Institution / University College Cork
City scape

Health Protection - Online

The programme aims to provide students, from a range of different professional backgrounds, with both academic and experiential development in the theory and practice of Public Health and Health Protection. This course supplies the knowledge and skills necessary for health protection (infection control) and public health on a global scale. The emphasis is on the use of evidence based healthcare and practice that will enable participants to work in infection prevention and control putting patient safety and public health principles into effect in both research and professional contexts.

Learning Outcomes/Objectives:
Completion of the course will equip students with the knowledge to support them in the co-ordination and management of infection prevention, control and health protection services in a broad number of settings.

On completion of the Postgraduate Certificate in Health Protection students should be able to;
◾Demonstrate an understanding of the principles of public health.
◾Demonstrate an understanding of the appropriate management of infections caused by different pathogenic microorganisms.
◾Investigate the transmission of endemic and epidemic infections from sufficient knowledge of the characteristics and transmission of causative organisms.
◾Select appropriate methods for control of hospital and community acquired infectious disease.
◾Design, implement and evaluate co-ordinated control methods utilising tools such as audit and surveillance.
◾Assess constraints of health protection delivery services and provide possible solutions to barriers.
◾Describe the global impact of infectious diseases and strategies which are effective, partially effective and ineffective in management and prevention.
◾Discuss the wider aspects of Health Protection.
◾Discuss and identify effective methods to bring about practice change.

Entry requirements

Prospective students must satisfy the following:

Students accepted on the course would normally be expected to hold an Honours primary degree in a relevant subject (minimum Second Class Honours) or an Honours primary degree in any discipline (minimum Second Class Honours) or possess a postgraduate qualification in a relevant field.

Note: In exceptional circumstances, applicants without a primary degree may be recommended for entry to the programme following a review of their individual qualifications and experience by the course committee. Admission of such applicants will be subject to the approval of the College of Medicine and Health Executive Committee.

English Language Requirements: IELTS 6.5 or TOEFL equivalent.

If you are applying with Qualifications obtained outside Ireland and you wish to verify if you meet the minimum academic and English language requirements for this programme please see course webpage (link below) to view the grades comparison table by country and for details of recognised English language tests.


6 months Part-Time.

Part-time students are expected to set aside 15-20 hours each week for course work.

This programme will be taught online for 6 months (January - June)

If you wish to apply for the campus based programme please
go to the following course

Careers or further progression

Skills and Careers Information
Successful completion of this course will enable students to take responsibility for and manage a programme of education, prevention and control in relation to infection and infectious disease. The course is practically-driven so that it will equip students with a variety of skills that are transferable in the workplace and provide them with competencies in Health Protection and Public Health.

Placement Abroad
Students have the option to participate in a Placement module which will involve a 10 day placement with an organisation with involvement in or responsibility for an area related to Health Protection. This placement will be supported by both academic and practical supervisor contact and is intended to build on existing skills and develop new opportunities for experiential learning.

Further enquiries

Fiona Barry
Programme Director
Tel: +353 (0) 21 4205528

Subjects taught

There are a total of three core modules which must be completed. These focus on Public Health, Health Protection and Microbiology, Global and Environmental Health.

This online programme meets the needs of the busy professional. The programme is designed to allow people to undertake their studies while working simultaneously. This programme consists of three 10-credit taught modules.

After successful completion of the postgraduate certificate in health protection students will have the option of progressing to a Diploma and Master of Public Health.

Students take the following modules:

EH6092 Introduction to Public Health – 10 credits

EH6096 Principles and Practices of Multi-Disciplinary Health Protection – 10 credits

EH6101 Microbiology, Environmental Health and Infectious Diseases – 10 credits

See College Calendar for additional information on the Programme and the Book of Modules for further information on the modules.


The course runs from January to June each year with an online induction run over two weeks in December. The Certificate (30 credits) must be completed within 36 months (i.e. 3 years) of programme commencement. Progression to Diploma and Master of Public Health is possible once all assessment is successfully completed. However, acceptance onto the Diploma or MPH will only be considered within five years from date of above Certification.

Each 10-credit module will be delivered over 8 weeks. Students take one module at a time according to the pre-determined programme calendar. Each 10-credit module consists of an estimated Student Workload of 200 hours. This consists of online, self-directed learning, required readings and subject investigation, E-tivities and assignments for preparation, participation and submission.

A limited number of full and partial scholarship places are available from the Regional Infection Control Prevention and Control Committee of the HSE South. Further information and an application can be obtained by contacting Sharon O Neill at (021) 4927625 or at

Queries regarding matters other than funding can be directed to Fiona Barry, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, UCC at or Maura Smiddy, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, UCC at

Assessment method

A range of continuous assessments are used across the modules. These may include essays, case studies, online presentations, quiz, accumulative report writing, reflective journal and E-tivities.

Application date

Applications for 2017-18 intake are now open.

Closing Date: 26th November 2016

Non-EU Applicants:

Please visit the following page for further information for Non EU applicants

Course fee

Costs: The EU fee in the academic year 2017/18 will be €2,500.

Some full and partial scholarship places are available.

Enrolment and start dates

Next Intake: January 2017

Remember to mention gradireland when contacting institutions!