Public Health BSc (Hons)

Full-time undergraduate (3 years)


September 2017


Public health is about affecting the wellbeing of entire populations. It’s a fascinating field which extends into almost every part of our lives. If you’re interested in working in this area, our degree course provides a solid foundation for a range of careers.

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Full description

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When you graduate, you’ll be able to work in a wide range of fields relating to public health. You could also consider public health roles in healthcare and local government or international agencies. Such roles could include: Public Health Practitioner, Health Improvement Officer, Public Health Analyst, Community Development Worker, Smoking Cessation Coordinator, Health Promotion Advisor, Health Trainer Coordinator, Sexual Health/HIV Prevention and Support Services within Genitourinary Medicines (GUM) Clinics or within communities.

The degree is recognised the Royal Society of Public Health and the curriculum aligned with the UKPHR Standards for Public Health Practitioners. Following graduation and appropriate experience in public health practice, you can submit a portfolio to the UKPHR to demonstrate how you meet the competencies for Public Health Practitioner status. Completing a Master’s degree in public health in public health, such as the one at Anglia Ruskin University, would also strengthen your case for achieving professional recognition.

Modules & assessment

Year one, core modules

  • Skills for Public Health Practice
    This module addresses specific methods of communication, designed to support the development of the necessary skills, practice and process to enhance a professional approach within public health practice. Specifically, this module will support you to develop skills in: (1) presentation, (2) critical thinking, (3) writing, (4) proofreading, (5) literature search, and (6) referencing. This module will be assessed in two parts: (1) an oral poster presentation mapping the professional standard framework with your own experience and knowledge and (2) a written document exploring the gap analysis of the mapping exercise and a reflective piece on actions to address any gaps.
  • Population Health
    This module is designed to introduce the biological impact that disease has on the human body. You'll be introduced to the anatomy and physiology of the human body drawing from a systems-based approach. Specifically, this module will focus on the following aspects of physiology and anatomy including (permitting delivery variation) cardiac, respiratory, renal, endocrine, hepatic, nervous, skeletal, integument and sensory. Teaching will draw from relevant global examples with particular attention to current global burden of disease .This module will be assessed through a portfolio comprising an essay exploring a disease and a case study which identifies the public health methods that have been employed in the prevention, management and treatment to reduce prevalence of the identified disease in a specified target population.
  • Principles in Public Health
    Principles of Public Health introduces major concepts and principles of modern public health. You’ll learn about the meanings of ‘public health’; the ethical framework for public health policy and interventions; the role and importance of data for evidence-based public health; the process and practice of evidence-based decision-making; and the evaluation of effectiveness of public health programmes. The critical issues underlying public health policy and interventions today will also be discussed. In addition, you’ll gain basic skills to undertake a literature review and evaluate the reporting of an identified public health programme. The knowledge and skills for this module will be extended through lectures, critical review of journal articles and group discussions. Summative assessment is based on a report (up to 5,400 words) on an evaluation and recommendations of a chosen public health intervention on a topic. Formative assessment involves a journal article review and students are required to submit your review as an appendix with the report.
  • Culture, Society and Health
    This module will introduce the social determinants of health and encourage you to think about factors that can affect a population’s health. You'll think about the impact of geography and environment, social networks, upbringing, education, religion, gender, age, ethnicity, sexuality, and how these factors might improve or damage physical and mental health. This module will consider how Patient and Public Involvement can enhance public health programmes through listening to the experiences and narratives of health and illness from individuals who are living with particular conditions, and develop equity in health services and programmes. This module is delivered through lectures and workshops, where you’ll have opportunities to learn from authentic situations in public health practice. You’ll be assessed through a presentation that demonstrates understanding of key module concepts in the exploration of a public health topic considered through the lenses of culture and society.

