• Unavailable (University site)
    Application Deadline
  • 36 months
  • English


A pressing global health issue

Cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease and cancers - collectively known as non-communicable diseases or NCDs - are on the increase globally. These are no longer diseases of the affluent: 80% of NCD deaths now occur in low and middle income countries.

These conditions are largely preventable. Unhealthy diets, physical inactivity and tobacco and alcohol consumption are all contributing factors. As globalisation continues to change people's lifestyles, the prevention and management of NCDs is arguably the greatest global health challenge of the 21st century.

In September 2011 the first ever United Nations Summit on Non-Communicable Diseases was held, putting this issue on the global political agenda and calling for stronger international collaboration to tackle this epidemic.

Now, knowledge and expertise in this area is highly desirable to clinicians, policy makers, health planners, donor agencies and non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

Unique Specialism

The University of Edinburgh was the first university in the world to offer a Master’s programme specialising in global NCDs and as far as we are aware, this is still the only programme of its kind.

Combining expertise in NCDs and global health

Academics from medical, public health and international development backgrounds at the University and beyond contribute to the Public Health (MPH) programme’s development, combining expertise in global health and NCDs.

The programme team is part of the Centre for Population Health Science, which has recently been designated the World Health Organisation's Collaborating Centre for Population Health Research and Training.

All students should apply for the MPH (online) and decide whether they want to specialise at the end of year one. After following a general public health programme in year one, students specialising in global NCDs will develop their understanding of the epidemiology and changing global burden of these diseases. We explore the role of globalisation in driving this epidemic and examine strategies for responding to it in low and high income contexts. For further information about the programme structure and the courses for this specialism, follow the links below.

Programme Structure

Year 1

In the first year, all students will take the following courses:

Course Name

  • Epidemiology for Health Professionals
  • Health Systems Analysis
  • Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods
  • Introduction to Health Promotion
Year 2

In the second year, students should choose a strand:

  • General Public Health strand
  • Global Non-Communicable Diseases strand

Students on both strands should decide by the beginning of their second year whether they would like to do the coursework-only option or whether to do a dissertation.

Students doing coursework should choose 60 credits of elective courses.

Students doing a dissertation are required to take the following courses in their second year:

Course Name
  • Research Skills for Public and Global Health
  • Introduction to Systematic Reviews
Year 3

Students taking the coursework-only route should choose 60 credits of elective courses. Students opting for the dissertation route will do a research project, worth 60 credits.

Course electives

  • Project Management for Effective Global Public Health Programmes
  • Public Health Epidemiology
  • Intermediate Epidemiology
  • Introduction to Environmental and Occupational Epidemiology
  • The Global Burden of Mental Illness
  • Palliative and End of Life Care in an International Context
  • The Burden of Diabetes in the Developing World - Epidemiology to Strategic Management
  • Family Medicine in Developing and Emerging Economy Health Care and its Role in Non-Communicable Disease Management

For more information please visit our website


We welcome applications from professionals working in public health, clinical, health policy, international development and health management areas in private, public sector and non-governmental organisations.

We also welcome recent graduates who are considering, or would like to prepare for, a career in public health or global health and development.


Programme team

Programme directors

  • Dr Niall Anderson

Master of Public Health Programme Co-Director, University of Edinburgh

Senior Lecturer in Medical Statistics, University of Edinburgh

  • Dr Ruth McQuillan

Master of Public Health Programme Co-Director, University of Edinburgh

  • Dr Liz Grant

Master of Public Health Programme Co-Director (Global NCD strand), University of Edinburgh

Assistant Principal Global Health

Director, Global Health Academy

Course lecturers

  • Dr Alan Barnard

General Practitioner

Lecturer, School of Public Health and Family Medicine, University of Cape Town

  • Prof Harry Campbell

Professor of Genetic Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Edinburgh

Co-Director of Centre for Population Health Sciences, University of Edinburgh

  • Dr Amy Chandler

Research Fellow, University of Edinburgh

  • Jay Evans

Regional Director for Asia, Medic Mobile

  • Dr Rosemary Geddes

Public Health Advisor, NHS Scotland

  • Dr Selena Gleadow Ware

Lecturer in Mental Health, College of Medicine, University of Malawi

  • Dr Polly Golding

Fiona Hale

International Officer, Beyond 2015

  • Dr Mark Hellowell

Lecturer in Global Health Policy, University of Edinburgh

  • Dr Sarah Hill

Senior Lecturer in Global Public Health, University of Edinburgh

  • Dr Jo Morling

Clinical Training Fellow, Diabetes UK

  • Dr Harish Nair

Senior Research Fellow, University of Edinburgh

  • Dr Kim Picozzi

Senior Lecturer in Global Health, University of Edinburgh Principal Investigator in the Division of Pathway Medicine

  • Prof Igor Rudan

Chair in International Health and Molecular Medicine, University of Edinburgh

  • Dr Evropi Theodoratou

Senior Research Fellow, University of Edinburgh

Support staff

  • Cristina Matthews

e-Learning Coordinator

  • Sarah Gordon

Programme Administrator

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Part-time
    • Average part-time duration 36 months
    • Intensity Flexible
  • Credits
    180 ECTS
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    • Time flexibility
    • Attendance
      No Attendance
    • Teacher support
      Continuous support with feedback on request
    • Student interaction
      Individual work/assignments (with online group discussions)
  • More information Go to the programme website

English Language Requirements

You only need to take one of these language tests:

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Book IELTS

    StudyPortals Tip: The UK government has confirmed new English-language testing requirements for visa and immigration purposes. Learn more

  • Minimum required score (Grade C):


    The CAE test – or the Cambridge Advanced English – is an exam for applicants who wish to get a Certificate in Advanced English. To receive the Advanced certificate, test-takers must score between 142 and 210 on the Cambridge English: Advanced test. Read more about CAE.

