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Public Health and Health Promotion MSc

Postgraduate Open Evening: 22 May 2019

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Webinar: Find out more about this exciting course by viewing our recent Public Health and Health Promotion MSc Online Webinar and Q&A delivered by Dr Nana Anokye, Programme Lead in Public Health and Health Promotion MSc

About the course

The overall aim of the MSc in Public Health and Health Promotion is for students to gain advanced skills, principles and knowledge in public health and health promotion whilst also developing a critical and multidisciplinary approach to the complexities of public health and health promotion challenges and possibilities.

The programme reflects the multidisciplinary nature of public health and health promotion and includes:

  • health promotion
  • global public health
  • health policy
  • politics, sociology
  • psychology, communication
  • advanced academic and research skills.

You will develop your knowledge in public health and health promotion as well as build your research skills.The programme has an active learning and research-led approach.


The MSc programme in Public Health and Health Promotion allows students to:

  • Investigate the scope and nature of contemporary public health and health promotion at the local, national and global levels, focusing on its development, current priorities and future challenges.
  • Explore the major determinants of health and explore ways to promote public health and health promotion that address social and economic inequalities, are culturally sensitive, and promote values of social justice.
  • Build knowledge and skills in reflective practice, research, communication, transferable skills and working in groups.
  • Develop knowledge and skills in the principles and complexities of using evidence, including researching, analysing and evaluating health information and policy.
  • Explore a multidisciplinary approach to public health and health promotion.
  • Examine ethical, political, societal and cultural dilemmas that arise in public health and health promotion.
  • Provide the opportunity to conduct an empirical research project in a contemporary issue associated with public health and health promotion.



Contact our Enquiries team.
Course Enquiries: +44 (0)1895 265599 (before you submit an application)
Admissions Office: +44 (0)1895 265265 (after you submit an application)

Course content

The MSc Public Health and Health Promotion has been specially designed to give you up-to-date knowledge and the necessary skills to be able to understand and apply your learning in analysing evidence, assessing need, planning, implementation and the evaluation of public health and health promotion in a range of contexts.

A key focus is the development of a theoretical, conceptual, historical and critical understandings of public health and health promotion. This understanding will be applied to an analysis of ethical, political and policy debates informing health promotion and public health practice.

You will need to complete eight study blocks that lead to six assessments and a 15,000 - 18,000 word dissertation to achieve the MSc Public Health and Health Promotion.

Compulsory Modules

Global Public Health*

The focus of the Global Public Health study block is population-based approaches to health and wellbeing in the global context. You will examine the history and development of public health, explore current and topical issues, engage in critical debates and develop advanced skills and knowledge in public health including:

  • Epidemiology
  • Environmental health
  • Applied statistical analysis
  • Demography
  • Health information systems
  • Communicable and non-communicable diseases
  • Risk and needs assessment
  • Health economics
  • Global and local health
  • Health (care) system.

Health Promotion*

The Health Promotion study block provides you with a theoretical and critical approach to understanding the principles, perspectives and practice of health promotion.

The focus will be on the promotion of physical, mental and social health and wellbeing amongst individuals, groups and communities. You will also explore:

  • Concepts of health, health education, health promotion and empowerment.
  • Critiques of health promotion including surveillance, structure, social regulation, commercialisation, and consumption.
  • Communicating health, such as the role of health professionals, the media and digital health.
  • Communities and health e.g. workplaces, neighbourhoods, leisure, schools, prisons, online communities; developing strategies and policies to promote health.
  • A critical evaluation of health promotion strategies in practice.

Health and Society*

The focus of the Health and Society study block will be to critically explore the social context of health and wellbeing, including:

  • Perceptions and experiences of health and illness.
  • Social determinants of health status.
  • Risk, health and lifestyles.

You will look at explanations and evidence in relation to social inequalities and social identities including social class, poverty, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, youth and ageing.

The Health and Society study block also analyses medicalisation and pharmaceuticalisation, the role of consumerism, digital health,and lay and professional discourses.

Underlying the debates within this study block will be a consideration of the concepts of collective and individual responsibility for health and the implications for health promotion and public health policies and practice.

Evidence and Communication

You will develop a thorough understanding of the processes of evidence-based healthcare including critical appraisal and the communication of best practice to manage health and lifestyles.

The psychological, behavioural and cultural factors that can contribute to the norms and values around health behaviours in families and communities are also explored.

Possible links between psychosocial factors and health in populations are identified with consideration of ways to help people manage their health behaviour and avoid risky behaviours.

Using evidence from health psychology, and associated disciplines, you will consider the means to effectively communicate with patients, individuals and groups to implement life-enhancing behaviour changes. The impact of digital technology as a means to monitor health and to access current evidence in the field is discussed, as well as the use of contemporary forums to provide health checks and guidance. Targeting and tailoring health information in many forms, including the arts, is evaluated with reference to different communities.

Health Policy, Politics and Social Justice*

Health Policy, Politics and Social Justice study block incorporates philosophical, political, policy and ethical perspectives on public health and health promotion to critically examine to what extent societies can design and build effective public health institutions and health promotion systems to enhance health and wellbeing.

The study block is designed to help students distinguish good health policy from good policy for health - explaining through theories, case studies, and models, that it is the latter that is needed for health justice. This supports the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) all-of-government or health-in-all-policies approach, recognising that the health sector is not the only contributor to good health.

You will study the central ethical, historical, commercial and political challenges facing health policy in the UK and internationally, especially in relation to social justice.

You will also explore dimensions of health policy, public–private partnerships, the politics of health, political ideologies, the role of commercial and business interests, health ethics, and social justice.