Year two, core modules

  • Introduction to Epidemiology
    Introduction to the different epidemiological study types and their advantages and disadvantages. It’ll then go on to equip you with some of the skills necessary to understand the data that is regularly found in public health research, reports and policies. Understanding epidemiological and other, related, public health data is a prerequisite for many of the modules offered on the Public Health course. You’ll learn how to calculate the commonly used measures of frequency, such as incidence and prevalence, and risk, and to distinguish between rates, ratios and proportions. This understanding will be essential to interpret the data and be able to evaluate it in context within, for example, a report. The module requires a basic grounding in mathematics as some calculation will be required when learning about these measures. You’ll also learn where to obtain and how to evaluate good quality, timely, data to use in preparing health needs assessments and in writing reports that can be used to inform policies and strategies. The module will be assessed via online multiple choice and short answer questions, and a patchwork text.
  • Social, Political and Ethical Issues in Public Health
    Designed to introduce you to critical issues that underpin public health practice in local and international contexts. With a focus on social determinants of health, health systems and contemporary ethical issues in provision of public health services, this module will encourage you to critically analyse and examine the wider context of health and wellbeing. This will build on earlier fundamental courses (Introduction to Public Health and Introduction to Epidemiology) to incorporate data sources into the understanding of public health issues. Course reading materials will include academic journal sources, media reports, and policy documents to mirror the types of documents that public health professionals may encounter in a real-world setting. This module is assessed by two elements that address the module outcomes; you’ll be expected to analyse a recent media article reporting health inequalities and recommend action for addressing these inequalities in a specific community and you’ll complete a short multiple-choice examination about ethics and public health research
  • Global Health and Sustainability
    Public health practitioners need to be acutely aware of the issues surrounding sustainability as these impact on all aspects and outcomes of health. This module will provide a brief introduction to the concepts of sustainability and resilience. Some of the global problems that are becoming apparent and the ways these are being tackled will be discussed. Identification, types of response as well as the speed of response and how these impact on health issues will be raised. As these issues are very complex and many aspects are intertwined, there are no right answers. You’ll be encouraged to form your own opinions. The global problem needs to be founded in practice. The evaluation is based on your own experience and concerns, whether local or international. This module will be assessed by a written paper in the form of a briefing document which could be presented to local or national government. Small groups will describe a problem surrounding sustainability relevant to them, whether in the UK or internationally. They will write a briefing paper arguing their case with a proposed solution and evaluation strategy. The skills of working as a team, negotiating outcomes, researching a problem using academic skills then writing a paper for an informed lay audience will be needed in any future employment. You’ll also be assessed on a PowerPoint presentation critically analysing the role of government and international organisations in relation to a specific global problem.
  • Research and Critical Thinking
    Designed to develop your awareness of the need to underpin professional practice by the use of published research and up to date evidence. This is a key requirement of two major registering bodies within health care, the HPC and NMC as evidenced by their Codes of Standards and Conduct. It’s an important skill for both students and emergent practitioners within health and social care as they develop their knowledge and skills towards registration. The workbook 'Research and Critical Thinking' includes a number of activities for you to complete. Completion of the workbook leads to the access of published research studies relevant to your own area of practice. Extensive electronic resources are available through Anglia Ruskin University Digital Library, library's databases and e-journal collection. Completion of the workbook activities leads, in turn, to the assessment to support a claim for 15 credits at level 5. This assessment will be in the form of a critique of a research article pertinent to the student's area of practice. You are required to discuss your selected research article for the essay with the module tutor or leader to ascertain its appropriateness. It’s expected that you’ll be able to identify the major approaches to research using your selected studies as examples. Integral with this essay is recognition of the checks and balances (ethics) associated with research involving human subjects. It should be noted that there is an expectation that you’ll undertake a total of approximately 150 learning hours to complete this module; this will include, depending on the delivery mode selected, Classroom based activities, tutorials, literature reviews, professional development activities and the development of the assignment.

Year three, core modules

  • Behaviour Change and Communication for Public Health
    This module is designed to introduce you to basic theories of behaviour change within a public health context. Drawing from local and international examples, you will review a range of public health campaigns from an individual to a global level and learn strategies to both develop and evaluate programmes. Course reading materials will include academic journal sources, media reports, and health promotion materials to mirror the types of documents that public health professionals may encounter.
  • Economic Evaluation in Public Health
    In this module you will develop a critical understanding of the basic economic concepts and principles that are relevant to evaluating health and public health programmes. The teaching and learning is aimed at exploring the economic theory underlying allocation of resources within health care and public policy both in the UK and internationally. You'll apply economic principles to their own areas of interest, evaluate their effectiveness and debate the contributions of these to the developments of efficient public health policies.
  • Research Methodology, Design and Process
    With the increased emphasis on research-based practice over the last decade, it's essential that established practitioners who wish to take further educational programmes are conversant with research methodology and the application of theory to practice in their field.
  • Major Project
    The individual final project module allows you to engage in a substantial piece of individual research focused on a topic relevant to their studies. The project topic will have been assessed for suitability with discussions with an appropriate project supervisor to ensure sufficient academic challenge and research feasibility. The project may be in the form of primary research (e.g. laboratory, human or questionnaire-based data, clinical service evaluation, clinical placement, or other relevant acceptable sources), OR in the form of an extended literature review. The chosen topic will require you to identify/formulate problems and issues, conduct literature reviews, evaluate information, investigate using suitable methodologies, process and analyse data, critically analyse, appraise and present findings using suitable methods or media. Regular meetings/contact with the project supervisor will take place, so that the project is closely monitored and steered in the right direction. Formative assessment is an individual presentation of the research topic, methodology undertaken (and any data acquired) in week 6/7. This will assist in a ‘feed-forward’ manner in the development of the final Summative assessment would normally include a substantial written project report.


