Public Health BSc (Hons) with foundation year

Study level: Undergraduate
Doctor administering a vaccine to a male patient

Public health is the science and art of detecting and preventing disease, enhancing people’s quality of life, and promoting physical, mental, and environmental health.

Course option

Year of entry


CU Coventry (Coventry) and
Coventry University (Coventry)

Study mode



4 years full-time
5 years sandwich

UCAS codes


Start date

September 2024
November 2024

Course overview

Our degree with foundation year could be the stepping stone you need to achieve your goals. The foundation year aims to prepare you for degree-level study and is a great way to build the confidence, skills and knowledge needed to succeed on your degree course.

Foundation year

The foundation year course offers an introduction to your chosen subject and helps you develop the necessary skills for degree-level study. In addition, you will also explore key skills such as research methods, scientific fundamentals and promotion techniques.


The degree explores strategies for tackling disease and preventing ill health, embracing multifaceted and collective actions for health promotion, and approaches to health protection to respond to emerging challenges facing public health practitioners.

  • Develop an understanding of health disparities and health inequalities at local, national and international level as well as the knowledge to be able to improve health outcomes through the effective planning, execution and evaluation of health interventions to change behaviour.
  • It offers the opportunity to develop knowledge around differing health needs, influences on health, and how to prevent ill health and promote health and wellbeing.
  • The course aims to equip you to work in a range of roles within public health where you can make a real difference to people’s health and wellbeing.
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Joint Top Modern University for Career Prospects

Guardian University Guide 2021 and 2022

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5 QS Stars for Teaching and Facilities

QS Stars University Ratings

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Top 5 UK Student City (Coventry)

QS Best Student Cities Index 2023

Why you should study this course

Foundation year

  • Supports you to gain the academic skills required for degree-level study.
  • Provides a grounding in key areas of health, education, psychology and wellbeing.


  • The learning is interactive and creative with hands-on learning sessions related to real-life situations.
  • Taught by current Public Health experts from a range of practice, research, academic and leadership backgrounds (staff may be subject to change).
  • The assessments use the same competencies, knowledge and skills that you will use in many public health job roles.
  • You will also have inter-professional learning opportunities allowing students from health-related courses the opportunity to share, learn and work together.
  • You may have opportunities to attend out-of-classroom field trips related to aspects of public health, and you will also have access to a range of international experience opportunities2.

Coventry University ranked 8th for Health Professions

Guardian University Guide 2023

Having spent many years working in public health roles and seeing the positive impact it can have in supporting people to lead healthier and happier lives, it’s exciting to be part of a dynamic and passionate team developing future public health practitioners who can go on to have equally enjoyable, fulfilling and impactful careers. One of the elements I particularly like about this course is the focus on practical learning which is directly applicable to job roles in public health and making a positive difference to people’s health.

Jane Wright, Assistant Professor in Public Health, 2022
Urban garden on campus in the sunshine

What you'll study

In the first year, the curriculum allows you to gain a broad grounding in the discipline where you will develop knowledge to do with the foundations of public health, communication, health systems and health interventions, among others.


  • This module explores the key elements of the field of Public Health which will provide you with a firm foundation for the course which you will build on and develop in further depth through future modules. In particular you will examine concepts and definitions of health and public health, the three pillars of public health – disease prevention, health protection and health promotion, the social determinants of health and how these link to health inequalities and the impacts of political, economic and democratic processes on health.


  • The overall aim of this module is to develop your ability to study at a degree level, which includes a development of your personal and professional skills. You will learn how to practice self-awareness, self-monitoring and critical reflection on good academic practice. You will learn skills on how to demonstrate awareness of your own strengths and weaknesses in order to optimise your knowledge and skills throughout the course.


  • This module introduces you to the foundational elements of health research. It outlines the purpose and methods for generating evidence in order to understand situations influencing health outcomes and inequalities. The module will introduce you to research terminology, types of study designs and it will begin to explore the range of application for these methods. In addition to the above, digital technologies for searching and appraising a range of data sources will be explored.


