BSc Public Health (Distance/Blended Learning) / Course details

Year of entry: 2022

Course description

Ayeesha Roberts.

Fitting my learning around my full-time job has been invaluable.

The lecturers and other students are so supportive, and everyone has knowledge and experiences to bring.

Ayeesha Roberts / Master of Public Health (part-time student)

Why study public health?

The area of public health is a growing and important area and a career in this sector provides you with the chance to really make a difference to people s lives and wellbeing.

Our course

In choosing Manchester you can be confident you are receiving the most up-to-date knowledge in public health. You will be taught by experts in the field that bring the latest developments in the sector to your course. The course can be taken both full-time and part-time and you will be able to make use of the world-class learning facilities on campus. You will be prepared for a career in public health that offers a range of local and global opportunities. You will also develop a range of transferable skills and knowledge that employers are looking for.

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.

Our BSc Public Health students will have access to our paid PPD (personal professional development) courses for free. These include summer schools and CPD courses. This access enables you to further develop your skills and knowledge above and beyond the scope of your degree.

You could also present your work at the International Festival of Public Health.

Special features

Support

You will receive an individual student support package, which includes regular meetings with your personal academic advisor throughout the course.

Become an employable graduate

Our graduates are highly employable. We re the most targeted university by the UK s top 100 graduate recruiters (The Graduate Market in 2019, High Fliers Research).

There is also plenty of opportunity to ensure you graduate with a unique set of skills and experience by taking part in our Public Health Professional Development programme. Through this you could attend a range of events including the World Health Organisation Geneva Winter School, international festivals and summer schools, and undertake CPD courses and seminars.  

Flexible learning

All of the course content is available online, enabling you to fit study around other commitments. We offer optional face-to-face lectures and events that you can attend or view online, learning whenever suits you.

Distance learning students (full-time or part-time) can now come to the UK on a standard visitor visa for workshops and other sessions. Visit the Student Support website to find out more Standard Visitor Visa for Study

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. This will provide you with an insight into global experiences of public health. Through the sharing of experiences, you will be able to broaden your understanding of different cultures, perspectives and local policies that affect how public health is seen and used.

You could also present your work at the International Festival of Public Health

Additional course information

Try a public health course for free

If you'd like to see what public health is all about, you can try one of our free open access courses, which cover topics from antibiotic resistance to women's health.

Take a look at our free courses to get a flavour of what you might learn on the BSc Public Health course: Open access public health courses .

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Teaching and learning

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 to prepare you for an exciting career.

Teaching and learning methods

You will learn through a range of interactive, student-centred lectures, seminars and discussion groups. You will be encouraged to develop your independent learning skills, this will be supported through active learning methods such as collaborative enquiry, critical analysis and problem-based learning.

Exercises will use real-world examples from appropriate settings, for example from public health practice, globally and nationally. You will also be encouraged to improve existing and develop new communication skills and digital capabilities.

You will be able to put into practice what you learn, with opportunities to interact with other students and tutors through dedicated online discussion boards. Some units offer exercises based on group work through online discussions. These exercises develop the skills required by professional public health roles, such as planning and managing a project, and working as part of a team to deliver a project.

Each course unit will require 15 to 20 hours of study per week. You will be supported to work through these units independently and guided by peer and tutor support. A unit-specific calendar will be made available in the first week of all units.

Induction

Your induction is a great way to meet staff and students, these will be your friends and support group while you are studying. You will also be given an overview of all aspects of the course, preparing you for your study.

Study skills

A study skills course will introduce you to a range of skills and resources required for successful online learning. It includes topics on information searching, referencing and academic writing. The Academic Malpractice Driving Test will ensure you are well prepared for degree level study and able to avoid any malpractice and plagiarism in your work.

Public Health Professional Development Programme

In addition to your credit-bearing course units, you will be offered a programme of development activities. These will be offered online to ensure on- and off-campus students can access the same resources.

Development activities include subjects such as orientation, reflection, how to complete assessments, wellbeing, careers advice, mentoring, altruism and preparing for the year ahead.

Online lectures include subjects such as urban health, place-based approaches, global and local inequalities, prevention and 'clean minds, dirty hands', and additional skills for a career in public health.

Stellify

Stellify is a university initiative to develop your leadership skills and encourage community volunteering.

To achieve the Stellify award, you have to demonstrate all three of the Ethical Grand Challenges , volunteering and leadership activities.

Coursework and assessment

You will be assessed by a variety of methods that will allow you to demonstrate your abilities and knowledge.

Each unit assessment will provide you with the opportunity to show you have met the learning outcomes. There are no formal examinations. We use a variety of assessment methods which include assignments, presentations, literature reviews and project reports.

Self-assessments

Throughout the course there will be the chance for you to test your factual knowledge through self-assessment and assignments and quizzes.

Feedback

You will receive regular quality feedback allowing you to track your progress throughout the course and identify any areas that might need improvement.

Feedback will vary from unit to unit but may include:

  • feedback by tutors and fellow students in discussion groups; 
  • automated feedback from self-tests or quizzes; 
  • peer review exercises; 
  • reflective exercises that provide sample answers.

These are not assessed and are therefore optional. However, you will be encouraged to take part and reflect on the feedback that you receive. 

Course unit details

Full-time option

You will take six mandatory 20-credit units each year (120 credits in total per year), We have based the course on the pillars of public health practice, health promotion, health protection, healthcare public health and included global health examples.

You can tailor your learning through optional elements within the unit assessment. You will have access to a wide range of experts and postgraduate students. We offer additional optional non-credit bearing public health learning opportunities via our open access courses , seminars, the WHO Geneva Winter School , and an annual international conference.

Course content includes:

  • An introduction to public health
  • Evidence based practice
  • Health promotion
  • Health protection
  • Healthcare public health
  • Global health

You will learn and present your work through a range of methods including video presentations, research posters, literature reviews, and a final public health project.

 Part-time option

You will follow the part-time pathway where you complete 60 credits per academic year.

Course content for year 1

Course content for Year 1 full-time or years 1 and 2 part-time. 

Evidence Based Practice (POPH10011) - 20 credits

This unit will explore what we mean by evidence based practice (EBP) and teach the skills required to find, appraise and use different types of evidence from the published literature. We will explore the importance of EBP in public health practice and learn how it improves population health and wellbeing.

Global Health (POPH10022) - 20 credits

This unit will explore what we mean by health from a global perspective. We will explore the difference between global and international health including the history and theories that underpin health policies and practice.

Health Promotion (POPH10031) - 20 credits

This unit will explore what we mean by health promotion including the history and theories that underpin health promotion policies and practice. We will explore the importance of health promotion in public health practice and learn how it improves population health and wellbeing.

Health Protection (POPH10042) - 20 credits

This unit will explore the basic principles of health protection including infection, including causative agents, vectors and reservoirs. We will also go through basic mechanisms of immunity and vaccinations.

Healthcare Public Health (POPH10052) - 20 credits

This unit will explore what we mean by health systems management including the history and theories that underpin practice. We will explore the importance of players both within countries and outside interaction with health systems. We will explore how management theory can help to develop, improve and maintain a high quality of service.

Introduction to Public Health (POPH10061) - 10 credits

This unit will explore concepts of health and wellbeing from epidemiological, sociological and the 'science and art' of public health practice and discuss the determinants of health and the reasons for health inequalities. We will analyse the approaches that can be used with the aim of improving health and wellbeing of the population and develop team-working and collaboration skills through effective use of modern digital tools.

Poster Presentation (POPH10071) - 10 credits

This unit you will build on the Introduction to Public Health course unit and other course units to complete a public health project of your choice in a country of your choosing.

Course units for year 1

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 Y1 POPH10011 20 Mandatory
Global Health Y1 POPH10022 20 Mandatory
Health Promotion Y1 POPH10031 20 Mandatory
Health Protection Y1 POPH10042 20 Mandatory
Healthcare Public Health Year 1 POPH10052 20 Mandatory
Introduction to Public Health POPH10061 10 Mandatory
Poster presentation POPH10071 10 Mandatory

Course content for year 2

Course content for Year 2 full-time or years 3 and 4 part-time. 