Implementing Change in Public Health and Health Promotion*

You will draw on and integrate the knowledge and skills developed through the programme and promote a problem solving and multidisciplinary approach to public health and health promotion. Through a series of workshops, group discussions and peer led learning, there will be an opportunity to explore and examine case studies that highlight the complex and multidisciplinary nature of public health and health promotion - and the implications for health promotion and public health strategies, policy and practice.

Research in Practice

This study block enhances the skills, understanding and knowledge of research skills in practice including doing qualitative research, quantitative research and exploring specialised methods and research skills for public health and health promotion.

Through a process of practical sessions, group discussion and reflexivity you will have the opportunity to gain skills in the practice of public health and health promotion related research and start the process of developing your own research.

The sessions will be interactive and enhance the development and understanding of designing research, different approaches to research, all the processes involved in research, and the development of knowledge and skills to effectively conduct fieldwork and to complete an empirical research project.

Approaches to Research

This module will provide you with an overview of different approaches to research including qualitative research, quantitative research and systematic reviews.


The dissertation is a piece of empirical research that allows you to explore a key issue associated with public health and health promotion. You will have the opportunity to conduct fieldwork and complete an empirical piece of research using primary or secondary data. The final written dissertation is 15-18,000 words.

Read more about the structure of postgraduate degrees at Brunel and what you will learn on the course.


Careers and your future

The development of transferable and employability skills are embedded within the MSc in Public Health and Health Promotion.

Graduates gain the skills and knowledge to develop a career in health promotion and public health. This course is of interest to a wide range of professionals working in health and social care, local government, education and the voluntary sector.

At Brunel we provide many opportunities and experiences within your degree programme and beyond – work-based learning, professional support services, volunteering, mentoring, sports, arts, clubs, societies, and much, much more – and we encourage you to make the most of them, so that you can make the most of yourself.

» More about Employability

Entry criteria 2019/20

  • A 2:2 (or above) UK Honours degree, or equivalent internationally recognised qualification, in a subject such as health promotion, public health, allied health, health related studies, social sciences, medical sciences, biosciences, sport science, and environmental health.

Entry criteria are subject to review and change each academic year.

International and EU entry requirements

If your country or institution is not listed or if you are not sure whether your institution is eligible, please contact Admissions

This information is for guidance only by Brunel University London and by meeting the academic requirements does not guarantee entry for our courses as applications are assessed on case-by-case basis.

English language requirements

  • IELTS: 6.5 (min 6 in all areas)
  • Pearson: 58 (51 in all subscores)
  • BrunELT: 65% (min 60% in all areas)

You can find out more about the qualifications we accept on our English Language Requirements page.

If you require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK, you must prove knowledge of the English language so that we can issue you a Certificate of Acceptance for Study (CAS). To do this, you will need an IELTS for UKVI or Trinity SELT test pass gained from a test centre approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) and on the Secure English Language Testing (SELT) list. This must have been taken and passed within two years from the date the CAS is made.

Should you wish to take a pre-sessional English course to improve your English prior to starting your degree course, you must sit the test at an approved SELT provider for the same reason.

We offer our own BrunELT English Test and have pre-sessional English language courses for students who do not meet requirements or who wish to improve their English. You can find out more information on English courses and test options at the Brunel Language Centre.

Teaching and learning

Experts at the forefront

The programme draws upon lecturers within public health and health promotion, the wider university and external specialist experts. The teaching team are research active and engage in scholarly activity that informs the curriculum. There are interactions between research and teaching and learning throughout the programme.

How you will be taught

Most study and study blocks will be delivered via a combination of lectures, seminars, online resources, peer led learning, group activities and/or practical workshops, with personal study expected throughout. Typically, lecturers set out the key context, which provide underpinning theory, identify issues of debate and point to further evidence, resources and critical debate. Seminars are structured to facilitate discussion, explore further learning and promote critical thinking, including sound, evidence-based reasoning.

Self-study component

You will be expected to increasingly become self-directed in researching topics. This combination ensures that learning requires active engagement from you, in which debates are often illustrated and explored with examples from policy and practice, so that theory is clearly linked in a relevant and meaningful way to learning goals.

Active learning is recognised as essential to the development of understanding, the ability to apply theory to practice, and to the development of reflective skills. The programme incorporates online teaching and learning tools such as Blackboard Learn.

Assessment and feedback

A variety of assessment modes are employed, such as case studies, essays, presentations, written examinations and a research dissertation. Assessment techniques match the intended learning outcomes. At the start of the programme students are provided with the assessment schedule including assessment and feedback dates.

Special features

  • Links between research and teaching throughout the programme.
  • The opportunity to undertake an empirical piece of research.
  • The course is one of the longest established in the UK.
  • The programme is highly rated for its excellence in teaching and learning.

Fees and funding

Fees for 2019/20 entry

UK/EU students: £8,000 full-time; £4,000 part-time

International students: £18,720 full-time; £9,360 part-time

Some courses incur additional course related costs. You can also check our on-campus accommodation costs for more information on living expenses.

Read about funding opportunities available to postgraduate students

UK/EU students can opt to pay in six equal monthly instalments: the first instalment is payable on enrolment and the remaining five by Direct Debit or credit/debit card.

Overseas students can opt to pay in two instalments: 60% on enrolment, and 40% in January for students who commence their course in September (or the remaining 40% in March for selected courses that start in January).

Fees quoted are per year and may be subject to an annual increase. Home/EU undergraduate student fees are regulated and are currently capped at £9,250 per year; any changes will be subject to changes in government policy. International and postgraduate fees will increase annually in line with RPI, or 5%, whichever is the lesser.

There is a range of financial support available to help you fund your studies. Find out about postgraduate student funding options.