Master Module Description

Peoples-uni master’s level modules

Note: all modules are published under a Creative Commons licence. Please contact us if you wish to have copies

Each module in this programme is divided into 5 Topics, each in turn with a set of resources (as online links in a resource list with descriptive metadata, as well as in pdf format in zip files), a discussion forum for the exchange of ideas and the exploration of concepts between students and the tutor who acts as online facilitator. Short quiz questions are also included. Summative assessments comprise essay questions equivalent to 3,500 words including critical analysis


Biostatistics [PUBIOS] 15 credits

This module aims to provide information to enable students to understand the statistical content of relevant literature, and to have the knowledge to interpret statistical analysis.

This unit comprises 5 Topics, which cover:

  • Descriptive Statistics
  • Starting to examine data
  • Comparing data
  • Exploring data
  • More data comparisons

Evidence Based Practice [PUEBP] 15 credits

Evidence based practice is cited as the basis of all our public health and healthcare decisions, but what does that mean in practice? The unit is designed to explore how to identify which evidence to use, by asking the correct question, searching the literature, performing a critical appraisal of evidence and applying it the students' own practice.

The unit comprises 5 Topics, which cover:

  • Asking the question
  • Accessing the evidence
  • Appraising the evidence
  • Applying the evidence
  • Assessing and evaluating - how can evidence be used in your practice.

Evaluation of Interventions [PUEVAL] 15 credits

The focus of the module is on the theory and methods required for the evaluation of a range of policy and programmatic interventions, all of which have the ambition of improving health outcomes.

This module comprises 5 Topics, which cover:

  • Introduction to Evaluation
  • Programme theory and theory of change
  • Introduction to Evaluation design
  • Measurement, Sampling, Data Collection and Analysis
  • Alternative evaluation approaches.

Health Economics [PUEHECO] 15 credits

This module provides an introduction to health economics for those who want to understand the important contribution that economics can play in the health of populations. The unit includes health and socio-economic development, health care financing, economic evaluation in health care systems, and priority setting in health.

This module comprises 5 Topics, which cover:

  • An introduction to health economics
  • Health care Financing
  • Health and Socio-Economic Development
  • Introduction to Economic Evaluation
  • Health system efficiency and national health priorities.

Health Promotion [PUHPROM] 15 credits

The module focuses on identifying the key concepts and theories underlying the practice of Health Promotion, its relevance to the social determinants of health, and the implementation process of promoting health, and ends by identifying ways to implement a Health Promotion plan in their own setting.

The module comprises 5 Topics, which cover:

  • Introduction to the basic concepts of Health Promotion
  • Values, principles and determinants of health
  • Theories and strategies of Health Promotion
  • Health Promotion in practice: planning and implementation
  • Design your own Health Promotion project.

Inequalities & the Social Determinants of Health [PUISDH] 15 credits

The implementation of the recommendations to reduce health inequalities requires key stakeholders to become aware and knowledgeable about the issues in relation to global / regional health inequities and social determinants of health. This module includes an understanding of the social determinants of health, how to measure inequity, and apply and plan interventions, in the context of the international efforts, to reduce inequity.

This module comprises 5 Topics, which cover:

  • Global and national action on Social Determinants
  • Introduction and basic concepts of health inequities and social determinants of health
  • Methods of measuring Health inequalities
  • Health outcomes and inequities using a social determinants approach
  • Planning an intervention to reduce health inequalities.

Introduction to Epidemiology [PUEPI] 15 credits

This module is designed to provide an introduction to the concepts underlying epidemiology and the main methods employed by the discipline. On completing the module students should have a good grasp of why epidemiology underpins much of the effort of those whose work involves promoting population health and providing health services. Students should also learn to approach published material based on epidemiological methods in a more critical and informed manner.

This module comprises 5 Topics, which cover:

  • Measuring health and disease
  • Measurement error
  • Cross sectional and prevalence studies
  • Studying disease incidence and causation
  • Evaluation using randomised controlled trials.

