About this course
This master's in public health global health is ideal preparation for a career as a global public health analyst. You'll develop both academic and vocational skills in to make a difference, exploring the relationships between global public health, climate change, urbanisation and armed conflict. We have a particular specialism in the analysis of population patterns and demographic processes.
We are in the global top 50: ranking 34th in the world and seventh domestically for Statistics and Operational Research (QS subject rankings 2022)
This MSc public health global health course focuses on work-related learning; you’ll work in multi-disciplinary teams and practise real-world tasks. Graduates of this course have gone on to work for the government and public bodies both in the UK and abroad, including:
- UK Health Security Agency
- local government
- ministries of health
- national and international non-government organisations
You’ll learn to develop and evaluate public health programmes and conduct epidemiological studies. The specialist areas you’ll be able to explore include:
- critical issues in global public health
- analysing trends and differentials in global health
- communicable disease control
- health economics in public health
Through your dissertation, you can personalise this course to your interests. In previous years students have analysed problems using national data sets such as the Demographic Health Surveys and Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys.
Public health is an interdisciplinary profession, and this is reflected in your learning. Your lecturers are academics who are actively involved in research or are working in the sector. They’re experts from across the University, in Public Health, Demography and Social Science.
We also offer 4 other pathways on our Public Health Master's. If you decide that you’d like to change to a different public health specialism within the first 2 weeks of the semester you’ll be able to change your degree.
Your other Public Health MSc pathway options are:
- Public Health Intelligence - Discover our Public Health Intelligence master's degree at the University of Southampton. Learn how to collect and analyse public health intelligence research.
- Public Health Management - Discover our Public Health Management master's degree at the University of Southampton. Learn to apply systems thinking to global and local health issues.
- Public Health - Discover our Public Health master's degree at the University of Southampton. Boost your career skills in global disease prevention & management
This public health global health degree is available to take as an intercalation degree for undergraduate medical students. Intercalation means that you'll take a year out of your undergraduate medicine degree to gain this extra award.
If you prefer, you can apply to study this course as:
- a part-time master's - study the same course content over 2 or more years
- a Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) - you'll usually study for around 15 weeks and will not need to write a dissertation
- a Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) - you'll usually study for around 30 weeks and will not need to write a dissertation
Your modules and fees may vary if you choose a different study option.
Professor Nuala McGrath is Professor of Epidemiology and Sexual Health and NIHR Global Health Professor.
Nuala received her undergraduate degree in Mathematics, Statistics and Operational Research (University of Exeter, UK); a Masters in Biometry (University of Reading, UK); and a Doctorate in Infectious Disease Epidemiology (Harvard School of Public Health, USA).
Nuala’s work is characterised by two main areas of research; HIV testing, prevention and treatment, and Sexual and reproductive health and relationship dynamics.
She currently serves as a member of the FLAIR (Future Leaders – African Independent Research Fellowships) Interview Committee. She is also a Commissioner for the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the UK.
For more information view Nuala’s staff profile
“Our personal tutors and lecturers take a personal interest in us and provide support whenever it is needed. The facilities and teaching at Southampton are excellent.”
This course is based at University Hospital Southampton and Highfield.
This qualification is awarded by the University of Southampton.
Download the Course Description Document
The Course Description Document details your course overview, your course structure and how your course is taught and assessed.
Changes due to COVID-19
Although the COVID-19 situation is improving, any future restrictions could mean we might have to change the way parts of our teaching and learning take place in 2022 to 2023. This means that some of the information on this course page may be subject to change.
Find out more on our COVID advice page.
To apply for a master's of Global Public Health you'll need at least a 2:2 degree in one of the following subjects: Biomedical Sciences, Biochemistry, Physiology, Psychology, Demography, Human/Health Geography, Pharmacy, Medicine and Dentistry.
You must be able to demonstrate your competence in Statistics, Epidemiology, Research Methods through previous study at undergraduate level.
We are unfortunately unable to accept degrees in the following subjects: Nursing, Physiotherapy, Radiography, Occupational Health and Phlebotomy.
This course is also available as an intercalation degree for undergraduate medical students.
You must submit all supporting documents, including evidence that you can satisfy our English language requirement, when you submit your application.
Find the equivalent international qualifications for your country.
We do not accept Pre-sessional Language programmes as evidence of meeting the English Language requirement for this course.
English language requirements
If English isn't your first language, you'll need to complete an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) to demonstrate your competence in English. You'll need all of the following scores as a minimum:
IELTS score requirements
- overall score
We accept other English language tests. Find out which English language tests we accept.
Recognition of professional experience
If you don't have the exact entry requirements, but you have significant work experience in this sector we’ll assess your relevant professional experience, your subject knowledge and your aptitude for learning.
Your application will be considered on individual merit and you may be asked to attend an interview.
Got a question?
Please contact us if you're not sure you have the right experience or qualifications to get onto this course.
Tel: +44(0)23 8059 5000
Your studies will run for a full year, from September through to the following September.
If you’d like to take longer to complete this master’s you can study part-time over 2 to 5 years.
On this full-time course, you’ll study several taught modules over the first 8 months. In the final 4 months you’ll complete your dissertation.
