MSc in Public Health Science
Westminster International University in Tashkent launches the first master’s degree course “Master of Science in Public Health Science” in Uzbekistan providing a British Masters Degree recognizable across the globe. The course is offered on a one-year full-time or two-year part-time basis at 6:30 pm. It provides intensive education in Public Health, Epidemiology, and Statistics to prepare professionals to protect and enhance the health and well-being of populations through health promotion and disease prevention initiatives. This course will enable students to conduct research projects in medicine, life sciences, or social sciences.
The course is designed for those who are planning to gain knowledge and practical skills in the health and disease-related field. It helps students to understand the major determinants of public health and one will be able to critically analyse and interpret health data for planning, implementation, and evaluation of public health practice and to find the most effective and efficient solution for decision-makers on the population level.
The course aims at producing graduates that are able to:
- Demonstrate a deep and systematic understanding of current theoretical, methodical and practical approaches of Public Health Sciences.
- Critically analyse complex public health challenges using data in order to define needs and prioritise actions for key stakeholders.
- Display mastery in comprehension of health related data and deploying the appropriate software tools that satisfy specified requirements along with testing their use in the public health domain.
- Demonstrate technical and professional skills in the application of complex and specialised financial and economic knowledge to the field of public health.
- Conduct independent in-depth analysis of a chosen topic related to the public health sector. Act with initiative in decision making and assessing support within professional or given guidelines and accepting full accountability for outcomes.
- Critically analyse the evolving Public Health and healthcare sector, health policy, resource allocation and their influence on healthcare strategy, decisions and operations.
- Understand and critically apply International Research codes of Ethics by incorporating a critical ethical dimension to the practice managing the implications to ethical dilemmas.
- Develop appropriate study designs for epidemiological research and/or conduct appropriate empirical analysis using statistical data and software.
- Employ advanced and appropriate skills to conduct in-depth research.
This Masters course has been developed jointly with the University of Westminster (London) and the respective modules within the course consist of:
- Foundations of Epidemiology
- Health Promotion & Behaviour Change Communication
- Public Health and Nutrition
- Statistics in Public Health
- Health Economics & Systems
- Financing & Managing Healthcare
- Research Methods in Health
Detailed information on each module is available at the of the page.
Employment and Further Study Opportunities
Graduates of the course may become public health practitioners, epidemiologists, preventive medicine and behavioural change specialists, nutritionists in healthcare settings, researchers/scientists in academia or scientific institutions, statisticians in health organisations, staff at the Public Health departments’ district / regional / republican level and health managers.
They may become faculty providing teaching modules in Public Health, Epidemiology, Statistics, Social and Behavioural Sciences, Research Methods and Health Economics.
They can also work as consultants, health educators, community health workers, health promotion or disease prevention programmes coordinators, in public health and healthcare policy making, or as managers in the public health and healthcare sector (in Uzbekistan or globally).
The course was also created for professionals who are planning to pursue further research career exploiting doctoral study, either Ph.D. or D.Sc. at other higher education institutions in Uzbekistan or internationally.
An Undergraduate degree (or equivalent) from a recognised higher education institution with a minimum of a second lower class honours (2:2 or equivalent) in any subject area.
Applicants without a formal HE qualification or the formal qualification is not at the equivalent academic standard, may be considered if the following conditions apply:
- They are or have been in employment where their employed role is in the area of the course and involves a high level of analysis and critical thinking. If so, such candidates will be required to provide evidence of such employment, its nature and level. This evidence will be considered at interview and the decision of the panel will be final.
- Had their first or second degree (or equivalent) taught and assessed in English; or
- An IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 6 in the writing component or another English Language Test recognised by the University of Westminster.
Applicants will have to be a minimum of 22 years of age prior to the commencement of the course.
Course Structure (Core Modules)
In this module, students will identify and examine the connections between the core areas of Public Health (e.g. Epidemiology, Global Public Health foundations, Social and Behavioural Sciences, Biostatistics, Health Policy and Politics, health care/ health systems management, and others) and the various ways that ethics, economics, and culture influence all of them. The module will also explore the codes of ethics in Public Health practice, international research ethics, the determinants of health for developing effective public health strategies and interventions. This is a particularly important time to study Public Health, as the issues of global COVID-19 pandemic, economic and business challenges, ethics and culture are deeply embedded in our everyday lives, health care, research, policies and politics.