We’ll assess you throughout the course so that you and your tutors can measure your progress. Our aim is that you achieve the knowledge and skills expected of a supervisor operating at Level 6 of the UK Public Health Careers & Skills Framework.

Assessment happens in a number of ways and on a module-by-module basis. Besides an exam, you’ll be assessed on reports, presentations, essays and portfolio work. You’ll also do a major project in your final year, which can be either a 10,000-word dissertation or an equivalent piece of work agreed by your supervisor.

This is a three year programme

Please note that you will need to complete all of the above core modules. This course does not have any optional modules. Modules are subject to change and availability.

Where you'll study

Your faculty

The Faculty of Medical Science, opened in 2014, is founded on the strong international reputation of our flagship Postgraduate Medical Institute. Based on our riverside campus in Chelmsford and Young Street campus in Cambridge, we deliver innovative and clinically relevant teaching and research across two departments:

  • Department of Allied and Public Health
  • Department of Medicine and Healthcare Science.

Thanks to our close relationships with the major clinical-care providers in the east of England, there are significant opportunities for collaboration and student placements across a variety of clinical sites.

We offer exciting opportunities for research and education in the allied health professions. We also translate science and epidemiology into health education and primary care, and deliver taught Master’s programmes to qualified medics. We have a flourishing community of PhD and MD(Res) students across all of our research fields.

Our advanced learning facilities include state-of-the-art clinical skills laboratories and simulation suites, which mirror real-life clinical situations. We also have a fantastic, modern library and a wide range of science labs and ICT suites.

Where can I study?

Tindal Building on our Chelmsford campus

Our striking, modern campus sits by the riverside in Chelmsford's University and Innovation Quarter.

Explore our Chelmsford campus

Fees & funding

Course fees

UK & EU students, 2017/18 (per year)


International students, 2017/18 (per year)


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For more information about tuition fees, including the UK Government's commitment to EU students, please see our UK/EU funding pages

How do I pay my fees?

Tuition fee loan

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Most English undergraduates take out a tuition fee loan with Student Finance England. The fees are then paid directly to us. The amount you repay each month is linked to your salary and repayments start in April after you graduate.

How to apply for a tuition fee loan

Paying upfront

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If you choose not to take out a loan you can pay your fees directly to us. There are two ways to do this: either pay in full, or through a three- or six-month instalment plan starting at registration.

How to pay your fees directly

International students

You must pay your fees up-front, in full or in instalments. You will also be asked for a deposit or sponsorship letter for undergraduate courses. Details will be in your offer letter.

Paying your fees
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Funding for UK & EU students

We offer most new undergraduate students funding to support their studies and university life. There’s also finance available for specific groups of students.

Grants and scholarships are available for:

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Funding for international students

We've a number of scholarships, as well as some fee discounts for early payment.

Entry requirements

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Important additional notes

Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course, please email for further information.

We don't accept AS level qualifications on their own for entry to our undergraduate degree courses. However for some degree courses a small number of tariff points from AS levels are accepted as long as they're combined with tariff points from A levels or other equivalent level 3 qualifications in other subjects.

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International students

We welcome applications from international and EU students, and accept a range of international qualifications.

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English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you'll need to make sure you meet our English language requirements for undergraduate courses.

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Improving your English language skills

If you don't meet our English language requirements, we offer a range of courses which could help you achieve the level required for entry onto a degree course.

We also provide our own English Language Proficiency Test (ELPT) in the UK and overseas. To find out if we are planning to hold an ELPT in your country, contact our country managers.

UCAS Tariff calculator - 2017 entry

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+44 1245 68 68 68

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