Cardiff School of Sport and Health Sciences>Courses>Applied Public Health - MSc/PgD/PgC

Applied Public Health Masters - MSc/PgD/PgC

The MSc Applied Public Health degree places a strong focus on health equity and social justice at local and global levels. Our aim is to develop reflective public health practitioners who apply a systematic and practical understanding of public health to improve and protect the health & well-being of the individuals, groups and communities that they work with. We will support you to develop and use a combination of leadership, innovation and technical skills to advocate for, influence and implement changes in policy and practice to reduce or eliminate unjust, preventable differences in health, and promote sustainable development.

The programme in Applied Public Health 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 public health, 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. During your studies you will investigate public health issues and case studies from around the world, as well as Wales and in the UK.

​Course Content

The programme consists of the following modules (year of study for part-time students is indicated in brackets:

Determinants of Health and Health Promotion (part-time year 1)

The aim of the module is to enable students to evaluate the influence of the determinants of health and understand and apply theories, knowledge and practical skills needed for health promotion in a global context.

Politics, Power, and Health (part-time year 1)

The aim of the module is to enable students to assess the impact of policy proposals on health, and to work within political, democratic and organisational systems to advocate for action to improve health and reduce health inequities.

Programme Planning and Leadership (part-time year 1)

The aim of the module is to enable students to evaluate the efficacy of approaches to designing, planning and implementing interventions for promoting health and reducing inequities in a theoretical and applied context.

Epidemiology in Applied Public Health (part-time year 2)

The aim of this module is to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of epidemiological principles and methods, fostering their ability to apply this knowledge in addressing real-world public health challenges.

Health Protection (part-time year 2)

The aim of the module is to enable students to protect the public from environmental hazards and communicable diseases, addressing inequities in risk exposure and outcomes, and promoting sustainable development.

Applied Research Methods and Design (part-time year 2)

The aim of the module is to enable students to develop their research skills in order to apply principles of evidence-based practice, and design and carry out robust research projects.

Project and Career Planning (part-time year 3)

The aim of this module is to enable students to design and develop an advanced specialist project in their discipline to enhance their own and/or others' learning, work, or practice, and to evaluate their own knowledge, skills, interests and ambitions to create their own personal career development plan.

Project (part-time year 3)

​The aim of this module is to enable students to work independently to investigate an area in their discipline relevant to their own learning, work, or practice, and to present and discuss their findings, demonstrating a systematic understanding and critical awareness of their discipline and area of professional practice. We offer a broad range of project types including empirical research projects, enterprise/innovation projects (e.g., business planning or consultancy), or product/intervention design. Students can also complete the project as a placement/professional practice development project, focused on developing and demonstrating a specific set of professional knowledge, skills and competencies and their application in practice.

Learning & Teaching​

A well-balanced mix of theory and practice is delivered via a range of teaching methods across the programme, including:

  • Live learning activities on-campus - e.g., lectures, seminars, workshops/practical sessions, facilitated group work, etc.
  • Academic support activities - e.g., academic skills sessions, subject-based tutorials, assessment workshops, research supervision. These may be delivered on-campus or online depending on the requirements of the module and programme.
  • Asynchronous learning activities that students complete in their own time - e.g., pre-recorded video mini-lectures, flipped learning activities, preparation tasks for seminars, etc.

A typical 20-credit taught module will have approximately 40-45 hours of associated scheduled teaching activities, using a combination of the above approaches. Most of these scheduled learning activities will take place on-campus. Alongside these scheduled activities, you'll undertake your own independent learning - such as reading and research to prepare for seminars or assessments, unsupervised group work with fellow students, engaging with academic skills support, data collection for individual projects, etc.

Extended Student Induction Programme

To support you with the transition into postgraduate study we offer an extended induction programme over the first 6 weeks of the autumn term. The programme aims to build your confidence about learning and assessment, recognising the different academic cultures and experiences that all our students bring to the programme.

The transition programme includes:

  • Six sessions addressing various aspects of studying successfully at master's level at Cardiff Met - what you can expect and how that might differ from your previous experiences.
  • Completion of a short practice assignment - a chance to try a master's level task and get rapid feedback on what you have produced.
  • Discussion and feedback with your personal tutor to create an action plan for continuing to develop your academic skills and practices.

Personal Tutors & Professional Development

We encourage you to meet with academic staff 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.


Our programme and modules are designed to offer opportunities for formative tasks and feedback to help build confidence and develop your ability to evaluate your own progress. We use authentic assessment tasks which enable you to apply your knowledge and skills to scenarios, activities and settings commonly encountered in professional practice.

The programme includes a range of assessment methods, including:

  • Professional report
  • Live presentation and pre-recorded video
  • Practical applied scenario
  • Policy briefing
  • Viva-voce interview
  • Academic poster
  • Intervention design portfolio

To reflect that applied nature of your studies, the programme contains no unseen written examinations.

