We hope that you and your loved ones remain well in these challenging times.

We are writing to you in our capacity as Director of School of Public Health, Professor Deborah Ashby and Master of Public Health Programme Co-Directors, Dr Filippos Filippidis and Dr Matthew Harris. You currently hold an offer from us to commence study on the Master of Public Health in October 2020 and we are looking forward to welcoming you to the School of Public Health at the start of the new academic year. 

We are contacting you with the final plans for our Master of Public Health programme for the Academic year ahead. At all times, the programme will be subject to the requirements of the current UK Public Health guidance and College Health and Safety measures. 

The delivery of our programme for the next academic year will be a mix of online and blended/on-campus delivery. You can read more about what blended learning is below.

Our Autumn term core teaching will be delivered fully online. There will be no core teaching scheduled on-campus for the Autumn term that requires you to be on-campus. 

For the spring term, we will continue with the blended learning model of delivery. You will access our high quality teaching materials online, through either Coursera or our internal Virtual Learning Environment (Blackboard), but if we are able to do so there will be on-campus scheduled teaching that will take place.  Unless the UK or your home country public health guidance precludes it, you will be expected to be in the UK/London in the Spring Term and attend on-campus teaching from January onwards.

Institutional guarantees

All on campus provision will be subject to the requirements of the current Public Health advice from the UK Government, College guidelines on social distancing and any additional health and safety measures. In the event that there is an escalation of the current outbreak or a new outbreak of COVID-19 during your programme then, in line with Public Health Advice from the UK Government, we may be forced to suspend on-campus activity, which we hope to deliver in the Spring term. This may be in connection with either national or local requirements. Since we will already be delivering the taught elements of your programme remotely for the Autumn term, we will continue to be able to deliver these elements to all students remotely for the Spring term, if needed.

The College will deliver your programme to ensure the approved learning outcomes are met and will take steps to make alternative arrangements in any extreme circumstances where this is not possible. The College is also developing community building activities to support the multi-mode experience for students. 

College-wide induction and enrolment activities will operate in a remote format at the start of the academic year and there will be no requirement to visit the campus in-person to begin your studies. 

We are also looking to host an optional on-campus induction activity, for students who are able to join in person. Further details will be shared about this in due course.

 

 

Programme delivery

Autumn term – fully online

Our Autumn term core teaching will be delivered fully online. 

We will be scheduling some added value activities for those who are able to join us on-campus. Further information is available below.

The scheduling of the live sessions for remote delivery will carefully consider the various time zones of students globally, as much as possible. This means that we will aim to alternate start times of the sessions from week to week, to allow students to join at least one live session for each module, each week. If students are not able to join a live session, all sessions will be recorded and accessible to watch shortly afterwards. Group work and tutor/practical groups will aim to consider students who can work/join such sessions based on similar timezones.

Spring term – blended delivery with on-campus attendance

For the spring term, we will continue with the blended learning model of delivery. You will access our high quality teaching materials online, through either Coursera or our internal Virtual Learning Environment (Blackboard), but if we are able to do so there will be on-campus scheduled teaching that will take place. 

Unless the UK or your home country public health guidance precludes it, you will be expected to be in the UK/London in the Spring Term and attend on-campus teaching from January onwards. 

If you are unable to travel/be on-campus for the spring term, we will try to support/deliver teaching to individual students as best we can remotely (reviewing on a case by case basis). Whilst learning outcomes can be met, your student and learning experience is likely to be different (including the ability to join live teaching sessions) and therefore other options will be available. These options include, an interruption from studies (meaning you could return the following year to complete the remainder of your studies on campus), or you may be able to leave the programme and exit with a PG Certificate award if you have successfully completed 30ECTS. 

If we are unable to schedule any on-campus teaching, we have contingency plans in place in case of further disruption as a result of COVID19 and associated restrictions. 

Summer term – your project

One of the key features and experiences for you on the programme will be your Research Project. For Term 3, we anticipate your Research projects will go ahead as planned and they are expected to run as normal in most reasonable scenarios. If there any UK restrictions, the vast majority of projects would be able to run as normal and could be conducted remotely with regular virtual meetings with your supervisors.

You will spend 4 months dedicated on your research projects that are mostly drawn from active, ongoing research undertaken by Faculty, whilst there will be room you to propose you own project as well.

 

Location

On-campus teaching (if possible for the Spring term) is likely to be scheduled at the St Marys, Charing Cross and South Kensington campuses.

 

Accessing the virtual learning environments

We have an established partnership with Coursera, in delivering online education as part of our School’s Digital Education Strategy. We are experienced in designing, developing an delivering high quality online education to students, which means you will have access to our high quality and carefully designed teaching materials through the Coursera platform for this programme. As an established and global learning provider, Coursera use engaging and innovative learning features to provide high quality degree learning experiences. Teaching and learning on the programme will be delivered through the Coursera platform using a range of methods including:

  • pre-recorded lectures and video capture
  • slide-decks with audio commentary
  • practical exercises in coding and analysis
  • asynchronous peer-to-peer and staff-moderated discussion forums
  • synchronous scheduled live tutorials/sessions via Zoom
  • discussion forums 
  • discussion prompts

Synchronous scheduled live tutorials/sessions via Zoom will take the form of interactive lectures where you will be given opportunities to ask questions live. 

You will be guided as part of the induction course and resources about the tools you will use and engage with as part of the teaching/delivery of the programmes.

Learning experience and commitment

We anticipate you will be able to complete the programme within the timescale previously advertised. 

As you aware the programme is a 1 year/full-time programme, which requires a consistent and dedicated commitment through the academic year. 

