Introduction
Makerere University School of Public Health (MakSPH) offers a Masters degree in Public Health by Distance Education (MPH-DE). The program is designed for individuals who desire graduate public health training while they continue to work. The program is modeled on the same objectives of the MPH Fulltime Program and covers exactly the same academic content.

The Program Goal
The goal of the program is to produce practically oriented public health professionals who possess the knowledge, skills and professional attitudes required to assume leadership roles within the public health systems and to meet the current and future challenges of public health.

The specific objectives of the MPH Distance Education Program are to:

  •  Enable suitable candidates to undertake graduate Public Health training while they continue to work at their various locations for most of the course duration.
  • Strengthen the capacity for implementing health services at the district level, including priority setting and resource allocation.
  • Prepare public health practitioners to work within an integrated multi-disciplinary, multisectoral health system.
  • Promote linkages between institutions providing public health training locally, regionally and worldwide.
  • Strengthen the collection and utilization of information to improve the quality of health services.
  • Strengthen the capacity to carry out essential national research.

Who can apply?
The program is open to both Ugandans and non-Ugandans, whether living within Uganda or outside the borders of Uganda, who should preferably be employees in a health service institution (such as a District Health Service or a health sector NGO), and fulfill the minimum admission requirements.

Admission requirements

  • A degree in health sciences e.g. medicine, nursing, pharmacy or dentistry, with at least two years’ of relevant field experience, OR
  • A degree in biological sciences e.g. biology, environmental sciences and laboratory sciences with at least two years’ of relevant field experience, OR
  •  A degree in any other humanity e.g. statistics, social science, etc; currently working in a health service institution or health sector NGO with at least two years’ working experience in a health service institution or health sector NGO. Candidates also ought to have access to reliable Internet services, as most of the communication with the MPH (DE) students is via the Internet. Candidates currently working in a health sector institution have added advantage for admission in the MPH (DE) Program. It is very useful for MPH (DE) trainees to receive support (in terms of allowing reasonable time to study, and other forms of support), from their employers throughout their training. Therefore intending candidates are advised to discuss their intentions to enroll in the MPH (DE) with their employers to ensure this kind of support.

The courses offered are:
Core courses
Year I Semester I
Biological Basis of Public Health
Applied Epidemiology I
Applied Biostatistics I
Health Promotion, Health Education & Behaviour
Change Communication

Year I Semester II
Research Methods
Communicable & Non-communicable Disease Control
Health Ethics and Law
Scientific Writing & Communication Skills

Year I Recess Term
Field Study I

Year II Semester I
Family and Reproductive Health
Public Health Nutrition
Health Planning and Management
Environmental and Occupational Health

Track Specific Courses

Track 1 – Applied Epidemiology
Applied Epidemiology II
Applied Biostatistics II
Interventional Epidemiology Methods
Advanced Disease Surveillance and Outbreak
Investigations
Health Database Organization & Analysis

Track 2 – Health Systems
Health Policy & Primary Health Care
Health Economics & Finance
Monitoring & Evaluation
Leadership & Managing Human Resources
Quality Assurance of Health Care
Economic Evaluation & Decision Making
Communicating Research Findings for Policy

Track 3 – Reproductive Health
Maternal and Child Health
Gender and Health
Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health
Demography and Population Dynamics

Track 4 – Environment Health
Diseases of Public Health Importance
Environmental Sanitation
Occupational Health and Safety
Food Hygiene

Year II Recess Term
Field Study I

Year III Semester I and II
Seminar Series I and II
Dissertation

Elective Courses
In addition to the track specific courses trainees, will
elect to take any course of their choice from courses
offered in any track

How is the program organized?
This is a distance learning program therefore students enrolled into this program are expected to study mostly on their own, using learning materials provided to them at the beginning of each semester, plus other computer/Internet based learning materials.
The program is organized so that in each academic year there are 3 on-campus face-to-face sessions.
i. An orientation face-to-face session at the start of the academic year in August lasting one week (Monday – Friday). During this period, students are also introduced to reading
materials for courses offered in Semester I,
ii. End of Semester I face-to-face sessions in January that also last one week (Monday – Friday). During this period, students do their end of Semester I exams, and are also
introduced to reading materials for courses offered in Semester II.
iii. End of Semester II face-to-face sessions in June, that also last one week (Monday – Friday). During this period, students do their end of Semester II exams.

