Public Health BSc (Hons)

a real difference to communities across the world.

Course overview

In 2011 an external review considered this course to be outstanding. The panel particularly commented on the excellent relationship between students and staff, with students saying it was like 'being part of a family'. The panel also noted the good level of academic support for students.


The course looks at health, in the broadest sense, of communities and groups. It identifies and analyses the many different factors that impact on health. These range from individual and biological factors to social, political, environmental and global factors. The course will encourage you to think critically about the complex nature of improving health and provides you with research skills.


At each level of the course there are work-based placement opportunities that allow you to put your learning into practice. Our placement supervisor supports you throughout the process, making sure that you are getting full value from the experience and reflecting on your learning.


The knowledge and skills that you develop will prepare you for diverse range of careers in health care, public health, social care and the voluntary and community sectors.


There are many job opportunities in addressing health inequalities and tackling the health-damaging effects of smoking, alcohol, drugs and poor nutrition. When it comes to selecting people for these important roles, the Public Health course is exactly the sort of relevant qualification that potential employers will be looking for.

This course was previously known as BSc (Hons) Community and Public Health.

 Course content

 Modules on this course include:

 Year 1 (national level 4)

·         Community Perspectives on Health (20 Credits)

·         The Politics of Health (20 Credits)

·         Work-based Practice (20 Credits)

·         Fundamentals of Social Sciences (20 Credits)

·         Introduction to Research (20 Credits)

·         Determinants of Health (20 Credits)

 Year 2 (national level 5)

·         Research Methods in Health (20 Credits)

·         Social Exclusion (20 Credits)

·         Introduction to Epidemiology (20 credits)

Optional modules (choose 4):

·         Health Improvement (20 Credits)

·         Drug and Alcohol Issues in Health (20 Credits)

·         Contemporary Issues in Health (20 Credits)

·         Work-based Partnerships (20 Credits)

Final Year (national level 6)

·         Law and Ethics (20 Credits)

·         Critical Issues in Health (20 Credits)

·         Dissertation (40 Credits) 

Optional modules (choose 2):

·         Global Issues in Health (20 Credits)

·         Building Healthy Communities (20 Credits)

·         Public Mental Health (20 credits)

·         Placement (20 Credits)


Please note: some modules contain a placement element, so you will be required to obtain a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check at the start of the course.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching methods include lectures, seminars, group work and workshops that support different learning styles. We encourage active student participation and you will have opportunities to present ideas and information to other students in a safe learning environment.


Assessment methods include written coursework, projects, presentations, debates, multiple choice questionnaires and time-constrained examinations.

Entry requirements

A typical offer will be in the region of 260 points from a minimum of two A Levels or equivalent (e.g. 1 x AVCE double award).


·         We accept a maximum of 20 points from Level 3 Key Skills qualifications.

·         We also require three passes at GCSE grade C or above, which must include Mathematics and English Language; or a minimum of Level 2 Key Skills in Communication and Application of Number.

·         If you have already covered one or more of the topics covered by the course, and would like to apply for accreditation of prior learning (APL), please contact the course leader.


·         Other acceptable qualifications

·         BTEC National: 260 points from a BTEC Certificate or Diploma.

·         Access Courses: We would require successful completion of a Quality Assurance

·         Agency for Higher Education Access programme and that you would have a minimum of grade C in GCSE in Mathematics and English Language or have obtained the equivalent as part of your course.

·         Scottish Highers: Our typical offer is for 260 points.

·         Irish Leaving Certificate: Our typical offer is for 260 points.

Employment & careers


Our graduates go on to work in a wide range of settings including health care, public health, social care and the voluntary and community sectors. In addition, this course develops generic skills of research, analysis and critical thinking that are relevant for a wide range of other job opportunities.


As responsibility for public health shifts away from health authorities to local authorities there will be new employment opportunities. These could be in areas such as addressing the wider determinants of health (e.g. education, housing, transport, environment), developing community-based approaches to health development, working with marginalised communities and fulfilling roles in health promotion.


At each level of your studies you have an opportunity to undertake a work-based placement, supported by a placement supervisor. Over many years we have built up a wide network of possible placements; these include health and social settings, health development units, public health teams, drug and alcohol services, children’s centres, leisure centres and health centres.

Study Abroad 

You have the opportunity to study in another country for one or two semesters during the second year. You can choose from over 150 universities in 20 countries, either English-speaking (such as Australia, Canada and the USA) or non English-speaking (such as Argentina, Brazil and Japan). With employers increasingly looking for a flexible and internationally-minded workforce, it’s a great way to enhance your CV and stretch your horizons.


Opportunities to work with companies on flexible, paid, part-time projects in areas such as IT, design, law, media, HR and event management, to name a few, are available too. These projects are a great chance to gain valuable work experience. 

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