Public Health MSc - University of Sunderland

Course overview

If you have a personal commitment to the goal of improving people’s health, this Masters provides specialist training for you to make a real difference. We offer flexibility for you to focus on areas that match your interests and skills.

Public health covers three key domains. The first is health improvement, which includes monitoring specific diseases, risk factors and inequalities. The second is improving services, which includes audit, evaluation, service planning and efficiency. The third domain is health protection, which includes responses to infectious diseases and environmental hazards.

Public health professionals often work alongside colleagues in other disciplines. Consistent with this, Sunderland has created an environment that encourages interdisciplinary learning. We also help you develop the advanced skills in communication, reflective practice and group working that underpin professional success.

During the course you will analyse the global and national policy, and its practical implications. Additionally, you will have an opportunity to study an area of health care in depth, through a project.

The research aspects of the course are supported by Sunderland’s on-going research programme. Our Health Sciences and Well-being Research Beacon aims to conduct world-leading research that leads to better physical and mental health and well-being for all.

Course content

Modules on this course include:  

  • Sociological Perspectives in Health (20 Credits)
  • Epidemiology (20 Credits)
  • Global Issues in Health (20 Credits)
  • Applied Public Health (20 Credits)
  • Brief Interventions (20 Credits)
  • Applied Research Methods and Project Management (20 Credits)
  • Masters Project (60 Credits)

Teaching and assessment

We use a wide variety of teaching and learning methods which include lectures, seminars, workshops, tutorials, self-directed learning and e-learning.

Compared to an undergraduate course, you will find that this Masters requires a higher level of independent working.

Assessment methods include coursework, projects, poster and oral presentations, timed tests and exams.

Information about our policies relating to student experience and quality assurance processes can be found on the Academic Services website.

Facilities & location

Sciences Complex

This course is based in the Sciences Complex at our City Campus, which has benefited from multi-million pound investment in modern facilities. The technical equipment is backed up with excellent IT facilities, with hundreds of workstations available for students to use. If you have any computer problems, just ask the friendly helpdesk team.

University Library Services

The University boasts a collection of more than 430,000 books in total, with many more titles available through the inter-library loan service. There are nearly 9,000 journal titles, mostly in electronic format. Each year the University invests around £1 million in new resources.

Learning environment

Overall Sunderland offers a vibrant learning environment with an international dimension thanks to the presence of students from around the world. At the same time, the University is fully plugged into relevant health care and industry organisations, with strong links and an exchange of ideas and people.


Dale Building

Sciences Complex, City Campus, Chester Road, Sunderland, SR1 3SD

Entry requirements

Undergraduate degree with a classification of 2:2 or above, in a health related discipline.

If English is not your first language, please see our English language requirements.

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)

If you feel you already know some of the topics covered in this course, either due to previous learning or from experience of work, then you may not need to study all of the course.

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) is the name given to the process of gaining credit towards a qualification because of something you have learnt in the past. If you are eligible for APL you won't have to learn the same topic again, and so you can be exempt from a module, set of modules or year of a course. 

Read more about APL in the Quality Handbook (.pdf). If you think you may be eligible for APL, please contact the course leader.

Fees & finance

Postgraduate loans

From 2016/17, tuition fee loans will be available to UK/EU postgraduate students for the first time. Find out more about the eligibility criteria.


The annual fee for this course is:

  • £4,750 if you are from the UK / EU
  • £11,500 if you are an International student

If you are not sure whether you qualify as a UK, EU or International student, please see the International section of this website.

Employment & careers

On completing this course you will be equipped with the skills and knowledge to work at an advanced level in line with current health legislation and policy.

Public Health professionals work in a range of community health areas such as primary health care teams, public health units, drug and alcohol settings, and health and social care settings. There are also opportunities in epidemiology, biostatistics, environmental health, health administration, health education and health policy.

Potential roles include becoming a manager in the NHS, local authorities and non-statutory sectors. For example, at the top end of the scale, there are roles as Director of Public Health that attract salaries of up to around £100,000. There are also many other opportunities as a public health professional.

A Masters degree will also enhance opportunities in academic roles or further study towards a PhD.


Support for your learning

From the start of the course you will be allocated a Personal Tutor who will meet with you at agreed times throughout your course. Personal Tutors encourage your personal development and are a useful point of contact for any queries about your course, extracurricular activities and issues where they can point you towards specialist services at the University. These include student counselling, financial advice and chaplaincy support.

Support for your development

To help ensure the course is meeting aspirations for personal development, we invite students to fill in questionnaires at the end of modules. This provides a structured way for you to keep us up-to-date with your views.

During your course, and particularly towards the end of it, we encourage you to make full use of the resources at our Careers & Employability Service. The Service helps you explore your options, clarify your ideas, develop a career focus and make effective applications.

Extracurricular activities

The University supports student-led initiatives that enhance the extracurricular activities available to you. Some of these are related to particular subjects while others allow you to pursue interests and social activities. It’s all part of the vibrant and life-changing atmosphere at the University of Sunderland.

"The staff are all really helpful."

Betty Bizoza

Betty Bizoza - Student

MSc Public Health

“I enjoy being at Sunderland University.

"The staff are all really helpful and easy to go to if you have any problems - they are there to support you.”

"We ensure graduates leave with the core skills and expertise that will make them highly employable."

Kathryn King

Kathryn King - Academic

Programme Leader, Nursing (Top-Up) BSc and Nursing MSc

"We ensure our graduates leave with the core skills and expertise that will make them highly employable. As a result many of our graduates go on to gain management positions in a variety of health settings.

"Feedback from our students is very positive and we actively listen to suggestions on how to modify what we offer. Our success is reflected in the amount of word-of-mouth recommendations we get from students.

"Many of our students are from overseas, thanks to our relationships with countries such as India, China, Nigeria, Singapore and Malaysia, and to reflect this we have an excellent international support network in place.

"Sunderland is unique in the sense that there is a large degree of support built into each programme and a range of options and opportunities to choose from.

"This ensures that all our students successfully achieve their potential and leave with the expertise and confidence they need to achieve and fulfil their individual aspirations."

Apply for this course

You can apply online using the link below.

    Next Open Day

  • Date: Thursday 16th February 2017
  • Time: 2:00pm-7:00pm
  • Type: University Open Day
  • Location: Gateway, City Campus, University of Sunderland

Contact Sunderland

For more information, contact the Programme Leader:

John Mooney
Tel: 0191 515 2406

Contact the Student Helpline for further information about studying at the University of Sunderland:

Telephone: 0191 515 3000 

Programme Starts  
Monday 16th October 2017 Apply now

The details

Course Name Public Health
Classification MSc
Course Mode Full-time
Course Level Postgraduate
Duration 1 year
Study Location On-campus (Sunderland)
Starting 16 October 2017
UK/EU Fee £4750
Intl Fee £11500

Entry requirements

An honours degree in a health related subject

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