Exposure and Health

The Master of Public Health in the field of Exposure and Health focuses on the relationship between occupational and environmental exposures and the potential impact(s) on the health of workforces and communities.


The Wits School of Public Health MPH programme is designed to prepare graduates to be leaders in the field of public health and to provide them with the skills and knowledge to identify and address local, regional, and (inter)national public health issues. The Programme reflects the values of the School of Public Health, i.e. to promote equity and human rights and to meaningfully respond to the needs on the African continent. The MPH is multidisciplinary with staff from a number of disciplines involved in the teaching and research components.

Exposure and Health (E & H) is a new field of study in the MPH, and focuses on the relationship between occupational and environmental exposures and the potential impact(s) on the health of workforces and communities. Individuals are exposed to contaminants resulting from anthropogenic activities during their entire life times and in various environments. Prevention of potential health impacts cannot be considered in isolation but requires an integrated approach. Such a multi-disciplinary approach focuses on the mitigation of human health risk, either by control of exposure, or by reducing the vulnerability or enhancing the resilience of the workforce and community.

The MPH in the field of E & H seeks to integrate exposure science and public health (i.e. occupational/residential exposure, exposure-related diseases, health care systems, socio-economic status, etc.). Graduates of the Programme will be equipped with knowledge and skills relating to the holistic relationship between exposure and health. The expected output level and competency is Leadership and Management in Public (Environmental and Occupational) Health (programmes, organisations, departments, health services, etc.).


There are three parts to the MPH E & H programme:

  • Part 1 (coursework) consists of six one-week long courses in the area of specialization: Together with MPH students in other fields of study, the following courses are mandatory: Health and Society, Health Measurement I and II, Approaches to Population Health, Designing Effective Public Health programmes, and Introduction to Occupational & Environmental Health. These modules are offered in Year 1 of the programme.
  • Part 2 (coursework) consists of six one-week long MPH core courses. Exposure-induced health outcomes, Exposure Science I (Principles), Fundamentals of risk assessment, Exposure Control I (Fundamentals), Risk Management (systems and programmes) and Research Methods. These modules are offered in Year 2 of the programme.
  • Part 3 is a research project in the field of Exposure and Health, and is conducted across Years 2 and 3 of the programme.

The coursework and the research component each contribute 50% to the overall programme.

Entry Requirements

A university graduate who has been awarded a Bachelor degree of at least four years duration, e.g. Bachelor of Health Sciences with Honours; Bachelor of Science with Honours or Bachelor of Technology. Furthermore, practical experience is required in a relevant field, e.g. environmental Health, occupational health and/or safety; occupational hygiene, chemistry, toxicology, etc. with a minimum of a 65% average.

Your application must be accompanied by the following documents:

  • Written motivation by the applicant detailing reason for applying for the degree and how the program fits with their overall career goals - Motivation
  • Comprehensive Curriculum Vitae including a description of relevant research and work experience
  • Two referee reports - Referee Report
  • Certified copies of prior qualification(s).
  • Original transcripts of qualifications
  • Foreign Qualifications:
    • Evaluation from SAQA for applicants who graduated from non- South African universities.
    • English competency certificate or evidence of prior undergraduate training in English.

University Application Process

  • Applications are handled centrally by the Student Enrolment Centre (SEnC). Once your application is complete in terms of requested documentation, your application will be referred to the relevant School for assessment. Click here to see an overview of the Wits applications process.
  • Please apply online. Upload your supporting documents at the time of application, or via the Self Service Portal.
  • Applicants can monitor the progress of their applications via the Self Service Portal.
  • Selections for programmes that have a limited intake but attract a large number of applications may only finalise the application at the end of the application cycle.

Please note that the Entry Requirements are a guide. Meeting these requirements does not guarantee a place. Final selection is made subject to the availability of places, academic results and other entry requirements where applicable.

International students, please check this section.

For more information, contact the Student Call Centre +27 (0)11 717 1888, or log a query at www.wits.ac.za/askwits.

University Fees and Funding

Click here to see the current average tuition fees. The Fees site also provides information about the payment of fees and closing dates for fees payments. Once you have applied you will be able to access the fees estimator on the student self-service portal.

For information about postgraduate funding opportunities, including the postgraduate merit award, click here. Please also check your School website for bursary opportunities. NRF bursaries: The National Research Foundation (NRF) offers a wide range of opportunities in terms of bursaries and fellowships to students pursuing postgraduate studies. External bursaries portal: The Bursaries South Africa website provides a comprehensive list of bursaries in South Africa.