M.Sc. Health Promotion and Public Health

Brunel University

Application deadline: As early as possible
Tuition fee:
  • £ 6,250 / Year (EEA)
  • £ 16,000 / Year (Non-EEA)
Start date: September  2014, September  2015
Duration full-time: 12 months
  • English
Delivery mode: On Campus
Educational variant: Part-time, Full-time
More information: Go to university website

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This course will be of interest to a wide range of professionals working in health and social care, local government, education and the voluntary sector as well as to new graduates contemplating a career in public health and health promotion. The range of subject disciplines is designed to develop key public health competencies as part of a curriculum that combines an advanced academic learning experience within a supportive environment.


Health promotion and public health bring together practitioners from a range of backgrounds and disciplines. This course, therefore, will be of interest to a wide range of professionals working in health and social care, local government, education and the voluntary sector as well as to new graduates contemplating a career in public health and health promotion.

The course aims to enable students to:

  • develop a systematic and critical understanding of theories, concepts, principles, issues, debates and new insights relating to health promotion and public health;
  • deal with complex issues relating to the promotion of public health;
  • demonstrate self-direction, autonomy and originality in tackling tasks and solving problems;
  • acquire a comprehensive understanding of research techniques including the ability to evaluate critically methodologies and, where appropriate, propose new hypotheses;
  • apply advanced knowledge and understanding to decisions and planning connected with professional public health practice;
  • engage in collaborative work.


The course provides an advanced academic learning experience in a supportive environment that aims to produce reflective practitioners. A range of subject disciplines informs the curriculum. A key focus is the development of a theoretical, conceptual, historical and critical understanding of health and health promotion. This understanding will be applied to an analysis of ethical, political and policy debates informing health promotion practice. A major thrust of the course will be the development of skills in analysing evidence, assessing need, planning, implementation and evaluation of health promotion in a range of contexts.

The programme is modular and you may also register as an associate student on any module. Associate enrolment is very appropriate for continuing professional development and some modules lend themselves particularly well to this purpose.

You will need to complete seven modules and a 15,000 - 20,000 word dissertation to achieve a Master's degree. On successful completion of seven modules you will be eligible for a Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) in Health Promotion if you terminate your course at this point.

You develop a theoretical, conceptual, historical and critical understanding of public health and health promotion. This understanding is applied to an analysis of sociological, psychological, ethical, political and policy debates informing health promotion practice. Skills in analysing evidence, assessing need and planning, implementing and evaluating health promotion are also developed.

You are offered a multidisciplinary range of modules. These cover a number of important themes including research methods, independent research, health promotion, public health, health policy, epidemiology, sociology of health, psychological perspectives and evidence based practice.

Modules (all core)

Research Methods

Main topics of study include: philosophical underpinnings of research methodology; proposal design; searching and reviewing the literature; ethical issues in research and research governance; surveys and longitudinal studies; questionnaire design; experimental and quasi-experimental designs; N of 1 studies; statistical analysis and using SPSS; depth interviews; focus groups; observation; use of documentary sources; qualitative analysis.

Public Health: Social Context, Exploration and Action

Main topics include: paradigms and concepts of health, illness and disease;
public health and the new public health; equity and equality in health and agendas for action; chronic illness, impairment and disability including reflexivity, the body and health; ageing; gender, age, ethnicity and health; employment, unemployment, health and the workplace; social networks of support including family stability and change; the politics of the built environment; mass media, advertising and health; diet and the politics of food production, drugs and medicines.

Evidence Based Public Health and Epidemiology

Main topics include: concepts, definitions and dimensions of evidence based practice; selection of search strategies for finding evidence; techniques for critically appraising different kinds of evidence; interpreting, evaluating, reflecting on and assessing the implications to practice of health information; the nature and methods of demographic enquiry; a critical assessment of epidemiological evidence; ways in which qualitative evidence complements and challenges quantitative evidence in relation to heath behaviour and effective behavioural change; the role of models of behavioural change in determining the nature of research evidence; challenges of gaining evidence about health needs and preferred strategies of improving health from minority groups and socially excluded individuals; debates about the compatibility of evidence based practice with individual, small group and client centred interventions.

