Nigeria is a big country with quite a number of universities; some are private, while others are owned either by the state or federal government. Many of them offer masters degree course in public health.
The purpose in most instances is to develop diseases prevention programs, organize health promotion programs and generate ideas on several health development initiatives. In most instances, the schools of public health in most of the Nigerian universities are affiliated to the college of health sciences due to the similarities in the two courses.
The school of public health usually serves as the center for evaluating several disciplines relating to public health. They help coordinate public health programs too. Additionally, they are involved in implementing many government and institution’s public health developmental programs. They take the front place in planning these programs too.
The schools of public health are not only concerned with the training of the students; they are also concerned with other aspects like community service and health research.
Public health programs are practical-oriented and every student seeking admission into these institutions must keep this in mind. Due to the community service associated with the schools of public health, they tend to act as connection point between the institutions and the community where they are located.
In most instances, the schools of public health partner with development agencies and other institutions, both locally and on international basis and this creates better opportunity for the public health students.
Other important things to note
While clinical science is concerned with treating people, public health is concerned with preventing diseases. Public health is not only available at graduate level; it is also available at undergraduate level.
Not all schools are accredited by the National University Commission to offer masters degree in public health. It is important that you first do your research to find out if the school you have in mind is approved by NUC to offer the course.
You must also note that none of the Nigerian universities is offering masters degree in public health online; the course is only available via brick and mortal classroom medium. The only school that seems to offer it online is National Open University of Nigeria; they however only offer hybrid kind of online training.
Working in a health clinic or hospital can broaden your minds regarding public health. You can also get experience prior to admission by working for voluntary organizations, like Red Cross. Working in public health policy and advocacy organizations too can help you in this career path.
Some of the benefits of masters’ degree in public health are highlighted below:
- The course is highly enjoyable. You will be at the fore front of preventing diseases and its spread
- As a master’s degree holder in public health, you will be part of team working towards boosting environmental health.
- Employment availability improves with a master’s degree in public health.
- It is available for wide varieties of students in various disciplines, like biostatistics, sciences, medicine, management, political policy, social work and lost more.
- The program has very wide applications. It can be applied in various fields, like social work, dental, veterinary and medicine.
- You will have the opportunity to learn multiple skills during your course of study.
- The course is highly flexible too. You can choose any particular learning method you want
- The course is highly dynamic too. The educational opportunity is yet another factor to consider.
Admission process and requirements do differ from one school to the other. While one school may insist on certain requirements, other schools may ask for something different. Some of the common requirements are highlighted below:
- The admission confirmation is mostly subject to the approval given by the Vice Chancellor of the institution.
- The candidate is first assessed to find out if he/she has the experience and the ability for the program. The assessment process takes different format, depending on the particular school.
- Some schools will admit students that already have postgraduate diploma in public health.
- Some schools only ask the student to present first degree in related courses of study, like health administration, public health, medical related field and lots more.
- In most instances, only students with minimum of second class upper honors are admitted for master’s degree in public health.
- Some schools insist on the career achievement of the student before he/she can be granted admission.
- Professional experience of a student can also be put into consideration.
- Before a student is given admission, he/she is expected to give clarity regarding his/her career goals in public health.
- Students are required to meet up to the requirements of the school’s academic board before they can be granted admission.
- Some schools insist that the student must have undergone certain research-related works for him/her to be counted worthy of admission.
Duration of the program
The duration varies, depending on the institution and also on the particular mode of learning chosen by the student. Some of the common durations are highlighted below:
- Full time program: This can take one year for the student to complete or it can take longer, depending on the institution. Some institutions insist on 18 months instead of 12 months. There are times an institution offering the course for 12 months may decide to change to 18 months. It is important to search for information about what obtains in any particular institution before applying for the course.
- Part time program: In most instances, the part time student takes 2 years to complete the course. However, there are times the course takes longer to complete. Nevertheless, it rarely extends beyond 4 years.
In most instances, registration for master’s degree in public health is done online. The student only needs to visit the website of the school and fill the application form. You can also submit all required documents right online.
You are expected to include your contact information to make it easy for the school to contact you regarding the application. In most instances, the school will contact you via email.