Studying Public Health in the UK

Nov 10, 2017 12:00:00 PM

For a few years now I have known that I wanted to study the topic of ‘health’, but was unsure of what that meant exactly. It wasn’t until I sat down with a friend of a friend who studied health at the postgraduate level and had some insight and advice that I was able really narrow down my focus. After looking into the many different programs in Canada and hearing that my friend was looking into international programs I decided to follow in her footsteps and also see what was being offered across the pond. Finding the right program for me took some time, but I’m glad I was able to do some investigating and find the right program for me.


Program Structure

The Public Health and Health promotion program here a Brunel differs from what I saw in Canada in that it covers more topics, but on a more general level. Many of the MSc or MPH programs in Canada seemed to have specific concentrations that you had to select, whereas here it is just one general cohort covering a range of topics. This appealed to me as I didn’t want to specify so much, and rather wanted to learn about many different topics within public health.


Module Offerings

The modules that are offered in this course are really interesting and are one of the main reasons I chose this university over others. It covers broad topics such as ‘Health and Society’ and ‘Health Promotion’, but it also offers lectures on topics that are more practical useful in real life such as ‘Implementing Change’ and ‘Health Policy, Politics, and Social Justice’.



This program differs from what I experienced back home in my undergrad in terms of how we are assessed. I am used to having multiple quizzes, papers, labs, and exams spread throughout the entire semester, but here there are only a few assessments used that carry more weight. I have only 6 or 7 different assessments that all take place in the second or third term, and they range in both type and weight. These assessments plus the dissertation are what make up your final grade for graduation. This is both daunting in the sense that there is a lot riding on the grades you receive, but it is nice to not be facing a test or paper deadline every few days.


A dissertation here is part of most postgraduate courses, and I was unsure of what that meant compared to a research based program back home. What I have found out is that it is very similar to a thesis, but is like one step below; you can use both primary and secondary data, the length requirements are not as long, and there is a lot of guidance and research support offered. It is integrated into many modules and aspects of the course as you go along but is not the sole focus of the program. I was not looking for a research based program so this is part of the reason I chose the Brunel program.


Mode of Instruction

The mode of instruction here is quite similar to back home with us having different professors lecturing us on different topics. Here though we have each course only once a week but for a longer period of time. For example, every week I have multiple 2hr courses, a 1hr lecture, and a 4hr lecture (the professor is awesome and gives us multiple coffee breaks!). It is nice as you have more time to dive deeper into the material and have some in-depth conversations and debates, but come ready with coffee and snacks!

Studying aboard might seem scary, but I highly recommend it! I was worried that the process of picking a program and applying would be confusing and complicated, but that was not the case at all due to the amazing work of my advisor from Across the Pond! She was there every step of the way to help me and answer any and all questions! If you would like to find out more about studying in the UK, please contact one of our Advisors