Cardiff School of Sport and Health Sciences>Courses>Public Health - BSc (Hons) Degree
BSc (Hons) Public Health

Public Health - BSc (Hons) Degree


Key Facts

​​​​​UCAS Codes: 21Y9
Foundation Health students should also use this UCAS code and apply for entry point 0 on the UCAS website.

Foundation Social Science students should use UCAS code 319Y and appy for entry point 0 on the UCAS website.

Place of Study: 
Llandaff Campus

Cardiff School of Sport & Health Sciences

Course Length:
Three years full-time or four years full-time including a foundation year.


Course Overview

The BSc Public Heath degree at Cardiff Met will provide you with the essential knowledge and skills you need to be an effective public health practitioner and offer a wide variety of career roles in the UK or around the world. 

When you graduate you’ll be able to identify and assess the health of individuals, groups and communities, and identify particularly vulnerable groups. Working with people from across a range of organisations and professional backgrounds, you’ll design, plan and apply interventions to promote and protect people’s health. ​

Public Health is about helping people to stay healthy and protecting them from threats to their health. Sometimes public health activities involve helping individuals, at other times they involve dealing with wider factors that have an impact on the health of many people (for example an age-group, an ethnic group, a locality, or a country). Work in public health contributes to reducing the causes of ill-health and improving people's health and wellbeing.

There are three main areas of Public Health work:

  • Health Protection - protecting people's health from environmental or biological threats, such as food poisoning or radiation, or by tackling the health effects of climate change in the UK or overseas

  • Health Improvement - improving people's health, for example by helping people quit smoking, or improving their living conditions

  • Healthcare Public Health - ensuring that our health and care services are the most effective, most efficient and equally accessible

Public Health issues appear regularly in the media – from growing rates of obesity to bio-terrorism and the advent of new diseases. There has never been a better time to join in the effort to promote and protect the health of populations in the UK and around the world. If you believe passionately about improving and protecting people's health and wellbeing, then public health is the career for you.

Course information on this page relates to September 2018 entry.

Course Content

Foundation year (Year 0):​ 
This programme can incorporate a foundation year (year 0) for those students who aspire to enrol onto the first year of a health or social science​ based honours degree programme within the Cardiff School of Sport & Health sciences, who have not achieved the standard entry requirements, or who have not studied subjects that provide the necessary background within the social science disciplines required to ​enter the first year of the chosen honours degree programme.

Students wishing to undertake the foundation year will apply for the degree programme they intend to progress to, using the relevant UCAS code listed on this course page (Under 'Entry Requirements and How to Apply') and apply for entry point 0 on the UCAS website. As such, students following the foundation route will take an extra year to complete their honours degree.


If you decide to study Public Health at Cardiff Met, you'll be developing knowledge on subjects such as:

  • What influences our health and wellbeing: the social determinants of health
  • How to prevent ill-health and through health protection and promotion
  • Differences in health experiences between different populations, and different groups within in a community
  • Why health inequalities matter and what can be done about them

You will also be develop skills in areas such as:

  • Analysing and interpreting information on people and health
  • Reviewing literature on what works to make a difference
  • Effective communication, joint working and leadership
  • Planning and implementing public health interventions

Year One

In your first year of studies, you’ll get a solid grounding in key principles of public health and the range of factors that influence people’s health and wellbeing, as well as developing your critical thinking and academic research skills

  • Origins and Principles of Public Health (10 credits)
  • Introduction to Global Public Health (10 credits)
  • The Natural and Built Environment and Health (20 credits)
  • Introductory Human Nutrition (10 credits)
  • Research & Study Skills (20 credits)
  • Investigating Public Health Challenges (20 credits)
  • Lifestyle-related Determinants of Health (10 credits)
  • Social, Cultural & Psychological Influences on Health (10 credits)
  • Workplace Health and Wellbeing (10 credits)

Year Two

During the second year, you’ll be developing core public health knowledge and skills in areas such as epidemiology, health promotion, and health protection, and further developing your communication and teamwork skills. You'll also be planning and preparing for your work-based learning experience.

