Recommeded Materials

General information

The Health Knowledge website is of use to many professionals working in the field, but for the part A candidate there are detailed notes structured according to the syllabus.  This resource is improving all the time, and highly recommended.



Past Exam Papers

Past exam papers are available on the FPH website for Paper I and the Critical Appraisal (Paper II morning)

Past exam questions for Paper II afternoon are not provided by the FPH, although there are some example questions available



The following list was compiled by a Public Health Registrar several years ago, with the addition of some more recent publications.   Please let the Deanery know if there are any other key texts that you would recommend.

Epidemiology/ General Public Health

  1. Essential Public Health. Second Edition. Donaldson and Donaldson. Big book but good for background and easy to read. Some content is a bit outdated but good all the same.

  2. Epidemiology for the uninitiated, fifth edition. D Coggon, Geoffrey Rose and DJP Barker. Very quick, very easy read, good for calming nerves for last minute revision!

  3. Lecture Notes on Public Health Medicine. Richard Farmer, David Miller and Ross Lawrenson. Great book, good for early revision, well laid out and easy to learn from. Then go onto read..

  4. Epidemiology in Medicine. Charles H Hennekens and Julie Buring. This book takes you further than the other books, it’s really good at covering confounding and regression.

  5. Oxford Handbook of public Health Practice, Edited by David Pencheon, Charles Guest, David Melzer and Muir Gray. This is great when you’re getting on with your revision. I went through every chapter and it gives you practical answers to Public Health questions. I found this very useful.

  6. Mastering Public Health. Geraint H Lewis, Jessica Sheringham, Kanwal Kalim, Tim JB Crayford. Extremely useful.  Tailored to meet the needs of Masters students and Specialist Trainees.

Health Promotion

  1. Health promotion Models and Values second edition. Downie, Tannahill and Tannahill. Old book but I found that it helped me quite a bit with Health Promotion!
  2. Theory in a nutshell: A Guide to Health Promotion Theory.  Don Nutbeam, Elizabeth Harris.  A concise guide to all the theory you should need!


  1. Statistics without Tears, Derek Rowntree. Good if you’re not very confident with stats takes you right from the basics. If you’re OK with stats though you can easily give this one a miss.

  2. Statistics at a Glance. This book is great when you’ve got an understanding of stats and then you do through a chapter a page near the end of your revision to make sure that you can do it.

  3. The yellow and pink books from the MPH.

  4. I had Betty Kirkwood’s book Medical Statistics and Making Sense of data by Abramson but I couldn’t get past the first few pages in each! May suit other people.


  1. Understanding Organizations, fourth edition. Charles Handy. Good overview of Management stuff but only read Part 1 of the book.

  2. Internet resources are very useful. Make sure you can bash out a Change Management framework in your sleep and get it in your answers at every opportunity!

Critical Appraisal

  1. How to read a paper- the basis of evidence based medicine. Trisha Greenhalgh. Second Edition. Good, but the best thing to do with critical appraisal is practice and to force yourself to do it timed!

  2. Critical Appraisal Skills Programme frameworks are useful aids.


  1. Inequalities in Health- The Black Report and The Health Divide. Edited by Peter Townsend and Nick Davidson and Margaret Whitehead. Penguin book. I read this ages ago but it really is a good read and helps you with sociology revision.

  2. Outline of Sociology as applied to Medicine. David Armstrong 5th Edition. Arnold press (London).  Very good. Goes through all the main concepts this was the only thing I used for sociology revision and gave more than enough detail to answer the questions.

Communicable Disease

  1. HPA website and WHO website

  2. J Hawker and I Blair