Master of Public Health MPH

Distance learning programme

Build the foundations of a meaningful career in public health with this innovative and flexible online Master’s degree. Taught by a university with a world-leading reputation in health research, you’ll get to grips with global challenges and be ready to deliver solutions. A career-focused programme integrating independent study and interactive online learning with academics, practitioners, members of the public, and your fellow students, this MPH equips you with essential in-demand skills that can help you solve some of the most pressing issues in public health today.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2024/25)
£19,300
£9,650
Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.
Overseas tuition fees (2024/25)
£19,300
£9,650
Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.
Duration
1 calendar year
2 calendar years
5 calendar years
Programme starts
September 2024
Applications accepted
All applicants: 16 Oct 2023 – 30 Aug 2024
Applications close at 5pm UK time

Applications open

Entry requirements

A minimum of upper second-class degree or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard in a relevant subject (social, life, biomedical or clinical sciences). Applicants are recommended to have a background in a numerical subject (e.g. AS/A level Mathematics/Statistics or a mathematical/statistics/quantitative undergraduate module). Candidates who do not meet the academic standard and/or subject backgrounds but who have more than two years relevant professional experience (can be a combination of voluntary and paid work) may be considered for admission.

The English language level for this programme is: Level 2

UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level.

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

Equivalent qualifications

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

About this degree



With public health in the global spotlight due to the Covid-19 pandemic, now is an important time for you to carve out a meaningful career in this field. A contemporary programme sitting at the leading edge of public health, our MPH degree will equip you with the skills to make a difference to public health in a multitude of contexts. Taught from a global top 10 university also ranked 6th in the world for public health (Shanghai Ranking 2023), this programme harnesses the expertise of renowned academics, public health leaders practitioners, and citizens who have been affected by public health issues. The MPH degree blends classical population health sciences with an innovative interdisciplinary approach to help you explore the big picture. 

This programme offers a unique opportunity for you to gain a modern and comprehensive degree on the determinants of health, research and evaluation methods, and preventative approaches for improving and protecting the health and wellbeing of whole populations. With a strong emphasis on equity and inclusion, you will get to grips with understanding and tackling health inequalities. You will also develop and hone personal skills in leadership and communication, giving you the confidence to apply all that you have learned in the real world in your future careers.

As a graduate of this programme, you will take forward a practical, comparative and creative approach to solving public health issues in high-, middle-, and low-income countries, with the ability to make a tangible and purposeful difference to public health.

Who this course is for

This degree is for new or recent graduates looking for a career focused Master’s that will enable you to bring knowledge and expertise to your future public health careers. The programme is also suitable for individuals already working in the public health field, ideal for your career progression, learning and development. It is ideal preparation for those planning to take the UK Faculty of Public Health Diplomate Examination. We have students from all over the world taking advantage of our flexible and interactive fully online programme. To book a one-to-one meeting with one of the MPH academic staff to explore this programme further, please send us an email.

What this course will give you

The UCL Faculty of Population Health Sciences is a community of world-leading academics, researchers and students that embraces UCL’s interdisciplinary focus. Becoming part of this community through our flagship online MPH programme, you will become equipped with the knowledge and skills to work effectively in public health settings through our collaborative and inclusive teaching methods, you will gain a whole new network of colleagues and friends from across the globe. Together, we will address some of the world’s greatest public health challenges.

You’ll come away from this programme with insights into the effectiveness of public health interventions, programmes and policies. By learning a combination of quantitative and qualitative public health evaluation methods, you’ll become skilled at using evidence to support decision making. Gaining unique exposure to different fields that relate to public health, our inherently interdisciplinary approach will give you important practical skills in health improvement, protection, systems, and leadership. Through this, you will also acquire a crucial aptitude for ‘big picture’ thinking and considering how different systems that affect health interact. Most importantly, you will understand how to make a positive impact on the health of the public in your future career.
 

The foundation of your career

Created directly from the competency frameworks of the world’s most prestigious healthcare organisations, our MPH programme curriculum has real world value to employers. These frameworks include the UK Faculty of Public Health Specialist Training Curriculum 2015, the UK Faculty of Public Health Part A Exam Curriculum, and the WHO-ASPHER Core Competency Framework for Public Health in the European Region. As such, this MPH programme offers a strong signal to employers that you have the sought-after skills necessary to work as an effective public health practitioner.

