Public Health

Study mode:On campus Study type:Full-time Languages: English
Foreign:$ 2.54 k / Semester(s) Deadline: Dec 1, 2023
StudyQA ranking:2694 Duration:3 semestrs

Photos of university / #HAWHamburg

The Master of Public Health aims to equip participants with scientific and practical skills to independently conduct research that brings about policy changes and that positively affects a population's health. Its key concept is to preserve and enhance the health, well-being and life expectancy of human populations by integrating scientific knowledge, practical skills and data research analysis to advance public health.

The course comprises 10 modules which focus on the determinants of health and major health problems from a global and interdisciplinary perspective and will provide students with knowledge in conceptualisation, planning, implementation and evaluation of public health interventions, study designs, and research methods. Students are able to gain a comprehensive understanding in ethics and in current developments of public health. The programme culminates in writing the Master's thesis. The aim is to formulate and analyse a problem, using a suitable study design and study methods; concepts and methods learned during the programme will be applied.

For students willing to gain practical experience in European public health organisations and to prepare themselves for the European job market, a supplementary certificate "European Master of Public Health" (EMPH) is offered.

Educational organisation

The number of students is limited to max. 24, therefore seminars and small group work are possible in all modules.

The standard length of the Master of Public Health course is three semesters. The degree is organised in two parts. The first part comprises two semesters with 60 credit points (CP) to be acquired in ten modules which focus on determinants of health and major health problems in a global and interdisciplinary perspective. In the second part (third semester), a Master's thesis must be completed within six months, which is worth 30 CP.

First Semester: five modules are required (6 CPs each)
­- Global, European and German Public Health
­- Health Promotion and Prevention
­- Epidemiology & Study Design
­- Infectious and Non-communicable Disease Epidemiology
­- Nutrition, Health Behaviour and Lifestyle

Second Semester: five modules are required (6 CPs each)
  • Ethics and Scientific Methodology in Public Health
  • Health Policy
  • Health Economics
  • Physical, Chemical and Biological Environment and Health
  • Occupational Health

Third Semester (30 CPs):
  • Master's Thesis

To obtain the supplementary "European Master of Public Health" (E.M.P.H.) certificate, it is required that at least 20% of the module content covers European aspects which must be documented. Therefore, students have to complete a 22-week internship in a European international institution or a European public health organisation in another European country. The internship must be approved by the internship coordinator and is rewarded with 30 CP. The standard time of study is extended to four semesters due to the internship.

Study abroad unit(s)

Students interested in earning a European Master of Public Health degree can acquire this by completing a three-month internship in another European country. The internship must be approved by the examination board. The internship can be included in the six-month thesis period. To obtain this degree, the course requires that at least 20% of the thesis must focus on European aspects.

Forms of assessment

Written examinations, assignments and presentations in the first and second semesters; Master's thesis in the third semester

Course objectives

This programme will provide students with the theoretical knowledge and methods necessary in order to deal with scientific challenges in developing solutions to public health problems. By applying scientific methods and knowledge independently, students gain an understanding of analysing public health issues, formulating policies, planning, implementing appropriate interventions, and evaluating appropriate measures adequately.

Language requirements

Non native-speakers: internationally recognised certificate of English language knowledge (CEFR Level C1), such as TOEFL iBT min. 110 points, IELTS (min. 6.5), CAE (min. C), etc.

Academic requirements

  • First degree either in health sciences/public health or a similar degree relevant to health sciences, such as medicine, social sciences, nursing or a degree in a health care profession or a degree in a discipline that is closely related to health sciences such as, for example, economics with at least 2.5 in German equivalent marks and a minimum of 210 ECTS
  • Proof of one year of professional experience in public health or qualified scientific work with convincing substantial and methodological relevance to health sciences/public health (attestation of employer)
  • Language certificate, if English is not your first language (see language requirements)

Students who completed their school education outside Germany must have their certificates approved by uni-assist ( BEFORE applying to the HAW Hamburg. The pre-registration documentation from uni-assist must be sent with the application forms, etc., when applying to the HAW Hamburg. Please be advised that this process can take six to eight weeks, so please apply early.

For more information:

Enrolment fees

Semester contribution of approx. 318 EUR (as of June 2016). This fee includes a semester ticket for unlimited travel on Hamburg's public transport system.

Costs of living

Hamburg is a relatively expensive city. Depending on your lifestyle, you should expect living costs of 700 to 900 EUR for rent, food, and other expenses. In addition, there will be costs for materials, which (depending on the degree programme) will range between 125 and 250 EUR per semester.

Job opportunities

You should plan to be able to study in Hamburg without having to work part-time. If you are coming on a visa, you will have to provide proof of your finances (697 EUR/month).

EU students can work 20 hours/week.
International students from non-EU countries are only permitted to work 120 days (240 half days) in one calendar year, and part-time job opportunities are limited, especially, for students who do not speak German. It is unlikely that we will be able to offer you a job on campus.

Arrival support

The International Office offers a buddy programme (weBuddy), and you will be sent information about this when you register to study at the university. This programme matches you with an older student who will help you to get settled and assist with administration issues, etc.
There is also an orientation week at the beginning of the course. A professor in the department is the main course coordinator.

Services and support for international students

The International Office at Hamburg University of Applied Sciences offers support for international students once they have enrolled at the university. Additional academic support will be offered by professors directly in the department.


It is becoming increasingly difficult to find accommodation in Hamburg, so please be aware that finding somewhere to live can take a while.
The halls of residence in Hamburg are run by the Studierendenwerk Hamburg and offer affordable accommodation for students under the age of 30. Generally, students have their own rooms in an apartment that they share with other students - the bathroom and kitchen are shared. The monthly rent for a room in a student hall of residence starts at roughly 250 EUR (including heating, water, and electricity). At the earliest, new students can apply three months before the start of their degree programme. Further information on the halls of residence as well as the application form can be found on the Studierendenwerk Hamburg website:
Further information on accommodation can be found on the university's website:
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