Degree Type: 

Doctor of Philosophy


Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation

Programme Duration: 

3 years (Standard Entry)

Modes of Study: 


About Programme: 

Ghana’s approach to improving the quality of health involves a gradual shift of emphasis from curative health to health promotion. The paradigm shift has created the need to develop a new generation of health personnel with a new orientation toward health promotion. This new orientation requires the services of top leadership personnel to develop, monitor, evaluate and shape relevant health systems and strategies that will lead to achieving national health goals and objectives. The doctorate in Health Promotion is meant to open dialogue in the new directions of health care delivery and produce personnel who will use the knowledge and skills to redirect the health delivery system toward health promotion.

The upgrading of the Colleges of Education into first degree awarding institutions, the lecturers who have the capacity to further their studies, will need this programme. Furthermore, with the policy of employing only people with PhD to lecture in the public universities, the re-accreditation of the programme is very necessary for the continuous production of human resource and the sustenance of the existence of the Department. A challenge of the Department has been attracting teaching staff, therefore coupled with the already expressed concerned, the importance of this programme in bringing out these high quality staff who will effectively handle the students under their tutelage cannot be overemphasised. Furthermore, most of the graduates in the various Health Training Institutions and those in the Ministry of Health have no avenues to upgrade themselves to the PhD level. Therefore most of them will access the Health Promotion programme.

Target Groups

The programme is designed for the following categories of persons:

    1. staff of relevant Departments in tertiary institutions.
    2. personnel in the training institutions and in the Ministry of Health.
    3. public health workers of the Ghana Health Service.
    4. persons aspiring to teach health related programmes in tertiary institutions.
    5. persons aspiring for higher positions in health research institutions.

Entry Requirements: 

Candidates seeking admission into the PhD degree programme must:

  1. have an MPhil degree in a health related disciplinefrom a recognised university.
  2. have MA/Med/MSc/ degree in an appropriate field, with CGPA of 3.5 or better with not more than one grade C+. Also, have scored B+ or better in Research Methods course.
  3. submit an official transcript of academic record.
  4. submit at least three reference reports, one of which must be from a former lecturer.
  5. submit a proposal of 3-5 pages of intended area of study including a working bibliography.
  6. applicants will also have to pass a selection interview.

Goal / Aim / Objectives: 


To produce scholars with expertise in health promotion and research to assume teaching and research positions in academic and research institutions.


The objectives are to prepare students to be able to:

      1. conduct comprehensive health needs assessment.
      2. translate theory and research knowledge into health promotion interventions.
      3. design, implement, and evaluate health promotion programmes in various settings.
      4. conduct original research on the identification of the determinants of health.
      5. advocate for health interventions in vulnerable groups.

Career Opportunities: 

The programme is designed for the following categories of persons:

  1. Staff of the Department of HPER of UCC.
  2. Staff of relevant Departments in tertiary institutions.
  3. Tutors in the training institutions of the Ministry of Health.
  4. Public health workers of the Ghana Health Service.
  5. Persons aspiring for teaching jobs in tertiary institutions.
  6. Persons aspiring for positions in health research institutions

Programme Structure

Level 900

First Semester

EPH 963: Community Approaches to Health Promotion
3 Credit(s)

This course provides opportunity for students to examine literature, identify community approaches to health promotion and their effectiveness. Some models to be considered will include community development and community organisation approaches to health promotion. Students will also critique community health promotion programmes and interventions, their strengths and weaknesses. Students will critically examine theories and models that form the basis of these community health promotion programmes and how inter-agency collaboration affects health promotion interventions. Students will undertake field work at some agencies working on community health promotion programmes.

EPH 901: Advanced Research Paradigms
3 Credit(s)

This course examines the philosophical (axiological, ontological, epistemological and aesthetic) bases of research. Approaches, methodologies and designs to research resulting from the different philosophical thoughts are examined in relation to various disciplines. Students are expected to design research projects and justify the philosophical underpinnings of the proposed methodologies.

EPH 961: Human Health and Development
3 Credit(s)

The role of health in physical, social and economic development is examined. Both positive and negative implications of the reciprocal relationship between health status and individual, community and national and global development are examined. Structures, programmes and interventions at managing health at individual, local, national, regional and global levels are considered. Emerging challenges in health status and healthcare delivery system including funding, access, quality and social justice issues will be discussed. The course also discusses in details the roles of politics and political decisions in influencing the health and development at the levels of individual, local, national, regional and global. It further interrogates and critically analyse the contributions of key international health and related organisations in development and health development at the local, national, regional and global levels.

EPH 962: Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety Risk Assessment
3 Credit(s)

The focus of this course is the analysis of general and work environment to identify potential, eminent and real health and safety hazards (both natural and man-made) in order to proffer solutions. Both physical and psychosocial environment will be assessed. Health hazards emanating from the nature of jobs and the work environments will also be analysed. The principles of quantitative health and environmental risk assessment of toxicants will be presented. Qualitative and quantitative skills necessary to evaluate the probability of injury, disease, or death in the general population and workers from exposure to environmental contaminants and workplace hazards are discussed. Hazardous identification, exposure assessment, dose-response evaluation and risk characterization will be emphasized. Students may work with relevant institutions (EPA) to carry out environmental and occupational health and safety risk assessment. The impact of climate change and its related national and international agreements or treaties on the environment will be examined critically. Students capacity will be enhanced to enable them develop systems and procedures for risk assessment.

