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At University of Galway, we believe that the best learning takes place when you apply what you learn in a real world context. That's why many of our courses include work placements or community projects.
Health Promotion (MA/PDip)
The MA/Postgraduate Diploma programme is an internationally recognised qualification with the course content informed by the agreed competencies and professional standards for Health Promotion. The programme is an IUHPE (International Union of Health Promotion and Education) Accredited Health Promotion Course. This means that students who graduate from this course are automatically eligible to apply to become an IUHPE Registered Health Promotion Practitioner on the voluntary register. Graduates of the programme work in statutory services (e.g., Health Service Executive, local authorities), non-governmental organisations (e.g., Irish Heart Foundation, Dental Health Foundation, Irish Cancer Society), the private sector ( e.g., health insurance companies) and in the academic sector (e.g., University of Galway, Atlantic Technological University Sligo, University College Cork ), in a number of roles including dedicated Health Promotion Specialist posts. Past graduates are employed nationally and internationally, in posts in Ireland, UK, Australia, Canada and USA. Some graduates have gone onto further study in our doctoral programme (Further information on the PhD in Health Promotion is available by clicking here.)
About the programme
The Postgraduate Diploma in Health Promotion offers a taught programme of eight modules, delivered over two semesters to full-time students and over four semesters to part-time students. The MA course incorporates the taught component of the Postgraduate Diploma programme together with a minor dissertation based on original research, which is undertaken over the summer months with a submission date in late August.
A range of teaching and assessment methods are used, including interactive lectures, work placements, small group teaching, skills development, and contributions from practitioners in the field, in a blended learning format with in person and online teaching.
Academics that teach on the programme are research active in the Health Promotion Research Centre, a World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Health Promotion Research contributing to the WHO work programme.
Aims and objectives
The programme aims to provide students with professional education and training in the principles and practice of health promotion. Students will acquire knowledge and skills in the following:
- Theoretical background to the concepts and principles of health promotion and the application of theory to practice
- Determinants of physical, mental and social well-being.
- Key factors influencing the promotion of positive health.
- Application of a range of different health promotion approaches and strategies across diverse population groups, topics and settings.
- Critical role of the research process and its application in the development of knowledge and best practice in health promotion.
Find out about our Postgraduate Scholarships here.
- We participate in the University of Galway postgraduate open days which are run twice a year.
- We put on our own course-specific open evening in Spring where you can hear about the programme, meet staff and other potential students.
- You can make an appointment by email to meet a member of staff at University of Galway
Applications and Selections
Applications are made online via the University of Galway Postgraduate Applications System.
The programme board evaluates each applicant’s academic record and relevant professional experience to date at the time of application and assesses the applicant’s level of motivation and suitability as per the Personal Statement submitted as part of the online application.
Who Teaches this Course
National University of Ireland Galway
Discipline of Health Promotion
School of Health Sciences
Discipline of Health Promotion
Health Promotion & HPRC
University of Galway
School of Medicine
University of Galway
Requirements and Assessment
Assessment is by means of continuous assessment and an oral examination.
As Health Promotion is a multidisciplinary field, we consider applications from candidates with a primary degree from a related discipline. For the MA, the minimum entry requirement is a 2.1 on an honours degree programme. For the PDip, the minimum entry requirement is a primary degree at any level. The programme board evaluates each applicant’s academic record and relevant professional experience and assesses the applicant’s level of motivation and suitability from the personal statement submitted as part of the online application.
Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)
1 year, full-time (MA)
2 years, part-time (MA)
1 year, full-time (PDip)
2 years, part-time (PDip)
Next start date
A Level Grades ()
QQI/FET FETAC Entry Routes
An early application may result in an early offer: see the offer round dates.
Mode of study
90 (MA) | 60 (PDip)
The content of the taught modular programme reflects the programmes aims and objectives. The programme comprises four core and six optional modules. Students must complete eight modules in total, four core and four optional, from a choice of six. As a student in Health Promotion you will have the opportunity to engage with international health promotion research projects and to pursue European based study as an optional module. The full-time taught programme is supported by a workplacement where you will experience Health Promotion in action.
The programme uses a wide variety of delivery approaches including: lectures, small group teaching, group work and enquiry based learning, together with a work placement for full time students. The programme is delivered through a blended learning format with face-to -face teaching and online learning.
MA students are supported through the minor dissertation by a named supervisor who is a member of academic staff.
Curriculum InformationCurriculum information relates to the current academic year (in most cases).
Course and module offerings and details may be subject to change.
Glossary of Terms
- You must earn a defined number of credits (aka ECTS) to complete each year of your course. You do this by taking all of its required modules as well as the correct number of optional modules to obtain that year's total number of credits.