  • Assessing Population Health and Wellbeing (20 credits)
  • Principles of Health Protection (10 credits)
  • Health Promotion in Practice (20 credits)
  • Research Design and Methods (10 credits)
  • Climate Change, Sustainable Development and Public Health (10 credits)
  • Contemporary Public Health Policy and Practice (10 credits)
  • Working with Organisations Across the Public Health System (10 credits)
  • Professional Employability in Public Health (10 credits)
  • Analysing Public Health Data (10 credits)

Year Three

In your final year you’ll be learning how to effectively influence policy decisions to enhance public health, and how to work in partnership with communities and p​rofessionals to develop and apply effective public health interventions. You’ll also undertake a research project and build on your work-based learning experience to develop your individual career plan in public health

  • Influencing Policy for Public Health (10 credits)
  • Global Health and Development Policy (10 credits)
  • Community Development for Public Health (10 credits)
  • Preparing for Public Health Practice (20 credits)
  • Managing Health Protection Incidents (20 credits)
  • Public Health Intervention Development (20 credits)
  • Evaluating Quality in Health and Social Care Services (10 credits)
  • Research Project (20 credits)

During the course of your studies you will undertake at least four weeks equivalent of work-based learning, assessed and evaluated as part of your degree. We’ll help you find a suitable opportunity and liaise with the provider of the opportunity to ensure that you can get the most from your experiences.

There are also opportunities to study, work or volunteer overseas – see our 'Study and Work Abroad' page for more details. The Public Health programme team and the Cardiff School of Health Sciences have excellent links with partner organisations and professionals around the world.

Learning & Teaching

In this degree we place a strong emphasis on applying core public health principles to real problems and situations. Teaching and assessments focus on case studies, exercises & scenarios reflecting contemporary issues in public health practice. 

Our approach to learning and teaching is based on extensive interaction with students. During the programme you will engage with a variety of learning & teaching activities, including:

Lectures: 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 opportunities for imparting key information, they are also intended to be interactive, and debate is encouraged.

Seminars: 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.

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

Problem-based learning: In small-group problem-based learning (PBL), you’ll work co-operatively to investigate complex, real-world problems. These problems are designed to engage your curiosity and drive your learning – you’ll learn to ask critical questions, identify what you need to know and where you might find the information you need. After performing the necessary research and investigation, you’ll report back to the group, pull together the information obtained and progress further in your investigation and potential solution to the initial ‘problem’. In these sessions the tutor adopts a facilitator or ‘coaching’ role, supporting students to develop their knowledge and skills through investigation of the ‘problem’. Problem-based learning is used in at least 2 modules in each year of the programme. PBL has been shown to provide greater intrinsic motivation and long-term retention of knowledge, and enhances skills in critical thinking, analysis of complex situations, identification and use of appropriate resources, team-working and effective oral and written communication.

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.

Work-based learning: To assist in your studies and professional development you will be actively encouraged to seek work-based learning opportunities in the public, private and/or independent sectors, in Wales, the UK or beyond. You’ll complete a minimum of 3 weeks work-based learning that will be assessed and evaluated as part of your degree. The university has an excellent reputation for supporting students to find great opportunities and we will help you in matching work-based learning opportunities to your needs and interests.

Contact time & Self-Directed Learning

The direct contact time between student and tutor varies from module to module. Generally, 10 credit modules will include around 25-30 hours of contact time and 20 credit modules around 50-60 hours contact time.
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.
This independent study forms a critical part of the overall learning experience at university – it’s how you’ll turn knowledge and information from taught sessions into your own understanding of the issues, and apply that understanding to new situations and practical examples. It’s a challenge – but you’ll be supported in this by the academic teaching team and in particular your Personal Tutor.

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 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 at an early stage in 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.


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. Some modules are delivered using blended learning, where students engage with e-learning materials through Moodle, supported by face-to-face seminars to discuss issues and questions arising from the e-lessons.


