What is a biostatistician and its role in Public health UK

2020 brought us all a pandemic and highlighted the vital role of public health planning, research, and execution to safeguard humanity at a global level. Overnight, we came across previously unheard-of public health professionals on TV, Twitter, or WhatsApp forwards. In short, public health professionals became much-needed celebrities and the talk of the town. The role of Biostatistician and epidemiologists were discussed and celebrated. Search volumes on how to become a public health professional increased. ‘MPH in the UK’ or Masters in Public health Ireland’ saw a dramatic increase. 

What is a Biostatistician and Epidemiologist, and why do we need them?

Public Health professionals like a Biostatistician have always been working to keep society healthy by promoting healthy lifestyles, prevention of diseases and injuries at large and most importantly controlling infectious diseases. Public Health professions are discussed in detail in this article.

The major responsibilities of a Biostatistician include collecting and analyzing health statistics, understanding underlying disease trends, policy advocacy, supporting governments and development organizations with strategic inputs for the betterment of public health. The less glamorous but equally important roles could be focusing on educating the children about proper hygiene to organizing public health campaigns. Overall, anything that influences public health, could come under the purview of public health professionals, including Biostatisticians. 

Steps to Pursuing an MPH in the UK or Masters in Public Health Ireland

Some of you may now be excited about the prospects of a public health career in the UK and wish to explore it. Having a background in medicine could give you an edge. Also, Indian medical graduates hold a good reputation in the UK. However, to capture these opportunities you would need additional education, in the form of a Masters in Public Health (MPH). If you are targeting a Public Health career in the UK, it would be best to pursue an MPH in the UK itself. 

The UK has some great programs to choose from.Some of the high ranking universities offering MPH are the University of Cambridge, University College London (UCL), King’s College London, University of Birmingham City, and Imperial College London.  The courses are full-time, part-time, purely online, or hybrid. Of course, if you are going for a career switch and have the resources, it is always advisable to go for a full-time campus course. Full-time courses are usually 1 year, which is lesser than in other countries. Students can focus on specific areas like Biostatistician, Epidemiology, Community and Mental Health etc.

The average cost involved in pursuing public health is around 20,000 – 25,000 GBP. There is an opportunity to receive scholarships and offset living costs easily by working part-time there. Top courses for MPH in the UK have global recognition and can open avenues beyond public health jobs too, like management consulting, pharmaceutical companies, etc. 

Admission requirements for MPH in the UK & Masters in Public Health Ireland

To become a Public Health professional or a biostatistician, you need a very good score in TOEFL or IELTS. Good academic background also helps. Beyond both, the application process is very critical. Colleges may require you to submit a statement of purpose or essays, recommendation/s, a video recording (usually impromptu). This may be daunting for some. 

Getting advice from ex-students or experts in the choice of colleges and the application process is strongly advisable. It may be even more helpful to approach alumni of the specialization you wish to pursue, such as a biostatistician or an epidemiologist. Your first attempt at the applications should be good enough. The deadlines are firm and very close for this year. Some may have already gone. International students target admission confirmation at least 45 days before the start of the academic session to finish visa formalities too. Plan well and execute even better. 

Don’t shy away from seeking help. Going abroad and starting entirely a new life in a foreign culture can be challenging. Most of the institutions have multiple successful alumni of Indian origin; please reach out to them to learn more about the opportunities and challenges. 

What is a Biostatistician’s & Epidemiologist’s scope in the UK workforce?

The United Kingdom has had a strong tradition of public health services at various levels of the government – local, regional and national. In addition to the government, UK is home to several academic and non-academic research institutions focused on public health. Many top global developmental organizations and multilateral agencies working in the field of public health are also headquartered in the UK. 

There is abundant scope for Epidemiologists in the UK, especially due to the current COVID crisis. It is mainly due to the pivotal role they play in the event of a disease outbreak. Epidemiologists are, in fact, in demand now more than ever worldwide.

A simple search with ‘public health’ as keywords resulted in around 7000 jobs on LinkedIn, 1,100 on Glassdoor, 4,100 on Reed. In brief, there is a lot of need for public health professionals

What is a Public Health Professional’s salary in the UK?

With an average starting salary of 30,000 – 40,000 GBP for Biostatisticians and other Public Health professionals, it seems financially lucrative too. There also seems good career progression with an average salary of around 70000 GBP. With average living expenses of around 24,400 GBP, savings could be significant.

It might be worthwhile to consider the added benefits of professionally better working conditions, better work-life balance, infrastructure, quality of work, less bureaucracy, and more employee security benefits. Universal healthcare, a clean environment, better law and order, lovely landscapes, multicultural setup, significant Indian diaspora, and ease of access to global destinations add more charm to working in the UK. Work experience in the UK also receives better recognition globally. 

Checklist to consider before choosing MPH in the UK

So the career opportunities are great, the country is good, there is clarity on the pathway to reach there. So what now? At this stage, you need to ask yourselves the key questions like


  1. Am I satisfied with my current job? Role? Salary? Lifestyle? If no, then
  2. Is this interesting work for you? Do more research
  3. Is the financial risk worth taking? I would say yes. When you can get your tuition fee and other expenses back in a maximum of 2 years. It seems like the best investment you could make right now if you are stuck in your career
  4. Does the application process look challenging? Maybe, but reach out to us through the below form and we could help.


Now that you have a clearer answer for questions like ‘what is a biostatistician, epidemiologist and ‘scope of MPH in the UK’, it is easier to make the decision. The most important is a challenge in such a situation is to take the 1st step. Please break your inertia. Make the move. A few years down the lane, you might regret that you had an opportunity that you liked, but didn’t pursue.

In case you need our expert advice, please fill the form below. 

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