Public Health Concepts for Policy Makers [PUPHC] 15 credits

This module is designed to provide an introduction to aspects of Public Health that are important for making policy which impacts on the health of populations. It includes an understanding of what is Public Health and the determinants of health, how to assess the health of the public, methods of intervention, how to use evidence in Public Health policy-making and evaluate the implementation of health policy with a Public Health perspective.

This module comprises 5 Topics, which cover:

  • What is Public health and the Determinants of health
  • Public Health policy-making and use of evidence
  • Methods of Intervention
  • Assessment of Public Health
  • Evaluating the implementation of health policy with a Public Health perspective

Public Health Ethics [PUPHETH] 15 credits

This module is designed to provide an introduction to ethical concepts as they relate to Public Health in comparison with individual healthcare. On completing the unit students should have a good grasp of ethical principles and their application to the practice of Public Health.

This module comprises 5 Topics, which cover:

  • Introduction to Ethical Concepts
  • Differentiating Public Health Ethics from Medical Ethics
  • Values and Beliefs and Code of Ethics
  • Research Ethics
  • Ethical Public Health Interventions.


Communicable Disease [transmission, surveillance and control] [PUCOMDIS] 15 credits

Communicable diseases result from spread of a causative organism from people to people or from animals to people. They produce a major burden of illness globally, but particularly in low-income settings. There are also a number of real or potential emerging communicable diseases, as evidenced by the emergence of swine flu, and an understanding of the causes, transmission and methods of prevention and control of communicable diseases is major global Public Health priority. Hence this module, which covers the Public Health aspects of communicable diseases including transmission and surveillance of diseases of public health importance, the application and design of control programmes, the epidemiology of common communicable diseases, immunisation, and how to respond to an outbreak.

This module comprises 5 Topics, which cover:

  • Key concepts of communicable disease
  • Surveillance of disease of public health importance
  • Immunisation
  • Responding to a communicable disease outbreak.
  • Application and design of control programmes for communicable diseases

Disaster Management & Emergency Planning [PUDMEP] 15 credits

All communities are vulnerable to disaster and following the event would endeavour to limit the damage from it. Assessing and reducing the risks before a disaster occurs is as important as responding to it and dealing with the consequences; both need to be professional to be effective.

This module comprises 5 Topics, which cover:

  • Disaster Planning - Assessing Hazards
  • Emergency Planning and Preparation
  • Responding to a disaster: Emergency Needs Assessment
  • Monitoring and assessing the impact of the disaster response
  • Response and recovery

Global Mental Health [PUGLOMH] 15 credits

Mental health issues universally concentrate amongst the poor and disadvantaged, as well as a strong gender bias towards women. There is much more that needs to be done to improve the lives and outcomes of those people who develop mental illness. The module aims to help you understand some of the risk factors, and size of the burden of mental illness and think about policies and interventions that can help tackle this neglected public health issue. By the end students will be armed to appraise the evidence base required to plan interventions to reduce the impact of mental illness

This module comprises 5 Topics, which cover:

  • Introduction to global mental health
  • Health promotion and epidemiology
  • Suicide - epidemiology and prevention
  • Evidence based interventions
  • Planning and implementing mental health interventions


This module is designed to provide an introduction to some of the Public Health aspects of HIV/AIDS and its impact on populations. Topics include the epidemiology of transmission, the size of the problem and how to measure it, the impact of health service functions and organisation on finding solutions, how to identify evidence-based solutions, and how to implement interventions

This module comprises 5 Topic which cover:

  • Epidemiology of HIV
  • Size of the problem
  • HIV and the Pharmaceutical Industry
  • HIV, policy and politics
  • HIV, interventions, and other diseases.

