Public Health MPH

Public health aims to promote health, prevent disease, reduce inequalities in health, and prolong life. The population perspective of public health ensures that its practitioners are well placed to improve health wherever they are. Our Master of Public Health degree reflects the multidisciplinary nature of public health through its flexible and innovative curriculum. Our programme enjoys strong links with the NHS, its public health practitioners and other regional and national bodies, ensuring student access to some of the country's leading authorities in public health.

Key facts

  • MPH: 12 months full-time; 24, 36 or 48 months part-time
  • PgDip 9 months full-time; 21 or 33 months part-time
  • PgCert 5 months full-time; 10 months part-time
  • Contact:

Why this programme

  • The University of Glasgow has provided education in public health since 1839 and has offered a diploma in public health since the early 20th century. The Master of Public Health (MPH) programme has been offered here since 1981.
  • The Master of Public Health programme is taught by academics and practitioners from a wide variety of organisations and disciplines including; Health Protection Scotland, environmental health, environmental protection, public health medicine, health economics and business/management.
  • The programme is multidiscplinary in focus attracting students with undergraduate degrees in nursing, medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, and other health related specialisms.
  • Public health has a central role in guiding health care practice, influencing health policy, protecting the public, and improving population health. If you work or intend to work in an organisation which has public health responsibilities or aims to improve population health then this Master of Public Health Degree will be suited to you.
  • Public Health at the University was among the earliest academic fields to move towards a multidisciplinary range of programmes involving staff from a number of areas. Current disciplines represented include: Health promotion, health protection, sociology, psychology, epidemiology, statistics, and health economics.
  • Public health practitioners are employed in health services, academia, national and local government, the voluntary sector, as well as in international humanitarian relief. The MPH degree is recognised in most countries as an essential qualification for a career in public health.

Programme structure

You will attend interactive lectures, seminars and individual tutorials and take part in project and team work.

Core courses

  • Principles of public health
  • Introduction to statistical methods
  • Introduction to epidemiology

Optional courses (three courses chosen)

  • Communicable diseases
  • Environmental health
  • Further epidemiology and statistics
  • Globalisation and public health
  • Health economics
  • Health promotion: principles and practice
  • Managing healthcare organisations
  • Oral health (this course is offered every second year)
  • Psychosocial approaches to public health
  • Qualitative research methods.
  • Research methods

If you are studying for the MPH, you will also undertake a research project of 15,000–20,000 words and your project studies here will incorporate a series of research methods lectures.

Core and optional courses

Core Courses (semester one)

Principles of Public Health
Aims: The course aims to provide a foundation in public health for students.  It will introduce the fundamental concepts of health and illness and the factors that influence health in different settings.

Introduction to Statistical Methods 
1. To introduce fundamental concepts in biostatistics, especially uncertainty, variation, estimation and comparison.
2. To examine statistical issues in study design.
3. To introduce the most commonly used methods of analysis of data.
4. To give students a framework for critically reading published papers.
5. To give students experience of carrying out standard statistical analysis of small data sets using a computer.

Introduction to Epidemiology
Aims: To introduce students to the epidemiological approaches that are used to understand the health of populations.

Research methods
(for MPH students there are no credits or fee attached to this course as it is part of the Project; for PGDip. PGCert and CPD students it is a 20 credit course) 
Aims: To introduce students to a range of data gathering techniques, methodologies and principles, and to explore the strengths and weakness of different approaches.

Research Project (semesters one, two and three)
Aims: On successful completion of the MPH project students will be able to apply knowledge of research methods to design, develop and autonomously carry out a research project relevant to public health.

Optional Courses (choose three)

Communicable Diseases 
Aims: To review the threats to Public Health from communicable disease and appraise the tools available to respond to these.

Environmental Health
Aims: To evaluate the role of the physical environment in determining health status and perpetuating inequalities in human health.

Further Epidemiology and Statistics  
To build on the concepts and methods introduced in the Introduction to Statistical Methods course and the Introduction to Epidemiology course.
To introduce students to the application of more advanced but commonly used methods of analysis of data; to give students practical experience of the application of these methods to the analysis of data using a suitable statistical computing package (currently STATA).
To demonstrate the application of epidemiological principles and interpret the rationale for and results of statistical analyses applied to specific areas, including: cardiovascular disease, cancer, psychiatric disorder. 

