Taught course

Public Health by online distance learning

University of Edinburgh · School of Molecular and Clinical Medicine

Entry requirements

An undergraduate degree with an excellent or very good classification (equivalent to first or upper second class honours in the UK; China 80-85%; India 60%; Nigeria 3.5/Upper Second; North America 3.25). Overseas applicants from regions not listed here can request specific entry requirements from the programme team. For those with non-health related backgrounds or those who have been out of full-time education for some time, both academic qualifications and work experience will be considered. English language requirements If English is not your first language, you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your spoken and written English. IELTS minimum score IELTS Academic module 7.0 (with at least 6.5 in each section) Other accepted tests and scores TOEFL-iBT 100 (with at least 23 in all sections) PTE(A): 67 (with no score lower than 61 in each (with no score lower than 61 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections - "Enabling Skills" section scores are not considered) CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 176 in each module)

Months of entry


Course content

Public Health is about preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health through the efforts of society. Whether you are already a working professional in this area, or new to the subject, this is the ideal programme for those wishing to address today’s problems in public health.

You will gain an understanding of how different scientific disciplines can be used to investigate and then develop the best professional practice in epidemiology, public health and the social science of health.

This programme is taught by lecturers based at the University of Edinburgh Centre for Population Health Sciences (CPHS). CPHS is an interdisciplinary research hub which draws together researchers, clinicians and practitioners from public health, primary care and biomedical and social sciences. The Centre is also a WHO Collaborating Centre for Population Health Research and Training.

This programme is affiliated with the University's Global Health Academy:

You can study to Masters, Diploma, or Certificate level. All students follow the same, compulsory certificate level courses.

Year One (Certificate)

All students take the following compulsory courses:

  • Epidemiology for Health Professionals GLHE11016 (20 credits)
  • Health Systems Analysis (20 credits)
  • Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods GLHE11017 (10 credits)
  • Introduction to Health Promotion (10 credits)

Year Two (Diploma)

If you have satisfactorily completed the Certificate level, you can decide whether you want to follow a general public health strand or a specialist strand in global non-communicable disease. Regardless of which strand you decide to follow, if you would like to do a dissertation, the following courses are compulsory:

  • Research Skills for Public and Global Health GLHE11018 (10 credits)
  • Introduction to Systematic Reviews (10 credits)

Year Two: General Public Health strand

Students planning to do a dissertation should choose elective courses totalling exactly 40 credits. At least 20 credits must be chosen from list A (see below). Students not planning to do a dissertation should choose elective courses totalling exactly 60 credits. At least 40 credits must be chosen from list A (see below).

Year Two: Global Health Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) strand

The following courses are compulsory for all students following the Global Health NCD strand:

  • Introduction to Global Health GLHE11002 (20 credits)
  • Globalisation and Non-Communicable Diseases GLHE11013 (20 credits)

Students on the Global Health NCD strand not planning to do a dissertation should choose exactly 20 credits from either list A or list B below.

Year Three (Masters)

Students who have completed the diploma level and are eligible to progress to year three can choose either to take a further 60 credits of elective courses (at least 40 of which must be chosen from list A) or to do a dissertation project (if agreed by the programme directors), worth 60 credits. The dissertation option will only be available to students who have met the stipulated academic requirements.

List A:

  • Global Health Challenges: An Introduction (20 credits)
  • Project Management for effective Global Public Health Programmes (20 credits)
  • The global burden of mental illness (10 credits)
  • Palliative and end of life care in an international context (10 credits)
  • The burden of diabetes in the developing world - epidemiology to strategic management (10 credits)
  • Family Medicine in developing and emerging economy health care and its role in non-communicable disease management (10 credits)
  • HIV and Non Communicable Diseases (10 credits)
  • Evidence-based medicine (20 credits)
  • Maternal health (10 credits)
  • Cultivating communities of practice: leadership and management within multi-disciplinary teams (20 credits)
  • Epidemiology for Public Health (20 credits)
  • Investing in Global Health and Development (20 credits)
  • Epidemiology of Chronic Disease (20 credits)
  • Global Health Epidemiology (20 credits)
  • Research Skills for Public and Global Health (10 credits)
  • Introduction to Systematic Reviews (10 credits)
  • Introduction to Global Health (20 credits)
  • Globalisation and Non-Communicable Diseases (20 credits)

List B:

  • Neglected tropical diseases (10 credits)
  • Emerging Infectious Diseases (10 credits)
  • The communication of disease control (10 credits)
  • Newborn and Child Health (10 credits)
  • Water and sanitation (10 credits)
  • Principles and Practice in Public Engagement with Science (10 credits)
  • Introduction to Clinical Trials (20 credits)
  • An introduction to One Health (20 credits)
  • Physical Activity for Health (20 credits)
  • Introduction to Global eHealth (10 credits)
  • Public Health Informatics (10 credits)

Information for international students

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements: http://www.ed.ac.uk/studying/international/country

Fees and funding

UK students
£4,100 per year
International students
£4,100 per year

Qualification and course duration


distance learning
12 months


distance learning
24 months


distance learning
36 months

Course contact details

Sarah Gordon
+44 (0)131 650 2679