Skip to main contentSkip to footer
Cyclist on seafront
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 >

General enquiries:

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

apply here >

Further information about this course can be found in the Course Application Handbook.

Download here >

Information for interntational students can be found in the international postgraduate prospectus.


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."

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 course has been designed within a multi-professional, modular framework that draws on a wide range of disciplines.

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) with a range of optional modules (eg Health Protection, Nutrition in Public Health, International Health etc) which allows students to focus on areas relevant to their work and professional interests. The research dissertation module provides an excellent opportunity to integrate study-based learning with a work-based research project improving students' competencies and skills to enhance their long-term career in public health.

The course delivers a solid grounding in public health theory and practice to provide a mechanism for analysing and instituting change in practice and to support public health leadership and registration. This is particularly pertinent in a challenging time of change and the course addresses recent moves in responsibility for the delivery of public health programmes. Teaching sessions are delivered by academicians and practitioners who are active in the field. The inter-professional background of the course participants fosters an environment in which occupational experiences are shared and a wider understanding of multidisciplinary public health issues is gained. 

student workshop

"It was definitely the best decision to study Public Health MSc at BSMS. Every module is very well thought-out and as an international student I gain great support. The course has opened new academic doors for me and enabled me a unique experience within the research area of Public Health.”."

Madlene Movia, Public Health student

"The modules I’ve completed have increased my knowledge, understanding and awareness of the scope of public health, so that I feel able to work confidently within a local authority public health team."

Clare Mitchison, Public Health Specialist and current student 

"Each module of the MSc was very well-structured and I had the benefit of interacting with a diverse range of professionals within the same field. As a result, on a professional level, this course enabled me to enter into the public health real world."

Bhavisha Virendrakumar, MSc graduate 

"Shortly after completing my MSc I started a secondment at the Department of Health. Without undertaking the course I may not have been successful in securing this placement and the skills I learned have been invaluable while in this post." 

Helen Wolstenholme, MSc graduate

Course structure

Most modules are assessed by means of a 3,000 word in-depth evaluation of a topic agreed by the student and module leader.


The course has two streams: Public Health and Public Health and Management

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) 


Commissioning for Quality Care Improvement in Clinical Services (20 credits)

*Modules run in alternate years. Health protection runs every odd year (eg 2017, 2019) and Nutrition in Public Health runs every even year (eg 2016, 2018).

Career opportunities

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

Teaching sessions are delivered by academicians 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 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 practice in public health or related fields, and professionals who are in a position to deliver improvements in population health. Typical professions 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' 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' 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.  

International applicants who meet the above entry criteria and have IELTS (minimum score of 7.0 with no less than 6.5 in each section and no less than 7 in writing) are welcome to apply.

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 >

Apply here

Applications are made through the University of Brighton online portal.