Public health training

The PHA is instrumental in the delivery of postgraduate training for doctors who want to specialise in public health medicine in Northern Ireland. We are the primary training location and education provider for this speciality. Other approved training locations are the Centre for Public Health at Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) incorporating the NI Cancer Registry, DHSSPS, and the Institute of Public Health in Ireland (IPH).

The Public Health training programme is overseen by the NIMDTA Public Health specialty training committee and usually comprises a five-year full time programme. The first year is spent undertaking a Masters in Public Health at QUB. The next three to four years are usually spent working within the PHA or other approved training locations where training is delivered by consultants/specialists and practitioners from a range of other backgrounds.

The PHA provides trainees with the opportunities to work across all the key areas of public health practice, i.e. health protection, health improvement, screening and service development. We are well placed to deliver this training in the PHA with our multidisciplinary workforce and our networks with a wide range of external stakeholders.

Recruitment to the training programme is by competitive interview and is led by NIMDTA. Trainees entering the programme will follow the public health specialty training curriculum set by the UK Faculty of Public Health. Evidence of progress towards achieving key competencies and experience is assessed at an annual review of competence progression (ARCP). Satisfactory progress leads to a Certificate of Completion of Training and eligibility to work at consultant level. 

Any queries regarding the training programme, including recruitment queries, can be addressed to the Training Programme Director by emailing

Further information on the public health training, including the training policy, is available via the NIMDTA website

and the UK Faculty of Public Health

People from backgrounds other than medicine can have experience recognised by the Faculty of Public Health. Further information is available via the UK Public Health Register

Foundation training and taster weeks in public health

PHA offer ‘taster weeks’ and four-month rotations in public health for foundation year 2 doctors. Queries about foundation opportunities in public health, contact