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Graduate Certificate in Public Health

This certificate provides you with a sound and critical understanding of public health, health promotion and health security. You’ll study how the social determinants of health and illness lead to inequalities and inequities across a population. This will lead to consideration of evidenced-based remedies and interventions aimed at individual and communal wellbeing. Successful completion of the certificate provides you with the underpinning knowledge to inform public health practice in terms of the United Kingdom Public Health Register (UKPHR) standards. However, we do not currently offer a public health practice placement as part of this qualification, so if you intend to register with UKPHR you will need to demonstrate their standards in practice.

Key features of the course

  • Explore a rapidly developing area of public health.
  • Critically evaluate how inequalities in society impact individual and community health.
  • Learn about the ethical, legal, economic and political issues that influence healthcare provision.
  • Learn about the United Kingdom Public Health Register and its standards for practice.
  • Learn about evidence-based practice in public health.

Course Summary

+Shortlist Course

Certificate

Certificate

  • Qualification unique to The Open University.
  • Focus on a particular profession or subject area.
  • Study for interest or career development.
  • A wide range of subjects and levels.
Course code
S06
Credits

Credits

  • Credits measure the student workload required for the successful completion of a module or qualification.
  • One credit represents about 10 hours of study over the duration of the course.
  • You are awarded credits after you have successfully completed a module.
  • For example, if you study a 60-credit module and successfully pass it, you will be awarded 60 credits.
60
How long it takes
Part time – 1 year
Time limit – 4 years
Study method
Distance learning

Course details

This certificate has one stage, comprising 60 credits.

Prepare for OU study with an Access module

We offer two starting points depending on how confident you are or how long it’s been since you last studied. Choose to dive straight in at Stage 1, or if you’d prefer some extra preparation, you can get started with an optional Access module. See Entry requirements for more details.

Stage 1 (60 credits)

You will complete 60 credits to develop your knowledge and understanding of public health, health promotion and health security.

ModulesCredits
You'll study the following:
Public health: health promotion and health security (K310)60

We regularly review our curriculum; therefore, the qualification described on this page – including its availability, its structure, and available modules – may change over time. If we make changes to this qualification, we’ll update this page as soon as possible. Once you’ve registered or are studying this qualification, where practicable, we’ll inform you in good time of any upcoming changes. If you’d like to know more about the circumstances in which the University might make changes to the curriculum, see our Academic Regulations or contact us. This description was last updated on 15 March 2022.


Accessibility

We make all our qualifications as accessible as possible and have a comprehensive range of services to support all our students. This qualification uses a variety of study materials and has the following elements:

  • studying online/studying a mixture of printed and online material. Online learning resources may include websites, audio/video media clips, and interactive activities such as online quizzes
  • using mathematical and scientific expressions, notations and associated techniques
  • working with specialist reading material such as scientific journals
  • working in a group with other students
  • using and/or producing diagrams and/or screenshots
  • undertaking practical work and/or using an online laboratory
  • using specialist software
  • finding external/third party material online.

For more detailed information, see the Accessibility Statements on individual module descriptions. If you feel you may need additional support, visit Disability support to find more about what we offer.


Learning outcomes, teaching and assessment

This qualification develops your learning in four main areas:

  • Knowledge and understanding.
  • Cognitive skills.
  • Practical and professional skills.
  • Key skills.

The level and depth of your learning gradually increases as you work through the qualification. You’ll be supported throughout by the OU’s unique style of teaching and assessment – which includes a personal tutor to guide and comment on your work; top quality course texts; elearning resources like podcasts, interactive media and online materials; tutorial groups and community forums.

Read the detailed learning outcomes here

On completion

On successfully completing this course, we’ll award you our Graduate Certificate in Public Health.

International recognition

If you intend to use your Open University qualifications to seek work or undertake further study outside the UK, we recommend checking whether your intended qualification will meet local requirements for your chosen career. Find out more about international recognition of Open University qualifications.

Regulations

As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the qualification-specific regulations below and the academic regulations that are available on our Student Policies and Regulations website. 


Entry requirements

There are no formal entry requirements for this qualification.

At The Open University we believe education should be open to all, so we provide a high-quality university education to anyone who wishes to realise their ambitions and fulfil their potential.

Even though there are no entry requirements, there are some skills that you'll need to succeed. If you're not quite ready for OU study we can guide you to resources that prepare you, many of which are free.

Answer a few quick questions to check whether you're ready for study success

How much time do I need?

  • Most of our students study part time, completing 60 credits a year.
  • This will usually mean studying for 16–18 hours a week.

Find out if you have enough time to study with our time planner

How much will it cost in England?

We believe cost shouldn’t be a barrier to achieving your potential. That’s why we work hard to keep the cost of study as low as possible and have a wide range of flexible ways to pay to help spread the cost.

  • Fees are paid on a module-by-module basis – you won't have to pay for the whole of your qualification up front.
  • A qualification comprises a series of modules, each with an individual fee. Added together, they give you the total cost.
  • Most OU students study part time at a rate of 60 credits a year.
  • Our current fee for 60 credits is £3,228*.
  • Our current fee for 120 credits, which is equivalent to a year's full-time study, is £6,456*.
  • At current prices, the total cost of your qualification would be £3,228*.
  • .

*The fee information provided here is valid for modules starting before 31 July 2023. Fees normally increase annually in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees.

Additional costs

Study costs

There may be extra costs on top of the tuition fee, such as set books, a computer and internet access. If your income is not more than £25,000 or you are in receipt of a qualifying benefit, you might be eligible for help with some of these costs after you start studying.


