MPH Public Health (Web-based Learning) / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course description

"The MPH has taught me more about the strategy and development of health services nationally than I had bargained for.

"The course means a great deal, as it has shaped and changed me as a person and my thoughts irrevocably."

Emily Dobson / Data Insight Analyst at Saint Michael's Hospice

Our distance learning Master of Public Health (MPH) course meets the training needs of health professionals around the world who are interested in a career in public health or those seeking new skills in this area.

Contemporary public health practice requires practitioners to be adaptable and flexible, with a broad experience of a range of subject areas.

As public health is a rapidly changing and interdisciplinary field, our programme is constantly evolving with new course units and topics being introduced regularly to ensure that you are at the forefront of contemporary public health practice. We also have additional learning opportunities through our research and CPD programme that deal with the hot topics in public health and primary care. 

This course will equip you with:

  • the skills and knowledge to apply to public health concerns at local, national and international level;
  • the ability to apply relevant theory and scientific principles to practical situations;
  • the capability of meeting core-competencies in public health.

PGCert, PGDip and MPH awards are available.

You can see what our Student Ambassadors have to say  about our MPH course  and contact them with any questions.

You can also specialise in one of the following:

PhD with integrated master's

If you're planning to undertake a PhD after your master's, our Integrated PhD programme will enable you to combine your postgraduate taught course with a related PhD project in biology, medicine or health.

You can also visit this page for examples of projects related to integrated master's courses.

Special features

Through the MPH, I learnt more practical aspects of public health and became more confident in applying the theory to my day-to-day public health interventions.

I'm looking forward to specialising in implementation science so that I may join the efforts of building the foundation of implementation science in Tanzania.

Immaculata Kessy MD / MPH graduate and Equity and Merit scholarship holder (2021)
Expert teaching

You will be taught by professionals in the field of local, national and international public health. There is an emphasis on applying learning to public health issues.

Flexible learning 

Course content is delivered online, enabling you to study around other commitments. If possible a face-to-face induction is held in Manchester at the start of the course, but attendance is not compulsory. There are fully online and blended options where face-to-face sessions are planned.

Learn with students from around the world

Mix with students from a range of disciplines from all over the world.

Additional course information

We run induction sessions for all new students starting our Public Health and Primary Care courses.

Face-to-face induction  

A face-to-face induction is normally held at the University at the beginning of the academic year.

The course is designed to introduce you to the content and technology used throughout the programmes. It is also an opportunity for you to meet academic and support staff.

You are encouraged to attend the face-to-face induction course when it is running, and many students find it very beneficial.

However, due to the international nature of our programmes, attendance is not compulsory for distance learners and an online induction is also offered.

The face-to-face induction includes:

  • an introduction to the course units
  • an opportunity to meet tutors and administrators
  • an introduction to the online learning environment
  • an introduction to the library and e-resources at Manchester
  • an opportunity to present your work and hear about work undertaken by other students

You will be required to provide your own transport and accommodation for the face-to-face induction.

Confirmation of attendance on the residential induction will be sought once you have applied for the course.

Online induction

Our online induction will offer a similar programme to the face-to-face induction but will be delivered entirely online. Attendance is not compulsory but the induction can help to introduce you to the course, the team and provide you with the opportunity to ask any questions you may have.

Teaching and learning

Most of our course units are delivered completely online. A learning structure with a recommended pace is in place throughout the course unit, with specific deadlines for all summative assessments.

Some course units require your participation throughout, and some of the optional units are blended, which require a mandatory face-to-face element. Please check whether your chosen course unit includes any face-to-face teaching days, as this is clearly stated in the Course Unit Overview.

If you are unable to attend a face-to-face component due to mitigating circumstances, you may be permitted to repeat this unit in a subsequent year. However, if you are unable to attend the face-to-face sessions, please do not choose one of the blended units. Please contact if this is likely to be a problem.

Coursework and assessment

You will use a number of assessed and non-assessed activities to develop key skills and expand your knowledge base. There are no written exams; assessment is based on assignments and other activities such as moderated discussion boards and group work.

Course unit details

You are required to complete Evidence-Based Practice as a compulsory core unit.

