Public Health (International) MPH/PG Diploma/PG Certificate

Course overview

The MPH (International) is a strand of the Masters of Public Health programme and is aimed at professionals already working in low- and middle-income countries or those aiming in the future to work in health care in such setting. The MPH (international) is an exit qualification from the MPH programme. Candidates access this strand by applying for the Masters of Public Health programme.

This modular multidisciplinary programme in public health offers a Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma or a Masters of Public Health. It is an exciting and engaging programme developed in response to Public Health professionals around the world and delivered by global academic and field experts in public health and health systems. The Masters builds upon the well-established and successful Masters of Public Health through the addition of modules which contextualise and apply public health topics and skills in terms of low- and middle- income countries

We also offer the following Public Health programmes:

The Masters of Public Health, designed to provide academic training to professionals currently working in, or who wish to work in, the public health field, students attend compulsory modules then choose from a wide range of approved modules.

The MPH (Health Technology Assessment)is a strand of the Masters of Public Health (MPH) programme for those students who wish to specialise in public health with health technology assessment. The MPH (HTA) is an exit qualification from the MPH programme.

The MPH (Statement of Extra Accredited Learning)programme - this programme provides a broader version of the current MPH programme (230 instead of 180 credits). By being formally assessed and accredited in more modules, the MPH (SEAL) allows students to demonstrate their wider competency range.

Course fact file

Type of Course: Continuing professional development, taught

Study Options: Full time, part time

Duration: 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time or up to 5 years by credit accumulation

Start date: 28 September 2015


Please note the taught MPH programme starts on 29th September 2014 with an introductory week to Public Health. This is a compulsory non assessed week where a variety of eminent researchers and teachers from the School of Health and Population Sciences and visiting experts will explore the key issues for public health in the 21st century.

The MPH (International) degree is an internationally recognised qualification in public health. This course aimed at professionals already working in low- and middle-income countries  or those aiming in the future to work in health care in such setting. It attracts people with a wide range of professional backgrounds, from those who want a career in Public Health to those who just want to learn more about epidemiology and statistics for research or health service evaluation. It is increasingly accessed by students who have completed a primary degree in a related subject and are wondering what to do next.

This is a modular multidisciplinary programme in public health, which offers a Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits), Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits) and a Masters of Public Health (180 credits). The course follows the same structure as the normal MPH but has extra compulsory modules. As well as the three core MPH modules, you will study two additional core modules:

  • Public Health in Low and Middle Income Countries 
  • Further Public Health in low and middle income countries

You will also carry out a dissertation based upon research conducted on low and middle-income country health or health systems topics. These can be conducted based in Birmingham, such as systematic reviews and data analysis of large data bases, or based upon original data collection in the field in immigrant communities living in the UK or in low and middle-income countries (candidates own country or where a supervisor has links). Supervisors are experts in a range of internationally relevant public health topics with projects in numerous low and middle-income countries.

The course is delivered in an environment that combines the pragmatism and ‘can do’ spirit of a modern dynamic health service with the rigour, discipline, and high standards of a premier Russell Group University. The course covers many of the areas necessary for sitting the Part A examination of the Faculty of Public Health.

The MPH (International) programme can be studied either full-time, part-time or over up to five years by flexible learning. Overseas students may only study the MPH (International) full-time. Teaching takes place in one-week blocks.

Field trip work might be covered by supervisor grants but in most cases must be supplied by the students or their sponsors as course fees do not include travel and field work expenses. Supervisors are experts in a range of internationally relevant public health topics with projects in numerous low and middle-income countries.

Why study this course

Our programme is an internationally recognised qualification in Public Health. It equips students with a broad range of skills that are invaluable for:

  • planning, management and evaluation of health services, for disease prevention, health protection and for health promotion.
  • developing a career in a wide range of professional settings, both within and without Public Health and Epidemiology.

The course also covers many of the areas necessary for sitting the Part A examination of the Faculty of Public Health.

Modules mainly take place in the Public Health building which is on the beautiful campus of the University of Birmingham and close to the University railway station.

Student Quotes

"I thoroughly enjoyed the MPH at Birmingham University, and found the course really fascinating. I would recommend it to anyone considering a highly rewarding career in Public Health." Hamira Sultan, Speciality Registrar in Public Health and MPH graduate.

I feel that the MPH experience was very important. The writing skills that I acquired, the knowledge in epidemiology, statistics, and the insights in the critical appraisal of the literature will help me in any field of medicine or research. I also feel that it is worth studying medicine at the population level." Christos Mousoulis, Director and MPH graduate.


For full details of all modules click on the module title below.

