Find a course


This course takes account of newly emerging needs in public health practice and policy and enables students to develop key competencies.


The course will be of interest to a wide range of professionals such as managers, health education/health promotion specialists, environmental health officers, doctors, nurses, specialist community public health nurses, allied health professionals, dentists and teachers working in health and social care, local government, education, the voluntary and private sectors, as well as new graduates who are contemplating a career within the expanding field of health promotion and public health.

The course aims to develop analytical, communication, leadership and management skills necessary to operate at a professional level. These will prepare and enable practitioners to develop and lead population-based activities designed to tackle inequalities in health, prevent ill health and to work in partnership with individuals, families, communities and multidisciplinary public health workforces.

Sign up for course updates

Sign up to receive regular updates, news and information on courses, events and developments at Ulster University.

We’ll not share your information and you can unsubscribe at any time.

About this course

In this section


This intellectually stimulating course is based on the physical and mental dimensions of health and the associated social, political, economic and personal determinants of health. The course is designed to provide an advanced education in the theory, principles and practice of health promotion and public health, with strong emphasis on the integration of theory into practical application.

The curriculum takes account of newly emerging needs in public health practice and policy. It has been developed with a strong focus on evidence based practice to enable students to develop key health promotion and public health competencies within a supportive learning environment.

A work-based learning module requires you to spend a minimum of 35 hours in a public health setting which will afford you the opportunity to understand and observe the competencies necessary to work within the field of public health. The module also aims to consolidate your learning by drawing on the knowledge and skills acquired throughout the course, and, thus, increase employment prospects.

The MSc Research Project is a substantial piece of independent work where, through the application of the research process to a self-determined public health topic area, you will demonstrate your ability to complete an evidence based project which makes a contribution to the knowledge base for professional practice and/or policy.

Full-time and part-time study options provide flexibility to structure study to suit personal and professional commitments.



One semester September to December. Attendance varies by module. One module is taught in a block across two weeks of the semester, one module is taught in 6-hour sessions for 4 weeks of the semester and one module is taught in a morning every week of the semester.


Two semesters September to June. Attendance varies by module. One module is taught in a block across two weeks of the semester, two modules are taught in 6-hour sessions for 4 weeks of the semester, one module is taught in a morning every week of the semester. Two of the modules are delivered fully online with students required to be online at specified times.


One semester June to September. There are no taught classes for the MSc. You will be allocated an individual supervisor who you will have contact with for a total of 18 hours.

Start dates

  • September 2019
How to apply


Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.

Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.

In this section

Year one

Principles and Practice of Health Promotion and Public Health

Year: 1

This module addresses in an in-depth, critical manner, the determinants of health and how these can be addressed by the disciplines of health promotion and public health. Key theoretical and professional perspectives are explored. Outcomes of these disciplines are critically analysed through an examination of key health psychology theory.

Populations and Policy for Public Health

Year: 1

Health promotion and public health specialists have a key role to play in reducing health inequalities. This module covers a spectrum of key skills and qualities to enable students to identify and address health inequalities and to effectively assess the impact of policies on health and inequalities. Assessment is by coursework.

Epidemiology and Statistics for Public Health

Year: 1

This module will develop the capacity and capability of professionals to use demographic statistics and epidemiological data and analysis to improve public health. Through the assessment framework students are enabled to apply their learning to specific chronic diseases within population groups.

Project Planning and Management for Public Health

Year: 1

This module will provide students with an understanding of current models and approaches for effective project and programme management (including needs assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation) for public health. It will systematically take students through the planning cycle and equip them with the knowledge and skills to be able to plan and manage a multi-stakeholder public health focused project from needs assessment through to culmination. Assessment is by coursework.

Application of Public Health to Practice

Year: 1

This work-based learning module is designed to provide students with an individualised, flexible opportunity to gain insight into health promotion in a public health setting of their choice. It will enable students to consolidate learning by linking theory and policies to practice acquired from previous modules, and provide them with the opportunity to observe and understand the skills and competencies necessary to work within the field of public health. Assessment is by coursework.

MSc Research Project

Year: 1

This is a required component of a programme leading to the MSc. The student completes, under supervision, a proposal with successful submission to appropriate ethics committee(s), and if appropriate, Research Governance committee(s), and completes an evidence-based project, which makes a contribution to the knowledge base for professional practice and/or policy.

Advanced Methods in Research and Development in Health and Social Care

Year: 1

This module builds upon previous study of research methods and enables students to develop and apply theoretical and scientific knowledge and problem solving skills, extending their understanding of the philosophical and practical aspects of research, service evaluation and practice development. In particular, it examines quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods research designs for collecting, recording, analysing and interpreting data with the ultimate goal of further developing their research and development skills.

Entry conditions

We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.

In this section

Entry Requirements


Normally, a degree in a subject related to health promotion, public health or population health from an institution approved by the University.


Candidates will normally progress from the Postgraduate Diploma in Health Promotion and Public Health. Candidates who hold a Postgraduate Diploma in Health Promotion, Public Health, Population Health or a Postgraduate Diploma in Specialist Community Public Health Nursing from Ulster or equivalent from another University, with a mark profile equivalent to that required of Postgraduate Diplomas in Health Promotion and Public Health of Ulster, as evidenced by a transcript, may be admitted directly to the MSc phase of the course.

English Language Requirements

English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.

Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.

Teaching and learning assessment

Lectures will be delivered via conventional face-to-face classes, enhanced with material available on Blackboard Learn or will be fully online. Lectures are structured in a way to stimulate discussion and debate.

Classroom-based workshops will encompass formal teaching and participatory group work involving a range of strategies including: problem solving, opinion forming, class quizzes and debate and generation of new ideas and approaches. These methods will enable you to engage with the skills required to formulate judgments and make decisions for practice.