In addition to the compulsory course unit, you need to choose other units depending on the award you are studying for:

  • PGCert students must choose three other course units available from the MPH.
  • PGDip students much choose seven other course units available from the MPH.
  • MPH students must choose seven other course units from the MPH plus the dissertation, or nine other course units from the MPH plus the critical review.

If you elect to study one of the specialist streams, you will choose up to two additional core units from the MPH. If you take the Health Sciences stream, further course units will be available from the School of Health Sciences and Alliance Manchester Business School over the next few years.

If completing the MPH through the dissertation route, you will be able to choose from a range of dissertation modules designed to cater for different work situations and interests. The master's dissertation is a focused, critical and reflective body of writing that seeks to add to the understanding of a particular problem or question. It is an opportunity to expand knowledge and expertise in an area of study, through in-depth, critical and reflective thinking, relevant to the focus of the dissertation.

If completing the MPH through the critical review route, you will have the opportunity to conduct a detailed critical reflection and evidence based review relating to a public health question or topic. It shares some similarities to the preliminary sections of a dissertation, but with a smaller word count. If choosing this option, you will be required to take 10 course units in addition to the critical review.

A dissertation/critical review supervisor will be allocated based on the topic you would like to investigate.

Course unit list

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Evidence Based Practice POPH60041 15 Mandatory
Introduction to Public Health POPH60001 15 Optional
Health Promotion Theory & Methods POPH60021 15 Optional
Creating Equitable Services for Health and Wellbeing POPH60062 15 Optional
Working with Communities POPH60072 15 Optional
Economic Evaluation in Healthcare POPH60092 15 Optional
Applied Epidemiology POPH60112 15 Optional
Practical Statistics for Population Health POPH60982 15 Optional
Fundamentals of Epidemiology POPH60991 15 Optional
Communicable Disease Control POPH62051 15 Optional
Health Systems Challenges in Low and Middle Income Countries POPH62212 15 Optional
Global Health into the 21st Century POPH62311 15 Optional
Global Women's Public Health POPH62411 15 Optional
Primary Health Care POPH63111 15 Optional
Qualitative Research Methods POPH63121 15 Optional
Dissertation - Master of Public Health POPH63140 60 Optional
Critical Review - Master of Public Health POPH63150 30 Optional
Emergency Planning, Response & Resilience POPH64132 15 Optional
Implementation Sciences POPH64551 15 Optional
Health Services Management POPH64662 15 Optional
Intercultural Public Health POPH64772 15 Optional
Health Improvement POPH65012 15 Optional
Digital Public Health POPH65022 15 Optional
Public Health Benefits of Green and Blue Space POPH65031 15 Optional
Climate Change and Health POPH65042 15 Optional
Introduction to Health Policy POPH65052 15 Optional
Behaviour Change and Public Health POPH65062 15 Optional
Public Health and the Antibiotic Crisis POPH65072 15 Optional
Business, Media & Health POPH65092 15 Optional
Infection Prevention & Control POPH65552 15 Optional
Nutrition and Public Health POPH66662 15 Optional
Evidence Synthesis: Systematic Reviews POPH68001 15 Optional
Oral Health & Disease in Populations POPH76061 15 Optional
Implementing Strategy in Dental Services POPH76072 15 Optional
Displaying 10 of 34 course units

Scholarships and bursaries

For the latest scholarship and bursary information please visit the fees and funding page.

What our students say

"One of the highlights was serving as a student representative for two academic years, a position that guaranteed regular interaction with staff and a diverse student community from tens of countries.

"This was an experience that further strengthened my communication, teamwork, problem-solving and other transferable skills."

Ben Wamamili / Medical Doctor and PhD student in New Zealand

Read stories from Emily Christopher and  Ogochukwu Okoye about their experience of the course.

You can also see what our  Student Ambassadors have to say about our MPH course and contact them with any questions.


This course is delivered through online distance learning. You will have normal access to online library facilities.

Disability support

Online learning resources are designed with accessibility as a priority, using the latest web accessibility technologies.

Further practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability and Advisory Support Service .

CPD opportunities

We offer a number of our units as standalone credited CPD courses through our Personal Professional Development programme in public health and primary care.