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School of Public Health
College of Health Sciences, Makerere University

Masters of Public Health (MPH)

Courses Category

About the Master of Public Health (MPH) Programme

It has been noted that more than 60% of the burden of disease in Uganda and elsewhere is preventable. This means strategic effort must be focused towards public health prevention, promotion and communication to avert this burden and reduce the cost and health care expenditure. Additionally, the need to ensure global health security, means that emerging pandemics and disease outbreaks must be detected and contained early enough before they can spread across the world given the high level of global connectivity. Makerere University through the School of Public Health (MakSPH), in collaboration with a number of districts, and the Ministry of Health (MOH) started implementing a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree programme, popularly referred to as the Public Health Schools Without Walls (PHSWOW) since October 1994. This is a competency-based training programme that uses high quality and sustainable training strategies meant to produce public health leaders and workers who are able to address public health challenges at the national, programme, district and community levels in Uganda and beyond. This was particularly meant to produce public health leaders and managers to support the Uganda decentralization policy.

Programme Philosophy:

To mould proficient Public Health Practitioners who are life-long learners able and willing to serve as leaders and team players in any environment at any time in order to make a positive difference to people’s health and quality of lives.

Programme Mission:

To produce public health practitioners with competencies to provide leadership to meet current and future public health challenges locally, regionally, and globally.

Programme Goal:

To prepare public health leaders who can contribute to an accelerated movement towards Universal Health Coverage with essential health and related services needed for promotion of a healthy and productive life

Program Objectives:

  1. To strengthen capacity for implementation and delivery of quality health services at all levels
  2. To train leaders and managers with the capacity and skills to meet the demands arising from the decentralisation policy as a model of health service planning and delivery
  3. To strengthen the capacity of trainees to carry out public health research;
  4. To prepare public health practitioners to work within and a strengthened integrated multidisciplinary, multi-sectoral health system;
  5. To enhance capacity to contribute to reduction of morbidity and mortality from current and emerging health challenges;
  6. To promote linkages between Makerere University and the Ministries providing health services in line with the concept of “one health”;
  7. To increase awareness and appreciation of the importance of public health as a means to enhance the attractiveness of careers in public health;
  8. To promote linkages between institutions providing public health training, locally, regionally and globally.

Structure of the MPH Programme:

Duration and components: The MPH programme is a Full-Time Programme, lasting for two years covering 78 weeks (20 months) in duration. It consists of four semesters and one recess term. Each semester is 17 weeks, of which 15 weeks are used for teaching/learning and 2 for examinations.  A recess term is 10 weeks.  The program consist of coursework and dissertation.

Academic Component

During the academic part of the programme, core and cross-cutting as well as elective courses in public health will be taught through lectures, self-directed learning, problem based learning, case-studies, practical exercises and group work. Overall, total of 61 Credit Units must be accumulated by each trainee before graduating from the program. Each trainee must:

  1. Take all core courses totalling to 38 Credit Units (CUs).
  2. Conduct 2 short field studies and produce 2 field reports equivalent to 6 CUs
  3. Take two elective courses of their choice totalling to at least 6 CUs,
  4. Deliver seminar series during Year Two, giving 2 CUs,
  5. Produce a dissertation by research contributing 9 CUs

Field Component.

This is a period for hands-on experiential learning. During the field component, competences are acquired through practice and on-the-job training in the field with supervision by both field supervisors and intermittently by faculty, while working with a public health team at district, municipality, at national level, and or any other relevant organization/programme as may be approved by the programme director and coordinator. Trainees are also be expected to participate in field activities offering routine public health services together with other members of the District or other hosting organisations in the field during their field attachments. The field component is compulsory for all trainees, proof of which is the log-book. A student handbook is available to guide the students while in the field placements.

Courses offered in the MPH Programme

Year 1:  Semester I:

  • MPH7134: Public Health, its Determinants and Health Promotion (4 CU)
  • MPH7102: Applied Epidemiology I (3CU)
  • MPH7103: Applied Biostatistics I (3CU)
  • MPH 7135: Health System Leadership and Management (3CU)
  • MPH 7136: Sexual and Reproductive Health (3CU

Year 1:  Semester II

  • MPH7235: Disease Control (4CU)
  • MPH7236: Public Health Surveillance (2CU)
  • SPH 7201: Environmental and Occupational Health (3CU)
  • MPH 7203: Research Methods (4CU)
  • MPH7237: Public Health Ethics and law (3CU)

Year 1:  Recess term – Field Placement (10 weeks)

  • MPH 7104: Field Study I (3CU)
  • MPH 7205: Field Study II (3CU)

Year 2:  Semester I

Core Courses

  • MPH 8201: Applied Epidemiology II (3 CU)
  • MPH 8202: Applied Biostatistics II (3CU)
  • SPH 8101: Seminar Series 1(2 CU)

The Electives (Choose at least 2 electives)

  • SPH 8104 Interventional Epidemiology (3CU)
  • HSR 8201: Health Database Organization and Analysis (4CU)
  • SPH 8106: Monitoring and Evaluation (3CU)
  • MPH 8134: Health Economics (3CU)
  • MPH 8135: Health Policy, Implementation and Analysis (3CU)
  • MPH 8136: Maternal, New-born and Child Health (3CU)
  • MPH 8137: Adolescent Health (3CU)
  • SPH 8117: Chronic Consequences of Trauma, Injury and Disability (3CU)
  • SPH 8119: Interventions for Trauma Injury and Disability (3CU)

Year 2 Semester II

  •  SPH 8202: Dissertation (9CU)

Admission Requirements to the MPH programme:

Admission to the Programme is open to Ugandans and Non-Ugandans who fulfil the admission requirements. A candidate is eligible for admission if he/she satisfies the following:

  1. A degree in the health sciences e.g. medicine (human and veterinary), nursing, pharmacy, dentistry and environmental health science; or
  2. A degree in biological sciences e.g. environmental sciences, biology, laboratory sciences; or
  3. A degree in social and population sciences e.g.,  social work, sociology, economics, statistics, demography 
  4. All first degrees must be at least second class lower or its equivalent, in the event that the first degree is classified
  5. At least two years of relevant working experience in a health service or health research institution is an added advantage