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Public Health

Course overview

(Master PH) Master of Public Health
Public Health
University of Essex
University of Essex
Health and Social Care (School of)
Colchester Campus
By credit accumulation

External Examiners provide an independent overview of our courses, offering their expertise and help towards our continual improvement of course content, teaching, learning, and assessment. External Examiners are normally academics from other higher education institutions, but may be from the industry, business or the profession as appropriate for the course. They comment on how well courses align with national standards, and on how well the teaching, learning and assessment methods allow students to develop and demonstrate the relevant knowledge and skills needed to achieve their awards. External Examiners who are responsible for awards are key members of Boards of Examiners. These boards make decisions about student progression within their course and about whether students can receive their final award.

eNROL, the module enrolment system, is now open until Monday 21 October 2019 8:59AM, for students wishing to make changes to their module options.


Core You must take this module You must pass this module. No failure can be permitted.
Core with Options You can choose which module to study
Compulsory You must take this module There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.
Compulsory with Options You can choose which module to study
Optional You can choose which module to study

Year 1 - 2019/20

Exit Award Status
Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Credits PG Diploma PG Certificate
01 HS982-7-FY Dissertation Core 60
02 HS900-7-AU Research Design and Critical Appraisal Core 15 Core Optional
03 HS920-7-AP HS920-7-AU Compulsory 15 Compulsory Optional
04 HS921-7-SP HS921-7-AU Core 15 Core Compulsory
05 HS922-7-SP Health Promotion Compulsory 15 Compulsory Optional
06 HS927-7-SP or HS908-7-SP Core with Options 15 Core with Options Optional
07 HS915-7-SU HS915-7-AU Core 15 Core Compulsory
08 Option from list Optional 20 Optional Optional
09 Option from list Optional 20 Optional Optional

Exit awards

A module is given one of the following statuses: 'core' – meaning it must be taken and passed; 'compulsory' – meaning it must be taken; or 'optional' – meaning that students can choose the module from a designated list. The rules of assessment may allow for limited condonement of fails in 'compulsory' or 'optional' modules, but 'core' modules cannot be failed. The status of the module may be different in any exit awards which are available for the course. Exam Boards will consider students' eligibility for an exit award if they fail the main award or do not complete their studies.

Programme aims

Learning outcomes and learning, teaching and assessment methods

On successful completion of the programme a graduate should demonstrate knowledge and skills as follows:

A: Knowledge and understanding

A1 Advanced understanding of key concepts related to public health protection and promotion
A2 Comprehensive knowledge of how to monitor and control the populations' health
A3 Comprehensive knowledge of the relationships between relevant academic theories and practice of public health
A4 Comprehensive knowledge of how to critically appraise the public health evidence base and practice
A5 Advanced understanding of qualitative and quantitative research methods.
A6 In depth understanding of how to conduct original research including relevant ethical and legal issues.
A7 Advanced ability to reflect upon ones own professional practice.
Learning Methods: A1-6 are covered in lectures and seminars, which introduce the material in a structured manner with opportunity for class discussion.

Many of the teaching sessions adopt an enquiry-based learning approach

A1-6 are further supported by practical experience, most notably the completion of an independent research project

A1-3 are further supported by the contribution of visiting lecturers A3 and A6-7 are supported through informal small group sessions and individual supervision
Assessment Methods: A1-4 are assessed by coursework

A5-7 are assessed through essays and practical assignment and completion of a dissertation

B: Intellectual and cognitive skills

B1 Systematically gather and critically review evidence.
B2 Translate research evidence into practical activities in treatment and service improvement (evidence-based practice)
B3 Interpret and implement relevant policy statements
B4 Plan, undertake and report an independent research project to a high professional and ethical standard.
B5 Write well-structured and well-argued essays.
Learning Methods: B1-4 are explicated in seminars primarily through a problem-based learning approach

B4 is supported through lectures followed by small group work and individual supervision

B5 is on-going throughout the course via formative feedback about coursework
Assessment Methods: B1-3 and B5 are assessed through coursework and examination

B4 is assessed through a Research Dissertation

C: Practical skills

C1 Perform advanced and systematic search for information relevant to specific topics
C2 Produce a research proposal to a professional standard and, if required, submit an application to an ethics committee.
C3 Carry out, with supervision, health research to a high professional standard.
C4 Process and analyse data using a software package (e.g. SPSS or MaxQDA)
C5 Plan and present their work in an appropriate manner
Learning Methods: C1 is supported by on-line lecture demonstrations and supported enquiry based learning

C2 is explicated through lectures and individual supervision
C3 is supported by individual and small group supervision

C4 is taught by on-line lecture demonstrations followed by supported and structured laboratory-based work C5 is taught through small group discussion
Assessment Methods: C1-2 are assessed initially in coursework and then through the research dissertation.

C3 is assessed via the dissertation

C4 is assessed through an assignment consisting of practical exercises

C5 is assessed through coursework

D: Key skills

D1 Able to write clearly and effectively; able to communicate effectively verbally in a group; able to summarise and communicate complex findings to others; able to communicate with professional and lay audiences appropriately
D2 Use of Internet; use of word processing packages; use of spreadsheets and statistics packages; use of presentation packages; use of data analysis software
D3 Ability to read and interpret tables of data and statistics; ability to use statistics to analyse data; familiarity with packages for handling and analysing data
D4 Choose the appropriate method of enquiry in order to address a range of practical and theoretical problems. This includes review and use of appropriate past literature, consulting appropriate experts, or designing an appropriate piece of research work
D5 Able to work in a team with others to agree and work towards goals; able to work successfully with other disciplines; able to practice reflectively and facilitate this in others
D6 Able to learn from feedback and respond appropriately and effectively to supervision and guidance; able to work pragmatically to meet deadlines; able to critically evaluate own performance and to practice reflectively
Learning Methods: D1 is supported in small group class discussions

D2 is introduced in the pre-registration induction day.

It is covered in on-line teaching demonstrations and supported laboratory work.

D3 is supported in lectures and supported laboratory work

D4 is promoted through the extensive use of enquiry-based learning methods

D5 is supported by small group work with further support from the practice-supervisor in the workplace

D6 is supported by structured feedback on coursework and the enforcement of tight deadlines
Assessment Methods: D1 is assessed primarily through essays

D2 is assessed through the requirement to word-process essays and to cite references from internet sources in essays.

There are also a range of practical assignments to assess use of IT.

D3 is assessed through coursework including practical assignments.

D4 -6 is assessed through coursework.

In addition the Research Dissertation includes assessment of formulation, planning and problem solving.


The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.

Should you have any questions about programme specifications, please contact Course Records, Quality and Academic Development; email: