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Bachelor of Public Health

The Independent Institute of Education (The IIE)

The Bachelor of Public Health is a multidisciplinary and flexible degree that provides students with the opportunity to learn and apply key principles of Public Health leading to a wide range of careers. On completion of the degree future opportunities include application for studies in related fields including for example the Honours in Public Health and the Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health.

International cross-campus collaborations, placements and internships expose you to a variety of international staff, students and stakeholders, and mean you gain a global perspective on public health. We also take advantage of local opportunities for collaboration between IIE MSA and partners within the South African community.

In the first year, students will investigate the biological basis of health and disease, health and social care systems and global health. In the second year students will learn for example how to analyse patterns of health and disease. Fieldwork in the third year provides a broad exposure to the public health field that underpin an understanding of health and illness prevention in both individuals and populations.

Successful completion of this programme leads to an IIE qualification.

The outcomes for this qualification were identified as critical to drive a student’s success. Students who have successfully completed the programme will be able to:

  • Access, select, critically appraise, interpret and apply best available evidence to inform health policy, practice and systems
  • Demonstrate an understanding of human rights, justice and equity frameworks as tools for evaluating the effectiveness of public health policy, programmes and practice
  • Propose, plan, apply and evaluate creative solutions to a range of public health issues relevant to their professional pathway
  • Identify the potential role and interface of political, cultural, social, behavioural and environmental determinants in the design and delivery of public health programmes
  • Describe the strengths, limitations and potential complementarities of various paradigms and methods as they apply in public health practice, evaluation and research.

What is this Degree’s accreditation status?

The IIE Bachelor of Public Health (BPH) is accredited by the Council on Higher Education (CHE) and is registered by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) as a 365-credit qualification on level 7 (SAQA ID: 91996).

Who is the Bachelor’s degree aimed at?

The Bachelor of Public Health (BPH) is a distinct non-clinical health science degree which introduces opportunities for graduates to become multi-skilled professionals with mobility in both the local and global public health workforce. BPH graduates will be equipped to be employed in positions geared at disease prevention and improving the health of diverse population groups at local, national and international levels through policy, programmes and research. Some graduates may decide to seek entry to a graduate entry clinical programme, others may pursue health qualification and policy work, while others may seek employment in government, pharmaceutical or broader health industries.

Government and Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) require graduates with public health knowledge and skills. Needs analysis based on evidence-based health data, policy development, programme implementation and monitoring, including consultation processes are key components of the skills that will be developed in the BPH qualification. Public Health graduates who can work with professionals from other fields are in demand to develop policies, programmes and research with government, the education sector, the transport sector, and the media. They might collaborate with, for example, environmentalists, demographers, sociologists, laboratory scientists and legal specialists. 

How is this Bachelor’s degree structured at The IIE MSA?

The IIE Bachelor of Public Health degree is a three-year degree. The academic year runs from February to November. The modules are delivered on a full-time basis with lectures and tutorials being scheduled during the day from Monday to Friday. 

Please note that in line with academic practice, The IIE’s curriculum is reviewed annually thus changes may occur in module structure and sequence in order to ensure that the qualification remains relevant. The exit level outcomes of the programme do not change. Registered students receive an updated programme curriculum on an annual basis.

What about timetables?

Our full-time programmes are aimed at students wishing to dedicate themselves to full-time face-to-face studies for the duration of their qualification. This means that students are expected to be available throughout the day for class in the academic year depending on how the timetable is structured. Students may also be required to write assessments or submit coursework or assignments outside of normal class-time.

Students must understand that timetables remain subject to change throughout the year. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee that timetable structures will remain the same during each year of your studies with us. In addition, where students are repeating modules, these modules may be offered in the evenings or on weekends.  Students are required to attend classes in order to remain up to date with the academic programme. Students who would like to pursue part-time employment opportunities outside of the academic programme must prioritise their studies and avoid committing to work schedules until after they have received their timetables and academic calendar from the institution.

Work Integrated Learning (WIL)

The aim of this practical semester module offered in the third year is to provide students with an opportunity to demonstrate their understanding and application of their studies to of a real-life work environment. Students You will be required to complete various tasks and projects within a Non – Profit organisation assigned to. Students will be expected to adopt analytical and creative thinking and collaborate with team members to complete the required tasks as assigned by the placement organisation. Students must complete the Work Integrated Learning module to achieve the graduate requirements of this programme.

What must I pass in order to graduate with this Bachelor’s degree?

In order to be awarded this qualification, you must have achieved a minimum final year mark of fifty percent (50%) for each module of the programme; and have met all the Work Integrated Learning requirements, where applicable.

How long do I have to complete this qualification? 

Students have a maximum of 6 years to complete this qualification.

With what qualification will I graduate?

You will graduate with The IIE Bachelor of Public Health degree (SAQA ID: 91996).

Career opportunities: what career areas can I pursue once I have completed this Bachelor’s degree?

Job market growth in the health, local government, and workplace and education sectors continues unabated. There is a strong demand for multi-skilled programme managers and for prevention promotion workers, particularly to work with vulnerable groups and ageing populations.

Government directions for health programmes in most African countries are now geared for jobs in community settings rather than hospitals, to deal with rising rates of chronic conditions and disease, as the shift from hospital to community based programmes continues. Government and non-government organisations are constantly in need of health policy analysts and policy makers especially as health, social and other policy sectors are expected to develop partnerships and cross-sector partnerships and policies (i.e. transport and health, environments and health).

Careers in the public, private, or non-profit sectors may include:

  • Disease prevention and control
  • Biostatistics (at entry level)
  • Community health work
  • Education and teaching (Health Promotion)
  • Epidemiology (at entry level)
  • Health administration
  • Health awareness, policy and promotion
  • Nutrition, dietetics and exercise
  • Public health project management (including planning, monitoring and evaluation)
  • Research

Would it be possible to study further and obtain a postgraduate qualification once I have completed The IIE Bachelor of Public Health degree?

The IIE Bachelor of Public Health degree is accredited by the Council on Higher Education (CHE) and is registered with the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) at level 7 – the same level as other equivalent undergraduate degrees at both private and public South African institutes of higher education.  The opportunity to apply for a postgraduate certificate/diploma or Honours degree at any South African university or higher education institution exists subject to meeting their specific programme entrance criteria.

It is important to remember that your academic results remain a key factor when applying for further studies.

Call the IIE MSA campus to discuss your career options with one of our Student Advisors.
Tel: +27 11 950 4009 or email enquiries@iiemsa.co.za    

Disclaimer:  Please note that this fact sheet is accurate at the time of publication.  The Independent Institute of Education (The IIE) reserves the right to alter any of the content prior to commencement of registration due to changes in regulation, policy, market requirements or any other valid reason.