Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health

In this section, you will find information about the academic programme for the Postgraduate Diploma in Public Heath in 2018, and about your modules.

Quick Reference for contact

• The Co-ordinator of the PG Diploma is Dr Suraya Mohamed (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; +27 21 959 2628).
• Ms Janine Kader will be your first port of call for Student Administrative support, and any queries you may have regarding your studies.

The PG Diploma comprises six compulsory Core modules, and there are no Electives. The six Core modules of the PG Diploma level are designed to give you an overview of Public Health with an emphasis on district level (or equivalent in your country) service provision, and transformation of the health and welfare services, as well as strengthen your grounding in academic practice. These are the modules you will take:

• Introduction to Public Health: its Basis and Scope;

• Descriptive Epidemiology;

• Population, Health and Development: Primary Health Care Approach I;

• Health Promotion for Public Health I;

• Management Strategies for Public Health Services I;

• Monitoring and Evaluation for Health Services Improvement I.

If you wish to continue to a Master of Public Health after your PG Diploma, you would need to apply for that qualification and compete with other applicants; there is very high demand for the MPH, you would therefore need to have performed exceptionally well in the PGD in order to be considered.

(Note that the information below is a guide only – please consult official UWC and CHS Faculty Rule Book)


Unless Senate decides otherwise, candidates will be required to meet the following criteria to
be enrolled for the programme: Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health
Candidates must be in possession of a three year Bachelors degree or equivalent in any relevant
relevant discipline e.g. health sciences, social work, and education.
A minimum of three years working experience in the health or welfare sector is required.
A candidate may be admitted with an equivalent qualification, prior learning and relevant
experience, in accordance with Rule A.2.1.4 and approval of Senate.

Additional supporting documents may be required by the University from time to time.

As only a limited number of students can be admitted to the programme, applicants will be
subject to a selection procedure.


Unless Senate decides otherwise the duration of the programme shall extend over two years.


Module name Code Credits  
Introducing Public Health: Its Basis and Scope SPH730 20
Descriptive Epidemiology SPH731 20
Population Health and Development I SPH732 20
Health Promotion for Public Health I SPH733 20
Management Strategies for the Public Health Services I SPH735 20

Monitoring and Evaluation for Health Services Improvement I

Improvement I

   SPH734 20  


Assessment is governed by Rule A.5 as stipulated in the University Calendar: General Information Part 1.


Unless Senate decides otherwise, a full-time student shall complete the programme in one year. A student who passed at least 40 credits may proceed with his/her studies to complete the programme the following year.


The renewal of registration will be governed by the Rule A.4, as stipulated in the University Calendar: General Information Part 1.


There are no special requirements for this programme.


The Postgraduate Diploma modules are offered in the following semesters:

Semester 1

Semester 2

  • IntroducingPublicHealth:itsBasisandScope(SPH730)*
  • Population,HealthandDevelopment:PrimaryHealthCareApproachI(SPH732)*
  • ManagementStrategiesforthePublicHealthServicesI(SPH735)

*Short courses at Summer School

  • DescriptiveEpidemiology(SPH731)*

  • HealthPrmotionforPublicHealthI(SPH733)**and*

  • MonitoringandEvaluatinforHealthServicesImprvementI(SPH734)**

**Short courses at Winter School

ver the two years, you are required to develop a portfolio which integrates and presents your learning achievements across the programme.

Deciding on Your Pace of Study

You are encouraged to take the Postgraduate Diploma over two years since you are working. Over-commitment can lead to your not realising your real potential and dropping out of a module. This is often the case in Semester 2 when work commitments tend to increase. Below you will see how you would structure your studies over one year. However, as a working health professional, you should be careful not to over-commit yourself.

Option 1: Studying full time and completing the qualification in one year

Semester 1

Semester 2

  • IntroducingPublicHealth:itsBasisandScope(SPH730)

  • Population,HealthandDevelopment:APrimaryHealthCareApproachI(SPH732)

  • ManagementStrategiesforthePublicHealthServicesI(SPH735)

  • HealthPrmotionforPublicHealthI(SPH733)

  • DescriptiveEpidemiology(SPH731)

  • MonitoringandEvaluatinforHealthServicesImprvementI(SPH734)

 Option 2: Studying part time and completing the qualification over 2 years
This is how you could structure your studies over the two years.


Semester 1

Semester 2

Year 1

  • IntroducingPublicHealth:itsBasisandScope(SPH730)

  • Population, Health and Development: A Primary Health
  • DescriptiveEpidemiology(SPH731)

Year 2

  • ManagementStrategiesforthePublicHealthServicesI(SPH735)

  • HealthPrmotionforPublicHealthI(SPH733)

  • MonitoringandEvaluatinforHealthServicesImprvementI(SPH734)


All modules must, according to UWC policy, have at least two assessment points, which must include formative and summative assessment. Formative assessment aims to facilitate learning; summative assessment aims to facilitate learning and to assess your competence. Assessment takes place through assignments, and there are no exams. See section 8 for general information on Assessment.

Where Will You Find the Assignments?
You will find your assignments in the Module Introduction of each Module Guide.

Pass Marks and Promotion
To pass a module:
• You must attain a minimum of 50% for each assignment.
• You must therefore have an aggregate of 50% or more for the module.
• You are required to pass your first assignment with 50% to be able to proceed to
your final assessment.
• If you do not achieve 50% in Assignment 1, you may repeat it once only: if you repeat it, you cannot be awarded more than 50%. If you do not pass it second time around, you cannot proceed to Assignment 2 and must repeat the module.
• You may not rewrite Assignment 2 as it is held to be the summative assessment of the course.
• If you do not pass both assignments, you will have to repeat the module the following year.
• Should you do not achieve 50% for the summative assessment, you will fail the module, even if your Assignment 1 pulls your mark above 50%. You will need to repeat it the following year.

It is advisable to aim for good results in all of your modules. If you hope to move on to the Master of Public Health, as you will be competing with all the other new applicants, you will stand a better chance of acceptance if your overall aggregate for the six modules is over 65%.

Moderation and Re-assessment of Assignments
Students may query their results if they fail an assignment. In this instance, another SOPH staff member will first moderate the result. If the student is still not satisfied, the assignment will be reassessed by the external examiner at a prescribed fee to be met by the student. All summative assessments are moderated by external moderators therefore final marks can only be confirmed once moderation is completed.

Assignment Submission Dates
The Assignment Schedule will be sent to you by the Student Administrator. The November deadlines are absolute. No extensions will be given. All assignments must be marked and marks submitted during November.

Weighting of the Two Assignments
The first assignment is weighted at 40% of your total result; the second is weighted at 60% of your overall result.


Assignment 1


Assignment 2


Minimum Pass


Introducing Public Health: its Basis and Scope 40% 60% 50% 20
Descriptive Epidemiology 40% 60% 50% 20
Population Health and Development: A Primary Health Care Approach I 40% 60% 50% 20
Health Promotion for Public Health I 40% 60% 50% 20
Management Strategies for the Public Health Services I 40% 60% 50% 20
Monitoring and Evaluation for Health Services Improvement I 40% 60% 50% 20
Total     50% 120

* One rewrite may be awarded if you achieve less than 50% in Assignment 1; a maximum of 50% may then be awarded.

School of Public Health, University of the Western Cape
Robert Sobukwe Road, Bellville 7535, Republic of South Africa
Tel: +27-21 - 959 2809 | Fax: +27- 21 - 959 2872 | Email: