Applied Public Health - MSc / PgD / PgC 

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Course Overview

This programme focuses on the application of the key principles of multidisciplinary public health practice to the breadth of issues that form the scope of 21st Century public health. The programme is intended to challenge the preconceptions and practice of participants, developing their knowledge, skills and competencies, with the aim of producing reflective public health practitioners. There is a strong emphasis on students’ own practice, and students are encouraged to base their studies on the issues and situations they face in their own field.

The course has been designed to meet the needs of a wide range of public health practitioners, professionals and volunteers working to achieve improvements in the wider determinants of health. The programme is aimed at anyone with an interest in improving the full range of determinants of health. It is closely mapped to the Public Health Skills & Career Framework, National Occupational Standards for Public Health, and the UK Public Health Practitioner Standards .

Course Content

The course is designed as a Masters programme but it has exit points at both postgraduate certificate & diploma level. Reflective practice is integrated into the programme: students are encouraged to reflect upon their learning as they progress, culminating in an assessed reflective statement demonstrating the integration and development of their learning and practice through the course of their studies. The dissertation also incorporates a reflective practice element.

For the Postgraduate Certificate, students must complete the following modules:

• Assessing Health & Wellbeing (20 credits): Assess, evaluate and communicate information about the health and wellbeing of populations & communities
• Risk Perception & Communication (10 credits): Appraise the sociocultural, emotional and psychological factors that influence responses to threats to population health and wellbeing
• Public Health Policy Development (10 credits): Evaluate the political, social and economic framework within which policies influencing health & wellbeing are developed
• Applied Research Methods and Design (20 credits): Develop the qualitative and quantitative research skills necessary to undertake research and evaluate interventions and day-to-day practice.

For the Postgraduate Diploma, students undertake the above modules, plus the following core modules:

• Public Health Intervention Development (30 credits): Explore approaches to intervention for the protection and improvement of health and wellbeing, and integrate learning from across the programme in the development of a multidisciplinary intervention on an identified public health issue.
• Reflecting on Professional Development (10 credits): Reflect on your learning, practice and experiences in order to evidence the development of your professional public health practice.

Students at PgD and MSc level must also undertake a total of 20 credits from the following option modules:

• Critical Appraisal (10credits): Critically appraise evidence on a chosen topic or intervention, and formulate recommendations for change.
• Evidence-Based Practice (20 credits): Complete a critical appraisal and design an audit, anchored to evidence-based practice, on a relevant professional issue, with a focus on developing and implementing recommendations for change to policy/practice.
• Regeneration for Health & Sustainable Development (10 credits): Evaluate the contribution and impact of regeneration & development planning on health & wellbeing.
• Changing Health Behaviours (20 credits): Critically evaluate psychological theories of behaviour change.
• Chronic Illness, Stress & Pain (20 credits): Critically analyse theories and models of chronic disease, stress, pain and their management.
• Occupational Health (10 credits): Identify and evaluate the effects of occupational hazards on health.
• Work-based Learning (20 credits): Evaluate your individual learning requirements in relation to a specified and justified area of practice, negotiate learning outcomes with a supervisor and your employer, and structure an approach to learning in order to fulfil these outcomes. This module is particularly suited to students studying part-time who wish to integrate theory and practice.

To obtain the MSc, students must also complete a Dissertation (60 credits): Design, plan and undertake a piece of independent applied research, and present the findings.

Employability & Careers

The promotion, protection and improvement of public health are key objectives for the Welsh Assembly Government, UK Government and at an international level, as exemplified by the WHO Commission on the Social Determinants of Health.

The course has been designed to meet the needs of a wide range of public health practitioners, professionals and volunteers working to achieve improvements in the wider determinants of health. The programme is aimed at anyone with an interest in improving the full range of determinants of health: for example, people working in education, health promotion, housing, transport, leisure, environmental health, community development, health & wellbeing partnerships, planning, social services, school nursing, and health visiting (not an exhaustive list!).

We welcome applicants from all sectors: public, private and the voluntary & independent sector. The programme retains an international focus, addressing public health issues faced around the world, as well as in Wales and the UK.

Entry Requirements

Applicants are normally expected to hold an initial degree in a discipline relating to health or the determinants of health. However, candidates with other relevant qualifications will be considered, particularly if they are able to meet the ‘relevant experience’ criterion below.

All candidates must normally be able to demonstrate a minimum of 2 years experience in a relevant setting. The applied nature of the programme and the emphasis on critical reflection requires candidates to have relevant experience on which they can reflect and develop their studies.

In certain circumstances, graduates from relevant disciplines may be admitted to study the part-time Postgraduate Certificate without prior relevant experience. Progression to study the later aspects of the programme that comprise the PgD/MSc awards would be conditional on obtaining relevant experience (paid or otherwise) during the period of part-time study for the Postgraduate Certificate.

Key Facts

Campus: Llandaff

School: Cardiff School of Health Sciences

Course Length:One year part-time (PgC), One year full-time (MSc/PgD) or two years part-time (MSc/PgD). Students can also study individual modules on a CPD basis – for more information please contact the course team.


The programme is assessed by coursework only. Examples of assessment tasks include: reports, essays, oral presentations, group work and posters. Assessment tasks encourage students to select specific topics of study that are relevant to them and their practice.

Selection Procedure:
Candidates will need to meet the admissions criteria. Selection is initially by way of an application form, although applicants may be interviewed.

How to Apply:
Applications for this course should be made direct to the university via our self-service facility. For further information please visit our How to Apply pages at
International Applicants:
Before making an application, international students (those outside of the EU), should contact the International Office at Cardiff Met to discuss the necessary procedures in relation to studying with us. For further information visit

Tuition Fees and Financial Support:
For up to date information on tuition fees and the financial support that may be available. Please refer to

Postgraduate Scholarships:
The university also offers a postgraduate scholarship scheme to help students whilst at university. To see if you are eligible, visit

Contact Us

For general enquiries please contact the Student Recruitent Team on 029 2041 6044 or email

For course specific enquiries, please contact the programme leader, Alastair Tomlinson:
Tel: 029 2020 1528

See Also:
Cardiff School of Health Sciences Website