  • The aim of this module is to introduce you to the diversity of organisations and systems involved in activities for improving healthcare and population health. You will learn about the influence of different organisational objectives, motives and governance on population health outcomes and health inequalities.


  • This module aims to introduce, describe and explore communication strategies used in public health. You will seek to learn how to communicate health messages to different audiences and appreciate the challenges, advantages and disadvantages of communication in public health at local, national and international levels.


  • This module introduces you to the foundational principles and theories which underpin health interventions and their evaluations. You will look to learn about the rights and values that drive ethically sound interventions for improving health. The module will explore how to plan, evaluate and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of health interventions in a range of contexts.


In year two, you will develop more advanced knowledge and skills to do with epidemiology, health research, health promotion, health protection and public health policy, among others.  


  • This module aims to provide you with the basic analytical and statistical knowledge and skills required for effective public health practice and research. It enables you to understand the basic concepts of study design, data analysis, and interpretation of epidemiological research and their use in decision-making for public health improvement and reduction of health inequalities.


  • This module aims to enable you to identify suitable methods to investigate local, national or international public health issues and challenges drawing on appropriate sources of evidence. The module is designed to help you develop your ability to write research proposals for addressing health inequalities and improving health and health services delivery.


  • The aim of the module is to enable you to understand health disparities and develop skills for using evidence as the basis for promoting individual and population health. It prepares you to work in diverse spheres such as governmental organisations, advocacy groups, voluntary organisations, and community-based primary care settings at all levels.


  • The module introduces you to the basic principles of controlling infections and environmental hazards within the community and workplace. It provides and reinforces understanding of key threats to population health, and the role of healthcare partnerships and legislations in protecting population health.


  • This module enables you to apply economic and political analyses to the design, implementation and management of public health policies. It explores the context of public and private healthcare organisations and NGO activities at local, national and international levels. You will acquire skills in interpreting and evaluating access to services, healthcare quality and policy analysis.


  • The module aims to introduce you to, and prepare you for, the range of careers and employment options related to public health. You will seek to develop the skills, knowledge and behaviours which health employers expect graduates to demonstrate in order to maximise employability in a public health field.


Year three aims to bring you to the level to enter the world of work by consolidating your knowledge and skills from year one and two. You could also work on a dissertation in an area of your interest, with the support of a mentor.


  • This module aims to prepare you for leadership and management careers in the unique environment of public health. It is designed to provide you with practical management skills such as leading and managing people and programmes, service quality improvement, and taking actions to improve organisational performance using the skills and strategies for collaborating with a range of stakeholders in public health. You will critically examine leadership and “followership” models and the concept of empowerment and distributed leadership, to gain understanding of ethical leadership, culture and values within the delivery of care. You will aim to be equipped with a range of practical leadership and management skills underpinned by a critical appreciation of leadership and management theory

    You will explore the concepts of service improvement and gain experience of leading and participating in projects, using relevant management tools and techniques. You will reflect on your observed experience of public health leadership behaviours and management skills throughout the course, to further develop a personal development plan to guide your ongoing leadership development as a public health professional.


  • The module aims to prepare you for roles in public health as analysts and managers. It focuses on developing your methodological and analytical skills to examine prevalence, causes, and consequences of current and future public health challenges at all levels. It explores the development of appropriate action to address current and future public health challenges within the context of contemporary public health theory and practice.


  • In this module, you will explore the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and how globalisation affects the social determinants of health, the main drivers of globalisation including the spread and control of communicable and non-communicable diseases. Furthermore, it aims to develop your skills for evaluating health financing tools, policies, and trends so that you understand the health consequences, and explores the main challenges facing global health agents and the efforts to improve population health outcomes and reduce health inequalities.


