Course overview

Studied in-person, at our campus in the heart of Birmingham, our Master of Public Health (MPH) programme will introduce you to a range of public health approaches.

The programme is suited to both professionals currently working in the field of public health, and those looking to enter the profession. Whether you're a practising clinician or looking to develop your career as a senior manager within the health services, the MPH programme will provide an in-depth understanding of local, national and global public health concerns, health policies and their sociological and epidemiological implications.

You will be supported by staff who are public health experts in both local and global contexts. Teaching is informed by current and impactful research taking place within Aston University's Centre for Health and Society.

Dr Jomon Varughese MPH

“Aston University’s reputation speaks for itself. Being centered around research, Aston University emerges as a very futuristic university, where every voice is heard and where everyone’s opinions are respected and accepted, which fast-tracked my decision of picking Aston University for my master’s.”

Dr Jomon Varughese
MPH Public Health

Why Public Health at Aston University?

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Safe in our hands
Sociology at Aston University was ranked 14th in the UK for ‘graduate prospects – on track’ (Complete University Guide, 2024)
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World class research
Social Sciences at Aston University was ranked 26th in the world for ‘citations’ (THE World University Ranking, 2022)
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We know our stuff
Aston University was ranked 10th overall in the UK for health professions (Guardian, 2024)
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Excellent prospects
Aston University was named runner-up in the University of the Year for Graduate Employment Award (Times/Sunday Times Good University Guide, 2024)

Course description

MPH Public Health

Our MPH Public Health course aims to equip you with the theoretical knowledge and practical skills needed to address public health challenges at local, national and international level.

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What we will provide
First-class teaching in the UK’s second-largest city, delivered by a diverse array of staff who will inspire and excite you. You will benefit from applied learning, research-informed teaching and constructive assessment. As a student on this programme, you will hear first-hand about the latest health research taking place across the University and in the wider region.

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What you will provide
It is important you learn how to adapt a growth mindset to your studies – understanding that intelligence and success come from applying yourself, a willingness to learn and an ambition and drive to excel.

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What skills we teach
The MPH Public Health programme will equip you with the essential skills needed to lead healthcare teams and address global health challenges. You will gain skills in epidemiology, health promotion, critical appraisal and the evaluation of public health initiatives.

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Career prospects
As an Aston University MPH graduate, you will be equipped for a range of different career options. A career in public health is wide, exciting and varied; graduates can seek employment in local council and government, with the healthcare services (e.g., NHS), and with third sector and NGOs across the world.

How you will learn

Our MPH programme has been developed using the Agency for Public Health Education Accreditation’s European Core Competencies for Masters in Public Health Education.

Our programme is designed to give you a dynamic learning experience, equipping you with the skills for a successful career in understanding and addressing local, national and international public health challenges. Through practical teaching methods, including interactive lectures, group seminars, and workshops led by experienced academic staff, you will engage in lively discussions and explore diverse viewpoints. Traditional teaching is supported by our virtual learning environment, which hosts a range of electronic supporting materials.

You will undertake a major piece of independent research in the form of a dissertation, and you will have the opportunity to choose from a range of optional modules, allowing you to explore areas of public health that interest you most.

At the start of your course, you will be allocated a personal tutor who can offer individual study advice and guidance. You will also benefit from access to the University Library's extensive collection of over 25,000 books and electronic journals.

MPH students at SheffWHO conference 2024

Experiential learning: insights from SheffWHO 2024

Our MPH students share their first-hand experiences of SheffWHO 2024 - a simulation of the World Health Assembly.

What you will learn

Our comprehensive and interdisciplinary syllabus spans low, middle and high-income countries, and reflects local, national and international public health agendas. Throughout a series of core and optional modules, you will engage with academics, researchers and practitioners to explore and understand a range of in-depth public health issues.

In the taught stage, you will develop practical skills to critically assess public health issues. Emphasis is on hands-on application of specialised knowledge, exploring the practical link between place, theory, emerging technologies and policy. You will gain the ability to investigate, analyse and synthesise complex information, and work collaboratively as part of a team to develop public health initiatives.

In the dissertation stage, you will complete a research dissertation on a public health topic of your choice, showcasing your ability to conduct independent research with a clear consideration of ethics, theory and methods.