Core modules

Introduction to Public Health (not assessed)

Epidemiology Statistics and Research Methods (20 credits)

Practical Epidemiology and Statistics (20 credits)

Health Information and Health Informatics (10 credits)

Public Health in low and middle income countries (10 credits)

Further Public Health in low and middle income countries (20 credits)

Option Modules (Tier 2)

You will choose modules from the list below:

Systematic Reviews and Evidence Synthesis (10 credits)

Principles of Health Technology Assessment (10 credits)

Health Economics (10 credits)

Introduction to Leadership and Management in Health (10 credits)

Health Care Evaluation and Commissioning (10 credits)

Health Protection 1 (10 credits)

Sociology and Social Policy (10 credits)

Health Promotion (MPH) (10 credits)

Option Modules (Tier 3)

You choose modules from the list below or any other Tier 2 module not already claimed:

Systematic Reviews and Evidence Synthesis (20 credits)

Qualitative Research Methods (20 credits)

Clinical Trials (MPH) (20 credits)

Health Protection 2 (10 credits)

Advanced Statistical Methods (10 credits) 

International Health Protection (10 credits)

Oral Health and Dental Services (20 credits)

Please note: programmes evolve continually to keep them up to date so please check the website regularly for any changes

Fees and funding

2015/2016 course fees

UK/EU students

MPH - £9480 / PGDip - £6320


Full-time £17960


Applicants will need to pay a £500 non-refundable deposit at the point of accepting an offer to study on a public health programme. The deposit is put towards payment of fees when students join the course.

Please note: if you envisage carrying out field work in a low and middle income country you will need to take into account the need to cover costs for travel and field work. Advice is available from the programme lead if you wish to discuss this before you make an application.

Self funding students can choose to pay in instalments by direct debit.

Learn more about fees and funding.


International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government. Visit our website for information about scholarships for international students.

For information about all Home/EU and International funding opportunities please visit the Postgraduate Funding Database.

For other funding queries contact the School directly or get in touch with the Student Funding Office via the online enquiries system.

Entry requirements

This programme is open to those with a good first degree in any subject of relevance to public health; this includes most biological sciences. Applications are also welcome from UK medical students who wish to intercalate. For the diploma, applications are also accepted from those with a relevant professional qualification or sufficient Public Health experience at the appropriate level without a primary degree, e.g. registered nurses. If you are unsure about your eligibility, please contact the course administrator.

Please note:

  • Applications are considered as they are received throughout the year with places awarded to candidates meeting the entry requirements on a ‘first come, first served’ basis
  • Applications from overseas students need to be received by June to enable enough time for processing. Applications from UK students can be accepted until early August.

Learn more about entry requirements

International students:

Academic requirements

We accept a range of qualifications, our country pages show you what qualifications we accept from your country.

English language requirements

You can satisfy our English language requirements in two ways:

English to IELTS 7.0 (with a minimum of 6.5 in each component) or TOEFL Internet based 95 overall with no less than 22 in any band.

How to apply

Applications must be made through the general Masters of Public Health programme.

Learning and teaching

As a Birmingham student, you will be joining the academic elite and will have the privilege of learning from world-leading experts, as well as your peers. From the outset you will be encouraged to become an independent and self-motivated learner. We want you to be challenged and will encourage you to think for yourself.

Teaching takes place in one-week blocks, and you will participate in a range of teaching styles such as lectures, small group tutorials, presentations, peer group learning, self-study etc.

You will have access to a comprehensive support system that will assist and encourage you, including personal tutors and welfare tutors who can help with both academic and welfare issues.

Our facilities

The College of Medical and Dental Sciences houses state-of-the art facilities to support a range of teaching, learning and research activity. 

Our facilities ensure that students receive the best possible learning experience by working in a modern environment. Among our most recent developments include a refurbishment of the Medical School foyer, Barnes library and Wolfson Centre for Medical Education.

Explore our facilities and take a tour by moving around our 360-degree panoramas:


Assessment methods

Assessment is via a mixture of examination and assignment. If a module is assessed by assignment you will usually have approx 4-5 weeks to complete it after the module has finished. If a module is assessed by examination these will take place at the end of May except for the module 'Epidemiology and Statistics' which takes place before Christmas.

MPH Students complete their Master's degree by also undertaking a research project and writing a 10,000 word dissertation. This provides an opportunity to pursue a specific area of public health in depth, and to demonstrate the knowledge and skills acquired during the taught part of the course. It is therefore undertaken only once the taught part of the course has been successfully completed.


Find out more about where our postgraduate students go

Careers Support for Postgraduate Students

Careers Network – We can help you get ahead in the job market and develop your career

We recognise that as a postgraduate student you are likely to have specific requirements when it comes to planning for your next career step. Employers expect postgraduates to have a range of skills that exceed their subject knowledge. Careers Network offers a range of events and support services that are designed for all students, including postgraduates looking to find their niche in the job market.

Here are just a few ways in which we can help postgraduates to get ahead:

  • Careers Networking opportunities
  • Effective careers strategy toolkit
  • Year planner for all postgraduate students
  • Masters Career Coaching Workshops
  • One to one careers guidance

The Careers Network also have subject specific careers consultants and advisers for each College so you can be assured the information you receive will be relevant to your subject area. They also have a dedicated careers website for international students where you can find useful resources and information.

For more information visit the Careers Network website.