School of Health Sciences

Public Health and Health Promotion

PgCert | PgDip | MSc

Applications Now Open

MSc Public Health and Health Promotion
Globally governments are prioritising strategies and policies for improving population, community and individual health. This course recognises the importance of the wider social context in which health is created; and explores innovative approaches to address the widening inequalities gap, the health needs of an ageing population, and the increased prevalence of long-term chronic conditions.

This course encompasses both prevention and promotion, and recognises the importance of social determinants of health. It will support you to develop the skills required to address existing and emerging public health challenges locally, nationally and internationally. It will also provide you with a professional qualification that will develop your understanding of this complex field. You will strengthen, enhance and improve your career prospects, and be empowered to make a valuable contribution to improving health and wellbeing.

This course has one study option
View study options
Mode of Attendance
Mode of Study
Start Date
Course Length
Mode of Attendance
  • On Campus
Mode of Study
  • Full Time
Start Month
January 2021*
Course Length
1 year

Mode of Attendance
  • On Campus
Mode of Study
  • Full Time
Start Month
September 2021
Course Length
1 year

*January 2021 start replaces the September 2020 intake which has been postponed due to COVID-19.


You will be introduced to the underpinning principles and concepts of public health and health promotion in different settings, and examine the impact of health inequalities on population health, engage with the principles, methods and application of epidemiology and the planning and evaluation of public health programmes.


You will apply the principles from Stage 1 and examine global health challenges, explore approaches to address population health (including working with communities) and critically explore theories of behaviour change.  You will apply leadership, partnership working and change management theory to the public health context and your own practice.


You will undertake a self-directed, supervised, research project relevant to public health and health promotion.

Our goal is to help you develop into a critical and reflective public health professional with strong problem solving skills and able to implement creative solutions.

There is a strong emphasis on student participation in all modules and a self-directed approach to learning is essential to achieve the aims of the course.

CPD Framework

If you can’t commit to the full-time MSc course you can study individual modules of this course via our continuing professional development framework.  Visit our framework page for more information.


Modules and delivery order may change for operational purposes. The University regularly reviews its courses. Course content and structure may change over time. See our course and module disclaimer for more information. 

Detailed module information

The team members bring extensive public health experience to their teaching, ensuring professional relevance and currency.  Invited guest speakers will enhance your learning experience.

All students will engage with our Virtual Learning Environment (CampusMoodle). Regardless of mode, you will learn both individually and through group activities. If you choose to study modules online, you will take part in online tutorial sessions through the virtual classroom utilising innovative technologies to facilitate engagement and encourage discussion and debate.

We expect you to be an active and engaged learner; undertaking activities and discussions, offering your point of view, and sharing your experiences and knowledge to help you gain a deeper understanding of the issues and potential solutions.

  • Tutorial - 20 students per group, 88 hours per Stage 1
  • Tutorial - 20 students per group, 88 hours per Stage 2
  • Tutorial - 20 students per group, 19 hours per Stage 3
  • Project Supervision - 16 hours per Stage 3
  • Independent Study - 512 hours per Stage 1
  • Independent Study - 512 hours per Stage 2
  • Independent Study - 565 hours per Stage 3

A significant portion of this course is underpinned by independent learning, and you will be expected to be responsible for managing your coursework, reading and other learning activities appropriately.


Our teaching team members are Associates or Fellows of the Higher Education Academy. This is a professional recognition of practice, impact and leadership of teaching and learning. Contributing to this course are visiting Lecturers who are experts in their field and bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the course.


Typically students are assessed at each stage:

Stage 1

  • 1 written assignments, including essays
  • 2 oral assessment

Stage 2

  • 4 written assignments, including essays

Stage 3

  • 1 dissertation

We aim to provide you with feedback within 20 working days of hand-in for all written exams, coursework and practical exams.



The Inclusion Centre advises and supports students who disclose a sensory or mobility impairment, chronic medical condition, mental health issue, dyslexia and other specific learning differences. Applicants are encouraged to arrange a pre-entry visit to discuss any concerns and to view the facilities.