    Note: degree programmes and applications may require a more specific minimum score for admission.

  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL – or Test Of English as a Foreign Language – offers an internet-based test (iBT). The final, overall iBT score ranges between 0 and 120, and includes a scaled average from the four components (reading, listening, speaking, and writing). Read more about TOEFL (iBT).

Academic Requirements

Our postgraduate programmes have a strong multi-disciplinary flavour, attracting students with a wide range of different qualifications and professional backgrounds.

We welcome applicants from across the world with clinical, health and social policy, and NGO backgrounds.

You should have a degree in a relevant discipline at 2:1 level or above. You will have proven proficiency in English and will be able to meet the minimum computer requirements.

Academic requirements

You will need an undergraduate degree in medicine, nursing, science, biomedicine, a social science or another relevant discipline.

A 2:1 or above, or an equivalent degree, is required. Eligibility for students with degrees awarded outside the UK will be based on the National Academic Recognition Information Centre scheme.

English language requirements

You must be able to meet the minimum English language standards required by the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine and recommended by the University.

You must provide evidence that you meet these criteria unless you are citizen of one of the following countries, which are the list of primarily English-speaking countries as defined by the UK Border Agency:

Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Canada, Dominica, Granada, Guyana, Jamaica, New Zealand, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, United States of America.

If you are not a citizen of one of these countries, you can provide evidence in the form of one of the result certificates listed below.

  • IELTS academic module (with a minimum overall score of 7.0, and with a minimum of 6.5 in each section)
  • TOEFL-iBT 100 (with at least 23 in all sections)
  • Cambridge CPE 185 (at least 176 in each module)
  • Cambridge CAE 185 (at least 176 in each module)
  • Pearson Test of English (A): 67 (with no score lower than 61 in each of the ‘Communicative Skills’ sections - ‘Enabling Skills’ section scores are not considered)

Tests must have been taken within two years of the proposed date of admission. Qualifications sat over two years ago are invalid. Photocopies of certificates cannot be accepted unless they have been certified as true copies, for example by the British Council.

Other requirements

You will also need to provide:

  • a personal statement describing your reasons for applying to the programme
  • one good academic reference*

* If you are submitting the copy of your reference it must be signed, dated and on headed paper. If you choose to have your referee contacted directly, you must supply an institution-based email address (web-based addresses such as hotmail or Yahoo are not acceptable).

Technological Requirements

Internet access You will need a computer with stable Internet access and an up-to-date browser. You are expected to log on to the programme website at least three times a week. However, we make sure to provide materials that will be accessible regardless of your Internet Service Provider (ISP) or the speed of your modem. The programme courses are accessed through the University of Edinburgh portal, MyEd, and delivered though the online learning environment, Learn. All the services provided by MyEd are password protected. You can also access the University library and email through MyEd. Software required You are expected to have your own software, such as Microsoft Office, for word processing tasks. Students at the University can download a copy of the Microsoft Office suite, free of charge. You can also use Open Office, which is free to download and includes word processing software as well as spreadsheet and presentation software. The University uses a virtual learning environment called Learn. Learn can be used with any up-to-date web browser. The help section in Learn allows you to check whether your computer has all the necessary plug-ins. Most content is also viewable on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, although with some limits on what you can do (e.g. posting on the discussion board can be difficult on some devices).

Getting a Student Visa

This is an online programme. You can attend from the comfort of your chair! So you don't need a student visa! (Unless that chair you're sitting on is in a foreign country...)

Tuition Fee

  • International Applies to you

    4335 GBP/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 4335 GBP per year and a duration of 36 months.
  • EU/EEA Applies to you

    4335 GBP/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 4335 GBP per year and a duration of 36 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.



The University offers a number of scholarship and student funding schemes for postgraduate students. Further information about eligibility and how to apply for the schemes is available on the scholarships and student loans website.

Please contact the programme team to enquire about further scholarship schemes that are available for this programme.

Graduate discount scheme

There is a 10% discount in postgraduate tuition fees for all alumni who have graduated with an undergraduate degree from the University of Edinburgh. This applies to the self-funding element of the postgraduate tuition fee and is available to both home and international students.

StudyPortals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

The Global Study Awards: get funded with up to £10,000 to study abroad

Together with the ISIC Association and British Council IELTS, StudyPortals offers you the chance to receive up to £10000 to expand your horizon and study abroad. We want to ultimately encourage you to study abroad in order to experience and explore new countries, cultures and languages.