Specifically module covers:
- Foundations of Public Health. Interaction and importance of Public Health core disciplines and impact on population health. Public Health Core competences.
- Major Determinants of Health.
- Principles of prevention and early intervention to improve health outcomes.
- Conceptual framework of health improvement, health protection, health and healthcare services, system leadership.
- Logic Model to solve a Public Health related problem.
- Codes of Ethics. International Research Ethics, e.g. biomedical research.
- Identify the ethical problems/issues which are important for the decision.
- Be able to assess the factual information available for the decision making.
- Articulate the values which are important and relevant to a Public Health problem.
- “Stakeholders” and “the values of stake” in the decision in Public Health and Healthcare sector. Sources of power and authority in Public Health.
- Public Health Policy and Politics. Health advocacy. Trade-offs between “collective good” and “individual rights”.
- Humanitarian crisis: Pandemic COVID-19.
Concept of Epidemiology: “Epidemiology is the study of how disease is distributed in populations and of the factors that influence or determine this distribution. Why does a disease develop in some people and not others? The premise underlying epidemiology is that disease, illness, and ill health are not randomly distributed in a population. Rather, each of us has certain characteristics that predispose us to, or protect us against, a variety of different diseases.” Leon Gordis, Epidemiology, 5th Edition, Elsevier Saunders, Philadelphia, 2014.
This module provides a basic understanding of the epidemiologic method of identifying hypothesised associations between exposures and outcomes. The module will emphasise the generation of hypotheses based on descriptive epidemiologic data, the testing of hypotheses by analytical epidemiologic research, the determination of causality, and the value of epidemiologic research in developing and evaluating health-promoting and disease-preventing strategies.
Specifically module covers:
- Epidemiological principles, role and contribution of epidemiology to health.
- PICO and FINER criteria for a good research question.
- Testing hypotheses and associations.
- Principles of prevention and early intervention, screening programmes.
- Frequency: Prevalence and incidences, interpreting studies of frequency, distributions of disease by time, place and person, value and limitations of prevalence studies.
- Recognising risk and ways to express and compare risk.
- Case and case series. Cross-sectional study design. Ecological studies.
- Case control study design. The odds ratio, controlling for extraneous variables.
- Investigating disease outbreak.
- Cohort study design. The relative risk calculation.
- Randomised control trials.
- Systematic Reviews and Meta-analysis. Systemic thinking.
- Explaining Associations and Judging Causation.
- Enduring epidemiological understanding.
- Critically appraise, analyse and interpret epidemiological studies.
- Select and develop appropriate study designs for epidemiological research.
- Draw an appropriate conclusion based on the analyses of epidemiological studies and health-related data.
Certain human behaviours such as smoking, diets, low physical activity, alcohol and drug intake, stress and others have been documented to be the risk factors of numerous chronic diseases, and contribute to mortality. By persuading these people to change their habits and adapt to new lifestyle changes are considered by the health professions to be an efficient way to reducing the burden of diseases in our society.
This module provides various approaches to effecting cognitive behavioural change and highlights the evidence available for proving their effectiveness. Students will be equipped to be able to design and implement effective health promotion programmes. This module is delivered primarily through lectures which provides theory, evidences and techniques in behavioural science, change theory and health promotion campaigns. Seminars will be used to apply application of course concepts using case studies, best practice and outside experts in the field.
Specifically module covers:
- Appraisal of the human behaviour characteristics which affect health and increase chronic disease risks.
- Cognitive behavioural change models and theories.
- Understanding the dynamics involved in health communication and interventions to affect change.
- Applying health promotion strategies within various settings and situations.
- Articulation of clear, relevant and measurable project aims, objectives, budget and project timelines.
This Public Health and Nutrition module explores the conceptual framework of health improvement, health protection, health and healthcare services. In this module, students discover how health is influenced by the environment, food systems, energy security, transport, trade, and human migration.