Student learning will take place is a supportive environment where the ethos is one of respect and valuing the views of all. You will learn through a combination of information received from lectures and reading, class discussions, reflection and group work. University study requires you to take responsibility for your own learning, to be more self-directed, to make decisions about what you will focus on and how much time you will spend on learning both inside and outside the classroom.

Independent reading and literature research are a vital and indispensable element of learning and you will need to read into your areas of specific interest to enable you to apply the concepts and principles delivered in the teaching environment.

All assessment is by coursework which you will be given at the start of each module, together with the marking scheme and submission dates. The assessments are designed to permit you to apply the concepts and principles delivered in the teaching environment to your area of special interest. Assessment methods include essays, class tests, planning exercises, critical appraisal of the evidence-based literature, preparation and delivery of seminars, other forms of presentations which will best facilitate shared learning and dissertation/manuscript preparation.

Formative assessment is used throughout the modules to help you to recognise your strengths and weaknesses and target areas that need work and also to allow your lecturers to identify areas for improvement and to address problems immediately. Formative assessment methods include group work on a specific concept or topic area, class quizzes and submission of an outline for coursework. Summative assessment will evaluate your learning using the assessment methods noted above.

Exemptions and transferability

Students who obtain an overall average of at least 50% in the Postgraduate Certificate may progress to the Postgraduate Diploma.

Students who obtain an overall average of at least 50% in the Postgraduate Diploma may progress to the MSc.

Within the University regulations transfer may be permitted to and from other courses.

Careers & opportunities

In this section

Career options

Health promotion and public health are no longer viewed as the responsibility of only those working in health. Students have obtained employment in statutory, voluntary, charity, private and community organisations as well as in local government and academic institutions. Students have also progressed to further postgraduate study.

Work placement / study abroad

You are required to spend a minimum of 35 hours in a public health setting. You will be provided with a range of organisations who have agreed to facilitate placement. You may also, with approval, organise a placement in another organisation of your choice.


How to apply Request a prospectus

Applications to our postgraduate courses are made through the University’s online application system.

All applications should be returned by 31 August.

When completing your application please ensure that you give full details of all your qualifications.

Start dates

  • September 2019

Fees and funding

In this section

Fees (total cost)

Important notice - fees information Fees illustrated are based on 19/20 entry and are subject to an annual increase. Correct at the time of publishing. Terms and conditions apply. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study.
Visit our Fees pages for full details of fees

Northern Ireland & EU:

£14,060.00  Scholarships available

Where the postgraduate course selected offers multiple awards (e.g. PG Cert, PG Dip, Master’s), please note that the price displayed is for the complete master’s programme. Postgraduate certificates and diplomas are charged at a pro-rata basis. Find out more

Scholarships, awards and prizes

The Association of Health Services Managers award is awarded to the student who obtains the highest mark in the Project Planning and Management for Public Health module.

Additional mandatory costs

Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges), and normal living are a part of university life.

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.

We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free wifi is also available on each of the campuses.

There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course.

Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs as well as tuition fees.

Please contact the course team for more information.


Course Director: Dr Karen Casson

T: +44 (0)28 9036 8293


Faculty Office regarding admissions and application process:

Mrs Karen McCaroll

T: +44 (0)28 9036 8983


For more information visit

Faculty of Life and Health Sciences

School of Nursing


  1. The University endeavours to deliver courses and programmes of study in accordance with the description set out in this prospectus. The University’s prospectus is produced at the earliest possible date in order to provide maximum assistance to individuals considering applying for a course of study offered by the University. The University makes every effort to ensure that the information contained in the prospectus is accurate but it is possible that some changes will occur between the date of printing and the start of the academic year to which it relates. Please note that the University’s website is the most up-to-date source of information regarding courses and facilities and we strongly recommend that you always visit the website before making any commitments.
  2. Although reasonable steps are taken to provide the programmes and services described, the University cannot guarantee the provision of any course or facility and the University may make variations to the contents or methods of delivery of courses, discontinue, merge or combine courses and introduce new courses if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Such circumstances include (but are not limited to) industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key staff, changes in legislation or government policy including changes, if any, resulting from the UK departing the European Union, withdrawal or reduction of funding or other circumstances beyond the University’s reasonable control.
  3. If the University discontinues any courses, it will use its best endeavours to provide a suitable alternative course. In addition, courses may change during the course of study and in such circumstances the University will normally undertake a consultation process prior to any such changes being introduced and seek to ensure that no student is unreasonably prejudiced as a consequence of any such change.
  4. The University does not accept responsibility (other than through the negligence of the University, its staff or agents), for the consequences of any modification or cancellation of any course, or part of a course, offered by the University but will take into consideration the effects on individual students and seek to minimise the impact of such effects where reasonably practicable.
  5. The University cannot accept any liability for disruption to its provision of educational or other services caused by circumstances beyond its control, but the University will take all reasonable steps to minimise the resultant disruption to such services.


"... the Health Promotion and Public Health Masters programme provided me with both the theoretical underpinnings and hands-on skills I now use every day in my role as a Public Health professional. I have no doubt that my success is a reflection of the programme staff and their commitment to student understanding and development".

"Completing the MSc in Health Promotion and Public Health provided me with an invaluable qualification within my pharmacy career but ignited a love of research which I have since pursued ... I would strongly recommend the MSc Health Promotion and Public Health to anyone, including those from multi-disciplinary backgrounds ..."

"As a part-time MSc Health Promotion and Public Health student I found the postgraduate experience a positive one which has enhanced my knowledge, skills and experience in the area of health promotion and public health ... which have been invaluable to me as a mental health nurse".