- An examinable portion of a subject or course, for which you attend lectures and/or tutorials and carry out assignments. E.g. Algebra and Calculus could be modules within the subject Mathematics. Each module has a unique module code eg. MA140.
- Some courses allow you to choose subjects, where related modules are grouped together. Subjects have their own required number of credits, so you must take all that subject's required modules and may also need to obtain the remainder of the subject's total credits by choosing from its available optional modules.
- A module you may choose to study.
- A module that you must study if you choose this course (or subject).
- Required Core Subject
- A subject you must study because it's integral to that course.
- Most courses have 2 semesters (aka terms) per year, so a three-year course will have six semesters in total. For clarity, this page will refer to the first semester of year 2 as 'Semester 3'.
Year 1 (90 Credits)Optional HP1101: Knowledge Translation in Health and Social Care Research - 5 Credits - Semester 1
Required HP504: Dissertation - 30 Credits - Semester 1
Required HP832: Research Methods - 10 Credits - Semester 1
Required HP846: Foundations of Health Promotion - 10 Credits - Semester 1
Required HP847: Health Promotion Practice - 10 Credits - Semester 1
Required HP848: Determinants of Health - 10 Credits - Semester 1
Optional RPL005: Recognised Prior Learning - 5 Credits - Semester 1
Optional RPL010: Recognised Prior Learning - 10 Credits - Semester 1
Optional HP852: Re-Orienting Health Services - 5 Credits - Semester 2
Optional HP150: Evaluation of Health Promotion Programmes - 5 Credits - Semester 2
Optional HP849: Promoting Healthy Behaviour - 5 Credits - Semester 2
Optional HP853: Supportive Environments for Health - 5 Credits - Semester 2
Optional HP845: The European Dimension in Health Promotion - 5 Credits - Semester 2
Optional HP6106: Workplace Wellness - 10 Credits - Semester 2
Optional HP6101: Cardiovascular Health and Diabetes Prevention - 10 Credits - Semester 2
Optional HP140: Mental Health Promotion - 10 Credits - Semester 2
Optional HP1102: Promoting Mental Health & Social Wellbeing - 5 Credits - Semester 2
Students can go on to earn the PhD, MPhil, and MLitt degrees, through research work, with an optional minor taught element. Students can specialise in one of the disciplines various areas of research, working with a high degree of independence, and becoming experts on their chosen topic. This work is usually published in international conferences and journals.
Why Choose This Course?
Accreditation of the programme by the International Union of Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE), means that students who graduate from this course are automatically eligible to apply to become an IUHPE Registered Health Promotion Practitioner on the voluntary register. This facilitates movement across roles, organisations, regions and countries through the use of shared understandings and qualifications. This accreditation provides assurance that these programmes provide graduates with the knowledge and skills required for effective practice and that awards are validated based on agreed professional standards.
A wide variety of career opportunities in Ireland and abroad exist for graduates of this programme. Graduates are qualified to pursue a full-time career in health promotion or to incorporate health promotion principles into their work, expecially those in the health and education sectors.
Graduates from the programmes have found employment in a broad range of work sectors: statutory, private, voluntary and community securing positions in a number of roles including dedicated Health Promotion Specialist posts. Graduates of the MA in Health Promotion have found employment in academia, in a diverse range of fields of health research both nationally and internationally. Some graduates have also gone onto further study undertaking PhDs at University of Galway and beyond, in Health Promotion and other Disciplines. The range of employment opportunities taken up by graduates who come from a wide range of disciplines and experiences, attests to the relevance and transferability of the health promotion competencies gained from the Health Promotion programmes to graduate employability.
Who’s Suited to This Course
Transferable Skills Employers Value
Related Student Organisations
Fees: Student levy
Fees: Non EU
PDip full-time . NON EU fee €15,000 p.a. (€15,140 including levy) and EU fee €7,000 p.a. (€7,140 including levy) 2024/25
PDip part-time. EU €3,500 p.a. (€3,570 including levy) 2024/25
Health Promotion top up (MA) by minor dissertation (Part-time): EU €2,570 p.a. 2024/25
Find out More
If you have queries or questions or just want to learn more about the programmes contact us by phone or email.
Dr Jane Sixsmith
See Course Overview section of this website for information on How/Where to Meet Us.
What our graduates say
Lindsay Sullivan | Graduate, MA Health Promotion
My experience as a student in this programme exceeded my expectations. The education I have received studying Health Promotion at NUI Galway, coupled with the extraordinary and unparalleled experiences through the work placement component of this course, have undoubtedly prepared me for my future as a health promotion researcher. Overall, studying Health Promotion at NUI Galway provided me with an innovative learning experience while having the cultural experience of a lifetime.