  • This is a competency-based module designed to provide you with knowledge and skills for prioritising implementation of a range of public health interventions. Building on the foundational knowledge and skills at Level 4, it emphasises generating and using evidence about effectiveness and efficiency in deciding which interventions to adopt, implementation cycle, and Total Quality Management in relation to desired health outcomes.


  • The main aim of the dissertation is for you to demonstrate your analytical skills for identifying the implications of interventions, practices, and policies in public health. It’s designed to prepare you for practical responsibilities and leadership roles in evaluating and improving key aspects of public health delivery.


The foundation year offers an introduction to your chosen subject and supports you to develop the skills required for degree-level study.


  • This module aims to familiarise you with the professional and regulatory standards relevant to professional roles across the wider health, education and social care sectors. You will explore the importance of effective communication and the purpose and benefits of self-evaluation and reflection in a variety of professional contexts. You will explore the impact and influence of personal and professional values on practice and be provided with the opportunity to examine the barriers and facilitators to effective practice in your preferred profession within the wider health, education and social care sectors.


  • This module examines lifespan development and supporting psychological theories to enable you to develop an understanding of human behaviour. It emphasises the importance of psychology in the context of learning and behaviour and its application to enhance relationships with service users. By understanding the factors that influence people’s behaviours we can provide interventions that will help people change their lifestyle choices. With this in mind, you will cover essential topics such as psychological perspectives, learning and behaviour, stages of lifespan and even participate in the lively discussion of nature versus nurture.


  • This module introduces you to fundamental knowledge of anatomy and physiology and its relationship with health and disease. You will learn to apply this knowledge and understanding of the working of the human body in order to explore how health and care interventions can address disease, along with how individual choices and health management decisions can affect overall health status.


  • After identifying the concepts of inequality in society and the resulting impact, you’ll get to work assessing, planning and implementing health promotion. You’ll take into account various approaches such as social change and empowerment and consider current programmes including national campaigns, social marketing and mass media.

    With developed knowledge and confidence, you get to showcase your understanding of health and wellbeing by producing your own health campaign. At the end of this module, you should be equipped with the necessary skills and competencies to progress further onto your selected degree course.


We regularly review our course content, to make it relevant and current for the benefit of our students. For these reasons, course modules may be updated.

This course is helping me to develop essential skills such as critical thinking, teamwork, analysing and communication through different activities such as group work, discussions, scenario analysis and debates. The modules are thought-provoking, and the lecturers are experts with a lot of professional experience in their field, allowing them to share real-life examples with us, which is an excellent way to understand any topic. Having guest speakers has allowed me to get insight into specific topics and relevant events that are currently happening.

Simran Kaur, Public Health BSc (Hons) current student, quoted in 2022
Close up of a lab specimen dish being held up toward the camera.

How you'll learn

You will be taught using a mixture of lectures and seminars, ‘hands-on’ skills workshops, student-led discussions and interactive simulation. Assessments encourage the development of skills required for successful careers in Public Health. This includes being familiar with Microsoft software packages (Word, PowerPoint, Excel etc).

The foundation year programme is focused on applied learning geared to high-intensity teaching and study throughout the programme, requiring full commitment from students. The delivery of course content is a blend of lectures, tutorials and online mediums.

Unlike traditional institutions, there are no end-of-year exams. Instead, learning is assessed through coursework which is more reflective of a working environment.

Teaching contact hours

You can expect up to 20 hours of learning activities per week, made up of face-to-face teaching, individual and group tutorials, online classes and independent learning.

Additionally, you will be expected to undertake significant self-directed study of approximately 30 hours each week, depending on the demands of individual modules.


The learning outcomes of modules, assignments and projects will be clearly stated. Your work will be marked according to how well you achieve these learning outcomes and your final feedback will refer to each outcome, as well as provide an overall percentage grade.

Assessment methods vary and may include practical class and project performance, written practical reports, project thesis, oral presentations, tutorial tasks and assessments which generally take place at the end of each six-week block.