Globalisation and Public Health 
Aims: The course aims to provide an overall view of globalisation and its impact on public health. It will examine major themes within the globalisation debate, looking at a number of global challenges and their overall impact on health and the burden of disease. 

Health Economics (online course) 
Aims: This course aims to provide students with a basic understanding of health economics, its value and limitations.  The course presents the principles of health economics and the techniques of economic appraisal.

Health Promotion: Principles and Practice
Aims: To introduce students to the theoretical approaches and practice of health promotion. This includes the planning and evaluation of health promotion programmes at local, regional and national levels.

Managing Health Care Organisations 
Aims: To provide an overview of the role of management in the context of health care services generally, and public health in particular.

Oral health
Aims: This course aims to equip students to critically analyse the principles and current practice of dental public health and to examine the distribution of oral disease and related inequalities in considering oral health need and planning to address inequalities.

Psychosocial Approaches to Public Health 
Aims: To explore the main psychological and sociological concepts of direct relevance to public health.

Globalisation and Public Health 
Aims: The course aims to provide an overall view of globalisation and its impact on public health. It will examine major themes within the globalisation debate, looking at a number of global challenges and their overall impact on health and the burden of disease. 

Qualitative Research Methods
Aims: To enable students' developed understanding and acquisition of principal skills in relation to qualitative research methods relevant to public health practice.

Continuing Professional Development

 Our taught courses are available to take on an individual basis for continuing professional development purposes by those who meet the MPH entry requirements.

MPH Dissertation knowledge exchange

In 2015 MPH student Ms. Shanley Smith conducted a secondary data analysis project on Sickness Absence (SA) in the health care sector for her MPH dissertation. This sector tends to have higher rates of SA and Musculoskeletal (MSK) and Mental Health (MH) problems are two of the leading causes of longer SA.

The study aimed to analyse one source of sickness absence data for all healthcare employees of one Health Board in Scotland and discuss the impact MSK and MH problems have on SA duration. Analysis of this SA data was conducted using Survival Analyses and Cox’s Proportional Hazards models to estimate the likelihood of a return to work for employees absent due to MSK and MH problems compared to all other SA causes. The likelihood of returning to work for employees absent with MSK sub-categories hip, knee, and lower limb problems and MH sub-categories depression, anxiety, and stress by socio-demographic factors was also estimated.

Compared to staff absent due to all other SA causes (N=37,144), those absent due to MSK (N=6,163) and MH (N=2,718) problems were significantly less likely to return to work. Compared to staff absent due to lower back pain, staff absent with hip, knee, lower limb, shoulder, upper limb, and all other MSK conditions were significantly less likely to return to work although staff absent with neck problems (N=468) were significantly more likely to return to work. Compared to staff absent with depression, staff absent with anxiety, panic attacks, stress, and all other MH conditions, were significantly more likely to return to work, while staff absent with bipolar disorder, were less likely to return to work. Survival analysis and cox regression of the MSK and MH sub-categories by socio-demographic conditions showed that the most influential socio-economic variables significantly affecting the likelihood of return to work were age, gender, and job category.

In December Ouza Kwanashie graduated from our MPH programme following her dissertation submission on the exploration of the relationship between e-cigarette use and tobacco smoking: The views and experiences of e-cigarette users.

The study aimed to explore the perceptions and experiences of e-cigarette users in Glasgow on the relationship between e-cigarette smoking and tobacco smoking particularly the possibility that e-cigarettes may act as a gateway to tobacco smoking. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 15 e-cigarette users recruited in e-cigarette shops in Glasgow.

Ouza found that most participants perceived e-cigarettes positively and thought they were safer than tobacco cigarettes. Most had been previously heavy smokers who managed to cut down significantly or quit tobacco cigarettes completely using e-cigarettes. This was the main reason for use of e-cigarettes among participants. Other reasons included health reasons, financial reasons, cloud chasing activities, and curiosity. Source of information about e-cigarettes was mainly from the media, family, and friends. Use varied from between 3 weeks to 10 years and opinions about the relationship between e-cigarette smoking and tobacco smoking were mixed. While some participants felt (and had experienced) that e-cigarettes are an effective cessation tool or safer and cheaper alternative, others felt that it could cause nicotine addiction that could lead to tobacco smoking, and renormalise smoking behaviours. Most users were against banning e-cigarettes indoors, taxing them or restricting to adult buyers but they agreed that refills should be regulated and made to meet a standard specification.