As a graduate of this programme, you can expect to gain employment in local, regional or national governments, in the healthcare sector or in non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Roles include public health practitioners, policy analysts, intelligence officers and advisors. In particular, you may find yourself working on health improvement programmes, in health protection remits such as preventing outbreaks of infectious diseases, or on initiatives to ensure equal access to health services and medicines. As public health is relevant to many other sectors, ranging from engineering to urban planning, you can also apply your learning across a variety of other roles.

UCL’s public health programme is unique as it is designed to provide students with a solid grounding in the key concepts and skills of public health such as epidemiology, health leadership, and health policy, preparing students for diverse career opportunities.

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Master of Public Health MPH

Employability

As a graduate of the UCL MPH programme, you will come away with a variety of in-demand skills that employers working on public health issues need. You will gain an in-depth understanding of the meaning of health and its distribution across individuals and populations, providing an important basis to the public health field. Learning epidemiological, statistical and public health evaluation methods adds to a robust skill set for assessing the health of the public, health inequalities and interventions.

A key element of this programme is collaborative working with multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural stakeholder groups, including communities and patients. With opportunities to hone personal leadership style, produce an original piece of project work, and develop evidence-based recommendations about policy, practice and research – you will take away an abundance of transferable skills that are ideal for many workplace settings.

Networking

The Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care offers four on-campus MSc programmes and a fully online MPH programme encompassing a wide range of topics. Our students come from diverse academic and professional backgrounds, from the UK and overseas providing great networking opportunities within and across programmes. Each programme holds social events during the year to enable networking between students. Students have the opportunity to join the newly formed Population Health Sciences Student Society, two of the founding members of which were from the MSc in Population Health. During the year, online, hybrid, and in-person seminars are hosted by the research departments. These cover a variety of topics and provide an opportunity to hear from national and international experts and to network with attendees and speakers. 

Teaching and learning

The MPH prides itself in making students learning in an online environment feel connected and part of the UCL community. On this programme, you will be undertaking the equivalent of a face-to-face master’s programme, but with the flexibility and accessibility of being fully online. This is particularly beneficial for those who have work, family, and lifestyle commitments. You will undertake a wide range of different learning opportunities to keep you feeling motivated and engaged throughout your learning journey. 

As a student on this programme, you will be provided with self-study materials, such as videos, readings, discussion forums, and independent research tasks, which you complete on your own at your own pace. These ‘asynchronous’ materials form the backbone of your learning and will need to be completed before we come together in a weekly live online class for each module. These ‘synchronous’ live online classes are compulsory and will provide you with opportunities to consolidate and deepen your learning from the asynchronous materials. You will do this through interactive, collaborative, and discussion-based activities with your peers, lecturers, and special guests including interdisciplinary academics, public health leaders, practitioners, and people with lived experience of public health problems.

Live online classes will be held on four days of the week (one day for each module). You will be offered a choice of attending either the morning or afternoon session to fit with your other commitments and time zone.

See a timetable for a sample week

There is also regular group work throughout the programme, to enhance learning and to develop team working and leadership skills. Group projects are designed to simulate real-world multi-agency working groups or project committees, providing insights and hands-on practice relating to the actual work of public health practitioners.

The programme involves four phases of learning: foundation, expansion, specialisation, and integration, corresponding to the different modules taught in each of the teaching terms on the programme (autumn, winter, spring, and summer). For part-time and flexible students, we have kept pre-requisites as minimal as possible to ensure maximum flexibility and we will help to guide you through your module selection to optimise your learning journey. 

See the MPH programme journey

Focussing on the skills that you will need in your future career, this programme will give you the opportunity to develop and practice a range of skills through our innovative assessment methods which include 24-hour take-home examinations, written papers, class participation, and individual and group presentations. You will work on assessments related to public health strategy, policy, implementation, stakeholder analysis, and coproduction. You will develop robust plans for research and evaluation and analyse and interpret data. You will hone your critical appraisal and critical thinking skills by applying your knowledge to real-life scenarios. Personal reflective practice, participation, and different methods of communication to different audiences are also taught and assessed on this programme. 

An independent capstone dissertation project brings together all strands of learning from the degree, focused on a specific subject area you are interested in. Supported by a UCL project supervisor and often a public health partner organisation, the dissertation is an opportunity to further develop research skills, evidence synthesis, and data interpretation to support public health decision making.