We carefully plan our assessment schedule to avoid excessive bunching of similar types of assessment, and realistic deadlines. Every assessment includes a detailed briefing and clearly defined marking criteria, which have been developed and tested in partnership with students.

Employability & Careers​

The promotion, protection and improvement of public health are key objectives for the Welsh Government, UK Government and internationally in the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The MSc in Applied Public Health has been designed to meet and align with the requirements of UK and international public health competency frameworks and professional standards, including:

  • UK Public Health Skills and Knowledge Framework
  • UK Public Health Practitioner Standards
  • International Union for Health Promotion and Education - Competencies for Health Promotion
  • Agency for Public Health Education Accreditation - Curriculum for master's level public health programmes

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). Find out more about practitioner registration at the UK Public Health Register website. Two members of the programme team are UKPHR portfolio assessors, giving us an excellent understanding of the knowledge and skills you need for successful practice. If you'd like to find out more about career development opportunities in public health, we strongly recommend the Health Careers website​.

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

Our module assessments directly relate to future employment or work-related tasks, or more generally to the advancement of the subject and profession, and your own aspirations. This will enable you to develop and demonstrate the application of your knowledge and skills to real-world professional situations.

Career Development Planning & Work-based Learning Opportunities

In the Project & Career Planning module, you will engage in reflective self-evaluation of your knowledge, skills, and experiences, benchmarking these against relevant disciplinary standards/competency frameworks. We'll support you to evaluate your current strengths and prioritise areas for improvement relevant to your own career goals and ambitions.

In the Project module, you can elect to complete an industry placement/work-based learning project, focusing on developing your skills and competencies in a complex professional context. If you select this project you will need to obtain a suitable placement (minimum duration: 200 hours, maximum duration 6 months). We'll support you to find and obtain an appropriate work-based learning experience using our network of industry contacts. We cannot guarantee a placement opportunity for every student, and it is likely that many placement opportunities will involve some kind of competitive recruitment process.

Or you may prefer to select one of the other types of projects (e.g., empirical research, consultancy, enterprise/innovation, or product/intervention design project) and complete it in a work-based setting, working in partnership with an employer or other organisation. This might be your own organisation or workplace - a common approach taken by part-time students investigating a project aligned to their own professional practice.

Entry Requirements​ & How to Apply

You'll normally be expected to hold an initial degree in a discipline relating to health or the determinants of health. This covers a wide range of subjects such as health professions (e.g., medicine, nursing, allied health professions, environmental health), social sciences (e.g. sociology, psychology, geography) and other professional backgrounds such as education, sport development, social work, housing, planning, etc. (not an exclusive list).

However, you can also be eligible if you have other qualifications of an appropriate level, particularly if they 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're applying directly following completion of a Bachelor degree, we'll generally expect you to hold at least a 2:1 classification - to ensure that you are equipped for the step up to study at master's level. However, we consider each application on its own merits depending on the undergraduate subject of study and other factors such as relevant experience (paid or voluntary).

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 6.5 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 system. For further information please visit our How to Apply pages at

The Recognition of Prior Learning process can be used to give you credit and recognition for your existing experience and qualifications - so if you have extensive experience related to the learning outcomes of any of the modules in the programme, please get in touch so that we can discuss your situation and advise you about the options.

If you are interested in using credit from another institution, or have obtained qualifications and/or experience to study for a course at Cardiff Met, you can find further information on this as well as information on how to apply on the RPL page.

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

20% Alumni Discount:
The Cardiff Metropolitan University Alumni Discount is a 20 per cent reduction in tuition fees for Cardiff Met Alumni enrolling on taught postgraduate courses.
See if you are eligible.

Part-time fees:

Part-time fees are charged per single module at the rate specified in the University’s published tuition fees for the relevant academic year. Most part-time students complete 60 credits per academic year.

If you require further guidance 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, Stuart Scott:

We endeavour to deliver courses as described and will not normally make changes to courses, such as course title, content, delivery, and teaching provision. However, it may be necessary for the university to make changes in the course provision before or after enrolment. It reserves the right to make variations to content or delivery methods, including discontinuation or merging courses if such action is considered necessary. Please read our Terms and Conditions for the full information.

Key Course Information

Place of Study:
Llandaff Campus

Cardiff School of Sport & Health Sciences

Course Length:
Full-time (MSc) – 15 months, with option to complete in 12 months. Includes option to complete a work-based placement project of up to 6 months.
Part-time – 3 years, two years taught (PgC year 1, PgD year 2) 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.

Course Disclaimer
We endeavour to deliver courses as described and will not normally make changes to courses, such as course title, content, delivery, and teaching provision. However, it may be necessary for the university to make changes in the course provision before or after enrolment. It reserves the right to make variations to content or delivery methods, including discontinuation or merging courses if such action is considered necessary.

Please read our Terms and Conditions for the full information.

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