What our students say

"The campus is beautiful, the school is well-known and respected, the programme I was interested in was offered within a timeframe that worked for me, Scotland is an amazing place to live."

Kaley Ketchum
Master of Public Health 2015

"The quality of teaching and the attention of the teaching staff was awesome."

Kwanashie Ouza Jummai
Master of Public Health 2015

What are the three things that you have enjoyed most about your time here?
"Made many new friends. Exposure of opportunities. Improved knowledge and skills."

Fiona MacFarlane, HNS Health Promotion Officer (Oral Health and Nutrition)
Master of Public Health 2011

"It's a new system of studying... my experience in a nutshell is great!"

Mustafa Hasin
Master of Public Health 2011

"Here there is communication between academic staff and students and that's really good. You don't attend a lecture and reproduced it, in some way you make it your own and it makes you much more proud."

William Tigbe
Master of Public Health 2010

Why did you chosse your course?
"To obtain the qualification in PUblic Health to make an addition to my existing degree (MBBS). Public Health affects masses, it's a great honour and gift from God to help the people who are present and will be here in future."

Oono Inalegwu
Master of Public Health 2010

Entry requirements

for entry in 2016

A relevant first degree, at least at 2:1 honours level, or equivalent in addition to a minimum of six months work experience in public health or health care. Exceptionally, if a first degree is not relevant then a professional qualification and experience in the practice of public health for at least two years at a professional level is required.

English language requirements

For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training)

  • overall score 6.5
  • no sub-test less than 6.0
  • or equivalent scores in another recognised qualification (see below)

Common equivalent English language qualifications

All stated English tests are acceptable for admission for both home/EU and international students for this programme:

  • ibTOEFL: 92; no sub-test less than 20
  • CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): 176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
  • CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English):  176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
  • PTE Academic (Person Test of English, Academic test): 60; no sub-test less than 59

For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use these tests to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level programmes. The University is also able to accept an IELTS test (Academic module) from any of the 1000 IELTS test centres from around the world and we do not require a specific UKVI IELTS test for degree level programmes. We therefore still accept any of the English tests listed for admission to this programme.

Pre-sessional courses

The University of Glasgow accepts evidence of the required language level from the English for Academic Study Unit Pre-sessional courses. We also consider other BALEAP accredited pre-sessional courses:


What do I do if...

my language qualifications are below the requirements?

The University's English for Academic Study Unit offers a range of Pre-Sessional Courses to bring you up to entry level. The course is accredited by BALEAP, the UK professional association for academic English teaching; see Links.

my language qualifications are not listed here?

Please contact the Recruitment and International Office:


For further information about English language requirements, please contact the Recruitment and International Office:

Fees and funding

Tuition fees for 2016-17


Home and EU
Full time fee£6950
Part time 20 credits£772
Full time fee£20500


Home and EU
Full time fee£4633
Part time 20 credits£772
Full time fee£13667


Home and EU
Full time fee£2317
Part time 20 credits£772
Full time fee£6833

Fees are subject to change and for guidance only

Alumni discount

A 10% discount is available to University of Glasgow alumni applying to the MPH. This includes graduates and those who have completed a Junior Year Abroad, Exchange programme or International Summer School at the University of Glasgow. The discount is applied at registration for students who are not in receipt of another discount or scholarship funded by the University. No additional application is required.


The University requires a deposit of £1000 to be paid by International (beyond the EU) applicants in receipt of an offer to this programme.

Funding opportunities

Career prospects

Career opportunities include: lecturer, health development manager, public health advisor, health programme specialists, epidemiologist, medical practitioner positions in public health, clinical university teacher, research positions.

How to apply

We ask that you apply online for a postgraduate taught degree. Our system allows you to fill out the standard application form online and submit this to the University within 42 days of starting your application.

You need to read the guide to applying online before starting your application. It will ensure you are ready to proceed, as well as answer many common questions about the process.

Guide to applying online

Do I have to apply online for a postgraduate taught degree?

Yes. To apply for a postgraduate taught degree you must apply online. We are unable to accept your application by any other means than online.

