Public and Environmental Health Sciences MSc

This programme is designed for international students wishing to advance their knowledge in public health and environmental health. It provides opportunities to understand how to manage risks posed to public and environmental health and provide the necessary solutions.

A virtual learning platform has been introduced to allow students to identify hazards and risks within an industrial environment. 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.

This programme is aimed at International students. If you are a UK/EU student, please see the equivalent Environmental Health MSc programme.

EU Referendum

Answering your questions and concerns about the outcome of the EU referendum.

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.

“Our curriculum includes speakers from diffferent areas of the subject; this means a range of points of view can be learnt for a specific topic”

Guido Martínez - Msc in Public and Environmental Health Sciences 

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 Safety Control
(30 credits)

Consideration of all measures needed to ensure the safety and wholesomeness of food at all stages from growth, through production, manufacture and retail until it reaches the consumer.

Food Safety control is a larger module because it also contains important cross-cutting Public and Environmental Health issues in more detail including outbreaks, food and nutrition, allergens, hazard analysis and critical control point assessment. It also covers microbiology and epidemiology. 

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. Basic applied field and laboratory techniques for assessing environmental pollution will also be covered. 

Health Protection
(10 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 (International)
(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. 

(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.

Related staff

Fees and funding

Fees for 2019

  • International students £21,690 FT only

Learn more about fees and funding


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.

For EU students applying for the 2020/21 academic year

The UK Government has confirmed that EU students will continue to be eligible for 'home fee status' for entry in September 2020, and will continue to have access to eligible financial support via the Postgraduate Masters or Doctoral loan for the duration of their course. For more information visit the website.

You can also visit our EU Referendum information page for more information and updates.

EU Referendum

Answering your questions and concerns about the outcome of the EU referendum.

Entry requirements

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

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

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

See Science andf Engineering under the IELTS section.

How to apply

When clicking on the Apply Now button you will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme you wish to apply for where you will create an account with the University application system and submit your application and supporting documents online. Further information regarding how to apply online can be found on the How to apply pages

Apply now

“I was really impressed by the way the programme was led; our teachers had an excellent command of their subject, and they led us all irrespective of age hurdles or culture.”  Read more...

Taha Nadeem - Msc in Public and Environmental Health Sciences 

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.

Short Courses

You may wish to take the opportunity to study an additional short course leading to an extra qualification whilst at the University.

Certificate in Environmental Noise Monitoring - accredited by the Institute of Acoustics

This will be a practically based module which will enable you to make reliable measurements of background noise and noise from a variety of noise sources, according to the requirements of relevant British Standards, Codes of Practice or legislation. The presentation and interpretation of the measured data will be considered and the significance of measured noise levels in terms of acceptability to people will be assessed. The principal methods of noise control to mitigate the impact of noise on the community will be identified. Having considered the above you will be able to critically appraise the noise measurement methodology, data and interpretation in reports and environmental appraisals, and to comment on proposals for noise impact mitigation.

For further details contact: 
Sue Fellows
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 3260

Assessment methods

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

Related research

Career opportunities

Graduates of this course have found employment with:

  • Environmental Health Practitioners in the fieldGovernment 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

Birmingham is one of Europe's most exciting cities. If you are already based here you know what this vibrant, forward-thinking, international city has to offer. If you are moving here you are going to have great fun finding out. It is more than somewhere to study; it is somewhere to build a successful future.

Supporting you

Whoever you are, wherever you come from, we'll make sure you have all the support you need to make the most of your time at Birmingham. We have a student mentor scheme and offer other support, such as disability and dyslexia advice and support, childcare and nursery facilities and financial advice.

Postgraduate and Mature Student Association (PGMSA)

If you are a mature student it's worth considering joining the Postgraduate and Mature Student Association (PGMSA). This voluntary, student-led group has an active Facebook group where you can keep up with all the events and activities on offer.

Are you an International Student?

The University of Birmingham has one of the largest international student communities within the UK. The mix of nationalities and cultures on campus greatly enriches our learning and teaching environment and will help you feel at home during your time with us. Find out more at our international student website

Living in Birmingham

Whether you are looking for university accommodation or a rented property in the private sector, our accommodation services team, 'Living', can help you find the right place.

The City of Birmingham

One of Europe's most exciting destinations, Birmingham is brimming with life and culture, making it a wonderful place to live, study and work.

Our students fall in love with the city - around 40% of our graduates choose to make Birmingham their home.