Career opportunities

What does public health encompass and what job opportunities are available.

Public Health is the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health through the organised efforts of society. It draws on a wide range of different disciplines, from epidemiology and statistics, to sociology, policy and health economics. Our MPH programmes combine a history of excellence in public health research and training, with innovative new approaches to tackling public health issues in our globalised, 21st century world.

The programme will equip you with extensive public health knowledge and skills, which will enhance your employment prospects in the evolving public health arena. Public health touches on almost every aspect of modern life, and graduates may find they have the opportunity to work in a variety of settings. Our programme opens up the opportunity to work in a variety of different settings. A career after completing the MPH degree may involve the following:

Public/Government sector

Jobs include:

  • Health department managers and administration staff
  • Epidemiologists
  • Public health policy managers
  • Public practitioners
  • Nurses
  • Disaster preparedness experts
  • Public health communication specialists
  • Public health consultants
  • Public health project managers
  • Health improvement officers
  • Health informatics specialists


Jobs in this setting often focus on a particular population, such as:

  • Reproductive maternal health experts
  • Migrant and refugee consultants
  • Minority experts or those who address specific health disparities
  • There are also many public health related opportunities in the international development sector.


The MPH can also offer a good basis for further study in the form of a PhD or Professional Doctorate.  Public health professionals working in academia typically focus on research and teaching. They can also take on roles such as: 

  • Health education specialists
  • Research analysts
  • Academic researchers
  • Clinical research nurses


Within the private sector, jobs may be available at:

  • Pharmaceutical manufacturers
  • Private health care facilities
  • Insurance companies
  • Another option for private employment is consulting work performed on a contract basis.
  • Healthcare promotion companies


The University of Edinburgh Careers Services

The University provides an excellent career service advice to all our students. As an online student you will have access to all the following resources and more:                            

University of Edinburgh Careers Service      Contacts and resources
Meet the Careers Information Team     Daily drop-ins and bookable appointments
Careers Service Webinars

Topics include

  • Career planning; Career change 
  • Graduate job market 
  • Networking 
  • Applying for a PhD 
  •  Developing your professional profile: applications and CVs OR interviews and selection
Employer events  Career fairs and other flagship events
Careers Service Blog   Keep informed on sector updates, graduate labour market, alumni stories and more