Public Health Training in Local Departments

Much public health work is project based, with long term horizons. Public health departments see their role as assessing the needs of the population for health care, helping to change clinical services and other agencies to provide that care, and contributing to protecting the health of the population through the control of communicable disease and environmental hazards.  Public Health trainees negotiate a training plan with their trainers.  This plan is renewed and assessed every 6 months to ensure that the trainees receive good experience.  All trainees are expected to substantially rotate at least once in their training.  Usually, this is to a nearby placement which are organised into Public Health Training Networks.  Trainees also will undertake placements in Public Health England.

Academic Training in the West Midlands

All Higher Specialist registrars who enter the training scheme are assigned an academic supervisor, in addition to their service educational supervisor.  Usually, this is a full time academic member of staff at the University of Birmingham or Warwick University.  They meet once a term and discuss the progress of the trainee with the academic parts of the training.  The academic supervisor will also help to develop work for publications and help those registrars who wish to pursue a higher degree.


Academic training at the start of the programme in public health is mainly done within the department of Public Health and Epidemiology at the University of Birmingham.  The foundation of this training is an 8 months wte Master of Public Health (MPH) course.  This modular course covers a broad range of the theoretical aspects of public health and is completed by a research project.  If registrars already have a relevant qualification, they do not need to sit the MPH and can start in the second year of training.  Details of the MPH course can be found on the University of Birmingham website (


One of the aims of the MPH is to prepare candidates for the part A MFPH.  In addition to these registrars will also have many Wednesday Tutorials spent at the university covering issues for part A and past paper questions for the part A exam. StRs are recommended to sit the Faculty Diplomate (DFPH) examination as soon as they finish their MPH modules ( ie in the Summer following appointment) and are required to sit it within a year of finishing their MPH course.


Currently apart from those employed by Universities (Warwick and Birmingham ) all registrars will be employed by a lead employer currently being arranged by HEE as from August 2021 onwards.   (For placements outside of the West Midlands a local employer for the placement is arranged).   So StRs are effectively on agreed training secondments from the lead employer to accredited training placement locations in the West Midlands.

Those appointed to the start of the scheme will have the opportunity to prepare for MFPH Part A by a modular Masters Degree in Public Health (MPH) at the University of Birmingham commencing in the October after starting. Trainees are strongly recommended to take part A in the summer sitting following appointment (i.e. around the time of finishing MPH exams). Trainees will be required to take the Faculty of Public Health Part A examination in the first sitting of the calendar year when in year 2. Registrars will be awarded the equivalent of a CCT subject to satisfactory annual review acquiring all the curriculum competencies and obtaining MFPH. The Postgraduate Dean confirms that this programme has the required educational and Dean’s approval.  

Health Protection Training

4 month Placements will exist for general Health Protection training in each of the three PHE Units in the West Midlands. It is recommended StRs have passed the DFPH examination before undertaking their HP training and the TPDs will give priority for these placement accordingly. StRs may also apply to take up placements out of the region (post part B) eg with the Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre (CDSC) in London and the specialised health protection placements within the West Midlands.