Social Policy and Public Health

Main topics include: principles, concepts, perspectives and subject-matter of social policy and administration; policy analysis and administrative theory; political economy of welfare; the public health specialist in the policy and administration processes; resource allocation, public expenditure and the determination of health and social priorities; demographic factors and their impact on health and social needs, and on the demand for and supply of health and social services; current and recent developments and issues in health policy, health services structure, management and administration; public health policy and health promotion; social problems, social policies and their implications for health promotion and public health.

Global Perspectives in Public Health and Health Promotion

Increases critical awareness of a range of issues and perspectives relating to public health and health promotion at an international level, including those surrounding the topic of globalisation.

Principles, Perspectives and Practice in Promoting Public Health

Main topics include: concepts, constructs and determinants of health and their implications for health promotion; what is health promotion and what are its links to public health and health education? A consideration of the history and development of health promotion: competing models, explanations, disciplinary influences and socio/political critiques; identifying health promoters; roles, remits and functions within the public health workforce; socio/political and philosophical issues in health promotion, including an assessment of ethical consideration; identifying health promotion needs and priorities; current approaches, including assessing the evidence base of health promotion; planning for and evaluating health promotion interventions; a critical examination of planning and evaluation model; health promotion policies; international, national and local. The impact of policies on public health and health promotion practice in a range of settings; health promotion and public health: Debates and dilemmas for the 21st Century.

In addition, there is a focus in professional practice in health promotion within the context of the new public health agenda. The module offers students the opportunity to plan, design, implement and evaluate a health promotion activity in practice, either by a) working alongside professional practitioners or b) by developing a health promotion initiative within their own workplace setting. Students will be expected to read extensively and apply theoretical principles, planning and evaluative models and EBP to the practice situation.

Research Design

This module helps students to focus their attention on writing a research proposal in preparation for the dissertation.


Recent examples of dissertations by students taking this course include:

  • Health beliefs and their influence on nurses’ smoking-related behaviours;
  • Knowledge, beliefs and attitudes of a group of young Jordanian university students on HIV/AIDS;
  • A controlled trial investigating the effectiveness of a pedometer-based walking intervention.


A UK first or second class (2:2) Honours degree or equivalent internationally recognised qualification in Health Promotion or related subjects (including but not limited to biosciences; occupational therapy human sciences allied health). Other subjects and qualifications will be assessed on an individual basis

English Language Requirements

  • IELTS: 6.5 (min 6 in all areas)
  • TOEFL Paper test: 580 (TWE 4.5) PBT
  • TOEFL Internet test: 92 IBT (R20, L20, S20, W20)
  • Pearson: 58 (51 in all subscores)
  • BrunELT: 65% (min 60% in all areas)

Brunel also offers our own BrunELT English Test and accept a range of other language courses. We also have a range of Pre-sessional English language courses, for students who do not meet these requirements, or who wish to improve their English.

Our International Pathways and Language Centre offers a range of foundation and pre-masters courses to provide you with the academic skills required for your chosen course.

English Language Requirements

IELTS band: 6.5
TOEFL paper-based test score : 580
TOEFL iBT® test: 92

IMPORTANT NOTE: Since April 2014 the ETS tests (including TOEFL and TOEIC) are no longer accepted for Tier 4 visa applications to the United Kingdom. The university might still accept these tests to admit you to the university, but if you require a Tier 4 visa to enter the UK and begin your degree programme, these tests will not be sufficient to obtain your Visa.

The IELTS test is most widely accepted by universities and is also accepted for Tier 4 visas to the UK- learn more.


The Brunel International Scholarships

The Brunel International Scholarship Programme is an annual award run by the Brunel International office that is open to all international students. Its goal is to provide financial support to exceptional students. Scholarship holders will go on to represent Brunel as ambassadors throughout their time at the University. The deadline for applying for the 2014/15 programme is 25 May 2014 and all applicants will be notified of the panel's decision by the middle of July.

For 2014/15, thanks to the generosity of Brunel’s alumni and supporters, we are pleased to be able to offer 37 awards, which will comprise a15% discountonthe cost of tuition fees. These awards are open to Undergraduate, Postgraduate and Research students who are classed as overseas for fee purposes.

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