Dr Shamama Alam MPH

Making the right choice

Dr Shamama Alam felt she made the "proper choice” in choosing Aston University to complete her Master of Public Health degree.

Course objectives

  1. Develops your knowledge and skills to address public health challenges through both research and practice. 
  2. Develops the training necessary for leadership roles in public health.
  3. Builds your expertise of the public health needs in low-, middle- and high-income countries.


Modules and learning outcomes

Taught stage modules

In the taught stage you will study the following core modules:

Module TitleCredits
Research Methods
This module introduces you to the general nature of research in Public Health, and the necessary skills to carry out research, providing you with a foundation for your dissertation.
The Social Determinants of Health
This module examines the social determinants of health and illness and their relationship with the health of a population, explaining how health and society are connected.
This module introduces you to the basic concepts and methods of epidemiology to help you understand, interpret, and apply basic epidemiological methods.
Health Promotion
This module examines the role that health promotion plays in population level and individual level health and healthcare. It develops your critical understanding and application of health promotion theory and practice.

You will choose four of the following optional modules:* 

Module TitleCredits
Advanced Epidemiology15
Economic and Commercial Determinants of Health
This module aims to develop your critical understanding and application of social scientific, economic, legal, and business-related concepts to understanding population health and illness.
Public Health Ethics
This module will introduce you to healthcare ethics approaches used in public health and integrate key concepts, theories, methods and topics on the major issues in health ethics.
Global Health
This module will introduce and integrate key concepts, theories, methods and topics on the major issues in global health.
Digital Health
This module will introduce you to the major issues in digital health including data and data visualisation, artificial intelligence and health technologies, the digitalisation of hospitals, patient data and remote health monitoring, and automation and digitalisation in therapy development.
Managing Projects
The overall aim of this module is for you to develop an understanding of project management processes and use of various tools and techniques for effective management of projects.
People and World Organisations
This module will explain how models, theories and concepts relating to organisational behaviour can be used in practice in different workplaces so that you can critically assess and engage with business and management problems to design tailored interventions for promoting individual, team and organisational effectiveness.
Strategic Management
This module will focus on the theory, concepts and frameworks associated with competitive and corporate strategy and the strategy development process. You will have the opportunity to apply your learning in analyses of contemporary business case studies and in contributing to management decision-making in a strategy simulation.
Business Analytics in Practice
The main aim of this module is to introduce you to predictive business analytics techniques that will facilitate a better-informed decision-making process. You will familiarise yourself and explore advanced statistical methods as well as marketing models and financial analytics that will help you undertake advanced data analysis and enhance your understanding of business analytics techniques while improving the decision-making process.
Data Mining and Visualisation
In this module several case studies of well-known data mining techniques are used; e.g. shopping basket analysis such as Tesco club card, credit card fraud detection, predicting stock market returns, risk analysis in banking, web analytics and social network analysis including Facebook and X.

*Availability of any optional modules will be subject to staff availability and a minimum number of students who express an interest in studying the optional modules. 

Dissertation stage modules

In the dissertation stage you will study the following core module:

Module TitleCredits
Dissertation (MPH)
You will demonstrate your ability to design, conduct and report the results of a research project in public health. You will work independently, under the guidance of a supervisor.

Programme outcomes

On successful completion of both the taught and dissertation stage, you will be able to:

  • Evaluate key issues in public health critically, applying specialised knowledge and research skills.
  • Reflect critically on the relationship between place, theoretical knowledge, emerging technologies and policy advocacy on professional practice.
  • Investigate, analyse and synthesise complex information and problems that impact directly or indirectly on public health outcomes.
  • Work in multidisciplinary teams to develop public health initiatives and reflect critically on the key skills integral to leadership and management roles in the public health sector.
  • Use epidemiological data, critical appraisal and relevant evaluation skills to critically analyse public health initiatives.
  • Work autonomously to develop and analyse original qualitative and/or quantitative datasets in public health.
  • Understand the role and importance of context and place in public health, including inequality and inequity.

We may update our courses to reflect best practices and academic developments. If we do, we’ll let you know of any changes at the earliest opportunity by updating our course webpages. If you have already received an offer, we’ll write to you directly to let you know of the changes.


