Information regarding our 2023/24 admissions cycle

Our 2023/24 postgraduate taught admissions cycle will open on Monday, 10 October. For most programmes, the application form will not open until this date.

MPH Master of Public Health (Communicable Disease Prevention and Control) / Course details

Year of entry: 2023

Course description

Our distance learning Master of Public Health (Communicable Disease Prevention and Control) course meets the training needs of health professionals around the world who are interested in a career in public health, health protection, emergency planning or infection prevention and control 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;
  • specialist knowledge recognising the importance of health protection in public health. 

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

PGCert, PGDip and MPH awards are available. 

Special features

Expert teaching

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

Flexible learning

All of the course content is delivered online, enabling you to fit 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 both fully online and blended options, where face-to-face sessions are planned.

Learn with students from around the world

You will be able to mix with students from a range of disciplines from all over the world. We have over 1,500 alumni from more than 80 countries.

Additional course information

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

Face-to-face induction (If possible)

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 programme. It is also an opportunity for you to meet academic and support staff.

You are encouraged to attend the residential 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 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 face-to-face 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 programme, 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

If you choose this specialist Communicable Disease Prevention and Control stream you are required to complete the following three compulsory core units: Evidence-Based Practice, Communicable Disease Control and Emergency Planning Response and Resilience. Although not compulsory, it is recommended that students on this stream also consider taking A One Health Response to Antimicrobial Resistance.

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

  • PG Cert students must choose one other course unit available from the MPH
  • PG Dip students must choose five other course units available from the MPH
  • MPH students must choose five other course units available from the MPH plus the dissertation, or seven other course units from the MPH plus the critical review.

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
Communicable Disease Control POPH62051 15 Mandatory
Emergency Planning, Response & Resilience POPH64132 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
Practical Statistics for Population Health POPH60982 15 Optional
Fundamentals of Epidemiology POPH60991 15 Optional
Health Systems Challenges in Low and Middle Income Countries POPH62212 15 Optional
Global Women's Public Health POPH62411 15 Optional
Primary Health Care POPH63111 15 Optional
Dissertation - Master of Public Health POPH63140 60 Optional
Arts and Public Health POPH65011 15 Optional
Digital Public Health POPH65022 15 Optional
Climate Change and Health POPH65042 15 Optional
Behaviour Change and Public Health POPH65062 15 Optional
Public Health and the Antibiotic Crisis POPH65072 15 Optional
Guideline Development and Implementation POPH68012 15 Optional
Displaying 10 of 18 course units

What our students say

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 Advisory and Support Service. Email:

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.

We also run monthly public health journal clubs, the annual Festival of Public Health , an International Summer School , CPD events and our free open-access courses.