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

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 >

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
  • Nutrition in public health
  • Global 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

"I have enjoyed networking with other professionals from a wide variety of health backgrounds. My current job covers workplace health and I believe this professional qualification will give me the edge in gaining full-time employment in this field."

Damian Brewer, Access and Equalities Advisor, Horsham District Council

"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

MDM50 Principles and Practice of Public Health (20 credits)

MDM12 Epidemiology (20 credits)


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

PGDip in Public Health

MDM50 Principles and Practice of Public Health (20 credits)

MDM10 Research Methods and Critical Appraisal (20 credits)

MDM12 Epidemiology (20 credits)

MDM66 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)


MDM164 Dissertation (60 credits)

Optional Module List

MDM33 Health Protection (20 credits)*

MDM83 Nutrition in Public Health (20 credits)*

MDM161 Global Public Health (20 credits)

MDM110 Leadership and Change Management in Clinical Services  (20 credits) 


MDM111 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.

Successful completion of the course will assist the graduate in pursuing a career in academic and research institutions, public or government services or voluntary organisations, and national and international 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 second class undergraduate honours degree in any subject or equivalent 

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

OR 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. For more information on intercalating at BSMS click here.

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) are welcome to apply.

Fees and funding (2017-18)


UK / EU / Island students £7,650

International £14,490


UK £5,100

International £9,660


UK £2,550

International £4,830


All BSMS students on Masters courses accredited jointly by the University of Sussex and the University of Brighton, including the PG Clinical Diploma Physician Associate course, are eligible to apply for University of Sussex postgraduate scholarships in 2017/18. 

Read more >

Apply here

Applications are made through the University of Brighton online portal.