Developed in accordance with recommendations from the Council for Education in Public Health (CEPH), the principal accrediting body for public health programmes in the Americas, and in consultation with the Ministry of Health.
A minimum of 42 credits will be required to graduate. Students will obtain these credits by passing (>55%) eleven core courses, a practicum and a culminating project.
The programme is delivered on an Executive style weekend schedule over two years. Students travel to Georgetown, Guyana twice per month to meet with mentors and course instructors.
Programme Schedule & Structure
Students will gain knowledge and skills to address public health challenges, especially those of Guyana and the Caribbean region, in an ethical manner. These enduring understandings are translated into competencies that are accomplished through coursework, practica and culminating experiences.
Within the following broad domains, students will understand…
Health states: data, models, analyses, and surveillance
Health systems: organization, financing and delivery of services
- That health-related states vary by person, place and time, and methods for ascertaining how and why they vary
- How to identify different types and sources of data and their strengths and limitations
- How to determine appropriate uses for each data type and source
- How to manage data securely
- How to calculate summary statistics of centrality, dispersion and association.
- How to interpret statistical results and effectively communicate data-driven health information in an audience-appropriate way
- How to investigate and manage disease outbreaks
- How to translate evidence about health-related states into public health action
- How to identify common elements
- How to differentiate models across countries
- Health systems’ impact on public health outcomes
- How to critique commonly referenced social and psychological determinants of health behaviour
- How to apply theoretical principles, constructs and models used to understand health behaviours
- How to design and assess behavioural interventions using social and psychological concepts and theories of health behaviour and determinants of health outcomes
- Ethical issues and the employment of ethical principles in all aspects of public health work
One credit is equivalent to 12 hours of scheduled classroom time (except for practicum and culminating experience – see below); actual contact hours will include Moodle and Skype sessions with lecturers, small group work and tutorials – these will vary across courses.
The entire practicum is expected to last 240 hours, but students must spend a minimum of 60 hours (two work weeks) on-site. They may complete practicum-related work away from the placement site during the remaining hours, provided that this is acceptable to their Practicum Supervisor and host organisation. Students will be allowed to work on their culminating experience (CE) project over a period of at least 6 months (1 semester), but must spend a minimum of 48 hours meeting with their CE supervisor and participating in CE seminars (including presentations of their own proposal and findings).
The first year of the programme is comprised of 8 core-courses: Epidemiology I & II, Biostatistics I & II, Health Systems Administration, Health Behaviour, Surveillance, and Environmental Health. Three additional, short core-courses will be conducted in Semester 1 of year 2: Monitoring & Evaluation, Leadership & Management, and Programme Planning. Two lecturers, one from UG and one from either VU or UCSF developed each of these courses. Further details about course development partners are provided in Section (g) below.
The MPH practicum will seek to provide students the opportunity to develop and use the knowledge and skills acquired in the academic programme in a public health agency or other environment in which a public health function is performed (e.g., hospital infection control programme, local health organization).
The practicum will also enable students to develop and extend competencies that are initially introduced in didactic coursework. Examples include the development of policy, enhancing communication skills, understanding of public and private financing mechanisms, and understanding organizational behaviour and change. It will be each student’s responsibility, with the assistance of their Practicum Supervisor, to find, arrange, and complete a satisfactory field experience that fulfils programme requirements.
- Provide students with a supervised practical field experience in an organization, agency, or other setting that provides planning or services relevant to public health
- Help students further develop skills or competencies learned in the academic programme by applying them in a public health practice setting
- Provide a means for acquiring practical skills that are useful to public health professions and are not available through academic instruction\
- Foster understanding of the political, economic, social and organizational context within which public health activities are conducted
- Provide exposure to an organizational and/or community context for public health activities
All students will be required to complete a final/capstone project, which is the defined culminating experience for the programme, and is worth 4 credits. They will be expected to address a significant public health concern, pursue novel inquiry under the guidance of a mentor, and demonstrate mastery of one or more programme competencies. The project should yield generalizable knowledge relative to the practice of public health and would provide students the opportunity to integrate skills and knowledge from throughout the curriculum. The project will fall into one of the following four main categories:
- A traditional research thesis (quantitative, qualitative or mixed methods)
- A systematic review of the literature
- A policy analysis or practice issue
- A report on any other activity that is deemed acceptable by the student’s Academic Advisor and the
MPH Curriculum Committee