Do I need to complete and submit the application in a single session?

No. You have 42 days to submit your application once you begin the process. You may save and return to your application as many times as you wish to update information, complete sections or upload additional documents such as your final transcript or your language test.

What documents do I need to provide to make an application?

As well as completing your online application fully, it is essential that you submit the following documents:

  • A copy (or copies) of your official degree certificate(s) (if you have already completed your degree)
  • A copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing full details of subjects studied and grades/marks obtained
  • Official English translations of the certificate(s) and transcript(s)
  • Two supporting reference letters on headed paper
  • Evidence of your English Language ability (if your first language is not English)
  • Any additional documents required for this programme (see Entry requirements for this programme)
  • A copy of the photo page of your passport (Non-EU students only)
  • A two-page personal statement highlighting:
    • How your academic career to-date makes this programme a suitable next step
    • Why you want to study this programme
    • How you think this programme will help you in your future career development

If you do not have all of these documents at the time of submitting your application then it is still possible to make an application and provide any further documents at a later date, as long as you include a full current transcript (and an English translation if required) with your application. See the ‘Your References, Transcripts and English Qualification’ sections of our Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

Do my supporting documents need to be submitted online?

Yes, where possible, please upload the supporting documents with your application.

How do I provide my references?

You must either upload the required references to your online application or ask your referees to send the references to the University as we do not contact referees directly. There is two main ways that you can provide references: you can either upload references on headed paper when you are making an application using the Online Application (or through Applicant Self-Service after you have submitted your application) or you can ask your referee to email the reference directly to See the 'Your References, Transcripts and English Qualifications' section of the Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

What if I am unable to submit all of my supporting documents online?

If you cannot upload an electronic copy of a document and need to send it in by post, please attach a cover sheet to it that includes your name, the programme you are applying for, and your application reference number.

You may send them to:

Recruitment & International Office
71 Southpark Avenue
G12 8QQ
Fax: +44 141 330 4045

Can I email my supporting documents?

No. We cannot accept email submissions of your supporting documents.

What entry requirements should I have met before applying? Where can I find them?

You should check that you have met (or are likely to have met prior to the start of the programme) the individual entry requirements for the degree programme you are applying for. This information can be found on the ‘entry requirements’ tab on each individual programme page, such as the one you are viewing now.

What English Language requirements should I have met before applying? Where can I find them?

If you are an international student, you should also check that you have met the English Language requirements specific to the programme you are applying for. These can also be found on the ‘entry requirements’ tab for each specific programme.

Further Information

Please see the Frequently Asked Questions for more information on applying to a postgraduate taught programme.

Guidance notes for using the online application

These notes are intended to help you complete the online application form accurately, they are also available within the help section of the online application form. If you experience any difficulties accessing the online application then you should visit the Application Troubleshooting/FAQs page.

  • Name and Date of birth: must appear exactly as they do on your passport. Please take time to check the spelling and lay-out.
  • Contact Details: Correspondence address. All contact relevant to your application will be sent to this address including the offer letter(s). If your address changes, please contact us as soon as possible.
  • Choice of course: Please select carefully the course you want to study. As your application will be sent to the admissions committee for each course you select it is important to consider at this stage why you are interested in the course and that it is reflected in your application.
  • Proposed date of entry: Please state your preferred start date including the month and the year. Taught masters degrees tend to begin in September. Research degrees may start in any month.
  • Education and Qualifications: Please complete this section as fully as possible indicating any relevant Higher Education qualifications starting with the most recent. Complete the name of the Institution (s) as it appears on the degree certificate or transcript.
  • English Language Proficiency: Please state the date of any English language test taken (or to be taken) and the award date (or expected award date if known).
  • Employment and Experience: Please complete this section as fully as possible with all employments relevant to your course. Additional details may be attached in your personal statement/proposal where appropriate.
  • References: Please provide the names and contact details of two academic references. Where applicable one of these references may be from your current employer. References should be completed on letter headed paper and uploaded on to your application.

Standard application deadlines

  • International applications (non-EU): 22 July 2016 
  • UK and EU applications: 26 August 2016

Classes start September 2016 and you will be required to attend induction and introductory teaching sessions the week before courses begin.

Apply now

For information on our online Public Health programmes, click the following link: Public Health