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MPH Public Health (International)

Key facts

Start date September 2019

Duration/mode 18 months full time

UK/EU fees £9,500 (total)

International fees £20,750 (total)

Additional cost information

Entry requirements Medical or bachelor degree with 2:2 (hons) in a related subject + experience

Language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in all components


This course (18-month variant) provides public health professionals with an understanding of the health needs of populations and how to effectively intervene to strengthen international health systems.

You’ll learn to:

  • analyse issues in health policy and health services using epidemiological and statistical tools to critically review evidence
  • develop the essential skills to improve existing (and build new) health services programmes and management systems
  • evaluate different strategies for disease control in order to select the most effective and feasible programmes
  • discuss ethical issues, and adopt and justify an appropriate ethical stance.

You’ll benefit from an international learning environment, with fellow-professionals from a range of countries and areas of expertise.

The course is delivered by Nuffield Centre for International Health and Development, based in the Leeds Institute of Health Sciences.

On this course you have the opportunity to take part in a study visit to Geneva, attending workshops and meetings with various health-related UN and other international organisations. In the past these have included:

  • World Health Organisation
  • UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR)
  • United Nations High Commission for Human Rights (OHCHR)
  • International Labour Organisation
  • International Federation of Red Cross and Crescent Societies (IFRC)
  • Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)
  • GAVI Alliance.

The Master of Public Health (International) is designed for you if you are a health professional with diverse experience in national health systems. For example you may be a district and provincial medical officer, disease control, reproductive and child health and other programme officer, health service manager, community nurse, health educationalist or general medical practitioner. We have recently updated this well-established MPH programme to reflect the needs of our students in 2018 and beyond.

You can also study this subject as Master of Public Health International (12 months with dissertation based on secondary data) and at Postgraduate Diploma (9 months) or Postgraduate Certificate level (3 months).

The 12-month variant concludes with a 10,000 word dissertation that you write in your final semester which gives you space for in-depth examination of an area of public health that is relevant to your work and career plans.

The 18-month variant replaces the dissertation with a research project based on primary data collection, see below for details.

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Course content

The taught compulsory modules lay firm foundations for your learning throughout the course:

  • introduction to global and public health – introduces global health issues, public health strategies and health systems
  • principles of public health (international) – analyses public health problems from a multidisciplinary perspective, informs how to strengthen existing and to build new health services, programmes and related management systems in order to improve the health of populations and communities
  • health systems research methods – looks at how to plan research, choose research methods, evaluate findings and present results

The wide range of optional modules allows you to focus your study to match your interests and experience.

You will work on a research project with primary data collection, where you will design a study to investigate a public health issue in your workplace or alternative organisation or social context of your choice.

During the project you will'll supported during the initial stages in Leeds and online during the data collection and subsequent stages by a supervisor in Leeds. They will help guide you through the process of study design, ethical approval, data collection, analysis, reporting and possible publication of your findings.

The choice of countries that you can go to for your project is dependent on travel advice from the FCO https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice, even if this maybe your country of origin

Course structure

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Public Health (International) MPH in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

Under the guidance of academic tutors who have all worked in low and middle income countries, you'll develop core skills and knowledge early in the course, which you build on with your chosen modules in specialist fields of public health, planning and management. Your dissertation gives you the opportunity to plan, initiate, execute and complete a substantial piece of independent research, with support and guidance.

The course introduces essential learning skills for postgraduate level study, with particular emphasis on the challenges facing those returning to study. A reflective learning approach will form the basis of career-long independent learning and continued professional development.

You’ll learn through a mixture of lectures, seminars, group work, tutorials and case studies. Some study sessions use the University's computer resources, with support for students to enhance their competence in the use of information technology. You have access to electronic copies of all teaching materials through our Virtual Learning Environment.

You’ll be able to use University facilities for independent study, such as computing facilities and the Health Sciences library, with its extensive collection of online journals. You will also have access to the newly refurbished Worsley Building with new teaching space and post-graduate social space.

You’ll benefit from the international learning environment on our international health and development programmes, where you learn and discuss with fellow-health professionals from a range of countries and professional backgrounds.


Each module is assessed through a combination of written assignments, group and individual presentations, reflective logs, written examination on epidemiology and statistics.

Your 10,000-word project report on your original research project is part of the overall assessment.

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Applying, fees and funding

Entry requirements

  • A medical degree or bachelor degree with a 2:2 (hons) or equivalent qualification in a related discipline (eg medicine, health, science, social sciences, management or administration).
  • All applicants must have a minimum of two years’ work experience in a health service or developing health system in a low-middle income country.
  • In exceptional cases, we may accept extensive work experience in health services or health systems for applicants who do not fully meet the stated academic requirements.

International qualifications

We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. For more information contact the Leeds Institute of Health Sciences admissions team.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in all components. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English

International students who do not meet the English language requirements for this programme may be able to study our postgraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.

This pre-sessional course is designed with a progression route to your degree programme and you’ll learn academic English in the context of your subject area. To find out more, read Language for Science (6 weeks) and Language for Science: General Science (10 weeks)

If you need to study for longer than 10 weeks, read more about our postgraduate pre-sessional English course.

How to apply


This link takes you to information on applying for taught programmes and to the University's online application system.
If you're unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

By clicking this button, you will be applying for the 18-month variant of Public Health (International) programme, if you are want to apply for the 12-month variant, please go to the correct course page and click on the apply button there.

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Admissions policy

Link to admissions policy document


UK/EU fees: £9,500 (total)
International fees: £20,750 (total)

Read more about paying fees and charges.

For fees information for international taught postgraduate students, read Masters fees.

Additional cost information

The cost of the optional one-week trip to Geneva (see Course Overview ) is not included in the course fees. Students pay a contribution towards their travel, accommodation, visa and insurance costs, and the Nuffield pays the rest of these costs. (Students who choose the study trip as an optional module pay a smaller contribution than students who attend the study trip for their professional development only.) Other costs, including meals and any personal costs, are paid by the student. We send more information with offer letters.

You need to consider costs for your research with primary data collection such as in-country ethical approval, travel and accommodation during data collection and equipment and consumables for your project.

Scholarships and financial support

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Career opportunities

Graduates of this course have gone on to work in:

  • ministries of health
  • international organisations
  • civil society organisations
  • universities
  • consulting firms
  • private health providers

The Nuffield Centre for International Health and Development has taught international health and development programmes at Leeds for over 30 years and so has a large alumni network of:

  • public health specialists
  • health systems experts
  • health managers
  • planners holding senior positions around the world

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.

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