The module is designed to deliver a broad but balanced approach to the understanding of nutritional issues, in which the perspectives of social science are explored as well as the more traditional disciplines of nutrition, epidemiology and statistics. This allows participants to acquire and apply advanced knowledge and skills in the identification, implementation and evaluation of public health strategies to address nutritional problems, that incorporate social and policy, as well as public health contexts. Finally, this module will illuminate how health impacts are essential to achieving poverty reduction, gender empowerment, universal education, conflict resolution, and other Sustainable Development Goals.
Specifically module covers:
- Concepts of disease Prevention and Health Promotion.
- Trends in Public Health: Conceptual framework of health improvement.
- Communicable Diseases: infectious Diseases, e.g. COVID-19.
- Non-Communicable and Impact of tobacco abuse, Diet and physical activity; Overweight, obesity and diabetes mellitus.
- Concepts and Principles of Nutrition: The basic concepts and principles of nutritional science, the role of macro and micronutrients in maintaining health, consumption structure, function, sources and bioavailability, basis of nutritional requirements.
- Diet and disease: Consequences of an unbalanced diet, changing patterns of diet and disease across the globe.
- Global challenges for food and health: Sustainable, safe and equitable food supplies; Food security and food regimes; the role of the UN, government and private sector actors in relation to food production, trade, access and consumption.
- Abnormality: Types of data, Performance of measurements, Variation, Distributions, Criteria for abnormality, Regression to the mean.
- Diagnosis: The accuracy of the test results, Sensitivity and specificity, Predictive value, Likelihood ratios, Multiple tests.
- Natural History and Disease Prognosis: injury, disease, age, sex, race and treatment; natural history of disease; prevention.
- Introduction to Evidence-Based Medicine: clinical practice, clinical question and patient population.
- Measurements of Health Outcomes: clinical decision-making, management, quality improvements and public health research.
- Variations in Clinical Practice and Clinical Guidelines: variations, clinical guidelines and the quality of the evidence.
This course is designed to develop knowledge and skills in statistical methods which may be used while testing hypotheses to find associations/causation in Public Health Science, Epidemiology, and other fields of Medicine, Life Sciences, and Social sciences. Students will acquire working experience with datasets, apply appropriate statistical methods, critically analyse research data, and interpret findings. In addition, students will develop statistical writing skills and learn how to critically evaluate published research papers, and present study results in research publications.
Specifically module covers:
- Sample and population.
- Data entry, coding, cleaning.
- Calculate the sample size requirements and statistical power for a study.
- Data types, measures of central tendency, 95% confidence intervals, measures of variability.
- Parametric and nonparametric tests of differences between two groups (t-test).
- Compare three or more groups using tests such as analysis of variance (ANOVA).
- Linear regression.
- Logistic regression.
- Survival analysis.
Health economics is the discipline of economics applied to the topic of health care. It is a fast-growing subject that forms an important aspect of public policy making in developed and developing countries. This module is designed to introduce students to the health economics field that concerns how society allocates its health care resources among alternative uses, and the economic evaluation techniques that underpins efficiency choices in health care.
The module focuses on providing a fundamental understanding of how health care markets are organised, the objectives of health systems, how the choice of objective may carry over to priority setting and how to measure the health status and cost of illness. This module also informs economic evaluations of certain treatments on Uzbekistan’s healthcare systems, and how the health systems can improve quality of health care delivery and population health outcomes.
Specifically module covers:
- Introduction to health economics: health economic theory, efficiency and equity, and health care in Uzbekistan.
- Production of Health Goods and Economics of demand for medical care.
- Supply of Health Services and Goods.
- Measuring status of health and cost of illness.
- Economics for Health insurance: demand and supply, health insurance markets.
- Markets for the Health Workforce and Medical Education.
- Markets for Hospital Services.
- Economics of Risky Health Behaviours and Externalities in Health and Medical Care.
- Economic Evaluations in Health Care.
- Economic evaluation of public health interventions: Health impact assessment.
- Health Technology Assessment and its application to support Health Economics.
- Health Care Reforms and Health Policy in the 21st Century: International Comparison, and sustainable development.
This course provides students with an overview of the healthcare system including the infrastructure, providers, policies and payment systems. It provides a thorough survey of the policies and structures of the health care system, a historical analysis of the development of the current system, and the organisation and administration of health care services today and for the future. Students will examine the health care system in terms of equity, appropriateness and effectiveness of the way health care services are delivered and how we pay for them. The topics are important and relevant for students wishing to expand their financial management skills.