Our programme will be delivered via a blended learning model, this means that you will:

  • engage/work through online content/resources asynchronously and independently in your own time, approx. 2-4 hours per module, per teaching day. This time will vary from learner to learner and day to day.
  • attend scheduled live sessions via Zoom, approx. 2-3 hours per module, per teaching day. These live sessions will be a mix of synchronous live lectures/seminars and tutor groups. We will schedule these live sessions with consideration of global time zones for the Autumn term to try and ensure maximum participation. However, all live sessions will be recorded and accessible to students shortly after the session, if students are not able to join a live session.

You will also have access to tutor groups to support you throughout your studies.

Teaching Fellows will support students at programme and module level, responding to student queries via discussion forums and as part of live teaching sessions, alongside the module leads.

Induction and enrolment

Online enrolment for Imperial College London typically opens at the beginning of September. If you have successfully met all of the conditions of your offer by this point, you will be able and asked to enrol online at this point.

You will be inducted to the Coursera platform and have access to a specially designed induction course in advance of the start of the programme, and once you have successfully enrolled online with Imperial College London. This will allow you to familiarise yourself with the Coursera platform in advance of the start of the programme and set yourself up for success.

The programme will start in the first week of October 2020 with an induction week, week commencing Monday 5thOctober 2020.

The majority of your induction activity will be hosted online during this first week for you to meet us, your fellow students on the programme, of other programmes, and your tutors. These induction sessions will also be an opportunity for you to familiarise yourselves with the online platforms and tools we will be using throughout the year, and for all of us to set expectations around the programme and online/on campus learning and teaching. 

We are also looking to host an optional on-campus induction activity, for students who are able to join in person. Further details will be shared about this in due course.

Throughout the year, we will continue with these opportunities to allow you to socialise and feel part of our Master of Public Health cohort. 

To this effect, a Global Disease Masterclass seminar series will run throughout the Autumn term and students will be able to join these added value sessions on-campus, if they are able to do so and capacity/space permitting (a booking system will be in place). The sessions will also be available for students to access online. This seminar series will not be compulsory for students to attend but provides access to and added value interaction as part of seminars/lectures from world-leading researchers within the fields of Public Health and Epidemiology.

More information will follow regarding induction and enrolment as part of your Induction/Welcome pack later in the Summer.

 

Programme structure and content

The Master of Public Health programme structure remains largely the same and as we planned to deliver. The full list of modules we will deliver are detailed here in the programme specification and structure diagram.

The changes compared to last year are as follows:

Autumn term:

  • Research Methods – Core – Autumn term (New core module)
    • The Research Methods module is intended to equip students with practice-based insights into the theoretical, technical and practical steps involved in setting up and undertaking research.
    • This module is offered instead of ‘Disease Masterclass’, which will be available to students as an optional seminar series, as mentioned above.

Spring term:

  • ‘Anthropology in public health’ (elective module) is replaced by ‘Participatory approaches in public health’. ‘Participatory Approaches in public health’ will guide students through the process of designing an appropriate participatory approach to a given public health challenge. The module will   include   the   history, theory   and   practice   of participatory   approaches  to   public   health.   Students will gain an understanding of the impact of social and cultural contexts in which public health programmes exist and why participatory approaches could better assist to meet the population’s needs and solve certain challenges.
  • ‘Advanced Statistics for public health’ is a new elective module for students to choose if this is an area of interest to them, covering data curation and ethics around the use of algorithms, Poisson regression and multilevel regression, and machine learning.

 

Assessments

The College policy is that the default alternative arrangement for any on-campus formal written examinations is to provide a timed remote assessment.

For other types of assessment, the method may be amended to accommodate the multi-mode arrangements. All students participating in a piece of assessment will do this in the same way. For the Autumn term 2020-21 all assessments will be completed in a remote format. Details of individual assessments will be provided in the Programme Handbook/Module handbooks at the start of term.

Assessment submission and any time based assessments will be facilitated through our Virtual Learning Environment (Blackboard).

Assessment methods include:

  • Essays
  • Reports and paper reviews
  • MCQs and online quizzes
  • Mini research project
  • Individual and group presentations
  • Video blogs
  • Articles and case study reviews

Detailed assessment guidance and briefs will be provided to you per module.

 

Additional costs/technical requirements

This will require you to have access to a computer and a reliable internet/wifi signal for the term, as you will be required to engage with/access teaching and live sessions from where you are based globally, and you will need to cover any associated costs for these. There are no other expected additional costs (beyond those previously advertised) to participate in the programme if you choose to study remotely. 

Please find appended further information here about technical requirements and expectations to engage successfully with the programme.

Student Experience

Your experience at Imperial goes beyond just your academic studies. With the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19), Imperial has been working with your Union to ensure that we are able to provide, enhance and facilitate all areas of your student experience under all eventualities.  We identified key pillars of the wider student experience:  academic experience; research culture and environment; amenities and accommodation; student community; wellbeing support; co-curricular activities and extra-curricular activities.   Information on how we will deliver these, along with information on our Library Services, considering current social distancing restrictions, as well as a full lockdown, are set out on our website.

How we can answer your questions

As always, should you have any questions, please contact us via mph-queries@imperial.ac.uk  and we will be delighted to help with anything that you might need further information aboutIf you would like to explore what will be available to you as an Imperial College London student when you join, you can read more here.

On this site you will find the latest guidance for student applicants and offer holders. You can also discover how Imperial is combatting coronavirus.

Thank you for choosing the School of Public Health and Imperial College London as the institution to undertake your postgraduate studies. We are enthusiastic about you joining our outstanding student body, and look forward to welcoming you in the Autumn, online!

Prof Deborah Ashby, Dr Filippos Filippidis and Dr Matthew Harris

Director of School of Public Health & Programme Co-Directors

Master of Public Health