How will I study this course?

With our unique approach to distance learning, you can study from home, work, or on the move.

You’ll have some assessment deadlines to meet, but otherwise you’ll be free to study at the times that suit you, fitting your learning around work, family, and social life.

For each of your modules, you’ll use either just online resources or a mix of online and printed materials.

Each module you study will have a module website, with:

  • a week-by-week study planner, giving you a step-by-step guide through your studies
  • course materials such as reading, videos, recordings, and self-assessed activities
  • module forums for discussions and collaborative activities with other students
  • details of each assignment and their due dates
  • a tutorial booking system, online tutorial rooms, and your tutor’s contact details
  • online versions of some printed module materials and resources.

If you have additional needs, we can also provide most module materials in alternative formats. Find out more about materials on our accessibility webpage.


Tutor support

You’ll have a tutor for each module, who will introduce themselves before the module begins.

Throughout the module, they will:

  • mark your assignments and give feedback to help you improve
  • guide you to learning resources
  • support you, whether with general study skills or help with a specific topic.

Tutorials

Tutorials throughout the course could be online, face-to-face or a mixture of the two, and they’re always optional.

Online tutorials are live presentations with module tutors in dedicated online tutorial rooms, and are sometimes recorded.


Assessment

Our assessments are all designed to reinforce your learning and help you show your understanding of the topics. The mix of assessment methods will vary between modules.

Computer-Marked Assignments

  • Usually a series of online, multiple-choice questions.

Tutor-Marked Assignments

  • You’ll have a number of these throughout each module, each with a submission deadline.
  • They can be made up of essays, questions, experiments or something else to test your understanding of what you have learned.
  • Your tutor will mark and return them to you with detailed feedback.

End-of-Module Assessments

  • The final, marked piece of work on most modules.
  • Modules with an end of module assessment won’t usually have an exam.

Exams

  • Some modules end with an exam. You’ll be given time to revise and prepare.
  • You’ll be given your exam date at least 5 months in advance.
  • Most exams take place remotely, and you will complete them at home or at an alternative location.
  • If a module requires you to take a face-to-face exam, this will be made clear in the module description, and you will be required to take your exam in person at one of our exam centres.

Progressing to a point where I felt more comfortable writing my assignments, and having my scores reflecting that, made me quite happy because it showed the hard work was being rewarded.

Patrick ‘Ricky’ Skene, BSc (Hons) Sport, Fitness and Coaching

Other support and resources

Throughout your studies, you’ll have access to our subject-specific Student Support Teams.

They’ll help you with any general questions about your study and updates to your OU account.

To help with your studies, you’ll also have access to:

  • our online library, with high-quality online resources to support your study
  • other university libraries in the UK and Ireland
  • the online Help Centre, which has general information about OU study and support, along with study skills advice
  • free Microsoft Office 365 software
  • IT and computing support from our Computing Helpdesk.

Find out more about student support and being a part of the OU community.

Skills for career development

The Graduate Certificate in Public Health focuses on defining the nature of public health and builds knowledge of the United Kingdom Public Health Register (UKPHR) standards for evidence-based public health practice. It also emphasises how public health requires crossing professional boundaries and understanding the service user perspective. You’ll acquire a strong set of highly valued transferable skills, including skills in written communication; finding, evaluating and presenting research and other sources of information; problem-solving and time management. You’ll learn to work independently and as part of a team.

Completion of this qualification would not in itself provide the working experience of public health practice that is required to apply to the UKPHR. You will have to source your own working experience of public health practice via employment or other equivalent means. However, this qualification and the module that supports it, Public health: health promotion and health security (K310) is mapped against the United Kingdom Public Health Register Standards, and completion of module/graduate certificate provides all of the underpinning knowledge of the UKPHR Standards to support your application.

Career relevance

This graduate certificate is focused on providing underpinning knowledge for public health practice but is also applicable to a wide range of health and social care careers in the statutory, voluntary or private sectors, though some careers may require further study, training and/or work experience beyond your qualification.

Some of our students include:

  • public health practitioner
  • health promotion worker
  • health improvement practitioner
  • care managers
  • healthcare assistants and healthcare support workers
  • health educators
  • health scientists
  • practice managers
  • social work assistants
  • specialist practitioners
  • youth workers and youth justice workers.

Other careers

Many graduate-level jobs are open to graduates of any discipline, particularly in business, finance, management consultancy and the public and voluntary sectors. Some careers may require further study, training and/or work experience beyond your qualification.

Professional recognition

This graduate certificate provides underpinning knowledge for UKPHR registration. It doesn’t include a practice opportunity in public health. Applications for UKPHR registration have to demonstrate how the applicant had met UKPHR standards through their own practice.

Exploring your options

Once you register with us (and for up to three years after you finish your studies), you’ll have full access to our careers service for a wide range of information and advice. This includes online forums, website, interview simulation, vacancy service as well as the option to email or speak to a careers adviser. Some areas of the careers service website are available for you to see now, including help with looking for and applying for jobs. You can also read more general information about how OU study enhances your career.

In the meantime if you want to do some research around this qualification and where it might take you, we’ve put together a list of relevant job titles as a starting point. Some careers may require further study, training and/or work experience beyond your qualification:

  • public health practitioner
  • health promotion worker
  • health improvement practitioner
  • care home advocate
  • grants officer
  • health educator
  • policy maker in the field
  • registered care home manager
  • social researcher
  • substance abuse outreach worker
  • community support worker
  • volunteer co-ordinator
  • care manager
  • practice manager
  • specialist practitioner
  • youth worker.

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