Our Population Health and Medical Sciences Course is one of our Pathways to Medicine. The course examines the determinants of human health from Particle, to Person to Population exploring the variety of factors which impact the health and well being of a population.
What is Population Health and Medical Sciences?
Population Health refers to the determinants and health outcomes of individuals, groups and populations. It is concerned with the factors that shape our health, including healthcare systems, genetics, biology, plus lifestyle and individual behaviours as well as environmental influences. By considering these factors, Population Health experts can innovate healthcare systems and find ways to help people live longer and healthier lives.
Kindig & Stoddartd (2003) defined Population Health as “the health outcomes of a group of individuals, including the distribution of such outcomes within the group.”
But isn’t that that public health?
No, there is a difference. Public Health focuses on activities that ensures conditions in which people can be healthy in a particular society, and while population health encompasses public health, it is more than just public health; Population Health also focuses on why some populations are healthier than others.
If you’ve ever thought a career in medicine was the only way to make a difference to people’s health, think again. The ever-widening field of Population Health is an exciting career choice, and one that’s at the centre of a healthcare revolution.
It’s no secret that healthcare systems in the UK and across the world are facing growing pressure. Chronic diseases, age-related conditions and mental ill-health are on the rise, and reports of NHS crises seem to be in the news every day.
While medical advances are helping many people live longer, the quality of care a person receives across their lifetime depends greatly on where they were born, live and work.
It’s this inequity that experts in Population Health aim to address, by understanding the health needs of groups of people and transforming traditional healthcare models to meet those needs. That’s why if you’ve ever wanted a career that improves people’s health and wellbeing, makes a difference in your community, or simply changes the world – then the BSc Population Health and Medical Sciences might be for you.
Health advocacy organisations like The King’s Fund are calling for urgent transformation in healthcare systems to address gaps in healthcare. And the 2016 World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) published a report warning that, unless healthcare policies change, ‘these gaps will simply grow – and healthcare services will struggle to cope under the pressure’.
That’s where Population Health comes in. It challenges health systems, such as the NHS, to move away from a reactive approach where a person interacts with their GP only when they are unwell. Instead, a Population Health approach might look at all the factors impacting a person’s health and wellbeing, then employ a system which shares patient needs across relevant services. Monitoring and communication are key, as well as input from the patient.
Ultimately, population health aims to innovate healthcare models to:
- improve the health and wellbeing of local communities
- provide a better experience of care for patients
- reduce pressure on GPs and A&E services
- save money in the public health sector
What careers could be open to me when I graduate?
Through our three employability strands, Population Health and Medical Sciences will give you access to a range of exciting careers, from health informatics and health research to patient advocacy and care management. You could also follow our Pathway to Medicine.
Studying population health and medical sciences will provide you with an excellent grounding for professional practice and research careers in the Medical and Life Sciences and beyond.
- Clinical practice
- Patient advocacy
- Care management/coordination
- Health education
- Government policy
- Health informatics
- Telehealth and telemedicine
Population Health has been hailed as ‘the next big thing in healthcare’ because increasingly, healthcare models are shifting focus from ‘volume’ to ‘value’ with more emphasis is being placed on prevention and helping people look after their own health and wellbeing. That’s why there are exciting opportunities to pursue a wide variety of career pathways in this area. Medicine no longer sits separately to economic, demographic and social sciences. It’s where these disciplines meet that population health emerges. Studying Population Health can open your future to a wide range of career options in medicine and the life sciences. Leaders are needed to revolutionise health services, design new management strategies, and innovate care models to centre on the needs of the individual and communities.
What if I want to become a Medical Doctor?
Pathways to Medicine
Pathways to Medicine makes a great 5th choice for your UCAS Application giving you the opportunity to secure a guaranteed interview for our Medicine Programme by the time you graduate.
What is it like studying Population Health and Medical Sciences?
During your studies you will focus on one of three Employability Strands: Medical Science Research, Medical Science Enterprise and Innovation, and Medical Science in Practice (our Pathway to Medicine). By tailoring your studies, you can work towards the career you want and make your final year research project really count.
Explore Your Course Options ...
Find out more information about each of our courses. On each course page you will find information on modules, entry requirements, teaching staff, tuition fees and how our Pathways to Medicine work.