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Public and Environmental Health Sciences MSc

Start date
1 year full-time
Course Type
Postgraduate, Continuing professional development, Taught

£29,340 FT (International Students)
More detail



Our Public and Environmental Health Sciences MSc is designed for international students wishing to advance their knowledge and develop their career in public and environmental health. The course is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) and runs in parallel to the Environmental Health MSc.

MSc Public Health and Environmental Health Sciences at Birmingham - Chinese Subtitles

The course is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health for international students. It is taught in conjunction with the MSc in Environmental Health. We welcome international students on our courses. 

This programme is aimed at International students but is also open to UK students. If you are a UK student who wishes to work in the UK or pursue the CIEH Chartered route, please see the equivalent Environmental Health MSc programme.

The course is taught using formal lectures, workshops, group work, case studies, practical simulations, industrial/commercial visits and student centered learning. Students benefit from being taught in a research-intense environment and are encouraged to develop their critical thinking and research skills. The course supports building the foundation of competence through the knowledge and skills required by the CIEH curriculum.

Academics encourage students to develop a critical and individual point of view about the real problems of environmental health. Assessments are designed to develop an individual point of view of the current environmental health problems too. Likewise, lecturers give us all the necessary tools to understand and solve problems. They also teach us how to obtain the necessary information from reliable and widely recognised sources.

Guido Martínez, MSc Public and Environmental Health Sciences alumnus

Why study this course?

This course provides the opportunity to explore the impacts that environmental health stressors (threats) have on the physical health and social well-being of individuals and communities. It comprises a twelve-month course leading to a Masters Degree in Public and Environmental Health Sciences.

The ethos of the course is to provide international students with the skills and knowledge to work within a range of organizations including national or local government, health services, commercial companies and private consultancies. The course is led by experienced Environmental Health Practitioners supported by external lecturers who are recognized specialists in their fields. You will have opportunity to be taught by and supported in their own research dissertations by the research scientists within the Division of Environmental Health and Risk Management.  

Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH)

CIEH LogoOur MSc in Public and Environmental Health Sciences is accredited by Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH).

The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health is the professional body which oversees all of professional practice and qualifications in the UK. It is a member of the International Federation of Environmental Health. It has endorsed this MSc as being suitable for international students who wish to pursue a career in Environmental Health.

Students are able to apply to the CIEH for Associate membership of the CIEH as registered students on this course. This brings a range of benefits.

International Federation of Environmental Health (IFEH)

The University is a member of the International Federation of Environmental Health (IFEH) which represents environmental practitioners at an international level.


Food Control and Hygiene Management
(20 credits) 

Students in this module will develop a systematic and critical understanding of measures necessary for ensuring the safety, wholesomeness and soundness of food at all stages from its growth, production, or manufacture, until its final consumption. Philosophies such as ‘from farm to fork’ have been used to promote the ideas of food quality and safety at every stage from producer to consumer. Hazard based Food safety management reflects this, focusing particularly on microbiological hazards which cause substantial amounts of food borne illness worldwide. Our membership of the European Union (EU) still has significant impact on the way food controls are implemented in the UK, and the minimum standards of food permitted to be sold. Retained EU legislation and Government bodies such as the Food Standard Agency ( FSA) and Department for Farming and Rural Affairs ( DEFRA), provide a broad range of Statutory Powers and Codes of Practice for Enforcement Authorities. Despite these controls, there are still deep rooted problems with food businesses regarding compliance with food law and in this modules we explore the different approaches to maintaining food safety and standards within this complex industry.

Occupational Health and Safety
(20 credits)

This module enables students to achieve a systematic and critical understanding of the interaction between work, health and well-being and apply appropriate control mechanisms and strategies. Skills of communication and  judgement on occupational health, safety and wellbeing factors are covered. Also, the systematic understanding of the control mechanisms by which occupational hazards can be managed are included. Important elements of safety culture and management are also covered. 

Environmental Protection and Climate Change
(20 credits)

This module will develop students' appreciation of key concepts that link environmental science, ecology, pollution of the environment and human health and wellbeing. They will develop an understanding of the scientific, technical, socio-economic, political and legal factors which influence climate change, environmental quality and safety and the mechanisms and partnership strategies available to effect change. Students will also gain an understanding of the sources, modes of transport and effects of pollution; and how pollution may be controlled in order to protect human health and the environment.

Health Protection
(20 credits)

This module provides the foundation knowledge and skills needed for engagement in health protection and health improvement. It will examine communicable disease surveillance and there will be epidemiological studies for infectious diseases and environmental epidemiology related to exposures from pollution sources. It will also include an insight into the work of public health including effective projects and partnerships. 