Injury Prevention [PUINJURY] 15 credits

This module is designed to help students learn how to collect information on the burden of injury in their setting, understand the causes and risk factors for injury, and develop and evaluate intervention programs relevant to their setting. This will be underpinned by the principles and characteristics of a public health approach to prevention.

This module comprises 5 Topic which cover:

  • Burden of disease from injury
  • Principles and conceptual frameworks
  • Risk factors and causes of injury
  • Development of interventions
  • Implementation of prevention strategies.

Maternal Mortality [PUMM] 15 credits

Maternal morbidity and mortality remain major problems in many parts of the world - one of the most important threats to Public Health. The purpose of the unit is to provide the people who may be able to help tackle the problem with the knowledge and skills to do so. The unit focuses on identifying the size of the problem, the causes, and the evidence base behind interventions to improve the situation, and ends by identifying ways to implement evidence based solutions in your own setting.

This module comprises 5 Topic which cover:

  • Magnitude of the problem of Maternal Mortality
  • Causes and epidemiology
  • Evidence based solutions within the health system
  • Evidence based solutions outside the health system
  • Implementing an Intervention.

Non-Communicable Disease - CVD & Diabetes [PUNCD] 15 credits

Despite a focus on the control of communicable diseases in developing countries in the past, it is now apparent that non-communicable diseases have crept up on these populations and create a major threat. The module aims to help practitioners understand the size of this threat and its causes, and to develop policies to reduce the growing burden on developing country populations. We cannot cover all non-communicable diseases in this module, and have chosen to focus on CVD and Diabetes. Learning from this module will help students appreciate the evidence base required to plan interventions to reduce the threat from these conditions.

This module comprises:

  • Size of the problem (burden of illness, macroeconomics)
  • Causes (risk factors, including individual, population and socio-cultural determinants)
  • Appraising the evidence that underpins international interventions and prevention programmes
  • How can we make health policies to reduce the burden of NCD
  • Implementing prevention programmes

Patient Safety [PSAF] 15 credits

This module aims to help build capacity to understand and prevent threats to patient safety globally. It includes an understanding of the main threats to patient safety, and how to use an evidence based approach to the investigation and reduction of these threats.

This module comprises 5 Topic which cover:

  • The concept and context of patient safety
  • Human and systems factors as a threat to patient safety
  • Investigating patient safety incidents
  • Reducing threats to patient safety by clinical risk management and good communication
  • Improving patient safety in the local setting.

Preventing Child Mortality [PUPCM] 15 credits

This module focuses on understanding the burden of childhood disease that results in morbidity and mortality in this vulnerable population. Children are an invaluable population resource and childhood mortality has great importance in terms of a nation’s development, prosperity and well-being. This module has a multi-disciplinary focus that will help students appreciate this complex concept.

This module comprises 5 Topic which cover:

  • Size of the problem
  • Causes
  • Health Services
  • Evidence-based Solutions
  • Implementing an Intervention.

Public Health Nutrition [PUPHNUT] 15 credits

This module aims to provide information to enable students to understand key nutrition issues and then integrate this knowledge into devising evidence-based nutrition interventions and evidence-based policies that meet the health and nutrition needs of vulnerable communities in developing country settings.

This module comprises 5 Topic which cover:

  • Fundamentals of nutrition, Public Health nutrition and assessment of nutritional status
  • Issues in nutrition of importance to Public Health
  • Food supply, policy and security
  • Strategies for nutritional interventions: the evidence base
  • Interventions - how to develop and evaluate your own intervention.


Dissertation [Diss] 60 credits

The Dissertation aims to enable students to synthesise the previous parts of their learning experience, and to build on their experience in the course as well as utilising skills and knowledge to develop, critically assess and evaluate a potential solution to a locally relevant Public Health problem. Each student will be assigned an academic supervisor and a local advisor, and will be enrolled in a facilitated discussion forum with other students enrolled in the dissertation. Each student will be expected to produce a systematic literature review, a research project design, and a reflective essay.