Evidence Based Practice (POPH20011) - 20 credits

This unit will focus on the different study designs used in public health practice and epidemiology. The unit will link the concepts of the hierarchy of evidence to the concepts of generalisability, external and internal validity.

Global Health (POPH20022) - 20 credits

This unit will explore globalisation and its impact on health. We will explore the impact of the economy on health policies and practice, and vice versa ('health is wealth'). We will explore alternative approaches to maximise the potential benefit from scientific enquiry, to improve the way in which health care is provided with rising globalisation.

Health Promotion (POPH20031) - 20 credits

This unit will explore what we mean by health promotion including the history and theories that underpin health promotion policies and practice globally. We will explore the importance of health promotion in public health practice and learn how it improves population health and wellbeing. We will explore specific exemplars from global partners to help illustrate health promotion policy and practice globally. We will explore the principal methods and theoretical approaches to the evaluation and assessment of evidence for effectiveness of health promotion programmes and interventions.

Health Protection (POPH20042) - 20 credits

This unit will explore the basic principles of health protection including the prevention and control of common communicable diseases. We will explore the interventions that are most effective in reducing the burden of communicable diseases.

Healthcare Public Health (POPH20052) - 20 credits

This unit will explore what we mean by inequalities in health including the history and theories that underpin practice. We will explore the importance of players both within countries and outside interaction with health systems, and how this causes inequalities to exist. We will explore measures to reduce inequalities.

Literature Review Project (POPH20061) - 20 credits

This unit you will complete a public health literature review project of your choice in a country of your choosing.

Course content for year 3

Course content for Year 3 full-time or years 5 and 6 part-time. 

Evidence Based Practice (POPH30011) - 20 credits

This unit will focus on revising the different study designs used in public health practice and epidemiology and focus on the implementation of EBP into public health policy and practice.

Global Health (POPH30022) - 20 credits

In this unit you will build on the global health preparation course unit and other course units to complete a global health project of your choice in a country of your choosing.

Health Promotion (POPH30031) - 20 credits

This unit will revise health promotion including the history and theories that underpin health promotion policies and practice globally.

We will revise the importance of health promotion in public health practice and learn how it improves population health and wellbeing. We will revise specific exemplars from global partners to help illustrate health promotion policy and practice globally so we can design a health promotion intervention in a fictitious population that we will build an implementation and evaluation plan around.

We will apply the learning about theories and methods of health promotion, programme planning and evaluation to relevant health promotion issues within professional roles or workplaces.

Health Protection (POPH30042) - 20 credits

This unit will explore the basic principles of outbreak prevention including the management of epidemics and pandemics. We will focus on the measures required at global and national level to prevent future epidemics and pandemics and discuss why some diseases remain endemic. We will focus throughout on the management, surveillance and control measures nationally and internationally to keep the global population safe including the role of WHO and other organisations.

Healthcare Public Health (POPH30052) - 20 credits

This unit will explore what we mean by inequalities in health including the history and theories that underpin practice. We will revise the importance of players both within countries and outside interaction with health systems, and how this causes inequalities to exist. We will revise measures to reduce inequalities. We will use tools and techniques relevant to managing healthcare to reduce inequalities in health.

Preparation for Independent Study on a Global Health Project (POPH30061) - 20 credits

This unit you will build on the past course units to prepare the necessary skills to complete a global health project of your choice in a country of your choosing.

What our students say

Mikhail Foster.

My course offered international collaboration with students from around the world, which was second to none.

The entire Public Health department is made up of genuinely world-class, approachable and constantly forward-thinking researchers and lecturers.

Mikhail Foster / Master of Public Health (2019 graduate)

Find out more about what it's like to study at Manchester on the Biology, Medicine and Health Student Blog .

Facilities

Library and online services

The University of Manchester offers extensive library and online services to help you get the most out of your studies.

The library offers academic and wellbeing sessions across a broad range of topics to support your learning.

Additional resources

We offer innovative, research-led, e-learning tools to enhance your understanding and enable learning anytime on any device.

You will benefit from close supervision and pastoral care by an academic staff member during the whole degree course.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: dass@manchester.ac.uk