EPH 964: Trends in Maternal and Child Health
3 Credit(s)

The course aims at identifying current health issues and diseases affecting both pregnant women and children globally. The course will examine the impact of various common health problems at different stages of the life cycle and their functional outcomes in terms of morbidity, mortality, psychological wellbeing, reproduction and growth. Students will also examine epidemiological literature on maternal and childhood diseases in developed and developing countries. Evaluation of various programmes and resources available to combat health and nutritional problems will be conducted. Discussions on the role of various international organizations will be done in the context of socioeconomic development and current political or economic policies and realities

EPH 965: Programme Development in Community Health Promotion
3 Credit(s)

The course has two related components. First, it provides opportunity for students to do in-depth analysis of multiple approaches and processes to health needs assessment including community change model and population health framework. The other part of the course covers theories and principles for planning community health intervention programmes to maximise efficacy, accountability and sustainability.

EPH 966: Evidence Based Practice in Health Promotion
3 Credit(s)

The purpose of this course is to examine theoretical and ethical basis of health promotion. It provides students with the opportunity to examine literature to identify the fundamental assumptions of health promotion interventions and the degree to which they work. Emphasis will be placed on development of efficacious, equitable and sustainable health interventions. Critical issues to be considered include the dilemma of a paradigm shift from curative to prevention and promotion and leadership challenges in multisectoral approach to health promotion. Students will also critically examine the knowledge brokering in health promotion including healthcare systems. Students will develop competency in selecting or designing innovative health interventions that are based on solid evidence and be able to translate research evidence into policy and health programmes.

Second Semester

EPH 967: Occupational and Environmental Health and Safety policy Analysis
3 Credit(s)

The purpose of this course is to identify and analyse existing policies regarding environmental and occupational health and safety. Policies will be viewed from global, regional, national and local, and organisational levels. The course will review the processes for developing policies, critiquing their appropriateness and identifying action plans for the implementation of policies. For example, Students will analyse the various occupational health and safety policies and the institutions responsible for their implementations. They will examine factors limiting the formulation of a comprehensive national occupational health and safety policy and setting up of single resourced institutions for its implementation. Students will develop an understanding of environmental and occupational health policies, laws, key concepts and principles, proposals and approaches for regulatory reform. Also, approaches to policy analysis, and overall phases and issues in the policy making process will be explored.

EPH 968: Advanced Programme Evaluation in Health Education & Promotion
3 Credit(s)

The course covers models, principles and practices of accountability in health promotion interventions. Evaluation of models relevant to different stages of health promotion interventions will be reviewed. Among others, the course will cover areas such as focus, design, data collection, analysis and reporting as well as ethical issues. Specifically, the course will examine the framework for health promotion programme evaluation paying attention to comprehensive and participatory approaches for evaluating health promotion programmes. Students will also be equipped with in-depth knowledge in the analysis of transformative alliance between qualitative and quantitative approaches in health promotion research.  Economic evaluation/cost analysis of health promotion programmes will also be explored.

EPH 902: Advanced Qualitative Data Analysis and Reporting
3 Credit(s)

The course examines qualitative research from design (phenomenology, ethnography, grounded theory, ethnomethodology, etc.) through practical approaches to data collection, analysis and reporting. It also considers practical computer applications as well as ethical issues in qualitative research.

EPH 903: Advanced Quantitative Data Analysis and Reporting
3 Credit(s)

The course examines qualitative research design from the perspectives of phenomenology, ethnography, grounded theory, ethnomethodology through practical approaches to data collection, analysis and reporting. It also considers practical computer applications as well as ethical issues in qualitative research.

EPH 969: Behavioural Aspects of Health Education and Promotion
3 Credit(s)

This course will examine relevant theories and explains human behaviour in relation to health. A major component of the course is the analysis of the determinants of individual and group or community behaviour in response to policies, resources, services, and other health promotion activities. Major theories and models of specific health behaviour (dietary, drug, sexual, reproductive, safety, etc.) management will be discussed. Class discussions, assignments and other experiences will focus on understanding the social and cultural issues that influence health and health related behaviour of specific populations, with emphasis on Ghana.

EPH 971: Issues in Maternal and child Health Promotion
3 Credit(s)

This course will provide a public health perspective for assessing and meeting the health needs of women, children, adolescents and families in Ghana. Historical and current principles, programmes, policies, practices and issues related to these populations will be examined. The course will also focus on reviewing existing health promotion interventions that target maternal and child health. Policies, resources, services, programmes and other health promotion activities that target mothers and children will be examined for appropriateness in planning, implementing, monitoring and evaluation. Such social interventions will include immunization, nutrition interventions, food supplementation, free maternal care, mass screening, mass de-worming, family planning and adolescents’ mobile health.

Level 950

First Semester

EPH 999: Thesis
12 Credit(s)

Thesis Proposal Seminars

Two seminars are required in Year 2. The first seminar is essentially a report of an initial literature review in the student’s chosen specific area of research. It affords students the opportunity to explore the theoretical foundations of the research problem and justify its viability. Students produce a concept paper of their research and an annotated bibliography of potential literature for the study. The second seminar is the presentation and defence of the thesis proposal.

Second Semester

EPH 999: Thesis
3 Credit(s)

Thesis Report Seminars

Two seminars are required in Year 3. In the first seminar, the student is given the opportunity to present the analysis of data, preliminary results and reflections from the field.

The second seminar is an oral defence (viva voce).