd (in press). Media content analysis of general practitioners’ reactions to expressed in the media: what lessons can be learned for future NHS data sharing initiatives? BMJ Open
  • Himsworth C, Paudyal P and Sargeant C. Risk factors for unplanned hospital admission in a specialist homeless general practice population – the relationship with tri-morbidity. British Journal of General Practice. May 2020; bjgp20X710141. DOI: Read it here >
  • Cross H and Llewellyn C. A decline in patient disclosure of heterosexuality in the English general practice patient survey: a longitudinal analysis of cross-sectional data. Family Practice, April 2020, cmaa033. Read it here >
  • Maskell K, Mcdonald P and Paudyal P.  The usefulness of health education materials in GP waiting rooms: cross-sectional study. British Journal of General Practice 2018, 68: e869-e876. Read it here >
  • P Paudyal, D Tunprasert. Impact of migration on health and wellbeing of left-behind families: a systematic review. European Journal of Public Health, 2018; 28 // Read it here >
  • Paudyal P, Patel P, Gilchrist K. Health and wellbeing of young migrants: an analysis of school survey data in South East England. European Journal of Public Health 2018; 28, Read it here >  
  • Thompson A, Paudyal P. Sugar reduction during alcohol recovery: a qualitative study with service users and staff members of a service provider. The Lancet 2018; 392: S57. Read it here >

Other Publications from MSc Public Health Students 

  • Dagens A, Sigfrid L, Cai E, Lipsworth S, Cheng V, Librarian HE, Bannister P, Rigby I, Horby P. Scope, quality, and inclusivity of clinical guidelines produced early in the covid-19 pandemic: rapid review BMJ 2020; 369 doi: (Published 26 May 2020)

Course structure

PGCert in Public Health

Principles and Practice of Public Health (20 credits)

Epidemiology (20 credits)


One other module from the core or optional list (20 credits)

PGDip in Public Health

Principles and Practice of Public Health (20 credits)

Research Methods and Critical Appraisal (20 credits)

Epidemiology (20 credits)

Essential Statistics for Health and Medical Research (20 credits)


Two modules from the optional module list (20 + 20 Credits)

MSc in Public Health

PGDip essential modules


Two modules from the optional module list (20 + 20 Credits)


Dissertation (60 credits)

Optional Module List

Health Protection (20 credits)*

Nutrition in Public Health (20 credits)*

Global Public Health (20 credits)

Leadership and Change Management in Clinical Services  (20 credits) 

*Modules run in alternate years subject to numbers. Health protection runs every even year (eg 2020, 2022) and Nutrition in Public Health runs every odd year (eg 2021, 2023).

Career opportunities

Course participants are empowered to develop public health practice which has a positive impact on their communities.

Teaching sessions are delivered by academics and practitioners who are active in the field. Course participants are empowered to develop public health practice which has a positive impact on their community. The course prepares students to pursue careers related to public health. Our graduates are currently working in Local Authorities, Public Health England, Health Education England, national and international Universities and in a range of national and international public and non-governmental organisations. 

Entry requirements

The course is open to all applicants who are intending to work in public health or related fields, as well as professionals who are in a position to deliver improvements in population health. Some of our students come straight from undergraduate studies, whilst others have extensive work experience. Typical professions of our mature students include primary care and public health practitioners, specialist community public health nurses, health promotion specialists, community development workers, environmental health officers and managers in the NHS and local authorities.

Applicants should have achieved a first or upper second-class undergraduate honours degree or equivalent in any Public Health-related subject. 


Evidence of at least five years of work experience in an environment related to public health. Applicants must demonstrate a capacity to study at Masters level. 


Successful completion of at least three years of basic medical science at a UK medical school (having gained at least 360 credits) with a guaranteed place to continue medical studies on completion of the MSc.  

For international students an IELTS score of 7 or above is required, with no less than 6.5 in each section. 

Fees and funding

The fees listed below are the overall costs for full-time courses taken in the academic year 2020-21. Where courses are taken part-time over more than one academic year, fees are usually charged pro-rata for the modules taken during each academic year.  


UK / EU / Island students £8,262

International £15,156


UK £5,508

International £10,008


UK £2,754

International £5,004


All BSMS students on Masters courses accredited jointly by the University of Sussex and the University of Brighton are eligible to apply for University of Sussex postgraduate scholarships in 2020-21. 

Read more about fees and funding >