These interactive, creative and hands-on learning sessions aim to support you to explore important health issues theoretically as well as practically. You will also have inter-professional learning opportunities allowing students from a diverse range of health-related courses the opportunity to share, learn and work together.

You will have the opportunity to:

  • Work in smaller groups for seminars and tutorials.
  • Engage in student-led discussions (group presentations, case-studies and scenario analyses) to facilitate shared learning and practice experiences.
  • Hear from professionals in practice drawn from a range of Public Health-related fields (subject to availability).
  • Utilise a virtual learning environment to access updates on the course and modules, and other relevant materials for supporting learning such as videos and podcasts.
  • Participate in a simulation exercise which mimics real-world challenges and cross-profession working (subject to availability).
  • Attend a public health-related field visit (e.g. water treatment plant) or event (e.g. Public Health film festival)2.

These strategies should help you to connect concepts covered in the course with real-life experience and are designed to enhance your career options following graduation.

Teaching contact hours

You will receive around 10 hours teaching contact time per week. This is made up of lectures, seminars and tutorials. Additionally, you will be expected to undertake significant self-directed study of approximately 17 hours each week, depending on the demands of individual modules.

As an innovative and enterprising institution, the university may seek to utilise emerging technologies within the student experience. For all courses (whether on-campus, blended, or distance learning), the university may deliver certain contact hours and assessments via online technologies and methods.

Since COVID-19, we have delivered our courses in a variety of forms, in line with public authority guidance, decisions, or orders and we will continue to adapt our delivery as appropriate. Whether on campus or online, our key priority is staff and student safety.


This course will be assessed using a variety of methods which will vary depending upon the module.

Assessment methods may include:

  • Essays
  • Poster presentations
  • Coursework
  • Exams
  • Research project

The Coventry University Group assessment strategy ensures that our courses are fairly assessed and allows us to monitor student progression towards achieving the intended learning outcomes.

Now is an exciting time to be part of the future of public health. The importance and positive impact public health is having on people's lives is growing. I feel all of my previous public health roles and experience has led me to this point. We have a diverse team of international lecturers; ready and waiting to help you reach your full potential and start your career in public health, making a positive difference to people's health.

Natasha Dawson, Module Leader and Lecturer in Public Health, 2022
Shot of Coventry University's Alison Gingell building framed with blue sky behind.

Entry requirements

Typical offer for 2024/25 entry.

72 UCAS tariff points. All foundation courses require 5 GCSEs at A-C/4-9 including Maths and English, and at least one A2 level or a BTEC equivalent qualification.

If you don’t fulfil the entry criteria your application may be considered on an individual basis, taking into account any work experience, other qualifications and/or any training you have completed. Speak to one of our advisers today to find out how we can help you.

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Are you eligible for the Fair Access Scheme?

We believe every student should have the opportunity to dream big, reach their potential and succeed, regardless of their background. Find out more about our Fair Access Scheme.

Got higher grades? Have you considered direct entry to the degree without foundation year?

Fees and funding

2024/25 tuition fees.

Foundation year

Student Full-time Part-time
UK, Ireland*, Channel Islands or Isle of Man £7,950 Not available
International/EU Not currently available*** Not available


Student Full-time Part-time
UK, Ireland*, Channel Islands or Isle of Man £9,250 per year Not available
International/EU Not currently available*** Not available

Please note: UK (home) tuition fees for the degree course years will be charged at the current Coventry University UK (home) degree fee level. This was set at £9,250 for the 24/25 academic year.

If you choose to do a work placement2, you should consider travel and living costs to cover this. There is also a tuition fee3 of £1,250 that will cover your academic support throughout your placement year.

For advice and guidance on tuition fees and student loans visit our Undergraduate Finance page and see The University’s Tuition Fee and Refund Terms and Conditions.