Public Health Integration 
(20 credits)

The aim of the module is for students to integrate their acquired public and environmental health knowledge across intervention areas associated with Dahlgren and Whitehead’s 1992 conceptualisation of the determinants of health and well-being. This includes the ability to demonstrate, how, a range of measures can be used to maximise the outcome for a given situation and to be able to demonstrate the complexity of the interaction of the determinants of health, and how the use of evidence based practice and reflective practice supports an effective approach. This module links closely with the Health Protection module.   

Chemical and Biological Incident Management*
(20 credits)

The objectives of this module are to enable students to understand the causes of chemical and biological incidents; introduce methods of assessing the impacts of incidents; and develop a practical approach to managing and solving problems caused by chemical and biological incidents. 

Green Infrastructure and Health*
(20 credits)

This module will bring together issues of planning, and public and environmental health science exploring possible synergies and joined-up thinking and working as a means to enhance sustainability, health, wellbeing and resilience in urban (and rural) settlements. The module explores the concept of green infrastructure (GI) as well as ideas and possibilities around ‘greening’ the urban landscape in an interdisciplinary manner from both the spatial planning and public/environmental health perspective. It first encourages students to reflect on the historical arguments about the value of introducing nature into the urban environment. Second, the module discusses the wider value of more recent ideas around green infrastructure and associated concepts as a way to address contemporary issues of climate change, individual and public health and wellbeing, and biodiversity. Third, students are asked then to consider how currently used frameworks, tools, approaches and policies could be amended or newly developed to create more sustainable, regenerative urban environments.

*Students may choose from either of these two optional modules.

(60 credits)

This module will provide students with the underpinning skills necessary for them to successfully undertake an MSc research dissertation. Students will gain an understanding of processes needed to plan, implement and evaluate a research-based study. In particular there will be sessions looking at hypothesis and research question generation, survey design, sampling strategies, qualitative approaches, literature searching and evaluation, and an introduction to some basic statistical techniques. Students will be expected to formulate their project ideas and to write their research protocols. 

An in-depth project will be submitted in the form of a dissertation or research paper. Research can use a variety of methods, including mixed approaches.

Please note: The modules listed on the website for this programme are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up-to-date and informed by the latest research and teaching methods. On rare occasions, we may need to make unexpected changes to compulsory modules; in this event we will contact offer holders as soon as possible to inform or consult them as appropriate.


Fees for 2024/25

  • International students £29,340 FT only

Learn more about fees and funding.

Are you an international applicant?

All international applicants to this course will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit of £2,000 on receipt of an offer, to secure their place.

Find out more about the deposit >>.


Birmingham Masters Scholarship

We are offering over 200 awards of £2,000 to support the brightest and best applicants wishing to undertake Masters study at the University during 2024-2025.

Find out more and apply now  

Postgraduate Progression Award

Our Postgraduate Progression Awards offer final year undergraduates at the University of Birmingham a fee discount of £1,500 for postgraduate taught study.

Find out more and apply now  

Our database contains details of postgraduate taught and research scholarship and funding opportunities available to support your studies at the University of Birmingham. Find out more. 

International students can gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government. Use the funding database search for more information.

For further information contact the School directly or get in touch with the Funding, Graduation & Awards via the online enquiries system.

How To Apply

How to apply

To apply for a postgraduate taught programme, you will need to submit your application and supporting documents online. We have put together some helpful information on the taught programme application process and supporting documents on our how to apply page. Please read this information carefully before completing your application.

Apply now

Our Standard Requirements

A science based honours degree which is at least equivalent to a 2:1 honours degree from a UK university. This MSc course is for international students only.

Learn more about entry requirements.

International Requirements

International Students

English language requirements

Standard English language requirements apply (IELTS: 6.0 overall with no less than 5.5 in any band)

See Science and Engineering under the IELTS section.

  • IELTS 6.0 with no less than 5.5 in any band
  • TOEFL: 80 overall with no less than 19 in Reading, 19 in Listening, 21 in Speaking and 19 in Writing
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) including online: Academic 64 with no less than 59 in all four skills
  • Cambridge English (exams taken from 2015): Advanced – minimum overall score of 169, with no less than 162 in any component

Course Schedule

Students must expect to attend 4-5 days per week in the autumn and spring terms. There is little teaching in the summer term with time set aside for completing assignments, examination preparation, and undertaking the Dissertation.


Assessment Methods

Assessments are in the form of formal written examinations, group work presentations and research dissertations.

Career opportunities

Graduates of this course have found employment with:

  • Government Health Departments
  • Government Health and Environmental Protection Agencies
  • International and National Non-Governmental organizations
  • Multi-national companies
  • International Environmental Health Consultancies
  • Higher Educational Establishments

During the time on the course, students will be encouraged to develop employability skills which are essential for graduate recruitment. These include:

  • Time management
  • Communication Skills
  • Team working
  • Personal planning and organisation
  • Critical thinking skills