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Postgraduate Study

Course closed:

Population Health Sciences is no longer accepting new applications.

Please note that the PH (Public Health), HDS (Health Data Science) and GH (Global Health) themes are now closed for applications.

The overall aim of the programme is to provide course participants with the necessary knowledge and skills to serve as a foundation for a career in population health sciences in academic, practice or other settings. Students will receive basic training in the core research methods used in the related academic disciplines of epidemiology, global health, health data science, infectious diseases, public health, and primary care research, and will then be given the opportunity to further specialise in their chosen area of interest. The course will teach students how to critique and design population health studies, and will give them the opportunity to carry out focused research under close supervision. Ultimately, we expect our postgraduates to contribute to the study and improvement of population health.

Learning Outcomes

All graduates of the programme should be able to:

  • Critically appraise and evaluate the design, analysis and interpretation of population health studies.
  • Identify and synthesise relevant published research literature.
  • Select, devise and develop appropriate study designs and data collection methods for population health research.
  • Select appropriate measures to describe and analyse the health status of populations and variations within populations.
  • Collect, manage and conduct appropriate analyses of data relevant to population health using contemporary research tools.
  • Apply relevant theories to practical settings.
  • Assess risks to population health at a variety of levels.
  • Design and evaluate the impact of interventions  on population health.
  • Understand the functioning of organizations and regulatory frameworks relevant to work in population health science.
  • Appreciate the inherent uncertainty of research in population health disciplines and the challenges of working with conflicting viewpoints and complexity.
  • Marshall and critically evaluate evidence from a wide range of sources to help advance population health.
  • Identify a researchable problem and define an appropriate research question.
  • Develop and implement a research protocol, critically interpret findings and identify implications for research, policy and practice.
  • Effectively communicate population health principles and research to a range of stakeholders both verbally and in writing.
  • Network and collaborate effectively with diverse members of interdisciplinary teams.
  • Effectively use computational tools related to these learning outcomes.
  • Develop competitive proposals to support population health research.
  • Analyse and shape one’s own practice to reflect and apply these learning objectives to sustainably improve population health.

There are additional theme-specific aims and learning outcomes for students who choose to follow one of our six specialisation themes. See the course website for further details.


Students studying for the MPhil who wish to continue to a PhD, are required to achieve a high standard across modules and the dissertation and [pass the MPhil.

Those who wish to progress to a PhD after completing an MPhil will also be required to satisfy their potential supervisor, Head of Department and the Faculty Degree Committee that they have the skills and ability to achieve the higher degree.

Open Days

The Postgraduate Virtual Open Day usually takes place at the end of October. It’s a great opportunity to ask questions to admissions staff and academics, explore the Colleges virtually, and to find out more about courses, the application process and funding opportunities. Visit the Postgraduate Open Day page for more details.

See further the Postgraduate Admissions Events pages for other events relating to Postgraduate study, including study fairs, visits and international events.


This course is advertised in the following departments:

Key Information

10 months full-time

22 months part-time

Study Mode : Taught

Master of Philosophy

Department of Public Health and Primary Care This course is advertised in multiple departments. Please see the Overview tab for more details.

Course - related enquiries

Application - related enquiries

Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Applications open
Sept. 4, 2023
Application deadline
March 28, 2024
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2024

Some courses can close early. See the Deadlines page for guidance on when to apply.

Course Funding Deadline
Dec. 5, 2023
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 11, 2023

These deadlines apply to applications for courses starting in Michaelmas 2024, Lent 2025 and Easter 2025.

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