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. Its role is to measure, quantify and describe the health status and health inequalities of populations through understanding the interactions of the physical and social environment, individual behaviour, resource allocation, investment and genetics over time and throughout the course of life.

The online Population Health Sciences programme offers you all the benefits of our public health programme, but with emphasis on statistical, rather than clinically focused, content. Through a broader public health focus, this programme explores the multiple determinants of health outcomes and their impact on the population. With patient data linking now more prevalent, this line of research is key to the future of healthcare.

As the only online programme of its kind in the UK, it offers a unique opportunity to understand how physical and social environment, individual behaviour, distribution of resources, investment and genetics impact on health status and inequalities in populations over time. The distance learning programme covers a range of approaches and techniques that link determinants to outcomes. Ultimately, it allows for the identification of novel population interventions that are grounded in the best practice and are cost effective.

The online Population Health Sciences 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.

Instead of being assessed through a research project, you will be taught through data analysis, reports, posters, presentations and journal articles. Learning in this way will equip you with a transferrable skillset that is integral to careers in public health, health services, health policy or academia.


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 healthcare programmes.

With core modules including advanced statistics, principles of population health and epidemiology, the programme offers optional courses on subjects including analysis of linked data, health economics, globalisation and public health and health promotion.

The Online MSc Population Health Sciences programme will open you up to a wide variety of careers and industries. 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.


  • Understand the interdisciplinary nature and importance of population health science
  • Explore an appreciation of health informatics and data analysis
  • Advance your understanding of data linkage, big data, statistics packages, reporting and presentations
  • Learn the latest techniques and new skills and apply them to real-world settings
  • Identify, analyse and apply novel population health interventions grounded in cost-effective practices


  • Duration: 2.5–6 years part-time (MSc), 2–4 years part-time (PgDip), 1–2 years part-time (PgCert). For details on full-time options request more information or speak to an admissions representative
  • Start dates: January, April and September
  • Entry requirements: 2:1 or equivalent from a recognised institution or 2:2 in a related field with at least six months’ work experience in public health or healthcare
  • International students: applicants must have an IELTS score of 6.5 with no less than 6.0 in any band