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Health Promotion & Public Health

This course takes account of newly emerging needs in public health practice and policy and enables students to develop key competencies.

The course will be of interest to a wide range of professionals such as managers, health education/health promotion specialists, environmental health officers, doctors, nurses, specialist community public health nurses, allied health professionals, dentists and teachers working in health and social care, local government, education, the voluntary and private sectors, as well as new graduates who are contemplating a career within the expanding field of health promotion and public health.

The course aims to develop analytical, communication, leadership and management skills necessary to operate at a professional level. These will prepare and enable practitioners to develop and lead population-based activities designed to tackle inequalities in health, prevent ill health and to work in partnership with individuals, families, communities and multidisciplinary public health workforces.

This intellectually stimulating course is based on the physical and mental dimensions of health and the associated social, political, economic and personal determinants of health. The course is designed to provide an advanced education in the theory, principles and practice of health promotion and public health, with strong emphasis on the integration of theory into practical application.

The curriculum takes account of newly emerging needs in public health practice and policy. It has been developed with a strong focus on evidence based practice to enable students to develop key health promotion and public health competencies within a supportive learning environment.

A work-based learning module requires you to spend a minimum of 35 hours in a public health setting which will afford you the opportunity to understand and observe the competencies necessary to work within the field of public health. The module also aims to consolidate your learning by drawing on the knowledge and skills acquired throughout the course, and, thus, increase employment prospects.

The MSc Research Project is a substantial piece of independent work where, through the application of the research process to a self-determined public health topic area, you will demonstrate your ability to complete an evidence based project which makes a contribution to the knowledge base for professional practice and/or policy.

Full-time and part-time study options provide flexibility to structure study to suit personal and professional commitments.

Work placement / study abroad
You are required to spend a minimum of 35 hours in a public health setting. You will be provided with a range of organisations who have agreed to facilitate placement. You may also, with approval, organise a placement in another organisation of your choice.

Teaching and learning assessment
Lectures will be delivered via conventional face-to-face classes, enhanced with material available on Blackboard Learn or will be fully online. Lectures are structured in a way to stimulate discussion and debate.

Classroom-based workshops will encompass formal teaching and participatory group work involving a range of strategies including: problem solving, opinion forming, class quizzes and debate and generation of new ideas and approaches. These methods will enable you to engage with the skills required to formulate judgments and make decisions for practice.

Student learning will take place is a supportive environment where the ethos is one of respect and valuing the views of all. You will learn through a combination of information received from lectures and reading, class discussions, reflection and group work. University study requires you to take responsibility for your own learning, to be more self-directed, to make decisions about what you will focus on and how much time you will spend on learning both inside and outside the classroom.

Independent reading and literature research are a vital and indispensable element of learning and you will need to read into your areas of specific interest to enable you to apply the concepts and principles delivered in the teaching environment.

Entry requirements

Entry conditions
We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University's General Entrance Requirements. For general entrance requirements go to:

Entry Requirements
Normally, a degree in a subject related to health promotion, public health or population health from an institution approved by the University.

Candidates will normally progress from the Postgraduate Diploma in Health Promotion and Public Health. Candidates who hold a Postgraduate Diploma in Health Promotion, Public Health, Population Health or a Postgraduate Diploma in Specialist Community Public Health Nursing from Ulster or equivalent from another University, with a mark profile equivalent to that required of Postgraduate Diplomates in Health Promotion and Public Health of Ulster, as evidenced by a transcript, may be admitted directly to the MSc phase of the course.

English Language Requirements
English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.

Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.

Exemptions and transferability
Students who obtain an overall average of at least 50% in the Postgraduate Certificate may progress to the Postgraduate Diploma.

Students who obtain an overall average of at least 50% in the Postgraduate Diploma may progress to the MSc.

Within the University regulations transfer may be permitted to and from other courses.


