• Course Delivery
  • Total Credits
  • Tuition
  • Duration
    2.5 Years


Population Health Sciences is an important and emerging field that combines a number of disciplines to better understand and measure health outcomes and their distribution in a population.

Our online Population Health Sciences programme will provide you with all the benefits of our core public health programme, but with an emphasis on statistical, rather than clinically focused, content. Through a broader public health focus, this MSc explores the multiple determinants of health outcomes and their impact on the population.

The role of population health science is to measure, quantify and describe the health status and health inequalities of populations. This is done by gaining an understanding of the interactions of the physical and social environment, individual behaviour, resource allocation, investment and genetics over the life course and through time. Studying these areas effectively requires a range of approaches and techniques that link determinants to outcomes. Ultimately, this allows for the identification and refining of novel population health interventions that are grounded in best practice and are cost-effective.

Our masters in population health is the only online programme of its kind in the UK. This is your opportunity to understand how the physical and social environment, individual behaviour, distribution of resources, investment and genetics have an impact on health status and inequalities in populations over time.

Our online programme allows you to choose a route of study to match your interests or career goals. Because of the multidisciplinary nature of the programme, you'll benefit from sharing these interests and unique experiences with students from other health care programmes.

In addition to core modules, such as advanced statistics and epidemiology, this degree programme offers optional courses on subjects including linked data analysis, health economics, communicable diseases and health promotion.

The programme is delivered by staff from the Institute of Health and Wellbeing who are world leaders in their field. The team conducts high-impact and pioneering research into evaluating, developing and informing population health interventions such as the Scottish smoking ban and Scotland's alcohol strategy.


On successful completion of this programme, you will be able to:

  • Appraise policy and assess its contribution to population health
  • Apply principles of epidemiology, statistical analysis and health improvement in the field
  • Identify, analyse and apply social, economic and environmental theories to improve services
  • Assess and debate explanations for the persistence of public health inequalities
  • Evaluate initiatives to improve overall population health
  • Explore models of disease causation and design strategies to mitigate risk
  • Review evidence, interpret data and employ research methods to meet current public health challenges

You will gain a thorough understanding of the interdisciplinary nature and emerging importance of Population Health Science through studying a broad range of core and optional courses such as Advanced Statistics, Health Economics, Principles of Population Health and Advanced Epidemiology.

You will also have the opportunity to improve your communication, team working and independent research skills through developing a research portfolio of poster presentations, short report writing and data analyses.


The Online MSc Population Health Sciences programme will give you the key skills you need to succeed in a career in public health, health services, health policy and academia.

Potential employers include the higher education sector, local and national government, as well as health service providers and international health organisations such as the World Health Organization.


For this programme, you will take 4 core courses that are compulsory, worth 80 credits in total. Then you will select two further courses from an optional list, worth 40 credits overall. You will also need to complete a 60 credit research project.

Throughout each course you will be assessed in a variety of ways which could include essays, discussions, blogs, online presentations, interactive quizzes, assignments or group work. Details of these assignments are found in your induction.

The duration of this programme is 2.5 years - 6 years taken on a part-time basis. For details on full-time options request more information to speak to an admissions representative.

Programme alteration or discontinuation
The University of Glasgow endeavours to run all programmes as advertised. In exceptional circumstances, however, the University may withdraw or alter a programme. For more information, please see: Student Contract

  • MED5220PProject 60 Credits
  • MED5433Introduction to Epidemiology20 Credits

    Discover major techniques used to measure the health of populations. You’ll also consider how poor study design can cause misleading results. The course is designed to make you competent at interpreting and critically appraising epidemiological literature, and provides a basis for more advanced study of the topic.

  • MED5477Introduction to Statistical Methods20 Credits

    This course assumes no prior knowledge of statistics. It covers graphical and numerical methods of displaying and summarising data along with the use and interpretation of confidence intervals, significance tests (t-tests, chi-square tests, etc.), correlation and linear regression. You’ll acquire hands-on experience of using appropriate statistical software to carry out these analyses.

  • MED5519Advanced Statistics20 Credits

    Gain a solid grounding in modern and cutting edge statistical methods. You’ll also gain the skills needed to analyse routinely collected health and administrative data using the statistical software packages R and Stata. Plus, you will learn how to choose an appropriate method of analysis for a given statistical problem.

  • MED5521Principles of Population Health20 Credits

    An introduction to the world of population health sciences, you’ll learn all about the key elements that impact population health in a modern environment. In addition, the course will focus on how cities can become healthier in terms of population structure and land use.

