Public Health (MSc)

At a glance

Study programme
Public Health (MSc)
Nursing and Health Sciences
Master of Science (M.Sc.)
Type of programme
Campus-based programme
Standard Duration
4 semesters
Start of study programme
Winter semester
Admission Restriction
The programme has unrestricted admission.
Admission Requirements
First university degree completed with an average grade of at least 2.5 [German grading system] and an academic or professional focus on health science. Relevant professional experience of at least one year can offset an otherwise insufficient average grade. The first degree provided training in research methods and a basic understanding of the natural sciences and medicine and health policy. Admission requirements may otherwise be imposed.
Language of instructions
German, some courses in English
Language Requirements
For international students: DSH 2 level German language skills by the day of enrolment. At the time of application, a lower level is sufficient. Applications submitted by 30 April: B 1 or equivalent, applications from 1 May: DSH 1 or B 2 or equivalent
Application Deadline
15 July
Specific Features
Regular courses take place on Mondays and Tuesdays.

What Is This Programme About?

Public health aims to promote health, increase life expectancy, reduce morbidity rates and improve the population's quality of life in terms of health, thus complementing the individual perspectives of medicine and other health professions. The Public Health programme is an interdisciplinary programme which also offers a comparative international perspective. It examines such issues as:

  • the prevalence and distribution of diseases in society, including socially determined health inequalities
  • the causes of health and disease, especially social and environmental factors
  • the need for preventive, curative and nursing care as well as public health promotion today and in the future
  • the planning, implementation and evaluation of life-related interventions to prevent illness and promote health
  • the effectiveness and efficiency of different strategies to promote health, prevent illness and treat the ill
  • the suitability of existing structures, processes and forms of task allocation in health professions in terms of effective and efficient health care and health promotion and the management and funding of health care provision
  • the design of a health care system that offers all citizens high-quality care and equal, non-discriminatory access to affordable care services according to their individual needs
  • appropriate participation of patients and citizens in decision-making processes on issues relevant for health

The Public Health programme combines research with its practical application and implementation. In many countries, public health is already a widely recognised subject of continuing education and a prerequisite for many executive positions in health care system design and provision.

Why Choose This Programme?

University graduates from different disciplines with a professional or academic focus on health care issues have the opportunity to qualify for executive positions in health care. Public health practice requires the ability to think and act in a population-based way and not to focus exclusively on optimising the economic results of health service providers. If you would like to assume responsibility for designing the health systems in a national or international context or wish to research and teach these subjects, this is the right programme for you. You should be interested in scientific work and research, enjoy engaging in interdisciplinary dialogue and have a good command of English.

How is the programme structured?

This is a research-oriented Master's degree programme based on international curricular agreements. Special subjects studied during a semester abroad at a partner university count towards programme requirements. During the lecture period, regular courses take place on Mondays and Tuesdays.

From the start of the programme, you will learn how to carry out research into health science subjects. Building on existing knowledge, the Research Methods module teaches you how to develop an appropriate research design, use quantitative and qualitative methods, present research outcomes and evaluate research. You acquire application-based research skills in the context of a research project, which will focus on the specific research task in small groups over a period of two semesters, and skills in the areas of epidemiology, writing papers for publication, economic evaluation and health technology assessment. In the second and third semesters, you develop your own focuses by choosing two compulsory elective modules and one of the international modules.
In the fourth semester, you will carry out your own applied research in the context of your Master's thesis. Course projects and Master's theses may be integrated into the Department's externally funded projects.

Compulsory elective modules:

  • Health Promotion
  • Health Competencies in the Population
  • Social Epidemiology
  • Health Technology Assessment and Economic Evaluation
  • Normative and Strategic Management in Health Care Organisations
  • Environment and Health
  • Perspectives of Critical Health Sciences
  • Participation in Health

Choice of International Health modules:

  • Globalisation and Health
  • Ageing in Europe
  • An International Comparison of Sexual and Reproductive Health: Tasks of Public Health
  • Alternatively: semester abroad

Where does it lead?

  • An academic career path is usually pursued through work in externally funded projects at universities or a doctoral degree. Research-oriented activities, however, are also possible at non-university institutes such as the Robert Koch Institute or in the area of health technology management.
  • In a domestic context, you might take up a strategic and conceptual position in public administrations on a municipal, local or national level, in the area of social insurance or in quality assurance institutions in the health system. Political consultancy and association work are also possible options.
  • The Master's degree in Public Health is often a useful stepping stone for advancement to senior positions within care structures.
  • For a position in development cooperation, experience abroad and proficiency in English and a second international language are usually additional recruitment requirements alongside a Master's degree in Public Health.

More about the subject

Related Study Programmes

Public Health Nutrition (MSc)

Prior To The Study Programme


Need help?

Subject-related advice

Susan Wank

Degree Programme Coordinator for Health Promotion, Public Health and Education for Nursing and Health Care Professions

Building 31 , Room 105
Susan Wank+49 661 9640-6321
Consultation hours
Students: Mo and Wed 9 am – 11 am, 1 pm – 2 pm, Future Students: Tue and Thu 8.30 am – 2 pm

General advice

Tim Feldermann

Central Student Advisory Service (ZSB)

Student advisory service • Advisory service for people with professional qualifications

Building 10 , Room 214
Tim Feldermann+49 661 9640-1432
Consultation hours
Without registration: Tue and Wed 9.30 am – 11.30 am, With registration: Thu 9.30 am – 3 pm
Office hours
Mon to Thu 9 am – 12 pm and 2 pm – 3 pm, Fri 8.30 am – 12 pm

Advice for international students

Britta Simon


Building 10 , Room 105
Britta Simon+49 661 9640-1420
Consultation hours
Montag bis Donnerstag 09:00 Uhr bis 15:30 Uhr Freitag geschlossen