Inclusion Centre


All undergraduate and postgraduate students, whether you are learning on-campus or by online distance learning, benefit from using our collaborative virtual learning environment, CampusMoodle. You will be provided with 24/7 online access to your learning material and resources, along with the ability to interact with your class members and tutors for discussion and support.



The Study Support Team provides training and support to all students in:

  • Academic writing
  • Study skills (note taking, exam techniques, time management, presentation)
  • Maths and statistics
  • English language
  • Information technology support


Library Support

The Library offers support for your course, including the books, eBooks, and journals you will need. We also offer online reading lists for many modules, workshops and drop-ins on searching skills and referencing, and much more.

University Library


Students on the existing programme come from a wide range of disciplines including public health, physiotherapy, dietetics, third sector, nursing and midwifery, oncology and occupational health.

Opportunities have increased significantly with the global changes in health and the challenges that lifestyle related diseases are presenting. Employment opportunities include:

  • clinical practice
  • local authorities and commissioning boards
  • occupational health
  • education
  • work based health programmes
  • sports and leisure centres
  • social care

Other related areas and opportunities include community development, non-government agencies, charitable and voluntary organisations. 




This course is suitable for those working in health and social care, public health, health improvement, health promotion, local authorities, government, education,  sports and leisure, private sector, occupational health, oral and dental health, non-governmental and voluntary organisations in the UK and internationally.

  • Applicants normally hold an undergraduate degree/ honours degree or its equivalent in relevant subject, such as health or sports and exercise science
  • One year relevant work experience is desirable but not essential
  • Applicants who do not meet the standard entry qualifications but have relevant work experience will be considered on a case by case basis.  We may invite an applicant to interview which can take place either face to face, via telephone or Skype.

Applicants whose first language is not English should have an IELTS of 6.5 overall, with no component lower than 5.5, or an equivalent.

We accept a variety of in-country and secure English language tests, find out more:


Our Pre-Sessional English Programme (PSP) is available for students who have not yet reached the required English level and those who would like to improve their language competency.


Please note, some courses may require a higher standard of English than stated in this page. Contact for further information.


UK/EU Students

  • £8,120

International Students

  • £12,590

UK/EU Students

  • £7,380

International Students

  • £11,450

The following course-related costs are not included in the course fees:

  • The cost of books that you may wish to purchase.
  • Costs associated with your placement / study abroad
  • Printing



Robert Gordon University is delighted to offer a 20% loyalty discount on course fees for all alumni who have graduated from RGU.



Postgraduate students will normally make their own arrangements for payment of fees. However, there are a limited number of SAAS funded places on certain postgraduate courses.
There are also sources of funding that are applicable to categories of student.



You may also qualify for a scholarship or financial award:



For new intakes course fees are reviewed and published annually for each mode of delivery. Tuition fees are fixed for the duration of a course at the rate confirmed in the offer letter. For further information see:



Have a question about the course? Get in touch with our Student Admissions Team and we'll do our best to help.

+44 (0) 1224 262728


The International Union for Health Promotion Education  (IUHPE) Health Promotion Accreditation System provides global accreditation of Health Promotion courses that are assessed as meeting the specified competency-based criteria. This course meets IUHPE Core Competencies and Professional Standards.  This will support your own competence and suitability in Public Health practice globally.

As a student you would be able to join the IUHPE Student and Early Career Network (ISECN) and on successful completion of the course you can apply for registration with IUHPE giving you professional accreditation and access to a wide range of resources.


Taking this course, you will have access to some of the world's best facilities. 

We've invested more than £100 million in the development of our campus, new facilities and new resources.

University Wide Facilities


The university has moved to home teaching and working following official COVID-19 guidance from the Scottish Government. Our staff will continue to process applications and respond to enquiries about your course during this time.  

We’ve got a few options for applying to our postgraduate courses for UK, EU and international applicants.

All applicants to postgraduate courses can apply direct to the university using our online application form.

All applicants can apply direct to the University with our PDF form.

Cookie Consent