The structure of the Global Public Health MSc is:
- 7 core modules addressing global public health
- an optional module that will allow you to specialise further
- a dissertation, which may be a professional, work-related project or a research project
Each 5 ECTS module is up to 100 hours of learning, and each 10 ECTS module represents up to 200 hours of learning.
You should expect to spend about 16 to 20 hours on campus every week.
Between your on-site learning, you’ll take part in online discussions and seminars to support your independent learning; these take place through our online learning environment. Our academic team will support you throughout these sessions.
What you'll study:
The core modules will give you a strong grounding in global public health, covering everything you’ll need to start a career as a public health practitioner, an academic researcher, or a public health analyst.
- developing, planning and evaluating public health programmes/projects
- initiating health behaviour change using social marketing and media, community engagement and advocacy
- conducting epidemiological studies, looking at elements such as chance, bias, risk estimation and hypothesis testing
- when and how to apply quantitative analytical techniques and how to use SPSS statistics
- methods of data collection and analytical techniques used when conducting qualitative research
You’ll be able to specialise even further with your choice of optional modules from the following:
- communicable disease control
- population and reproductive health
- understanding population change
- health economics for public health
Your dissertation gives you the chance to pursue your interests in your choice of topic. Previous dissertation topics have included:
- Determinants of domestic violence in Kenya
- High altitude exposure and stroke: An ecological analysis of stroke in Ecuador
- Pneumococcal Serotype Prevalence in ASEAN Countries
- Patient glycemic control outside of the health system in sub-Saharan Africa
Want more detail? See all the modules in the course.
The modules listed below currently include all modules, for all Public Health pathways. Your module choices, and what you must study, will vary on the Global Health pathway.
Download the programme specification in the about this course section for full details.
For entry in Academic Year 2022-23
Year 1 modules
You must study the following modules:
Critical Issues in Global Health: Concepts and Case Studies
This module provides a comprehensive overview of current issues and challenges in global health. Using relevant case studies, it will discuss trends and determinants of both communicable and non-communicable diseases, as well as assessing possible effec...
Development and Implementation of Public Health Policies and Strategies
This module develops your understanding of the wider social and political context within which the formation of public health policies and programmes operate both domestically and internationally. The module will enable you to develop and demonstrate comp...
Dissertation by Research/Professional Project
You have the option of doing a dissertation by research or a professional project in which you critically appraise the literature relevant to a particular area of practice. Dissertation by Research: This will be a hypothesis driven research project tha...
Enabling Change for Health Improvement
This module combines the theory and practice of health improvement. Students are encouraged to be active participants in their learning and resources for self-paced learning will be available at the start of the module. Students are encouraged to practice...
Epidemiology: Concepts, Analysis and Application
This module focuses on the epidemiological methods and approaches that underpin an evidence based approach to public health research and practice. The module covers each of the main types of epidemiological study design and provides a framework for critic...
Introduction to Statistics and SPSS
This module provides an introduction to the use of statistical methods for the analysis of quantitative data and their application in public health. This will include descriptive statistics and basic inferential statistics. The emphasis will be on the pra...
Methods and Analysis of Global Health Trends and Differentials
The primary objective of this module is to provide an overview of the conceptual, methodological and empirical basis for quantifying levels of health in individuals and populations, including the construction of a range of different summary measures that ...
The curriculum for the MSc Public Health is informed by the public health standards of the Faculty of Public Health and the UK Public Health Register. It is recognised by the International Union for Health Promotion and Education. These standards encompa...
Qualitative Methods for Public Health
Understanding qualitative research methods and knowing how to interpret findings and conclusions from qualitative research is fundamental to being able to critique an evidence base. This module teaches you the underpinnings of qualitative research methods...
You must also choose from the following modules:
Health Economics for Public Health
The increasing demand for health, but limited resources available to meet the needs of an aging population (with higher levels of chronic disease), makes health economics an important aspect of everyday life as choices must be made as to what health progr...
Health Services Organisation and Evaluation
This module introduces the public health importance of understanding health systems and health services, including their evaluation and quality improvement. It is therefore key to anyone interested in healthcare public health. This module has global appli...
Nutrition and Health
This module develops your knowledge and understanding of the causal relationship between nutrition, activity and health and the need to consider nutritional related problems in the context of global strategic ambitions, including the Sustainable Developme...
Population, Poverty & Policy
During the module you will develop your key skills in: 1. Assessing the nature of the evidence base on population, poverty and policy issues from a variety of sources; 2. Improved analysis, debate, reading and writing The skills will be developed...
Learning and assessment
There's a strong focus on interactive learning in this global health degree, bringing together theory and practice. We’ll help you to develop a reflective and problem-solving approach to your practice.
You'll work closely with students from a wide variety of backgrounds and will learn from sharing diverse experience.
Your exact learning activities will depend on the modules you take. As well as lectures and tutorials highlights may include:
- patient case studies
- problem-solving exercises
- interpretation of data
- computer demonstrations
You’ll be expected to undertake a significant amount of independent learning.