  • MED5023Health Economics20 Credits

    This course will deliver the fundamentals of health economics and the practical elements of economic evaluation that are integral to health technology assessment.

  • MED5378Data Science20 Credits

    Delivers core components of identifying, combining and analysing routinely collected health data. The course covers aspects of information governance and disclosure control, and focuses on data management, manipulation and advanced methods of data analysis. This course is aimed at health, social and clinical researchers who wish to learn techniques and skills to analyse linked health data.

  • MED5431Globalisation and Public Health20 Credits

    This course provides an analysis of globalisation and its impact on public health by examining the major health-related themes within the globalisation debate. Several major global health challenges and their overall impact on the global burden of disease will be studied.

  • MED5432Health Promotion: Principles and Practice20 Credits

    The principles, methods and theoretical approaches to health promotion/improvement will be presented and studied. The planning and evaluation of health promotion programmes at local, regional and national levels will serve as a particular focus.

  • MED5436Qualitative Research Methods 20 Credits

    Explore the purpose and appropriate use of qualitative research methods in public health through recorded lectures and practical sessions. The course introduces basic orientations and epistemological research paradigms and related methodologies (including ethnography, action research and qualitative evidence synthesis), as well as methods for conducting and analysing qualitative data.

  • MED5445Cultural, Social and Biological Determinants of Mental Health20 Credits

    Find out how the manifestation of mental health difficulties can vary across time and cultures. The course will also critically discuss attempts to identify biological mechanisms underlying mental health difficulties and the interplay that these mechanisms might have with social factors.

Admissions Requirements

To be accepted to this programme, you must have:

  1. At least a 2:1 Honours degree or equivalent in a relevant area (i.e. Statistics, Epidemiology, Computer Science, Mathematics, Dentistry, Medicine, Economics, Public Health, Human Geography) from a recognised institution. We are able to consider a relevant Honours degree with at least 2:2 or equivalent in addition to a minimum of six months’ work experience in public health or health care.
  2. Exceptionally, if a Honours degree is not relevant, consideration may be given to those with a professional qualification and experience in the practice of public health with at least two years at a professional level.
  3. If your first language is not English, you must have a valid IELTS score of 6.5 with no less than 6.0 in any band or an equivalent English language qualification. For more information visit our FAQs page, or contact your recruitment coordinator to discuss your credentials and English language requirements.

To apply to this programme:

You must apply online for this programme. As part of your online application, you need to submit the following:

  • A copy (or copies) of your official degree certificate(s), if you have already completed your degree.
  • A copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing full details of subjects studied and grades/marks obtained.
  • Official or certified English translations of the certificate(s) and transcript(s).
  • One reference letter on headed paper.
  • Evidence of your English language ability (if your first language is not English).
  • Any additional documents required for this programme (if detailed above).
  • Up to date Curriculum Vitae and a supporting statement.

Please check you meet the entry requirements for this programme before you begin your application.

You have 42 days to submit your application once you begin the process. You may save and return to your application as many times as you wish to update information, complete sections or upload supporting documents, such as your final transcript or your language test.

Key Dates UK/EU

Application Deadline
Start Date
2 Sep 2020
21 Sep 2020

Key Dates International

Application Deadline
Start Date
2 Sep 2020
21 Sep 2020

Tuition & Fees

  • Home/EU: £15,000*
  • International: £15,000*

*Total cost, incremental payment schedule available. Fee information is subject to change and is for guidance only.

How much does this programme cost?
Part-time fees 1,667 per 20 credits

Fees for NHS-funded students:

939 per 20 credits (Total: 8,451)

Can I get help to fund my studies?
You may be eligible for help with the cost of the programme.

What it's like to study online

100% online for complete flexibility
Our part-time online programmes are ideal if you're working full-time or have family commitments.
Connect to campus from anywhere
All you need for our online programmes is a device with internet access.
Gain a global perspective
As an online student, you'll be part of an international community of academics and learners.
Learn from the experts
Our world-class teaching and research staff will help you realise your potential.
Interact with everyone
Community building and collaborative learning is a key focus of our online programmes.
Access a multitude of resources
Study using a range of materials, including recorded lectures, live seminars, videos, interactive quizzes, journal articles and ebooks.
Regular Assessments
During each course you will be assessed in a variety of ways which could include essays, discussions, blogs, online presentations, interactive quizzes, assignments or group work.

Want to learn more?