Master 1 in Public Health
Pathway: policies, populations, societies

The Master 1 in Public Health co-accredited by EHESP, the Université de Rennes and Rennes 2 University offers a “Policies, populations, societies” pathway so students can understand the healthcare system and situate it within society and in relation to the health needs of the population. While developing a multidisciplinary approach to public health in certain teaching modules, this Master teaches a more specialised approach in the human and social sciences.

Professional goals

The course will allow students to understand the full complexity and diversity of the field of public health and equip them with the skills to enrol on the Master 2 in Public Health.

Skills outcomes

By the end of the course, students will be able to:

  • Take a reflexive approach (observation and analysis) to a question relating to public health and the issues it raises;
  • Take action factoring in the principles and characteristics of the various functions/areas in public health (prevention, promotion, health security, etc.) and populations concerned in consultation with stakeholders;
  • Collect, represent and interpret qualitative and quantitative data on state of health, its determinants, service provisions and needs (in terms of health and social care services);
  • Analyse a population, institutional and legal/normative context in public health (level 1);
  • Evaluate/analyse a policy, programme and action in the public health arena;
  • Manage a project (level 1);
  • Manage a team and staff (level 1);
  • Communicate data and/or results from public health studies.

Careers opportunities

Successful completion of the Master 1 in Public Health “Populations, Policies, Societies” pathway allows students to enrol on the various Master 2 courses offered as part of the Public Health option by EHESP, Université de Rennes and Université Rennes 2:

Future employers

  • Health services providers
  • Public health bodies (WHO, InVS, ORS [Regional Health Observatories], etc.
  • Regional health agencies (ARS)
  • Consulting companies
  • Regional authorities
  • Third sector organisations


Location: EHESP – Rennes
Accessibility for people with disabilities: Yes – Read about accessibility at EHESP here
Language of study: French
Period of study: from 4 September 2023 to 1st September 2024.
Intake  capacity
: 40 students
Course given over 11-13 months (dependent on length of work placement) for a total of 600 hours (excluding work placement) for all trainees. Classes take place 9-5, Monday to Friday. In the second semester, personal study time is scheduled on Wednesday and Friday to help students advance with their work placement plans and group projects.

  • 600 hr in person (lectures and tutorials)
  • Work placement: 245 hr minimum (7 weeks) from early May
  • Option to take a gap year before or after the Master 1 before starting the chosen Master 2.

Lenght: Full time with classes taught from September to April and a work placement starting in early May.
Level of programme: Master 1 in Public Health “Policies, Populations, Societies” pathway allows students to enrol on the various Master 2 in Public Health programmes.
Credits: 60 ECTS

Programme modules:

The Master 1 in Public Health is composed of 17 teaching modules spread over 2 semesters

Educational methods

The Master 1 in Public Health is taught in person. It comprises lectures, tutorials and workshops. Semester 1 focuses on teaching the fundamentals of the various public health disciplines; semester 2 puts the emphasis on specific knowledge and the completion of individual and group assignments engaging the knowledge and skills acquired in semester 1. Students working in a group will also conduct an in-depth empirical survey on a public health topic.

Generally, the Master 1 in Public Health provides an opportunity for extremely rewarding group work, critical discussions, surveys and debates. The diversity of student profiles from a wide range of professional backgrounds is one of the reasons this course is so beneficial.

The teaching staff is formed of research lecturers at EHESP and Université Rennes 1.

The work placement takes place over at least 7 weeks, starting in early May, at a public health institution (in the health, medical-social or social care sectors). Group (regular work placement catch-ups) and one-on-one (tutored study) support is provided from September, focusing first on the search for a work placement and then the development of a work placement project that engages all the skills and knowledge acquired during the Master programme. Students work on this project throughout the year and it is the foundation of the professional dissertation.


Different methods are combined: continuous assessment during both semesters (individual and/or group assignments, written and/or oral) and exam sessions held at the end of each semester (written and/or oral exams). Students are required to write a 25-page professional dissertation at the end of their 7-week work placement.

Technical ressources

EHESP provides various technical resources for learners to attend classes, including: Teams, Zoom, FileSender-Renater (file transfer system) and the REAL platform (learning content).

Special software may be required (specified by your course manager).

A documentation centre, self-service computer rooms and accommodation on the Rennes campus and a restaurant are also provided.


Health professionals increasingly find themselves working within complex organisations and public action programmes which demand of them a thorough understanding of their environment.
The Master 1 in Public Health: Social Sciences and Management lays the groundwork for the acquisition of competences in analysing work contexts, in mastering the various tools (legal, economic, etc.) necessary both to the exercise of their duties and to the exercise of public health missions (health promotion, programmes targeting specific populations, etc.).

The Master 1 in Public Health: Social Sciences and Management is also aimed at students seeking to work in the health-related territorial domain, on the co-ordination of health programmes or networks, in leadership of public health actions.

Entry requirements


  • Students in healthcare disciplines: from PCEM2
  • Students coming from scientific, economic, legal and social sciences backgrounds: after successful completion of a licence 3


Doctor, director, executive, carer, educator, psychologist and any professional who want to move towards public health, already a license holder.


Applications for 2024-2025 academic year are closed.

Foreign students

You want to begin or continue your higher education in France, and you live in a country using the Campus France/CEF online procedure? Follow the 2 steps


International student (non-EU) : differentiated rights regime of 3770€ – Please visit ”Studying in France” for more information



Course manager

Blanche Le Bihan, Professor and researcher at EHESP School of Public Health

Course information

Céline Lefebvre
T. : +33 (0) 2 99 02 28 74 – Cé


T. : +33 (0) 2 99 02 26 71 –

Modified on 19 April 2024