Health Promotion and Public Health

PgCert, PgDip, MSc

2023/24 Part-time Postgraduate course


Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma, Master of Science


Faculty of Life and Health Sciences


School of Nursing and Paramedic Science


Belfast campus

Start date:

September 2023

This course is now closed for International applications for September 2023


Developing the knowledge, skills and expertise for effective public health practice in a changing world.


The PGCert/PGDip/MSc in Health Promotion and Public Health attracts students from a wide range of disciplines and from different nationalities. It prides itself on its inclusive approach. Whether you are contemplating a career within the expanding field of health promotion and public health or want to take your career to the next level, the PGCert/PGDip/MSc in Health Promotion and Public Health will enhance your prospects. On completion of the MSc there will be the potential for you to be able to apply to become a registered public health and/or health promotion practitioner.

Extensive links between employers and academic staff attempt to ensure that the course content is relevant to contemporary public health practice.

The option to study full-time or part-time gives you the flexibility to fit your studies around your personal and professional commitments. Modules can be taken as ‘stand-alone’ modules. Some modules are available to study online from your home or place of work or anywhere with an Internet connection. You will learn in a supportive environment.

The MSc is typically completed in three academic years.

We’d love to hear from you!

We know that choosing to study at university is a big decision, and you may not always be able to find the information you need online.

Please contact Ulster University with any queries or questions you might have about:

  • Course specific information
  • Fees and Finance
  • Admissions

For any queries regarding getting help with your application, please select Admissions in the drop down below.

For queries related to course content, including modules and placements, please select Course specific information.

We look forward to hearing from you.

About this course


The course is structured around four taught modules and the completion of a MSc Project.

The modular structure of the course is designed to:

  • Address the emerging needs and global public health challenges to protect and improve the health and well-being of communities and populations
  • Effectively influence public health practice through the analysis and design of evidence-based, culturally and contextually relevant interventions
  • Deliver strategic contributions through critical analysis and assessment of current and emerging discourses within health promotion and public health
  • Support innovative approaches to change through transferable project management skills with strong theoretical foundations
  • Shape future policies and practice through the dissemination of crucial information to a wide range of stakeholders
  • Incorporate work-based learning through placement in a public health setting to enable practitioners to develop skills and competencies in practical situations within the field of public health. Please note, if COVID-19 restrictions are still in place this opportunity to engage in a work-based placement may not be possible.



You must complete the module Principles, Skills and Information Systems for Health Promotion and Public Health (30 credits) and one other module (30 credits). The other module you select will determine if the PGCert can be completed in two semesters (September to June) or across two years. Attendance will vary depending on modules studied.


You must compete all four modules (30 credits each) which are taught across two academic years (September to June). Attendance will vary depending on modules studied.


The MSc Project (60 credits) provides you with the opportunity to explore an area of public health in-depth. There are no taught classes for the MSc. You will complete the MSc Project module in one academic year. You will be allocated an academic supervisor who will support and guide you through your dissertation.

Start dates

  • September 2023

Teaching, Learning and Assessment

Teaching and learning will take place is a supportive environment where the ethos is one of respect and valuing the views of all. Particular attention is placed on relating teaching and learning to different current global public health issues and real-world scenarios, and your ability to be able to critically appraise ideas, practices and literature.

Lectures, seminars and tutorials will be delivered either on campus or fully online, or a combination of both. You will learn through a combination of information received from lectures, tutorials, seminars and self-directed learning. To accommodate different learning styles and to enhance learning and enable you to learn in a way that portrays public health practice, different teaching strategies will be employed such as participatory group work, brainstorming, discussions and debate, visualisation, comparing and contrasting, unfolding case studies, class quizzes, and multimedia presentations. Blackboard Learn, the University's virtual learning environment, gives you flexible online access to course materials, reading lists and other resources relevant to your course.

There is a strong emphasis on student participation in all modules. University study requires you to take responsibility for your own learning. A self-directed approach to learning is essential to achieve the aims of the course and to allow you to apply the concepts and principles and expand on the knowledge you gain in the classroom. Independent literature searching and reading are a vital and indispensable element of learning.