Entry requirements

One of the following:

  • 2:2 (lower second-class honours) degree or equivalent
  • Equivalent overseas degree recognised by Aston University (see international students tab below for more information)
  • Medical students from Aston Medical School

Subject specific requirements

All applicants for Master of Public Health must provide evidence of ability in mathematics, post-16 year education.

Evidence may include: 

  • GSCE Maths – grade B/5 or higher
  • A module that includes mathematics within an undergraduate degree (e.g., quantitative methods, epidemiology or statistics)
  • Statistics or quantitative methods studied as part of a research methods course. 

A preference will be given to applicants with relevant work experience. This can be paid, voluntary work, internships etc.

Significant relevant research or professional experience will be considered where applicants do not meet the required academic qualification threshold. Applications which do not meet the required academic entry criteria will be considered on an individual basis and may first be required to complete a PGCert or PGDip to enable progression to the MPH programme.

You will also need to provide:

  • A professional reference
    • If you are a current student or recent graduate (within the last 2-3 years), we will ask for an academic reference
    • If you are currently employed and not a recent graduate, we will ask for a professional reference
  • An official academic transcript of your university grades to date
  • A completed application form.

Aston University is a diverse, close community and welcomes international students on many of our postgraduate programmes. Students from over 120 countries choose to study with us every year. Based in the centre of Birmingham, Aston is not only a great place to study but also a great place to live.

Qualifications in your country

For details of equivalent qualifications in your country, use our area pages below:

English language requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of an English language qualification.

English language requirements

How to apply

Aston University provides a range of opportunities for international students to join our community and study on our campus. A key part of our strategy is our relationships with teaching partners, providing multiple pathways to Aston.

Aston’s professional work placements can improve your chance of securing a graduate job. Placements give you experience, confidence and opportunities and, as an Aston student, you’ll be better prepared for your future career. One of the great things about Aston is our focus on employability. Our close links with businesses, industries and professions make this possible.

Find out more about applying

Post-study work visa

Aston University welcomed the creation of a new Graduate Immigration Route which enables international students to remain in the UK for two years after you complete your studies to find work. This new post-study work visa applies to international students completing full-time undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

Graduate Immigration Route

Pathway programmes

If you don’t meet our entry requirements, we have a range of pathway programmes offered by our partner, ONCAMPUS Aston, which you can complete to progress onto one of our degrees.

Preference will be given to applicants with relevant work experience (e.g. paid work, voluntary work, and internships).

Significant relevant research or professional experience will be considered where applicants do not meet the required academic qualification threshold. Applications which do not meet the required academic entry criteria will be considered on an individual basis and may first be required to complete a PGCert or PGDip to enable progression to the programme.

The information contained on this website details the typical entry requirements for this course for the most commonly offered qualifications. Applicants with alternative qualifications may wish to enquire with the relevant admissions teams prior to application whether or not their qualifications are deemed acceptable. For less commonly encountered qualifications this will be judged on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the academic admissions tutor.


Speak to our Admissions Team

If you have any questions about the application process please get in touch with our postgraduate admissions team:


Call: 0121 204 3200 (Please note this line is open Monday-Friday between 09:30-16:30)

Dr Frances Thirlway

Meet your programme director

Dr Frances Thirlway
Programme Director, MPH Public Health

If you have any questions about the course or modules you will be studying, you can get in touch via email and I will be happy to answer your queries.

Fees and scholarships

Course fees

UK students

Annual tuition fees:£11,850

International students

Annual tuition fees:£22,750

More information on fees

The United Kingdom government has confirmed that European Union (EU), other European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss nationals commencing academic courses in England from August 2021 will no longer be charged the same tuition rates as UK students.

Tuition fees for students are reviewed annually and may increase in subsequent years in line with inflation linked to the Retail Price Index (RPI) to take account of the University’s increased costs of delivering the Programme. Any such increase shall always be in accordance with the law. When undertaking a placement year, a placement year fee applies.


At Aston University we are committed to supporting the most talented and hardworking students to achieve their potential by providing a range of scholarships to help lower tuition and living costs.


You will be assessed through a combination of written and oral examinations, class tests, individual and group coursework, projects, presentations and practical assessments. There will also be a dissertation component of 10,000 words.

Assessments have been designed to help prepare graduates for professional membership and accreditation (e.g., Faculty of Public Health DFPH and MFPH).