The course focuses on long-term financing, capital investment, and corporate finance as applied specifically to health care organisations. The course spends significant time incorporating risk into organisational decision-making. Students will learn and practice these skills through lectures, problem solving, and quizzes. The course is structured to integrate both academic and practical approaches and perspectives on current health care financial and management issues.
Specifically module covers:
- Health Care Financial Statements: the balance sheet, the statement of operations, the statement of changes in net assets, the statement of cash flows.
- Health Care Accounting: the books, an example of the effects of cash flows on profit reporting under cash and accrual accounting, recording transactions, developing the financial statements.
- Financial Statement Analysis: horizontal analysis, trend analysis, vertical (common-size) analysis, ratio analysis, liquidity ratios, revenue, expense, and profitability ratios, activity ratios.
- Working Capital Management: working capital cycle, working capital management strategies, cash management, sources of temporary cash, revenue cycle management, collecting cash payments, investing cash on a short-term basis.
- The Time Value of Money: future value of a dollar invested today, present value of an amount to be received in the future, future and present values of annuities, future and present value calculations and excel functions for special situations.
- Budgeting: types of budgets, monitoring variances to budget, group purchasing organisations.
- Management: evolution, definition and importance. Hospital planning, organising, staffing, directing and controlling.
- Hospital Operation Management: management of quality assured services of professional service units of hospitals, quality control mechanisms.
- Outpatient & In-Patient Services: Radiotherapy, Nuclear medicine, surgical units, and OT Medical units, G & Obs. units & LR. Paediatric, neonatal units, Critical care units, Physical medicine & Rehabilitation. Skin, Eye, ENT, Neurology, Dental, Gastroenterology, Endoscopy, Pulmonology, Cardiology, Cath lab, Nephrology and Dialysis, Urology, Orthopaedics, Transplant units, Burn Units.
- Medical Record Science: Definition and types of medical record, Importance of medical record, Flow chart of function, Statutory requirements of maintenance, coding, indexing and filing, Computerization of record, Report and returns by the record department, Statistical information and ICD.
- Inventory Control and Purchase Management: Inventory Control and Purchase Management-meaning & significance. Purchasing & procurement- Principles of sourcing, purchase methods & procedures, legal aspects of purchasing. Import substitution.
This module aims to develop the student’s knowledge and competence of the research design process, exploring both qualitative and quantitative methodologies and quality assurance tools to be used in the application of research methods in the area of Public Health Science.
This module project is an extended piece of research on a relevant topic that students are interested in, with the approval of the supervisor and Course Leader using a proposal for an MSc level dissertation that will be executed at a later time. The topic will draw on knowledge, skills and methodological techniques covered by the course. It guides the students’ personal development plan towards the professional requirements of the discipline, and covers methods of critical evaluation, gathering and analysing information, and preparing and planning a project proposal.
Specifically module covers:
- Comprehensive understanding and appreciation of qualitative and quantitative research methods over a range of disciplines.
- Practical skills in formulating research questions and designs, and in collecting and analysing empirical data, both qualitative and quantitative.
- Training in industry-standard data analysis software for both quantitative and qualitative data.
- Develop a critical awareness of the impacts of health research within and beyond academia.
- Practice high levels of ethical integrity in research and to demonstrate sensitivity and commitment to principles and practices of good research ethics in the evaluation of others’ research.
- Develop skills as a researcher, exercising critical judgement, independence of thought and originality in work.
This module requires students to undertake a body of research to be submitted in the form of a dissertation at the end of the course. Module’s aims, content and manner of execution reflect the integrative nature of research at Master’s level.
In addition to applying theories studied in the different modules, students will be able to undertake an intensive study into a specific area of Public Health of their choice. It is also envisaged that the area of research chosen will be of practical relevance for students when they commence or re-commence their career.
- Apply the knowledge of theoretical concepts, models and constructs learned from the course to the analysis of an issue in Public Health;
- Integrate the theoretical knowledge and problem solving capabilities in relation to the research topic chosen;
- Acquire transferable skills to undertake tasks in the analysis of economic issues;
- Test and consolidate the ability to apply the concepts, models, constructs and techniques learned on the course;
- Enhance the capacity for independent action and competent presentation of results.