Programme structure

Our online Master of Public Health runs over three academic years and is a part-time programme


Our online MPH is flexible and is designed to allow students to to study part-time, while they work full-time. For most students the usual route of study is:

  • Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits) = one year of study
  • Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits) = two years of study
  • Master of Public Health (180 credits) = three years of study

Link to read more about core and elective courses

Online Learning

In addition to the teaching, there will be online activities such as discussion forums, blogs and group work that will augment your student experience, as well as live and interactive online tutorials. 

Time requirements

We've designed the programme to remain flexible, with a weekly commitment of 10-15 hours a week, that allows our students to continue with their existing commitments.  

Our modules and videos are released at the start of each five-week block and many of them can be completed on demand. We also have the occasional online event and other instances where we might need to organise a fixed day/time, such as our induction events, but these will always be recorded for those who cannot take part. 

The Masters programme is designed to run for the full three years with the courses studied in order. Each course connects to the next and builds skills and competencies. 

There are a number of learning activities within each course. These include weekly discussion boards that you can contribute to in your own time.  

Completing studies earlier or later than 3 years

The Masters programme is designed to run for a full three years, however there is the option to exit with a Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits, usually 1 year) or Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits, usually 2 years). Students can choose an intermittent study (ICL) route, which allows up to six years to complete the MPH, four years for the PG Diploma and two years for the PG Certificate.  

Link to read more about the ICL option

Link to application page

Assessments and exams

Each course has its own assessment pattern, based on the coursework and dictated by the courses learning outcomes. There are no written or practical examinations within the programme.   

Assessment during the first two years will be based on coursework. Each course will have at least one formative assessment, and one or more summative assignments.  

  • Formative assessments: these may include assessed discussion board contributions, blogs, journals, group projects, etc. You will receive formative feedback on these which will help you prepare your summative assessment(s) at the end of the course. 

  • Summative assessments: these include longer assignments, e.g. essays, reports, or group work tasks to be submitted at the end of the course. 

Each course will have different methods of assessment and assessment criteria, and the weight of each assessment will vary from course to course. Examples of types of assessment include writing a policy brief or an outbreak report, conducting a group literature review, or keeping a blog to record your learning and your activities throughout the course. Information on the various methods of assessment will be provided in individual course handbooks after you matriculate. 

Link to read more about our course structure

Link to common marking scheme


Although this is an online distance learning programme, all our students graduating with a degree award are invited to attend the graduation ceremony in person. The graduation ceremonies are in November each year and are held in the McEwan Hall, Edinburgh. 

Link to see video of McEwan Hall

Link to see recap of 2022 graduation


Proposed New Programme in Global Palliative Care

We would like to hear your views on a potential new Postgraduate opportunity in Global Palliative Care

 We invite you to take our survey as we undertake market analysis of the interest in this potential programme:

Take the survey on Global Palliative Care