Career prospects

Students will be given the opportunity to interact with local health projects and initiatives, an experience which can be used to build your CV. A career in public health is wide, exciting and varied. MPH graduates can seek employment in local council and government, with the healthcare services (e.g., NHS), and with third sector and NGOs across the world.

The transferable skills that our MPH programme provides enables our graduates to successfully find employment in a variety of roles such as:

  • Epidemiologist
  • Public health researcher
  • Health informatics specialist
  • Environmental health practitioner
  • Health improvement practitioner
Dr Vidhyashree Srinivasan MPH

Supported for success

After completing her Doctor of Pharmacy in India, Dr Vidhyashree Srinivasan decided to pursue the Master of Public Health programme at Aston University.

Our students achieve some amazing things during their time with us and after they graduate - whether it's securing prestigious roles in their fields, setting up their own businesses, or making real differences within their communities.

Hear from our graduates


Be part of our community

Once you have joined us at Aston University, you’ll always be part of our community, even beyond graduation.

Frequently asked questions

Why study Public Health at Aston University?

As one of the top-ranking universities for health professions in the UK (Guardian, 2024), Aston University is at the heart of innovative healthcare initiatives locally and nationally. Aston’s close connection with the healthcare community in Birmingham means that as an MPH student, you will be learning from public health practitioners and experts working directly in the field. Modules and dissertations will be research-led, based on cutting edge projects with real-world application. With opportunities to interact with local and national public health bodies, as an Aston University MPH graduate, you will enter (or return to) the workforce with a strong grounding in the current issues and key challenges in public health.

For our Aston Medical School students, the MPH is offered via the intercalated year, allowing you to hone key public health skills before graduation. These skills are vital for those with an interest in public health or who wish to pursue a career as a Public Health Consultant.

Why should I study my postgraduate degree at Aston University?

There are lots of benefits of studying a postgraduate degree at Aston University.

Watch this video from MBA student, Monique, who talks about just a few of them:

Is Birmingham a good place to study?

Our campus is based in the centre of Birmingham, the youngest major city in Europe and a great place to live, work and study.

  • Great music and entertainment with a vibrant nightlife. Bars, clubs, pubs, live music, festivals, concerts. Whatever your tastes, there's something here for everyone.
  • Fantastic food. Birmingham's diverse community means you can try anything from the famous Balti triangle, the Chinese Quarter, high street chains, halal and vegan food, and Michelin-star dining.
  • World-class shopping. The Bullring and Grand Central is a shopper's paradise. From the world's biggest Primark to luxury brands at the Mailbox.
  • Arts and culture. Museums, galleries, theatres, concerts and Birmingham's art collection is as wide as it is impressive - not to be missed.
  • Green, open spaces. One of the greenest cities in Europe, Birmingham has hundreds of publicly accessible parks and green spaces across the city.
  • Sporting action. Birmingham has some of the most exciting venues for watching or participating in sport in the UK.

Discover Birmingham

What will my timetable look like?

We understand how important it is to know your timetable in advance for planning around work, childcare, or other responsibilities. Here's some basic guidance on what to expect regarding your student timetable.

Full-time programmes
As a rough estimate, full-time postgraduate students within the College of Business and Social Sciences should anticipate around 16 hours of classes per week. This includes at least two hours a week per module, along with additional guided learning activities. The precise distribution of these hours will vary, depending on your course and module choices.
Part-time programmes
Part-time students will have fewer weekly on-campus hours compared to full-time students. This reduction is proportional to the number of modules you're enrolled in.
Timetable availability
Complete timetables are usually released shortly before the start of your programme. This timing is necessary to ensure that we accommodate all course requirements and that rooms are allocated based on the number of students likely to enrol on each programme. We aim to provide these timetables as early as possible, to assist you in your planning.

As your induction week approaches, you will be sent more information about your timetable via email, and you will be able to access your timetable by logging into MyAstonPortal. For any further queries or information regarding your timetable, you can reach out to your programme director or the Student Support team.

Online/distance learning programmes
The above information also applies to students enrolled in online/distance learning programmes. Please note that both full-time and part-time distance learning students are still required to attend scheduled synchronous learning sessions.


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Hello, what would you like to ask us?

Hello! We are a team of current Aston University students from various parts of the world, studying a wide range of postgraduate subjects.

Feel free to ask us anything about studying at Aston University.

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