​Assessment provides an opportunity for you to apply your learning, develop your skills, and demonstrate what you have learned. You’ll be assessed throughout the course so that you can see how you are progressing and receive feedback on what you’re doing well and how you can improve.

We use a wide variety of assessments in the programme, including:

  • Written assignments: preparing reports, essays, briefings, portfolios or posters will make approximately 60% of your assessment.

  • Oral and practical assessments such as presentations, interviews or observed practice scenarios will provide around 15% of your assessment.

  • Examinations: written examinations (unseen, seen or open-book) and online tests will make up the remainder of you assessments (roughly 25%)

Most assessments are undertaken by each individual student, but there will be some tasks that require you to work effectively as part of a team, which forms part of what you’ll be assessed on.

In your final year you’ll undertake a major research project/dissertation that enables you to demonstrate your ability to plan and undertake a small-scale research project into a relevant public health issue.

Wherever possible, assessments are designed to closely resemble public health practice situations. This provides you with hands on experience of what you will encounter when you enter professional public health practice. Formative, constructive feedback is a central part of the assessment process, but is also provided through the range of learning & teaching activities that we use – you will get regular opportunities for feedback throughout all the modules you study.

At the beginning of each term you will be given details of the assessment programme for that term of study. This will include the precise nature and format of the assessment, the criteria for assessment and details of dates for submission of work.

In order to proceed to subsequent years of the course you must satisfactorily complete all modules.​

Employability & Careers

Careers in Public Health
Working in public health is about helping people to stay healthy and protecting them from threats to their health. There are six main areas that people work in within public health:

  • Improving people's health
  • Protecting people's health
  • Working with information
  • Teaching and researching
  • Maintaining and raising standards
  • Leadership, planning and management

Most public health roles will touch upon more than one of the six areas, but identifying those which appeal most to you should help you to identify roles of interest to you.

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

Graduate roles in Public Health
Typical roles that a graduate might enter include:

  • A wide range of potential roles in public health practice with a local authority, Health Board or national agency (e.g. Public Health Wales or Public Health England). Examples of potential job titles include: Public Health Practitioner; Health Improvement Practitioner; Public Health Information Analyst; Smoking Cessation Co-ordinator; Community Engagement Officer; Health Protection Practitioner.
  • Working for a charitable organisation on public health campaigns and activity (e.g. Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), Tenovus, Groundwork)
  • Working as a self-employed consultant, or for a consultancy firm
  • A career in international public health. You could be working with an international agency like the World Health Organisation or UNICEF; a government aid agency (e.g. the UK Department for International Development), or a non-governmental organisations (NGOs) such as the International Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement, or Water Aid
  • A career in academic public health: planning and conducting research, designing and delivering learning sessions and training courses, and supporting and advising others (see opportunities for further study below)

After further study and completion of an appropriate specialist training scheme, you could become a registered Public Health Specialist eligible for Consultant-grade public health posts in the NHS, local government or the armed forces.

​Find out more about potential roles in public health on the Health Careers website.

Public Health Practitioner Registration
Whichever role you decide to pursue in your public health career, an important step in your professional development is being recognised as a professionally-registered practitioner. The UK Public Health Register (UKPHR) provides registration for practitioners who can demonstrate that they have achieved the UK Public Health Practitioner Standards in four areas of practice:

  • Professional and ethical practice – should be at the heart of everything a public health practitioner does.

  • Technical competencies in public health – the essential knowledge and skills that anyone working in public health needs to have.

  • Application of public health competencies to public health work – the specific functions that public health practitioners undertake

  • Underpinning skills and knowledge – needed by all public health practitioners to act effectively and achieve improvements in population health and wellbeing.

  • Increasing numbers of public health roles now identify practitioner registration as essential or desirable in recruitment or as part of professional development.

This programme has been designed to enable graduates to demonstrate the source of their public health knowledge and skills, a crucial aspect of achieving registration as a Public Health Practitioner. Your work-based learning experiences will enable you to take the first steps towards becoming a Registered Public Health Practitioner – applying your knowledge, developing your skills, and gaining experience of professional public health practice.

