Public Health Masters

Applied Public Health Masters - MSc / PgD / PgC


Key Facts

Place of Study: 
Llandaff Campus

Cardiff School of Sport & Health Sciences

Course Length:
Please note this course is a minimum of two years. You may exit after the PgC or PgD if you wish. Study periods for UK/EU/International students are detailed below:

UK / EU Students​​​:
Part Time (three year route)

Two years taught (PgC & PgD) and one year supervised research project (MSc).

Full time (Two year route)
One year taught (PgC & PgD) and one year supervised research project (MSc)

CPD basis
All taught modules within the programme can also be studied individually on a CPD basis – contact the programme leader for further details.

Modules from this programme can also be studied within the MSc Advanced Practice framework, enabling you to combine traditional taught modules with work-based learning. Further details.

International Students​​:
Full Time (Default Route A: Two year route studied in the UK)

One year taught and one year supervised research project to be completed within the UK. (Visas will normally be issued for 22 months)

Full Time (Optional Route B: One year in the UK plus one year outside the UK)

One year taught and one year supervised research project to be completed outside the UK. (Visas will normally be issued for 15 months)

Please note: The preferred route should be noted on the application. Degree awards for both routes will be ratified in the June of the second academic year of the programme.

Student Blog Post

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From India to Cardiff – my experience as an International Postgrad at Cardiff Met
Manasi Parad - Applied Public Health

Course Overview

This programme focuses on applying the key principles of multidisciplinary public health practice to the breadth of 21st Century public health challenges. Our aim is to develop reflective public health practitioners capable of designing, implementing and evaluating community-focussed public health interventions – in Wales, the UK and internationally.

Key features of the programme include:

  • Assessments that you can tailor to your own interests, experiences and practice – applying public health skills to the issues you are dealing with or most interested in
  • A focus on the skills needed for effective public health practice, wherever you work – designed to meet UK professional public health standard, recognised and applicable around the world
  • Personalised academic and professional development support – we'll work with you on a one-to-one basis to help you identify your strengths and opportunities to develop, future personal and professional goals and how you can achieve them 

The programme is aimed at anyone with an interest in improving the full range of social, economic and environmental determinants of health: for example, people working in education, health promotion, housing, transport, leisure, environmental health, community development, health & wellbeing partnerships, planning, social services, school nursing, and health visiting (not an exhaustive list!). We welcome applicants from all sectors: public, private and the voluntary & independent sector. The programme retains an international focus, addressing public health issues faced around the world, as well as in Wales and the UK.

Want to know more on what public health is about? Visit the public health section of the Health Careers website

Please note: This programme will undergo periodic review in February 2019. As such, course content shown below may change to ensure the programme remains current. Any applicants will be informed of any changes once confirmed.

​Course Content​​

The course is designed as a Masters programme but it has exit points at both postgraduate certificate & diploma level. Reflective practice is integrated into the programme: we’ll encourage you to reflect upon your learning as you progress, culminating in an assessed reflective statement demonstrating the integration and development of your learning and practice through the course of your studies. The dissertation also incorporates a reflective practice element. The programme is available on a part-time and full-time basis; you can also apply to study individual modules on a CPD basis.

For the Postgraduate Certificate, you’ll complete the following modules:

  • Assessing Health, Wellbeing & Inequity (20 cred​its): Assess, evaluate and communicate information about the health and wellbeing of populations & communities

  • Health Risk Perception & Communication (10 credits): Appraise the sociocultural, emotional and psychological factors that influence responses to threats to population health and wellbeing

  • Public Health Policy Development (10 credits): Evaluate the political, social and economic framework within which policies influencing health & wellbeing are developed

  • Applied Research Methods and Design (20 credits): Develop the qualitative and quantitative research skills necessary to undertake research and evaluate interventions and day-to-day practice.

For the Postgraduate Diploma, you’ll undertake the above modules, plus the following modules:

  • Frameworks for Public Health Intervention (30 credits): Explore approaches to intervention for the protection and improvement of health and wellbeing, and integrate learning from across the programme in the development a coherent multidisciplinary intervention on an identified public health issue.

  • Health Protection (20 credits): Assess, prevent and manage risks to health arising from the general environment, communicable disease and environmental health hazards.

