public health
Would you choose to pursue a public health career? Source: Luis Melendez/Unsplash

Perhaps one of the most influential study areas a student can pursue, public health degree holders are destined for unforgettable and rewarding opportunities in their future career.

With five important pillars to keep your studies afloat, public health degrees encourage you to enter the worlds of epidemiology, health administration, biostatics, health promotion and environmental health.

But where would a Master’s of Public Health take you, and how easy is it to apply for a postgraduate programme like this?

public health

A Master’s degree in public health will lead you to interesting placements. Source: Shutterstock

Check your candidacy

Before you embark on a Master’s degree in Public Health (MPH), you may want to check if you qualify for the course you’re considering.

Most universities take in applicants with a broad educational background in public health, either through a Bachelor of Science or a Bachelor of Arts.

There may be a few academic institutions that allow you to cut corners and move onto a higher degree in public health with a completely different Bachelor’s degree, so long as you present evidence of your passions for public health in the form of outreach programmes, community events or charitable initiatives.

Carve your future public health career

Once you know you’re eligible for the MPH, try carving out your career plans.

MPH degrees will include diverse optional courses to help shape your final qualification.

For example, Public Health Biology, where you’ll learn about the biological and physiological processes that explain how diseases cause illness, are spread and can be treated.

Or Public Health Policy, where you’ll consider various public health policies and their influence on addressing public health issues.

The skills you’ll learn through a Master’s of Public Health degree are invaluable. From identifying disease traits that can help develop treatment programmes to understanding how the physical environment and disease propagation are interrelated.

So, if you have a rough idea of the job roles you’re hoping to secure after graduation, try to match those with the specialised courses on offer at your future university.

Consider the career paths

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), health education and community health jobs are expected to grow 11 percent from 2018 to 2028, which is much faster than the average for other occupations.

The statistics demonstrate the promise of this professional sector, but what sort of career could an MPH lead you to?

  • You could become an Epidemiologist

A professional who researches and investigates the causes and patterns of diseases, particularly communicable diseases in human beings, an epidemiologist tries to eliminate or reduce their negative impact.

  • You could become a Microbiologist

If you become a Microbiologist, you’ll be expected to study organisms that are too small to be seen with the naked eye, understand their nature and examine how they interact with other organisms.

  • You could become an Occupational Health and Safety Specialist

Concerned with identifying and analysing health and safety conditions in the workplace with the goal of eliminating hazards that result in occupational illnesses and injuries, this role may expect you to design workplace procedures that improve working conditions.

Additional pathways include a Public Health Nurse, Social and Community Service Manager, Health Educators and Community Health Worker and a Nutritionist/Dietitian.

Each role involves rewarding tasks and outcomes, so opting for a Master’s in Public Health presents many enviable perks.

Liked this? Then you’ll love…

The 5 pillars of a public health degree

UK universities furthering the success of future healthcare practitioners