Master of Public Health

Course Description

The aim of the Master of Public Health Degree (MPH) is to develop and enhance managerial capacity in Public Health in Malawi and the region so as to improve the health of populations and communities through the prevention of disease, the promotion of health and the provision and evaluation of appropriate treatment and care.

The MPH is a two-year block-release program. The program is run on a modular basis with students on average attending classes for two weeks every two months. This is a necessary design feature for the MPH in order to allow students to remain in full time employment.

Students who study the MPH go on to occupy management positions in health-related Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), they go on to be full-time researchers in the public health or medical fields as well as join the academic setting to teach others the importance of public health and its relevant disciplines.

  • Rationale

The MPH course at Kamuzu University of Health Sciences is the biggest postgraduate programme within the country. We aim at preparing and developing students to become public health practitioners who will influence change and transform lives. Communities in Malawi and the rest of the region are experiencing pressing public health challenges and need effective, culturally relevant solutions. We provide opportunity to expand your horizon and career paths in this dynamic field through a practical education that develop your essential skills needed in the field of public health.

  • Certificate awarded:

Award of a Master of Public Health

A student will be awarded a Master of Public Health degree on completion of all compulsory modules, a minimum of 60 credits’ worth of elective modules, two case studies, a dissertation, a publishable manuscript and proof of having paid all due fees. A student previously awarded Post Graduate Diploma in Public Health (PGDPH) will be awarded a Master of Public Health after completing and passing a dissertation component and writing a publishable manuscript within five years of completing their PGDPH. See the schedule of fees for details of the fee payable.

  • Under dissertation

Students must complete a research dissertation. The dissertation research work takes place following completion of all core and elective modules and all case studies. However, proposal development must begin in the first year with the identification of a research topic, identification of a dissertation supervisor, and the development of a 2 page proposal followed by a full proposal, along with the research methods and proposal writing module. Because the MPH is aimed primarily at practitioners in the field of health systems and public health, the dissertation should demonstrate that the student can identify and investigate health and health system problems in a comprehensive manner, and that he/she can begin to formulate appropriate interventions.

Students will select a project or topic in consultation with their academic supervisor.

The dissertation can take one of three formats:

  1. Research project: Students will be able to decide whether to focus more intensely on the quantitative or qualitative methodology rather than the intervention, and this constitutes a research project.
  2. Intervention: Students can identify a problem, formulate a workable solution, implement an intervention of some sort, and evaluate the changes that result from it. In this case, the emphasis is more on action than on methods, and this constitutes an intervention project.
  3. Policy report: Students focus on the provision of scientifically well-founded advice to policy makers to help decide on an appropriate course of action. This dissertation focuses on identification of the problem, a review of the evidence, synthesis and recommendations. It may or may not include primary or secondary data collection.

For purposes of the MPH each of the three is valid.

All MPH students are required to submit a two paged proposal and then a full proposal prior to conducting their research study for their dissertation. Securing funding from a third party for a research project to be undertaken for the dissertation is not reason for by-passing requirements of the MPH program.

Detailed guidelines for dissertations will be available to students.

  • Publishable manuscript

Candidates will be required to write a manuscript of publishable standards. In writing the manuscript, the candidate should follow guidelines of a targeted journal, such as Malawi Medical Journal. The manuscript shall be graded as a pass or fail and no candidate shall qualify for an MPH without obtaining a pass mark.

Entry Requirements
  • Students who hold a first degree in a relevant subject (e.g. medicine, nursing, social sciences, psychology, environmental health) from a Malawi National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) accredited university are eligible for the course.
  • At least two years of work experience in a relevant field is essential.
  • Research experience or scientific publications are desirable.
  • Applicants may be exempt from parts of the course if they can show evidence of having previously attended postgraduate public health training elsewhere. Such evidence will be considered by the Public Health Research and Postgraduate Committee on the basis of equivalence in terms of NQF units of study as promulgated by the South African Qualifications Authority and recommended for SADC countries.
How to Apply

Calls for applications for masters’ students are advertised all-year round on the university’s website, Applications are made online through the following link : For more information, visit the Central registry. Potential candidates may be invited for oral interviews.

Applications for this postgraduate programme should include:

  1. A completed postgraduate application form. 
  2. Sealed academic transcripts 
  3. Authenticated copies of academic certificates (by a lawyer, magistrate, or registrar of the awarding institution) 
  4. Authenticated copies of professional registration certificates where applicable 
  5. Letter of release from employers (if employed)
  6. Reference letters (one academic and one professional)

 non-refundable application fee of MK10000.00 for Malawians and $30.00 for non-Malawians. Payment should be made to: 


Application forms that do not meet the requirements stated above will not be processed. Completed application should be sent: 

The Registrar, Kamuzu University of Health Sciences College of Medicine Private Bag 360  Chichiri Blantyre 3, Malawi Attention: Assistant Registrar (Academic) Tel: + 265 (0) 1 874 107, Fax +265 (0) 1 874 700 E-mail:  Copy:  

Tuition and Fees

Per annum

Malawians: MK2,550,000

Non-Malawians (SADC): $6,000

Non-Malawians (non-SADC): $8,000


Highly competitive funding and scholarship opportunities are available on merit basis. For more information about funding and scholarships for Masters students, contact the Scholarships office on