Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Population Health

The Nuffield Department of Population Health offers Population Health courses to Oxford medical students and supports the Medical School in meeting the national requirement to train medical professionals in population health. In a typical academic year, Nuffield Department of Population Health staff teach over 400 medical students. Our teaching aims to arm students with an understanding of the basis for the population health approach (sociology, social determinants of health), the methods it uses (epidemiology, statistics, health economics, guideline and policy making) and clinically relevant approaches to prevention (health promotion, screening and health protection)

We run courses in Global Health to first year graduate-entry students and Medical Sociology to first year undergraduate-entry students, as well as offering integrated population health teaching within basic science and clinical teaching in the early years of medical training (e.g. population pathology and integrated population health).

During the clinical years of training we provide a 6 week clinical speciality course in public health within the community rotation, support integrated population health teaching within other medical specialities. We also support 10 - 15 students choosing to focus on population health in self-selected modules in the final year of training.

Population Health 1

Undergraduate entry medicine

Graduate entry medicine

  • Medical sociology module
  • Population pathology module
  • Integrated population health thread
  • Global health module

Population Health 2

Clinical medicine

  • Clinical speciality course in public health (community rotation)
  • Integrated population health teaching within clinical specialities
  • Special study modules in population health & global health

If you are interested in becoming involved in population health teaching at NDPH, or simply wish to find out more, please contact the Clinical Course Administrator. We support student learning in a variety of styles suitable to a different levels of prior teaching experience (large lectures, small groups, tutorials work and individual supervision) and we have access to a range of training and degree programmes suitable to teachers wishing to further develop their skills.

Please follow the links for further details on preclinical courses, clinical courses and teaching skills courses.


The Ethox Centre within the Nuffield Department of Population Health offers training in medical ethics and law to medical students in a thread course throughout both undergraduate and graduate-entry courses.

For students on the standard undergraduate medical school course, teaching in ethics and law is offered during the clinical training years (Years 4-6). In Year 4, the focus is on examining ‘core topics’ through which students acquire skills of legal and ethical reasoning that are relevant to their future roles as clinicians. The ‘core topics’ include:

  • Introduction to medical law
  • Medical negligence
  • Confidentiality
  • Consent to medical treatment
  • Decision-making and care at the end of life
  • Ethics in clinical genetics and genomics
  • Ethical and regulatory aspects of medical research involving human participants

In Years 5 and 6, ethics and law teaching is woven into the different clinical rotations that students participate in. In these teaching sessions, students obtain knowledge of ethical and legal issues in more specialised areas of medical practice (including psychiatry, obstetrics and gynaecology, population health, and infectious diseases). Students are also introduced to peer learning in ethics and law, ensuring that they are equipped to lead and facilitate their own discussions with colleagues in clinical practice settings.

A 4-week Special Study Module In Medical Ethics is also offered to 4th year students who would like the opportunity to explore, in more depth, a particular issue in medical ethics that interests them.

For students on the graduate entry medical school course, teaching in ethics and law is offered in Year 1 of the course, with further teaching provided in Years 3 and 4 when the students join the last two years of the standard course. The seminars provided in Year 1 also focus on the ‘core topics’ outlined above, with students engaging in self-directed learning and extended class discussions with medical ethicists, medical lawyers, and clinicians working in a variety of specialities.

If you would like to know more about the medical ethics and law teaching offered by members of NDPH, or if you are a health care practitioner interested in becoming involved in the teaching, please contact Dr Michael Dunn.

The textbook for these courses is Medical Ethics and Law: the Core Curriculum (2nd Edition), Hope, T, Savulescu, J. and Hendrick, J. (2007) Edinburgh: Churchill-Livingstone.

Sir Richard Doll Essay Prize

The Nuffield Department of Population Health shall each year award a prize to the best essay on a contemporary population health topic written by a clinical student working in Oxford for the Second Examination for the degree of Bachelor of Medicine. The award aims to recognise creativity and originality in the understanding of, or response to, population health challenges at the national or global level. The value of the prize is £500.

CLinical COurse Administrator

If you have any questions please contact the Course Administrator on or by telephone on 01865 617803.