  • Reflective Public Health Practice (10 credits): Reflect on your learning, practice and experiences in order to evidence the development of your professional public health practice.

To obtain the MSc, you will also complete a Dissertation (60 credits): Design, plan and undertake a piece of independent applied research, and present the findings.

Learning & Teaching​

​Course Delivery

Attendance for taught modules is usually one evening per week (part time) or two evenings per week (full time). SHS7000 Applied Research Methods & Design is currently delivered as a blended learning module over two contact days (one in October and another in February), supported by e-learning materials and activities. The APH7008 Health Protection module follows a similar approach, being taught via three 2-day short courses spread through the academic year (November, February, April), plus an assessment day in May.

During your dissertation studies, you will attend research project workshops and be allocated individual supervision time. These usually begin in March (of the 2nd year of study for part-time students).

Learning & Teaching Activities

The teaching and learning strategy for the programme places a strong emphasis on application of theoretical frameworks to real problems and situations, and allows for substantial student input and discussion. During the programme you will engage with a variety of learning & teaching activities, including:

Lectures will be used to provide you with a framework of ideas and theory, into which you can fit material obtained from independent study and tutorials. Whilst lectures are seen as opportunities for imparting key information they are also intended to be interactive, and debate is encouraged.

These will provide you with the opportunity to discuss problems related to specific subjects. Group seminars will enable you to share experiences and discuss, analyse and evaluate possible solutions.

Tasks will be set requiring you to work together to develop problem solving strategies and to analyse issues.

Student Symposia
Learning activities led by students will form part of the programme. You will be required to develop and present short papers and facilitate discussion relating to specific issues.

Case Studies
These sessions will present a case for discussion based on previous events, and you’ll be expected to analyse the situation and suggest appropriate public health interventions in response. These studies will be aimed at improving your skills with respect to the analysis of problems and the synthesis and evaluation of solutions.

Preparation for such a case study may include the following:

  • Presentation of available data and information about the case.
  • Group discussions, tutorial and individual learning to enable you to identify the problem and synthesise possible solutions.
  • Discussions and lectures with relevant professionals to understand the rationale behind the adoption of specific solutions.
  • Debriefing by way of tutorials and seminars.

Contact Time and Self-Directed Learning

The direct contact time between student and tutor varies from module to module.  Generally, unless otherwise stated on the module guide, 10 credit modules will include up to 18 hours contact time and 20 credit modules will include up to 36 hours contact time. An exception to the above is APH7010 Frameworks for Public Health Intervention, which includes student-led group work supported by keynote lectures.

In addition to direct contact time you are generally expected to undertake a further 3-4 hours of self-directed learning for every 1 hour of contact time.

Introduction to Academic Skills

Included within the introduction to the programme is an introduction to the academic skills needed to study at Masters level.  This includes the provision of specific e-learning material, a formative assignment and access to a Personal Tutor.


You can access programme material both on and off campus via Moodle, the University’s virtual learning environment. This includes access to lecture presentations, recommended and required reading, group forums, e-portfolios and a range of other learning and teaching resources specific to the modules and programme.

Personal Tutors & Professional Development

In addition to a general open door policy, we encourage you to meet with the Programme Director and tutors regularly throughout the programme to discuss feedback on assignments and the development of academic skills.

You’ll be an allocated a Personal Tutor at the beginning of the programme, who you can work with to develop your academic skills and consider how you can integrate your learning experiences with your own professional development needs and aspirations. Your aspirations for professional development will be discussed during the induction to the programme. Support and guidance will then be tailored throughout the programme to ensure that you are best able to fulfil your chosen professional development needs.


To reflect the applied nature of study, the programme contains no unseen written examinations. Instead, teaching and assessment will focus on case studies, exercises & scenarios reflecting contemporary issues in public health practice, often located within your own professional experience and environment. Examples of assessment tasks include: reports, essays, briefings, oral presentations, group work, observed practice scenarios, online tests and posters.

Throughout the programme, the assessment tasks we set will encourage you to select specific topics of study that are relevant to your interests and practice. For example, in the Assessing Health, Wellbeing and Inequity module, you will be asked to assess and evaluate the health and wellbeing of a specified population (in general or focussed on a specific issue/range of issues). You’ll be free to select a population and issue of professional and/or personal interest to you. 

