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Public Health and Health Promotion
Course Category: Master and Master of Science
Focus of Study
The overall aim of the MSc in Public Health and Health Promotion is for students to gain advanced skills, principles and knowledge in public health and health promotion whilst also developing a critical and multidisciplinary approach to the complexities of public health and health promotion challenges and possibilities.
The programme reflects the multidisciplinary nature of public health and health promotion and includes:
global public health
advanced academic and research skills.
You will develop your knowledge in public health and health promotion as well as build your research skills.The programme has an active learning and research-led approach.
The MSc programme in Public Health and Health Promotion allows students to:
Investigate the scope and nature of contemporary public health and health promotion at the local, national and global levels, focusing on its development, current priorities and future challenges.
Explore the major determinants of health and explore ways to promote public health and health promotion that address social and economic inequalities, are culturally sensitive, and promote values of social justice.
Build knowledge and skills in reflective practice, research, communication, transferable skills and working in groups.
Develop knowledge and skills in the principles and complexities of using evidence, including researching, analysing and evaluating health information and policy.
Explore a multidisciplinary approach to public health and health promotion.
Examine ethical, political, societal and cultural dilemmas that arise in public health and health promotion.
Provide the opportunity to conduct an empirical research project in a contemporary issue associated with public health and health promotion.
The MSc Public Health and Health Promotion has been specially designed to give you up-to-date knowledge and the necessary skills to be able to understand and apply your learning in analysing evidence, assessing need, planning, implementation and the evaluation of public health and health promotion in a range of contexts.
A key focus is the development of a theoretical, conceptual, historical and critical understandings of public health and health promotion. This understanding will be applied to an analysis of ethical, political and policy debates informing health promotion and public health practice.
You will need to complete eight study blocks that lead to six assessments and a 15,000 – 18,000 word dissertation to achieve the MSc Public Health and Health Promotion.
Global Public Health
The focus of the Global Public Health study block is population-based approaches to health and wellbeing in the global context. You will examine the history and development of public health, explore current and topical issues, engage in critical debates and develop advanced skills and knowledge in public health including:
Applied statistical analysis
Health information systems
Communicable and non-communicable diseases
Risk and needs assessment
Global and local health
Health (care) system.
The Health Promotion study block provides you with a theoretical and critical approach to understanding the principles, perspectives and practice of health promotion.
The focus will be on the promotion of physical, mental and social health and wellbeing amongst individuals, groups and communities. You will also explore:
- Concepts of health, health education, health promotion and empowerment.
- Critiques of health promotion including surveillance, structure, social regulation, commercialisation, and consumption.
- Communicating health, such as the role of health professionals, the media and digital health.
- Communities and health e.g. workplaces, neighbourhoods, leisure, schools, prisons, online communities; developing strategies and policies to promote health.
- A critical evaluation of health promotion strategies in practice.
Health and Society
The focus of the Health and Society study block will be to critically explore the social context of health and wellbeing, including:
- Perceptions and experiences of health and illness.
- Social determinants of health status.
- Risk, health and lifestyles.
You will look at explanations and evidence in relation to social inequalities and social identities including social class, poverty, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, youth and ageing.
The Health and Society study block also analyses medicalisation and pharmaceuticalisation, the role of consumerism, digital health,and lay and professional discourses.
Underlying the debates within this study block will be a consideration of the concepts of collective and individual responsibility for health and the implications for health promotion and public health policies and practice.
Evidence and Communication
You will develop a thorough understanding of the processes of evidence-based healthcare including critical appraisal and the communication of best practice to manage health and lifestyles.
The psychological, behavioural and cultural factors that can contribute to the norms and values around health behaviours in families and communities are also explored.
Possible links between psychosocial factors and health in populations are identified with consideration of ways to help people manage their health behaviour and avoid risky behaviours.
Using evidence from health psychology, and associated disciplines, you will consider the means to effectively communicate with patients, individuals and groups to implement life-enhancing behaviour changes. The impact of digital technology as a means to monitor health and to access current evidence in the field is discussed, as well as the use of contemporary forums to provide health checks and guidance. Targeting and tailoring health information in many forms, including the arts, is evaluated with reference to different communities.
Health Policy, Politics and Social Justice
Health Policy, Politics and Social Justice study block incorporates philosophical, political, policy and ethical perspectives on public health and health promotion to critically examine to what extent societies can design and build effective public health institutions and health promotion systems to enhance health and wellbeing.
The study block is designed to help students distinguish good health policy from good policy for health – explaining through theories, case studies, and models, that it is the latter that is needed for health justice. This supports the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) all-of-government or health-in-all-policies approach, recognising that the health sector is not the only contributor to good health.
You will study the central ethical, historical, commercial and political challenges facing health policy in the UK and internationally, especially in relation to social justice.
You will also explore dimensions of health policy, public–private partnerships, the politics of health, political ideologies, the role of commercial and business interests, health ethics, and social justice.
Implementing Change in Public Health and Health Promotion
You will draw on and integrate the knowledge and skills developed through the programme and promote a problem solving and multidisciplinary approach to public health and health promotion. Through a series of workshops, group discussions and peer led learning, there will be an opportunity to explore and examine case studies that highlight the complex and multidisciplinary nature of public health and health promotion – and the implications for health promotion and public health strategies, policy and practice.
Research in Practice
This study block enhances the skills, understanding and knowledge of research skills in practice including doing qualitative research, quantitative research and exploring specialised methods and research skills for public health and health promotion.
Through a process of practical sessions, group discussion and reflexivity you will have the opportunity to gain skills in the practice of public health and health promotion related research and start the process of developing your own research.
The sessions will be interactive and enhance the development and understanding of designing research, different approaches to research, all the processes involved in research, and the development of knowledge and skills to effectively conduct fieldwork and to complete an empirical research project.
Approaches to Research
This module will provide you with an overview of different approaches to research including qualitative research, quantitative research and systematic reviews.
The dissertation is a piece of empirical research that allows you to explore a key issue associated with public health and health promotion. You will have the opportunity to conduct fieldwork and complete an empirical piece of research using primary or secondary data. The final written dissertation is 15-18,000 words.