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Why Study Public Health?

We need to know what helps communities of people to live their lives free from the burden of ill health. A gap between the health of the rich and the poor has been recorded in Scotland for over 150 years. We are looking at solutions.


Where you live can influence when you die. In Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Dundee people from the poorest communities still experience more ill health and die at a younger age than those who live in the wealthiest parts of the city.


Do social circumstances influence how quickly a person ages? By looking at telomeres, part of the packaging of DNA known to be a good measure of ageing, we assess how poverty and other factors influence health.


Media reports can influence what people understand about health issues. Our research looks at how people use information provided by the media to make health decisions about issues like vaccination and flu.


What will shape this child’s life? We investigate the social factors that influence young people’s health by looking at family relationships, poverty, peers, schools and the media.


Our Scottish Premier League Football Fans in Training programme is helping men to get fit, lose weight and enjoy life. It challenges the idea that men aren’t interested in health. Who wouldn’t want to feel better?


Does where we live affect our health? Is it important to have green-space? What makes a healthy environment for children? Our research explores these issues. the results suggest all matter for health.

Sexual Health

Sexual health is about more than using condoms to prevent infection or pregnancy. We talk to people about their lifestyles to learn how to develop ways to improve their emotional and physical sexual health.


Why are there health differences between ethnic groups in adulthood? We found that ethnic minority teenagers experience good mental health. We hope to find out if this will continue by following people’s lives from youth to adulthood.

What Works?

Politicians make decisions about building new roads, houses and other facilities. We study the effects of these changes to provide evidence about what makes the public’s health better.

Modelling Health

We developed Health and the City, a game that turns players into public health researchers. These children made public health decisions at a science festival.

Problems and Solutions

People have little control over many of the things that create health inequalities throughout their lives, like the conditions they live in or whether there are sports facilities nearby. Inequalities are difficult to change at an individual level. The Scottish Collaboration for Public Health Research and Policy at the University of Edinburgh is another team of researchers looking for ways to solve Scotland’s health problems at every stage of life.

Scotland’s Future

The Scotland these children grow old in could have more, or less, health inequality than today. As public health researchers we will keep looking for ways to help people live full healthy lives wherever they live.

Gathering Evidence

We design and test ways to improve health and reduce inequality. We share our work with politicians, policy makers and health professionals to try to influence health policy and practice.

Images of Public Health  

The MRC tell the story of their work in their Centenary year displayed outside Glasgow Science Centre