Following graduation and appropriate experience in public health practice, you can seek registration with UKPHR via development and submission of a portfolio of reflective commentaries and evidence. This portfolio is assessed through a locally accredited scheme where you demonstrate both the knowledge and competences required.

Find out more about practitioner registration at the UK Public Health Register website.

Opportunities for further study
Graduates from this programme will be able to pursue further study at Cardiff Met as follows:

  • MSc Applied Public Health
  • MSc Occupational Health, Safety & Wellbeing
  • MRes Health & Social Science Research Methods
  • MSc Sport & Exercise Science (Physical Activity and Health pathway)

MPhil/PhD research opportunities are also available for graduates wishing to pursue a career in public health research.

Entry Requirements & How to Apply

Foundation routes: 

Two Foundation programmes are available. We recommend that you apply for the Foundation course that reflects your existing areas of knowledge or experience. Click the links below for further information about the Foundation courses:

Applicants should normally have five GCSEs including English Language (or Welsh First Language), Mathematics* and Science at grade C or above / grade 4 or above (for applicants holding newly reformed GCSEs in England) plus one of the following​:

  • 48 points for Foundation leading to BA/BSc Social Sciences; or 56 points for Foundation leading to BSc Health Sciences - from at least 2 A level qualifications or their equivalent at an appropriate standard for entry into Higher Education at Year 1, but in subject areas which fail to meet the entry requirements for their intended undergraduate degree programme.

  • 48 points for Foundation leading to BA/BSc Social Sciences; or 56 points for Foundation leading to BSc Health Sciences -​ from at least 2 A level qualifications or their equivalent in subject areas relevant for their intended undergraduate degree programme, but at a standard which fails to meet the entry requirements to Higher Education at Year 1.
  • Prospective students who do not meet the above criteria may be considered on an individual basis and may be called for interview.


Applicants should have five GCSEs including English Language (or Welsh First Language), Mathematics* and Science at grade C or above / grade 4 or above (for applicants holding newly reformed GCSEs in England) plus 104 points from at least 2 A levels (or equivalent).  Typical offers may include​:

  • 104 UCAS points from at least two A Levels to include grades CC; Welsh Baccalaureate – Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate considered as a third subject

  • RQF BTEC National Diploma / Cambridge Diploma Distinction* Distinction /  RQF BTEC National Extended Diploma / Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma Distinction Merit Merit

  • 104 UCAS points from at least two Scottish Advanced Highers to include grades DD

  • 104 UCAS points from the Irish Leaving Certificate at Highers with 3 x H2 grades.  Higher level subjects considered only with a minimum grade H4

  • 102 UCAS points from the Access to Higher Education Diploma.  A combination of achieved​ grades for Level 3 credits will be considered​

*For Welsh applicants sitting the reformed Mathematics GCSE, we will accept either GCSE Mathematics or Mathematics – Numeracy.

For applicants who are only undertaking 2 A levels or equivalent, this will be considered along with the rest of the academic profile and we may issue a graded offer in lieu of an offer using the UCAS Tariff.

If you are studying combinations of the above, or if your qualification isn't listed, please either contact Admissions or refer to the UCAS Course Search for entry requirements. Further information on our entry requirements, including qualifications from the EU can be found by clicking here.

Selection Procedure:
Selection is usually on the basis of a completed UCAS application and where relevant an interview.

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 online to UCAS at For further information please visit our How to Apply pages at

Recognised Prior Learning (RPL) and Credit Transfer into year 2 & 3

If you are interested in transferring credit from another institution to study at Cardiff Met for a course which accepts entry for year 2 and/or 3, you can find further information on this and information on how to apply on the RPL page. Please contact Admissions for any queries that you have on RPL.

Contact Us

For general enquiries please contact the Admissions Team on 029 2041 6044, email or tweet us @CMetAdmissions​.

For course specific enquiries, please contact the programme leader, Mel Jones: 
Tel: 029 2041 6275

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