Employability & Careers​

The promotion, protection and improvement of public health are key objectives for the Welsh Government, UK Government and at an international level, as exemplified by the WHO Commission on the Social Determinants of Health.

Our programme is closely mapped to Levels 6 & 7 of the Public Health Skills & Knowledge Framework - the recognised competence framework for public health at all levels in the UK. The programme provides the underpinning knowledge to enable you to pursue UK Public Health Practitioner registration (which requires completion of an assessed portfolio through a recognised development scheme, such as that operated by Public Health Wales – see for details). Find out more about practitioner registration at the UK Public Health Register website.​

We are also working on a project with Public Health Wales to develop and pilot a scheme to enable recognition of Advanced Practice (Public Health), supported by work-based learning.

Watch this video​ on the NHS Health Careers website to find out more about areas of work in public health.

Graduates from the programme have progressed to advanced positions in their chosen specialist career areas. Examples of roles our graduates have attained include:

  • Project lead for Safeguarding, Public Health Wales
  • Director of Business Performance for a large UK voluntary organisation
  • Senior Project Co-ordinator, mental health charity
  • Public Health Fellow (American India Association) and Project Manager, Tata Steel Rural Development Society
  • Senior Public Health Practitioner, Public Health Wales
  • Community Health Advocate
  • Environmental Health Team Leader, Welsh local authority
  • Program Manager, Maternal and Child Health, Pakistan non-profit organisation
  • Data and Information Officer, research funding organisation
  • Project Co-ordinator, community regeneration charity
  • Lecturer in Health, Wellbeing and Sport, Welsh university
  • Service Improvement/Change Manager at NHS Wales

Graduates have also progressed to further study on research degrees leading to MPhil and PhD qualifications.

The programme team are currently investigating opportunities for accrediting the programme with the International Union for Health Promotion and Education ( and the Agency for Public Health Education Accreditation ( We will provide further updates on this process as it progresses.

Entry Requirements​ & How to Apply

You’ll normally be expected to hold an initial degree in a discipline relating to health or the broad range of determinants of health (which could be anything from planning to biomedical science, sociology to nutrition)​. However, other qualifications of an appropriate level can also be suitable for admission, particularly if you are able to demonstrate significant experience in a relevant setting. If you think this might apply to your situation, please contact the programme leader for an informal discussion.

If you first language is not English, you must normally be able to demonstrate, on entry, English Language proficiency at or equivalent to an IELTS score of at least 6.0.

Students entering directly following completion of a Bachelor degree are generally expected to hold at least a 2:1 classification – to ensure that they are equipped for the step up to Masters level study. However, we consider each situation on its own merits depending on the undergraduate subject of study and other factors such as relevant experience (paid or voluntary). Again, please contact the programme leader for an informal discussion. 

Selection Procedure:

You will need to meet the admissions criteria as explained above. Selection is initially by way of an application form, personal statement and appropriate references, although you may be interviewed. We encourage potential applicants to contact the programme leader for an informal discussion about the programme, to help inform your application.

International Applicants
Students whose first language is not English will need to provide evidence of fluency to at least an IELTS 6.0 standard or equivalent. For full details about how to apply and English Language qualifications please visit the International pages on the website.

How to Apply:
Applications for this course should be made direct to the university via our self-service facility. For further information please visit our How to Apply pages at

Additional Information

Tuition Fees and Financial Support:
For up to date information on tuition fees and the financial support that may be available. Please refer to

25% Alumni Discount:
The Cardiff Metropolitan University Alumni Discount is a 25 per cent reduction in tuition fees for Cardiff Met Alumni enrolling on taught postgraduate courses. 
See if you are eligible.

Part-time fees:
Charges are per Single Module unless specified:
Undergraduate = 10 Credits; Postgraduate = 20 Credits

Generally we find most students will complete 60 credits per year for both Undergraduate and Postgraduate study; to obtain a true costing please clarify this by contacting the Programme Director directly. 

Contact Us

For general enquiries please contact the Admissions Team on 029 2041 6044 or email

For course specific enquiries, please contact the programme leader, Alastair Tomlinson:
Tel: 029 2020 1528


Full terms & conditions in relation to accepting an offer to study at Cardiff Metropolitan University can be found by visiting