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Are you passionate about promoting a healthy environment? Would you like to address health inequalities and make a difference in your community? A master’s degree in public health could equip you with the skills and knowledge you need to increase your professional impact and achieve your goals.

Studying an MPH online affords you the flexibility to continue building your career, giving you the opportunity to apply what you learn on a day-to-day basis directly in your working role. Selecting the right programme may seem like a daunting task, however here are five questions to ask yourself when choosing the online MPH programme that’s right for you:

  1. Do I need a background in public health in order to enrol on an online MPH degree?
  2. For many online MPH degrees, experience in the field is a requirement. This could mean that you have already worked in the field of public health or a medical profession for a number of years. However, perhaps you have worked in another profession indirectly related to the field, and if this is the case remember to demonstrate how your experience connects to the improvement of public health.

    It is also important to consider the type of learning model which you would prefer. Would you like to concentrate on policies and theories or would you benefit more from an integrated approach focusing on both practical and research-based learning? Different online learning providers use different learning models. Choose one that suits your learning needs.

  3. Does the university have a proven track record in research and expertise?
  4. Investigate whether the university is known for its innovation, discoveries and advancement in public health. A proven track record and commitment to public health shows that the university is dedicated to the field.

    See if you can review the university’s academic research – peer-reviewed, ranked and made public through journals and other publications. You should also be able to find out whether the university’s research has been recognised as ‘world-leading’ or ’internationally excellent’. You can do this by checking the university’s score for its research in Public Health, Health Services and Primary Care, as documented in the Research Excellence Framework (REF). REF is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions.

  5. Does your school have ties to industry and practice?
  6. Does the university you are interested in have links with professional governing bodies? These links could provide research opportunities and information about career progression routes you may not already be aware of. It might also mean that the university is working on cutting-edge research, helping to find solutions to current public health problems. The University of Liverpool’s current online MPH programme, for example, was developed in close collaboration with industry professionals to ensure that students and graduates have the comprehensive skill set required for practicing public health.

  7. Is the MPH programme accredited?
  8. Accreditation can give you extra confidence in the professional standards of the MPH programme that you are interested in. The Agency for Public Health Education Accreditation (APHEA) is an independent body founded by five leading public health organisations in the European region and is committed to assuring and improving the quality of public health educational activities around the globe. Having a degree from an APHEA-accredited programme may make it easier for you to transfer your qualification – it you move countries after graduating. The accreditation can also be an extra point on your CV that may attract the attention of employers internationally.

  9. Does the university have a good reputation and ranking?

Check to see if the university you are considering is ranked in the main university league tables – for example, Times Higher Education’s World Rankings or the Academic Ranking of World Universities. These external rankings can give an indication of a university’s quality, standards and commitment to its students.

Studying an online Master’s in Public Health with the University of Liverpool

The University of Liverpool’s APHEA-accredited online Master of Public Health (MPH) is designed to equip you with the skills, knowledge and insights to help shape the future of public health wherever you are.

The programme’s integrated research approach enables you to build up a toolkit of practical skills and understanding. You can expect to gain an international perspective while developing a thorough knowledge of all the main disciplines of public health.

The University of Liverpool has an impressive and long-standing history of dedicated commitment to public health, ranking joint 3rd in the UK for impact judged world-leading in Public Health, Health Services and Primary Care field (REF 2014). With almost 10 years’ experience in providing an online Public Health master’s programme, the University ranks 5th in the UK’s first Global Health Research League Table.

The University also holds significant links with the World Health Organization, being home to the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Policy Research on the Social Determinants of Health, led by Dame Professor Margaret Whitehead – who received a damehood in 2016 for her services to public health.

The University of Liverpool is a member of the research-led Russell Group and consistently ranks in the top 200 universities worldwide in the main university league tables.

Watch this film and hear from recent University of Liverpool MPH graduates about their experience of studying public health online:

Discover more about the online Master in Public Health programme at the University of Liverpool.

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