For each module, you should expect to spend approximately 3-5 hours per week on asynchronous learning activities plus 2 hours per week in synchronous live online classes. You will need additional time to prepare for assessments. As a full-time MPH student, you should consider yourself as working a full-time 40 hour/week job for 12 months with about 3-4 weeks of time off during the year. For part-time and flexible students, you will need one full day per week for each 15-credit module that you take, plus extra time for assessments depending on how many modules you take.

Modules

You will undertake modules to the value of 180 credits over one academic year.

The programme consists of seven compulsory modules (120 credits), two optional modules (15 credits each) and a dissertation (30 credits).

Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a Master of Public Health (MPH).

You will undertake modules to the value of 180 credits over two academic years.

The programme consists of seven compulsory modules (120 credits), two optional modules (15 credits each) and a dissertation (30 credits). We strongly recommend you to begin your programme with the Fundamentals of Interdisciplinary Public Health (IEHC0053).

You will not be able to take optional module Applied Infectious Disease Epidemiology (IEHC0066) until you have taken Applied Epidemiology (IEHC0055) in term 1 and Health Protection (IEHC0061) in term 2. You will not be able to take optional module Applied Quantitative Methods (IEHC0064) until you have completed Applied Epidemiology (IEHC0055) and Statistics for Public Health (IEHC0057), both in term 1.

Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a Master of Public Health (MPH).

You will undertake modules to the value of 180 credits for up to a maximum of five academic years.

The programme consists of seven compulsory modules (120 credits), two optional modules (15 credits each) and a dissertation (30 credits). There is no set formula for how many credits you take per year and you may have years where you do not take any credits. We strongly recommend you to begin your programme with the Fundamentals of Interdisciplinary Public Health (IEHC0053). You will not be able to take optional module Applied Infectious Disease Epidemiology (IEHC0066) until you have taken Applied Epidemiology (IEHC0055) in term 1 and Health Protection (IEHC0061) in term 2. You will not be able to take optional module Applied Quantitative Methods (IEHC0064) until you have completed Applied Epidemiology (IEHC0055) and Statistics for Public Health (IEHC0057), both in term 1.

Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a Master of Public Health (MPH).

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability are subject to change. Modules that are in use for the current academic year are linked for further information. Where no link is present, further information is not yet available.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded an MPH in Master of Public Health.

Accessibility

Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble accessable.co.uk. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support and Wellbeing team.

Online - Open day

Master of Public Health MPH – Virtual Information Session

Our upcoming Virtual Information Session will be led by our Master of Public Health MPH Programme Directors, Serena Luchenski and Dr Denes Stefler. The event is an excellent opportunity to explore further studies within Public Health from experts in the field.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2024/25) £19,300 £9,650
Tuition fees (2024/25) £19,300 £9,650

Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.

Additional costs

There are no additional costs for this programme.

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Funding your studies

The IMPACT Scholarship

We are offering two scholarships annually which will support applicants who have demonstrated financial need, who have lived experience of inequality, and who show great promise for population health impact. The IMPACT scholarship up to the value of £19,300 will contribute towards the recipient’s full-time fees to study on the MPH programme. Part-time and flexible students are also eligible to apply, but the award is for a maximum of £19,300 which may not fully cover the programme costs if fees increase in the future.

Find out more

If you're a UK national, or EU national with settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, you may be able to apply for a Postgraduate Master’s Loan from the UK government, if you meet certain criteria.

For further information on funding opportunities specific to this programme, please see the Institute webpage.

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

MPH IMPACT Scholarship

Value: £19,300 towards tuition fees ()
Criteria Based on both academic merit and financial need
Eligibility: UK, EU, Overseas

MSc Health Psychology Jane Wardle Studentship

Value: £3,750 towards tuition fees (1yr)
Eligibility: UK, EU, Overseas

The MSc Dental Public Health Aubrey Sheiham Scholarship

Deadline: 28 June 2024
Value: £2,500 (home students); £5,000 (overseas students) (1 yr)
Criteria Based on academic merit
Eligibility: UK, EU, Overseas

Next steps

Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £90 for online applications and £115 for paper applications. Further information can be found at Application fees.

Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.

When we assess your personal statement we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study public health at graduate level
  • why you want to study public health at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to the MPH programme
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this challenging programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree.

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes (or one application for the Law LLM) in any application cycle.

Choose your programme

Please read the Application Guidance before proceeding with your application.

Year of entry: 2024-2025

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.