The public health workforce comprises a diverse range of professionals and the evidence that future national and international governments will continue to support health promotion and public health is overwhelmingly strong, not least because of the economic incentives to prevent ill health.
Public health is at the centre of the government's health agenda and the public health practitioner and post-graduate public health specialist workforce is becoming more cohesive and professionalised every year. The Coalition wants the public health capacity of the whole public health workforce to rise (DH, 2013). In 2008, the NHS Workforce Review identified public health as a key workforce priority and requested that Higher Education Institutions, “... ensure that training in all healthcare professions maintain and increase a strong focus on the development of competencies in public health, including health promotion” (p4). The public health White Paper: Healthy Lives, Healthy People (DH, 2011) and the related Public Workforce Strategy (DH, 2013) emphasise the need to develop quality health and wellbeing services for all ages across the health and social sector that address key lifestyle challenges, health inequalities and the wider determinants of health and wellbeing.
This MSc Public Health aims to critically engage students with the theories, principles and practices that relate to level 7 and 8 public health competencies (Public Health Skills and Knowledge Framework (PHRU 2013) Skills for Health: Bristol). Students will also analyse how these translate into their workplace setting.
The Healthy Lives Healthy People White Paper (DH, 2010; 2011) and the Public Health Outcomes framework (2012-2016) (DH, 2012) recognise that the health and wellbeing of the population rests with individuals, local government, NHS, charities/ charities/voluntary sector, business, employers and central government.
The Public Health Outcomes Framework comprises four domains:
- Improving the wider determinants of health (improvements against wider factors that affect health and wellbeing, and health inequalities)
- Health Improvement (people are helped to live healthy lifestyles, make healthy choices and reduce health inequalities)
- Health Protection (the population’s health is protected from major incidents and other threats, while reducing health inequalities)
- Healthcare public health and preventing premature mortality (reduced numbers of people living with preventable ill health and people dying prematurely, while reducing the gap between communities)
This MSc Public Health addresses all four domains, and its learning outcomes are informed by the UK Public Health Skills and Knowledge Framework (PHRU/Skills for Health/PHORCaST, 2013) as well the International Union of Health Promotion and Education: CompHP Professional Standards for Health Promotion (Speller et al, 2012).