You might be surprised to know that you don’t need a background in medicine to enter the field of public health. Public health is extremely interdisciplinary, and public health professionals are involved in everything from tracing the spread of disease to implementing public policy or helping to house and assist with the integration of refugees.

Public health means many things to many people

Public health is a global concern but depending on where you live and work, its definition and remit can differ widely. European public health professionals could be concerned with designing age-friendly outdoor spaces or developing ways to educate teenagers about the risks of legal drugs; whereas in Brazil, public health officials are fighting to stop the spread of the Zika virus; and in Africa policies are being implemented to prevent the return of the Ebola virus whilst educating the population about non-communicable diseases such as diabetes.

Public health involves the application of different disciplines

Many of those who decide to study public health have come from a variety of professional backgrounds. The interdisciplinary nature of public health means that there are many roles that need to be filled.

Here is a short list of disciplines that complement the field of public health:

Biology Engineering
Anthropology Medicine
Public policy Sociology
Mathematics Computer science
Education Psychology


Is public health for you?

Here are six questions to ask yourself to find out if you fit the profile of a public health professional:

  1. Do you enjoy working with the public?
  2. Do you have an innate desire to serve others?
  3. Are you interested in health sciences?
  4. Do you have a persuasive personality and an ability to overcome resistance or barriers to good practices?
  5. Are you interested in statistics and monitoring population trends?
  6. Do you have the ability to collaborate with other professionals to promote good health?

The value of an online MPH degree

An online Master of Public Health (MPH) degree offers busy working professionals the option of developing their expertise without having to take time out from their work in the field. The University of Roehampton offers a 100% online masters programme that holds the same value and quality assurance as its campus equivalent.

Career opportunities in public health

Public health campaigns cover a wide range of concerns, such as motor-vehicle safety, family planning, tobacco as a health hazard, obesity, and safe sex. An MPH degree could act as a stepping stone to your dream job. Here are some examples of public health professions that, with a MPH degree, you might be qualified for:

  • Refugee Coordinator
  • HIV/AIDS Educator
  • Project Manager
  • Breastfeeding Support Coordinator
  • Mental Health Researcher
  • Bioterrorism Researcher

Find out more about the Master of Public Health degree at Roehampton Online.

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