The Online MPH programme combines courses in the following study areas: Health Care Management; Health Policy and Economics; Global Health; Epidemiology, Infectious Disease, and Regulatory Science; Community Health Sciences; Public Health Nutrition; and Spatial Data Science for Public Health.
Students can choose from an interdisciplinary programme or specialise in concentrations around Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Health Policy and Management, or Public Health Nutrition. Those interested in both epidemiology and health policy and management could opt for professor Stefano M. Bertozzi’s brand new class — Implementation Science — which offers a course for students interested across concentrations.
All tracks lead to fulfilling outcomes, as echoed by alumna Sandra Husbands, who graduated in Spring 2017.
New student orientation. Source: UC Berkeley, Online Masters in Public Health
The pandemic has shed light on the importance of public health professionals. These individuals help improve the public's health and wellbeing, including reducing inequities in healthcare. And the right education can give the next generation of public health professionals the skills they need to make our society healthier and more just.
UC Berkeley School of Public Health is an institution that draws from its almost 80 years of experience to educate future changemakers in the field through groundbreaking research, a world-class education, and an esteemed faculty.
Berkeley Public Health is known for tackling pressing public health issues of all sizes. Its Online Master of Public Health Programme (Online MPH) is designed to be flexible, allowing busy professionals to seamlessly upskill without disrupting their busy lives. Despite being online, learners have access to the same tools, instructors, resources, and lessons used on-campus.
Ultimately, UC Berkeley’s Online MPH improved Husbands’ confidence by equipping her with the skills and knowledge she was lacking in her career.
“Now, I know I'll be able to take multiple steps up the career ladder. I’m already thinking about where I hope to go next and what I would like to achieve with my knowledge,” she says.
“The Online MPH was the best decision I made in terms of my public health and academic development.”
Dr. Husbands on the job in London. Source: UC Berkeley, Online Masters in Public Health'
It’s one thing to gain expertise in public health, but conveying information and working with communities effectively was challenge of its own. The Online MPH opened her eyes to mass communication in public health.
She found herself blogging, tweeting, and producing videos on various topics, and working towards increasing the public’s knowledge about COVID vaccines due to scepticism surrounding it. Her expertise has also caught the attention of leading media outlets — Husbands regularly receives interview requests.
She’s mastered the art of negotiation. “A brilliant lawyer came in to talk to us about negotiation, and that completely changed my way of thinking about it,” she says. Today, Husbands can walk into a meeting room with more confidence to do her job effectively.
Dr. Husbands speaks at OOMPH graduation. UC Berkeley, Online Masters in Public Health
Earlier in her career, Husbands was conducting research on growth hormone deficiency and the clinical consequences of long-term growth hormone deficiency around cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance, and metabolic syndrome. The Online MPH helped build on her existing knowledge in the quantitative sciences of epidemiology and biostatistics.
She also developed a better understanding of epidemiological analysis, the types of clinical epidemiological studies, as well as statistics. “With an Online MPH, I learned things that I wouldn't have otherwise,” she says. “It is especially ideal for students looking to gain a deeper understanding of these topics.”
Dr. Husbands on campus with classmates. Source: UC Berkeley, Online Masters in Public Health
Husbands began her career as a clinical academic with a speciality in diabetes and endocrinology. She believes the health system could work better if it were “tweaked.” “We could do a lot more for people if we weren’t just treating their symptoms, seeing them once or twice a year, then telling them everything that was bad before leaving them for another year,” she explains.
Some 85% to 90% of Husbands’ patients had type 2 diabetes. She knew, and, with the right support, a patient could enjoy better health outcomes. “If you tell someone to give up smoking, and they live in a house full of smokers, it's going to be really hard,” she says. Similarly, with diabetes, Husbands knew it would be more effective to work with the entire family to ensure a more sustainable change in a patients’ lifestyle and health.
This was the revelation that led her into public health.
Husbands was also inspired to follow in the footsteps of Sir Michael Marmot, a highly accomplished public health figure, to study at his alma mater, UC Berkeley. The Online MPH’s blended learning approach — combined with its international cohort of students — didn’t hurt either.
Today, Husbands is making big waves as the Director of Public Health at London Borough of Hackney and City of London Corporation. She manages a team of 40 while assuming the role of an advisor to politicians, senior management, partner organisations outside of the local authority, and commissioning services.
She’s responsible for the health of both the worker and resident population in Hackney and the city of London. Her degree has served her well in her career. "Almost every day, I remember something from the Online MPH and put it into practice,” she says.
Dr. Husbands on the job in London during COVID pandemic. Source: UC Berkeley, Online Masters in Public Health