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessments, facilities and support services. There may be additional costs not covered by this fee such as accommodation and living costs, recommended reading books, stationery, printing and re-assessments should you need them. Find out what's included in your tuition costs.

The following are additional costs not included in the tuition fees:

  • Any optional overseas field trips or visits: £400+ per trip.
  • Any costs associated with securing, attending or completing a placement (whether in the UK or abroad).

*Irish student fees

The rights of Irish residents to study in the UK are preserved under the Common Travel Area arrangement. If you are an Irish student and meet the residency criteria, you can study in England, pay the same level of tuition fees as English students and utilise the Tuition Fee Loan.

**This course with foundation year is not currently available to international students

If you do not meet the entry requirements to directly join year 1 of the degree, please take a look at our International Pathways Programme for additional options.

  • We carry out an initial fee status assessment based on the information you provide in your application. Your fee status determines your tuition fees, and what financial support and scholarships may be available to you. The rules about who pays UK (home) or international (overseas) fees for higher education courses in England are set by the government's Department for Education. The regulations identify all the different categories of student who can insist on paying the home rate. The regulations can be difficult to understand, so the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) has provided fee status guidance to help you identify whether you are eligible to pay the home or overseas rate.

    If you meet all the criteria required by any one category, including any residence requirements, your institution must charge you the home rate. You only need to find one category that you fit into.


Our foundation years are taught at CU Coventry’s Mile Lane building, a short walk from the city centre. You’re part of the university from day one, so during your foundation year you’ll have access to the wider facilities at Coventry University. Once you successfully complete your foundation year, you'll transfer over to studying your chosen degree at Coventry University, where you'll be taught on campus in the relevant academic buildings.

Located on our Mile Lane campus, you will have access to our Library and Learning Services (LLS), fully equipped seminar rooms and IT suites4. You can also take advantage of reading rights in Coventry University’s Lanchester Library, make use of sport centre facilities and receive full membership to Your Students' Union.

Two students walking outside with the CU Coventry building behind them.

Mile Lane

The campus is home to an on-site library with bookable one-to-one academic writing service and library support sessions, fully equipped seminar rooms, open-access study areas, a café and an IT suite. Our labs contain industry-standard equipment so that you learn using the same equipment as many industry professionals.

A student working in a booth in The Hub.

The Hub

At The Hub you'll find the Health and Wellbeing Centre, the Students’ Union and Square One which provide entertainment from quiz nights to live music, the Spirituality and Faith Centre, Tank Studio, Careers Office, Enterprise Hub and a fantastic food court.



External view of the Lanchester Library.

Lanchester Library

You will have full reading rights in Coventry University’s Lanchester Library. The library is open 24/7, 364 days a year and has many study spaces, including group and silent areas. It also currently offers touchdown computers and free-to-loan laptops.



Students will benefit from studying on our well-equipped, modern campus4.

  • The Simulation Centre allows you to participate in simulation exercises which mimic real-world challenges and cross-profession working, e.g. managing a disease outbreak at Coventry University.
  • The Computer Lab at Coventry University main campus allows you to participate on challenges to resolve public health issues within a given health-related scenario.

Alison Gingell Building

You'll have the opportunity to study in our multi-million-pound Alison Gingell Building with facilities including a mock ambulance, hospital wards and full-size community houses as well as study spaces, classrooms and more.

Inside of a big building with hanging lights and big staircase

Careers and opportunities

On successful completion of the course, you will have the knowledge to enable you to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the underlying principles of public health - prevention, promotion, protection.
  • Measure and interpret qualitative and quantitative data to make evidence informed decisions.
  • Evaluate population health needs in order to initiate health interventions for preventing disease and improving health.
  • Critically review relationships between health policy, strategies, health systems and service users’ experiences that influence health outcomes and inequalities.
  • Assess and recognise the impact of wider social determinants of health, health inequalities and health inequity at all levels.
  • Effectively communicate public health messages to specialist and non-specialist audiences using a range of approaches and media.
  • Understand effective strategies for working with community groups and organisations in designing, managing and delivering services.
  • Demonstrate effective leadership and ethical approaches to improve quality for public health.
  • Appraise health systems differences in adopting foundational public health concepts, principles and methods of enquiry.

