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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.

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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.



Depending on the choice of optional module two semesters in one academic year September to May or two semesters across two academic years. 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, one module is taught in a morning every week of the semester and one module is delivered fully online with students required to be online at specified time.


Two academic years. 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 academic year September 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

Teaching, Learning and Assessment

The content for each course is summarised on the relevant course page, along with an overview of the modules that make up the course.

Each course is approved by the University and meets the expectations of:

- the relevant generic national Qualification Descriptor

- the applicable Subject Benchmark Statement

- the requirements of any professional, regulatory, statutory and accrediting bodies.

Attendance and Independent Study

As part of your course induction, you will be provided with details of the organisation and management of the course, including attendance and assessment requirements - usually in the form of a timetable. For full-time courses, the precise timetable for each semester is not confirmed until close to the start date and may be subject to some change in the early weeks as all courses settle into their planned patterns. For part-time courses which require attendance on particular days and times, an expectation of the days and periods of attendance will be included in the letter of offer. A course handbook is also made available.

Courses comprise modules for which the notional effort involved is indicated by its credit rating. Each credit point represents 10 hours of student effort. Undergraduate courses typically contain 10- or 20-credit modules (more usually 20) and postgraduate course typically 15- or 30-credit modules.

The normal study load expectation for an undergraduate full-time course of study in the standard academic year is 120 credit points. This amounts to around 36-42 hours of expected teaching and learning per week, inclusive of attendance requirements for lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical work, fieldwork or other scheduled classes, private study, and assessment. Part-time study load is the same as full-time pro-rata, with each credit point representing 10 hours of student effort.

Postgraduate Master’s courses typically comprise 180 credits, taken in three semesters when studied full-time. A Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) comprises 60 credits and can usually be completed on a part-time basis in one year. A 120-credit Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) can usually be completed on a part-time basis in two years.

Class contact times vary by course and type of module. Typically, for a module predominantly delivered through lectures you can expect at least 3 contact hours per week (lectures/seminars/tutorials). Laboratory classes often require a greater intensity of attendance in blocks. Some modules may combine lecture and laboratory. The precise model will depend on the course you apply for and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. Prospective students will be consulted about any significant changes.


Assessment methods vary and are defined explicitly in each module. Assessment can be a combination of examination and coursework but may also be only one of these methods. Assessment is designed to assess your achievement of the module’s stated learning outcomes. You can expect to receive timely feedback on all coursework assessment. The precise assessment will depend on the module and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.

Coursework can take many forms, for example: essay, report, seminar paper, test, presentation, dissertation, design, artefacts, portfolio, journal, group work. The precise form and combination of assessment will depend on the course you apply for and the module. Details will be made available in advance through induction, the course handbook, the module specification and the assessment timetable. The details are subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.

Normally, a module will have 4 learning outcomes, and no more than 2 items of assessment. An item of assessment can comprise more than one task. The notional workload and the equivalence across types of assessment is standardised.

Calculation of the Final Award

The class of Honours awarded in Bachelor’s degrees is usually determined by calculation of an aggregate mark based on performance across the modules at Levels 5 and 6, (which correspond to the second and third year of full-time attendance).

Level 6 modules contribute 70% of the aggregate mark and Level 5 contributes 30% to the calculation of the class of the award. Classification of integrated Master’s degrees with Honours include a Level 7 component. The calculation in this case is: 50% Level 7, 30% Level 6, 20% Level 5. At least half the Level 5 modules must be studied at the University for Level 5 to be included in the calculation of the class.

All other qualifications have an overall grade determined by results in modules from the final level of study. In Master’s degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.

How will I be taught?

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.

How will I learn?

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.

How is the programme assessed?

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.

Academic profile

The University employs over 1,000 suitably qualified and experienced academic staff - 59% have PhDs in their subject field and many have professional body recognition.

Courses are taught by staff who are Professors (25%), Readers, Senior Lecturers (18%) or Lecturers (57%).

We require most academic staff to be qualified to teach in higher education: 82% hold either Postgraduate Certificates in Higher Education Practice or higher. Most academic staff (81%) are accredited fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) - the university sector professional body for teaching and learning. Many academic and technical staff hold other professional body designations related to their subject or scholarly practice.

The profiles of many academic staff can be found on the University’s departmental websites and give a detailed insight into the range of staffing and expertise. The precise staffing for a course will depend on the department(s) involved and the availability and management of staff. This is subject to change annually and is confirmed in the timetable issued at the start of the course.

Occasionally, teaching may be supplemented by suitably qualified part-time staff (usually qualified researchers) and specialist guest lecturers. In these cases, all staff are inducted, mostly through our staff development programme ‘First Steps to Teaching’. In some cases, usually for provision in one of our out-centres, Recognised University Teachers are involved, supported by the University in suitable professional development for teaching.

Figures correct for academic year 2019-2020.


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.

Year two

Project Planning and Management for Public Health

Year: 2

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: 2

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.

Advanced Methods in Research and Development in Health and Social Care

Year: 2

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.

Year three

MSc Research Project

Year: 3

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.

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.

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.

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.
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 regarding content of course:

T: +44 (0)28 9036 8293


Faculty Office regarding admissions and application process:

Mrs Karen McCarroll

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".