Frequently asked questions

Additional information about our programme

What is public health

Public health is often defined as “the art and science of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health through the organized efforts of society” (Acheson, 1988).  It involves a range of activities aimed at improving the health of the population through education, policy-making and research.  It draws on a range of different disciplines, including epidemiology, health economics, sociology, psychology, social policy, biostatistics, and management.

What is a masters in public health

In the UK, the terms Master of Public Health (MPH) and MSc in Public Health are often used interchangeably to mean a postgraduate degree, which will introduce you to a range of public health approaches and equip you for careers in public health practice and research. MSc Public Health degrees generally train students in advanced research and prepare them for careers as researchers or educators in academic institutions.

While our MPH has a strong research methods and design component, its focus is also to help students develop transferable and professional skills applied to various sectors such as government, private, non-profit, etc.

What are students’ career outcomes after a Master of Public Health

Many students enjoy promotions in their current careers after completing the MPH while others transition into new career tracts. Examples of the sorts of jobs that people with public health degrees go on to do include:

  • Public health consultant
  • Epidemiologist
  • Health promotion and education specialist
  • Research analyst
  • Policy lead
  • Health informatics specialist
  • Public health officer/project manager
  • Biostatistician
  • Pharmaceutical/academic researcher
  • Healthcare administrator

Link to read more about student career outcomes

What are some key differences between the on-campus MPH and online MPH

Both programmes attract students from all over the world, and have a strong global health theme. The two degrees are of equal academic value and standard, but there are some key differences between the two programmes.

The campus MPH is usually delivered over the course of a single year and is designed to be taken as an intensive programme in-person, in Edinburgh.

The online MPH is externally validated by APHEA and is usually delivered over three years. It's specifically designed to fit into the lives of busy working professionals so students can stay where they are and study when it suits them.

Link to more information about APHEA

How affordable is a Master of Public Health degree

One of the great advantages of a part-time, online degree is that you can keep earning while you study, thus making it more affordable. Other options for studying with us include a postgraduate certificate, diploma, or a one-off course, each of which come with different fees.

For more information on fees, click on the link:

Link to more information on our fees

When can I start the programme

Each year, our programme begins in September and courses are delivered according to the timetable provided on our application page, under 'Programme Structure'. 

Link to application page

Can I complete the online MPH in less than 3 years

No, our programme is designed for part-time study and for learning alongside your cohort. Working through the materials with your colleagues provides the best opportunity to enhance your learning and also to form valuable relationships and networks with like-minded peers.

Where can I see a list of the course options

You can see a list of course options on our Degree Programme Table (DPT) page.

Link to DPT page

Can I speak to another student before joining the programme

Yes absolutely, you can chat to students ambassadors at the University before deciding if a programme is right for you.

Link to chat with student ambassadors

Is there any dedicated support for new students

Whether returning to studying after a long gap or continuing studies immediately after an undergraduate degree, you will have access to various supports to ensure you get the most out of your studies with us.

The programme is designed to gradually build both academic skills and public health knowledge over time. There is no assumption of prior knowledge and our programme team have experience delivering teaching to learners at various phases of their careers. Our students also have access to the University’s Institute for Academic Development (IAD) which offers a range of study skills workshops, self-study resources and advice for students to help them succeed with their studies.

Once matriculated, you will be connected to our Student Advisor who can help with questions around study interruptions, special circumstances, extensions, support for mental and physical wellbeing, and registering with the Disability and Learning support service. 

Link to more information about student support options

Where can I read news and learn about upcoming events?

The Usher Institute's monthly newsletter is called Illuminate, and features news and future events. You can also read past issues to decide if this subscription is right for you.

Link to read more about Illuminate

What is the Usher Institute?

Our Master of Family Medicine programme sits in the Deanery of Molecular, Genetic and Population Health Sciences, which sits within the Edinburgh Medical School in the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine at the University of Edinburgh. The Usher Institute also sits within the Deanery and focuses on transforming health in society by working with people, populations and data. Many of our colleagues who work with health-related research are based in the Usher Institute.

Link to the Usher Institute