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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, international

Due to visa restrictions, international students requiring a student visa (including EU/EEA who require a student visa) are eligible to apply for BSMS full-time Masters courses only. Part-time Masters courses, all PGDip and all PGCert courses are open to UK and Irish students and international students (including EU/EEA) who have an alternative visa/immigration permission to stay in the UK (such as settled/pre-settled status, Tier 2/work visa, indefinite leave to remain etc).

Location: University of Brighton Falmer campus

Course Leader: Dr Priya Paudyal 

Read Dr Priya Paudyal's profile here >

Public Health Lecturer: Dr Marija Pantelic 

Read Dr Marija Pantelic’s profile here >

General enquiries:

This course is validated by the University of Brighton and the University of Sussex. Applications for 2022/23 entry are now open.

apply for the public health course here >

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


Plans for the upcoming 2022/23 academic year

Public Health has never been more important. 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 (2022-2023). 

The academic year will start as normal and term dates will not be changed. We will prioritise in-person teaching, taking appropriate measures to minimise risk of airborne virus transmission. We will continue to benefit from a selection of online lectures from international experts, which will be live streamed and interactive.

We recognise that some students might have personal challenges due to caring responsibilities of young children and elderly parents, health conditions and various other issues. We will ensure that we will adopt a flexible approach (e.g. alternative dates for tutorials, extended deadlines for assignment submissions etc.) to accommodate your needs in line with your personal circumstances. Please speak to the course team about this as soon as possible so we can support you adequately.

Praise for our blended approach during the pandemic:

"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 course was excellent and the standard of teaching was exceptional."

“I really enjoyed hearing from different experts as well as learning about the vast opportunities offered within Public Health which most people may not know of.”

“Excellent and varied presentations from people who are very passionate about the subject matter. I enjoyed group interactions and discussions. I feel I was given a broad and solid foundation in Public Health.”

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
  • Population mental health
  • Nutrition in public health
  • Sexual 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. 

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, Sexual Health), 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.


Innovative assessment methods

Students are assessed through a wide range of methods to build confidence and practical skills, including TED talks, poster presentations and PechaKucha presentations (see examples below). 

BSMS student Harriet Sharp discusses her experiences as a hard of hearing student and shares her latest assignment for her MSc in Public Health which looks at the impact of Covid-19 on the deaf community. Watch Harriet Sharp’s 'Ted Talk' below.

One of the assignments for the Global Public Health module, part of the Public Health MSc at BSMS, is to record a Pecha Kucha presentation. This is an engaging presentation format featuring 20 images, each on display for 20 seconds while the presenter talks. Giles James did a moving Pecha Kucha on ' Climate Change and Public Health: How flooding impacts on mental health'. Watch Giles James' talk below.



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 

  • Paudyal P,  Tattan M,  and Cooper M. Qualitative study on mental health and well-being of Syrian refugees and their coping mechanisms towards integration in the UK. BMJ Open 2021;11:e046065. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2020-046065. Read it here >
  • Williams J and C Williams. Responsibility for vitamin D supplementation of elderly care home residents in England: falling through the gap between medicine and food. BMJ Nutrition, Prevention and Health 2020. 12;3:256-262. Read it here >
  • Matizanadzo J and Paudyal P. The delivery of obesity interventions to children and adolescents with physical disabilities: a systematic review. Journal of Public Health 2021 Read it here >
  • Weitzel, E, Hopper, C, Herridge, D. ‘Adolescent Gangs: Substance Misuse and Exposure to Adverse Childhood Experiences’. September 2020. Read it here >
  • 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.


Public health training opportunities

We see academic public health as an integral part of public health service, and encourage trainees at all stages to link to us proactively throughout the “life course” of their training.

At BSMS we encourage trainees to work with us in advance to plan a tailored programme of work that harnesses the extraordinary range of opportunities across BSMS and its host universities, the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration (Kent Surrey Sussex (ARCKSS), and partner institutions in local government, NHS and social care. Combined placements are encouraged (e.g. Health Protection Teams, NHS Trusts, Local Government) as in our experience this can add value both for the trainee and the organisations.

Read more about our training opportunities >

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 2022/23. 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.  

With effect from 2021/22 onwards, EU nationals starting new postgraduate courses will pay international fees and will not be eligible for student funding from the UK government. However, there are exceptions to this for Irish nationals and EU nationals with settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme. For the latest information, please see


UK £9,500

International £18,975


UK £6,168 (fee based on 2021/22 and yet to be updated)

International £12,336 (fee based on 2021/22 and yet to be updated)


UK £3,084 (fee based on 2021/22 and yet to be updated)

International £6,168 (fee based on 2021/22 and yet to be updated)


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 2022/23. 

Read more about fees and funding >