The course is designed to align your knowledge and skills with the requirements of employers in Public Health and for your skills to be able to make an immediate impact on populations and health outcomes in a range of roles and organisations. The course aims to enhance your employability by offering the skills and competences that address employers' objectives and expectations from graduates wishing to pursue a career as a public health practitioner.

Graduates may be employed in such roles as public health practitioner, health protection practitioner, health improvement practitioner, health data analyst, healthy lifestyles co-ordinator, public health project manager, and many other types of analysts, managers or researcher roles within the diverse field of public health practice.

This course aims to equip you with the tools for developing necessary competences for employment within a wide range of organisations, including local authorities, NHS, not-for-profit organisations and charities, and non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

Further study

Graduates from this course may consider progression to master’s level courses in areas such as:

  • Public health
  • Global public health
  • Global health management
  • Public health nutrition
  • Public health and health promotion
  • Reproductive and sexual health research
  • Health economics and policy
  • Health data science

How to apply

  • Study location

    The Foundation Year study route will be delivered by CU, part of the Coventry University Group, for and on behalf of Coventry University.

    If you choose to study at CU Coventry for your Foundation Year, then your learning will be based at CU Coventry. Mile Lane, Coventry. Subject to meeting requirements you will then transition to the relevant Coventry University subject faculty building for your progression degree.

    Coventry University together with Coventry University London, Coventry University Wrocław, CU Coventry, CU London, CU Scarborough, and Coventry University Online come together to form part of the Coventry University Group (the University) with all degrees awarded by Coventry University. 


    The majority of our courses have been formally recognised by professional bodies, which means the courses have been reviewed and tested to ensure they reach a set standard. In some instances, studying on an accredited course can give you additional benefits such as exemptions from professional exams (subject to availability, fees may apply). Accreditations, partnerships, exemptions and memberships shall be renewed in accordance with the relevant bodies’ standard review process and subject to the university maintaining the same high standards of course delivery.

    2UK and international opportunities

    Please note that we are unable to guarantee any UK or international opportunities (whether required or optional) such as internships, work experience, field trips, conferences, placements or study abroad opportunities and that all such opportunities may be unpaid and/or subject to additional costs (which could include, but is not limited to, equipment, materials, bench fees, studio or facilities hire, travel, accommodation and visas), competitive application, availability and/or meeting any applicable travel, public authority guidance, decisions or orders and visa requirements. To ensure that you fully understand any visa requirements, please contact the International Office.

    3Tuition fees

    The University will charge the tuition fees that are stated in the above table for the first Academic Year of study. The University will review tuition fees each year. For UK (home) students, if Parliament permit an increase in tuition fees, the University may increase fees for each subsequent year of study in line with any such changes. Note that any increase is expected to be in line with inflation.

    For international students, we may increase fees each year, but such increases will be no more than 5% above inflation. If you defer your course start date or have to extend your studies beyond the normal duration of the course (e.g. to repeat a year or resit examinations) the University reserves the right to charge you fees at a higher rate and/or in accordance with any legislative changes during the additional period of study.


    Facilities are subject to availability. Access to some facilities (including some teaching and learning spaces) may vary from those advertised and/or may have reduced availability or restrictions where the university is following public authority guidance, decisions or orders.

    Student Contract

    By accepting your offer of a place and enrolling with us, a Student Contract will be formed between you and the university. A copy of the current 2023/2024 contract is available on the website for information purposes however the 2024/25 Contract is currently being updated so please revisit this page before submitting your application. The Contract details your rights and the obligations you will be bound by during your time as a student and contains the obligations that the university will owe to you. You should read the Contract before you accept an offer of a place and before you enrol at the university.

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