All intending applicants must therefore plan to be in Kampala three times a year, for the face-to-face sessions mentioned above.

Facilities available for MPH learning students:
– MAKSPH has 15 training centers under the MPH Fulltime Program. These are stocked with books and other reading materials relevant to the MPH.
They are located in the offices of the District Health Offers in the districts of Arua, Bushenyi, Busia, Hoima, Jinja, Kabarole, Kampala, Kumi, Mbarara, Moroto, Mpigi, Mukono, Rakai, Rukungiri and Tororo.

-The Institute of Adult and Continuing Education Centers located in Mbale, Gulu, Arua, Lira, Kabale, Jinja and Fort Portal may also be accessed.

Tuition Fees
Tuition fees are: Ug. Shs. 1.5m/= per semester for Ugandans, or US $2500 per semester for foreign students. Makerere University reserves the right to revise tuition fee rates whenever found necessary.
In addition to the tuition fees, students must also meet all other expenses related to: registration fees to the university, examination fees, library and administration, travel and accommodation while in Kampala, a personal computer, stationery, books, field studies, and research costs for the dissertation.
It is estimated that over the 3 years’ training program, these additional costs may total up to Ug.Shs. 8 – 10m/=; or US $5000 – 7000, depending on the location of the student. It is the responsibility of each intending applicant to identify funds for all these expenses.

How to apply:
Application forms and guidelines can be obtained
from the Makerere University School of Graduate
Studies, or downloaded from their website.

Contacts:

MPH (DE) Program Administrator,
Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics,
School of Public Health,
College of Health Sciences, Makerere University
P.O. Box 7072,
Kampala, Uganda.
Tel. 256-414- 543-872
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Introduction and Overview to the MPH Programme:

The challenge of the Health System in Uganda is to promote, improve and maintain the health of the Ugandan people equitably, and to the optimum level possible with the resources available. Following the introduction of decentralisation in 1993, the increased demand for public health practitioners was recognised. The demand for practitioners has continued to grow as a result of the creation of more districts and further decentralisation to lower levels (the health sub-districts) now numbering about two hundred.

Since the 1994/1995 academic year, Makerere University School of Public Health, the Ministry of Health and Rockefeller Foundation, assumed a joint commitment to implement a Master of Public Health Degree Programme. The philosophy of this programme is to develop high quality and sustainable training strategies that will produce public health leaders and workers prepared to address public health challenges at the national, district and community levels in Uganda.

The current 22-month MPH training programme consists of an academic component with compulsory courses that are mainly conducted at the School. The programme also has a field component covered during field placements at the selected district training sites, under the supervision of the respective District Directors of Health Services (DHO), MakSPH faculty and Ministry of Health Officials.

The two year MPH curriculum is run in conformity with the University semester system. Each academic year consists of two semesters of 17 weeks duration foreach semester and a recess term of ten weeks duration.
Coordination of programme activities is the responsibility of the Department of Health Policy, Planning and Management.

The MPH programme is multidisciplinary in nature and students from a wide range of backgrounds and experience are admitted to it. So far, the background of graduates of the programme include medical doctors, veterinary doctors, dental surgeons, pharmacists, social scientists, science teachers, food scientists and nurses. This situation provides an opportunity for sharing experiences and competencies in public health during the learning process.

Facilitation of the programme courses is also multidisciplinary in that specialists from various fields of expertise from within and without the University take part in the teaching of various programme courses.
Makerere University School of Public Health has only fiften established staff who teach the academic courses, with the assistance of other experts in the relevant fields from MOH, and other departments in the University.
The DHO of the identified training sites supervise and guide the students during their field attachments. A number of University lecturers supervise the students’ dissertations in the areas of specialisation. The number of MakSPH faculty is expected in the near future.

The MPH is a full-time programme and officers’ involvement in outside work during the training period isn’t expected.

Click here for information on how to apply.

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