The course has a variety of types of assessments, including, essays, class test, critical reflection, video presentation, annotated bibliography, policy brief, business case and learning journal. Assessments are designed to fit with the learning outcomes of each module and are designed to permit you to apply the concepts and principles delivered in the teaching environment to your specific area of interest. At the beginning of each module you will be given details of the assessment, together with the marking scheme and submission dates.

In preparation for summative assessments each of the modules also have formative assessments which include a range of tasks that are designed to help you recognise if you are meeting the intended learning outcomes for the module and identify what areas of learning require further work. These also allow lecturers to identify whether you need additional support with your studies. Formative assessments do not count towards final marks or grading.

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 (20%) or Lecturers (55%).

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) by Advanced HE - 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 2021-2022.

Belfast campus


High quality apartment living in Belfast city centre adjacent to the university campus.

Find out more - information about accommodation  

Student Wellbeing

At Student Wellbeing we provide many services to help students through their time at Ulster University.

Find out more - information about student wellbeing  

Belfast Campus Location

The Belfast campus is situated in the artistic and cultural centre of the city, the Cathedral Quarter.

Find out more about our Belfast Campus.

Campus Address

Ulster University,
2-24 York Street,
BT15 1AP

T: 02870 123 456

Standard 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.

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

Career options

Health promotion and public health are no longer viewed as the responsibility of only those working in health. This course will prepare you for a public health career in a broad range of policy, practice or academic settings. Students have obtained employment in statutory, voluntary, charity, private and community organisations as well as in government and academic institutions. Specific roles have included:

  • Community Health Development Practitioner
  • Health Promotion Practitioner
  • Scientific Advisor for Dietary Health
  • Smoking Cessation Officer
  • Home Safety Officer
  • Lecturer
  • Senior Health Protection Nurse
  • Health and Wellbeing Officer
  • Health Advisor
  • Community Outreach Coordinator

Some students have also progressed to doctoral study.

Work placement / study abroad

To help you gain an insight into health promotion in a public health setting the module in semester 2 Year 2 has a work-based learning component. The purpose of this placement is to allow you to consolidate your learning by linking theory to practice and provide you with the opportunity to observe and understand the skills and competencies necessary to work within the field of public health. You will be provided with support to arrange your placement.


Start dates

  • September 2023

Fees and funding

Fees (total cost)

The price of your overall programme will be determined by the number of credit points that you initiate in the relevant academic year.

For modules commenced in the academic year 2023/24, the following fees apply:

Credit PointsNI/ROI/GB CostInternational Cost*
5 £231.30 £440
10 £462.70 £880
15 £694.05 £1,320
20 £925.40 £1,760
30 £1,388.10 £2,640
60 £2,776.20 £5,280
120 £5,552.40 £10,560
180 £8,328.60 £15,840

NB: A standard full-time PGCert is equivalent to 60 credit points per year. A standard full-time PGDip is equivalent to 120 credit points per year.

*Please note our on campus part-time postgraduate courses are not open to international (non-EU) students.

Where the postgraduate course selected offers multiple awards (e.g. PG Cert, PG Dip, Masters), please note that the price displayed is for the complete Masters programme.

Postgraduate certificates and diplomas are charged at a pro-rata basis.

Find out more about postgraduate fees

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 Practice module.

Additional mandatory costs

It is important to remember that costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges) and normal living will need to be covered in addition to tuition fees.

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses (in addition to tuition fees) we make every effort to highlight them above. 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 Wi-Fi are also available on each of the campuses.

There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.

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

See the tuition fees on our student guide for most up to date costs.


We’d love to hear from you!

We know that choosing to study at university is a big decision, and you may not always be able to find the information you need online.

Please contact Ulster University with any queries or questions you might have about:

  • Course specific information
  • Fees and Finance
  • Admissions

For any queries regarding getting help with your application, please select Admissions in the drop down below.

For queries related to course content, including modules and placements, please select Course specific information.

We look forward to hearing from you.

For more information visit


  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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".

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