Again your assessment will depend on the modules that you take, but assessment methods may include:
- position papers
- needs assessments
- reports and briefings
- team debates
- gap analysis
- written exams
- research proposals
Your dissertation can be either a research or a professional project. You’ll need to complete a 6,600-word report and present a summary to an audience.
You'll be supported by a personal academic tutor and have access to a senior tutor.
When writing your dissertation you’ll be supported by a primary supervisor on a one-to-one basis.
“The MSc Public Health equipped me with the skills I needed to successfully gain employment and flourish in roles with a local authority public health team.” Rachel Brown, MSc Public Health
This master’s in global public health is very applied. Learning reflects real-world multi-disciplinary teams and we assess you through practical tasks. This will prepare you well for a career where you can influence local, national and international policy making.
Graduates go on to work as global health analysts and practitioners in a number of different public health settings, including:
- non-governmental organisations (NGOs)
- local and national government departments
- health and social care
- market research
Previous graduates have gone on to work for the Medical Research Council, Health Education England, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Portsmouth City Council and charities such as Action against Hunger.
Possible job roles include:
- public health policy analyst
- programme manager
- field consultant
- health educator
Some graduates go on to take a PhD and some are working for themselves as independent consultants or educators.
You’ll also gain transferable skills that will improve your employability in whichever career you choose, including:
- how to conduct research projects
- collaboration, negotiation and influencing skills
- effective communication using a range of methods
Careers services at Southampton
We're a top 20 UK university for employability (QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2022). Our Careers and Employability Service will support you throughout your time as a student and for up to 5 years after graduation. This support includes:
- work experience schemes
- CV/resume and interview skills workshops
- networking events
- careers fairs attended by top employers
- a wealth of volunteering opportunities
- study abroad and summer school opportunities
We have a thriving entrepreneurship culture. You'll be able to take advantage of:
- our dedicated start-up incubator, Futureworlds
- a wide variety of enterprise events run throughout the year
- our partnership in the world’s number 1 business incubator, SETsquared
Fees, costs and funding
Fees for a year's study:
- UK students pay £9,250.
- EU and international students pay £22,136.
What your fees pay for
Your tuition fee covers the full cost of tuition and any exams.
Find out how to pay your tuition fees.
Accommodation and living costs, such as travel and food, are not included in your tuition fees. Explore:
10% alumni discount
If you’re a graduate of the University of Southampton you get a 10% discount on your postgraduate tuition fees.
Postgraduate Master’s Loans (UK nationals only)
This can help with course fees and living costs while you study a postgraduate master's course. Find out if you're eligible.
Southampton Medicine Postgraduate International Scholarship
A scholarship of £3,000 is available to international students studying for a postgraduate master’s in Medicine.
Find out more about the Southampton Medicine Postgraduate International Scholarship, including eligibility and conditions.
Other postgraduate funding options
A variety of additional funding options may be available to help you pay for your master’s study. Both from the University and other organisations.
Funding for EU and international students
Find out about funding you could get as an international student.
How to apply
- Use the 'apply for this course' button on this page to take you to our online application form.
- Search for the course you want to apply for.
- Complete the application form and upload any supporting documents.
- Submit your application.
Places are limited and we allocate them on a continuous basis from 21 September 2022, until all places are filled. We advise you to apply early to avoid disappointment.
We expect to close applications for this course on Friday 7 July 2023 (11:59pm UK time).
This course may stay open after this date if places are still available.
Application assessment fee
We’ll ask you to pay a £50 application assessment fee if you’re applying for a postgraduate taught course.
This is an extra one-off charge which is separate to your tuition fees and is payable per application. It covers the work and time it takes us to assess your application. You’ll be prompted to pay when you submit your application which won’t progress until you've paid.
If you're a current or former University of Southampton student, or if you’re applying for certain scholarships, you will not need to pay the fee. PGCE applications through GOV.UK and Master of Research (MRes) degree applications are also exempt. Find out if you’re exempt on our terms and conditions page.
Single module (CPD) applications
To apply for a single module (CPD), you'll need to fill in a physical application form that you can download from our continuing professional development pages.
When you apply you’ll need to submit a personal statement explaining why you want to take the course.
You’ll need to include information about:
- your knowledge of the subject area
- why you want to study a postgraduate qualification in this course
- how you intend to use your qualification
You'll also need to send 2 academic references.
Please include the required paperwork showing your first degree and your IELTS English language test score (if you are a non-native English speaker) with your application. Without these, your application may be delayed.
You may also be asked to provide:
- a degree transcript
- evidence of professional qualifications
What happens after you apply
You'll be able to track your application through our online Applicant Record System.
We'll assess your application on the strength of your:
- academic achievements
- relevant professional experience
- personal statement
- academic references
We will aim to send you a decision 6-8 weeks after you have submitted your application.
If we offer you a place, you will need to accept the offer within 30 working days. If you do not meet this deadline, we will offer your place to another applicant.
Unfortunately, due to the volume of applications we receive, we may not be able to give you specific feedback on your application if you are unsuccessful.
Equality and diversity
We treat and select everyone in line with our Equality and Diversity Statement.
Got a question?
Please contact us if you're not sure you have the right experience or qualifications to get onto this course.
Tel: +44(0)23 8059 5000
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