One semester September to December. Attendance varies by module. One module is taught in a block across one week of the semester, one module is taught in 6-hour sessions for 4 weeks of the semester and one module is taught in a morning every week of the semester.

Two semesters September to June. Attendance varies by module. One module is taught in a block across one week of the semester, two modules are taught in 6-hour sessions for 4 weeks of the semester, one module is taught in a morning every week of the semester. Two of the modules are delivered fully online with students required to be online at specified times.

One semester June to September. There are no taught classes for the MSc. You will be allocated an individual supervisor who you will have contact with for a total of 18 hours.

Careers or further progression

Career options
Health promotion and public health are no longer viewed as the responsibility of only those working in health. Students have obtained employment in statutory, voluntary, charity, private and community organisations as well as in local government and academic institutions. Students have also progressed to further postgraduate study.

Further enquiries

Course Director: Dr Karen Casson
T: +44 (0)28 9036 8293

Faculty Office regarding admissions and application process:
Mrs Karen McCaroll
T: +44 (0)28 9036 8983

Subjects taught

Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.
Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.

Year one
Principles and Practice of Health Promotion and Public Health
This module addresses in an in-depth, critical manner, the determinants of health and how these can be addressed by the disciplines of health promotion and public health. Key theoretical and professional perspectives are explored. Outcomes of these disciplines are critically analysed through an examination of key health psychology theory.

Populations and Policy for Public Health
Health promotion and public health specialists have a key role to play in reducing health inequalities. This module covers a spectrum of key skills and qualities to enable students to identify and address health inequalities and to effectively assess the impact of policies on health and inequalities. Assessment is by coursework.

Epidemiology and Statistics for Public Health
This module will develop the capacity and capability of professionals to use demographic statistics and epidemiological data and analysis to improve public health. Through the assessment framework students are enabled to apply their learning to specific chronic diseases within population groups.

Project Planning and Management for Public Health
This module will provide students with an understanding of current models and approaches for effective project and programme management (including needs assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation) for public health. It will systematically take students through the planning cycle and equip them with the knowledge and skills to be able to plan and manage a multi-stakeholder public health focused project from needs assessment through to culmination. Assessment is by coursework.

Application of Public Health to Practice
This work-based learning module is designed to provide students with an individualised, flexible opportunity to gain insight into health promotion in a public health setting of their choice. It will enable students to consolidate learning by linking theory and policies to practice acquired from previous modules, and provide them with the opportunity to observe and understand the skills and competencies necessary to work within the field of public health. Assessment is by coursework.

MSc Research Project
This is a required component of a programme leading to the MSc. The student completes, under supervision, a proposal with successful submission to appropriate ethics committee(s), and if appropriate, Research Governance committee(s), and completes an evidence-based project, which makes a contribution to the knowledge base for professional practice and/or policy.

Advanced Methods in Research and Development in Health and Social Care
This module builds upon previous study of research methods and enables students to develop and apply theoretical and scientific knowledge and problem solving skills, extending their understanding of the philosophical and practical aspects of research, service evaluation and practice development. In particular, it examines quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods research designs for collecting, recording, analysing and interpreting data with the ultimate goal of further developing their research and development skills.

Assessment method

All assessment is by coursework which you will be given at the start of each module, together with the marking scheme and submission dates. The assessments are designed to permit you to apply the concepts and principles delivered in the teaching environment to your area of special interest. Assessment methods include essays, class tests, planning exercises, critical appraisal of the evidence-based literature, preparation and delivery of seminars, other forms of presentations which will best facilitate shared learning and dissertation/manuscript preparation.

Formative assessment is used throughout the modules to help you to recognise your strengths and weaknesses and target areas that need work and also to allow your lecturers to identify areas for improvement and to address problems immediately. Formative assessment methods include group work on a specific concept or topic area, class quizzes and submission of an outline for coursework. Summative assessment will evaluate your learning using the assessment methods noted above.

Enrolment and start dates

Start Date: September 2018

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