Master of Public Health with Specialisation in Community Health (MPH-CH)

MPH-CH Academic Year 2024-25


  1. Why is SOCHARA offering an MPH with a specialisation in Community Health?

Public health challenges in India and the world over have continued to accelerate and evolve despite the many achievements made in the area of health thus far. While old challenges and newer threats overburden health systems; government ownership towards nurturing population health has increased through policies that encourage the creation of a dedicated Public Health Management Cadre through the support of various postgraduate level Public Health programmes. Recognising and responding to this need, in May 2022, SOCHARA – School of Public Health, Equity and Action (SOPHEA) and Martin Luther Christian University MLCU, Shillong entered into a partnership to contribute to building the Public Health Cadre in the country. The Master of Public Health with specialisation in Community Health (MPH-CH) was introduced in January 2023 with two batches in January and August. In 2024, there will be a single batch which begins on Thursday, 01 August 2024. 

  1. How is the MPH-CH facilitated in partnership with MLCU?

MLCU facilitates three weeks of the programme while the rest is facilitated by SOCHARA-SOPHEA. 

  1. Why is the MPH offered with a specialisation in Community Health?

An evidence-based (broad population-level) interventionist approach alone in Public Health is limited in addressing and reducing social inequities that impact and determine health and well-being. 

A community health approach builds on local capabilities, rational, safe and effective health traditions, culture and context in a responsive, affirmative as well as challenging manner. 

  1. What are the learning outcomes of the MPH-CH ?

The learning outcomes of the MPH-CH are to enable you as a learner: 

  • To be oriented to values of equity, rights, gender equality, ethics, integrity, quality, accountability and responsibility at all levels in community health and public health
  • To develop systems thinking, leadership, mentorship, ethical reasoning, problem solving and implementation
  • To develop skills in qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods research. This will include the basics of epidemiology and biostatistics
  • To strengthen interpersonal and rapport building skills for engagement and partnership with communities, society and the state; across multiple sectors with a special focus on the public health system
  • Skills for engaging with and strengthening an evidence-based Indian public health system, plural healthcare (AYUSSH and others), health policy processes, and for building community capacity, monitoring, evaluation and health surveillance
  • To develop an understanding of public health priorities such as MCH, gender, disability, communicable and non-communicable diseases, epidemics and pandemics, climate change, disaster response, urban, rural and tribal health issues, emerging concepts such as one health and planetary health 
  • To develop the ability and skills to understand the micro and macro social determinants of health, community contexts and develop community-based action plans to address identified public health issues
  • An understanding of determinants of health together with approaches and methodologies for health promotion (including prevention and protection) using a community health approach
  • Capacities to initiate / strengthen community health action, research, educational strategies, policy, dialogue and action.
  • To develop an ability for life-long learning
  1. What is unique about the SOCHARA-MLCU MPH-CH programme?

The MPH-CH is:

  • built on the social and societal paradigm 
  • explores an alternative approach to life, health and well-being 
  • is rooted in the community context and dynamics
  • studies ‘and emphasises action’ on social determinants of health
  • ‘enables’  communities, practitioners and researchers 
  • to find sustainable solutions to public health issues 
  • uses a multi-faceted community health approach
  1. What is the mode of facilitation?

The MPH-CH is conducted in a hybrid (online-offline, community project) part-time mode for working professionals. This includes a total of 11 modules in Semester 3, among which 9 modules are facilitated by SOCHARA-SOPHEA, and 3 modules are facilitated by MLCU in Shillong, Meghalaya. 

During Semester 4, participants are required to take up a six-month community-based health research project, usually carried out in their respective work locations. 

To conclude the learning programme, participants are required to participate in an in-person confluence in Bengaluru, Karnataka.

Programme learning includes 60% experiential learning and 40% classroom-based learning.

  1. Who will certify my degree?

On successful completion of the programme, your MPH-CH degree will be awarded by Martin Luther Christian University (MLCU), Shillong, Meghalaya. 

The MPH-CH degree is awarded based on earning a total of 80 credits at the end of the MPH-CH. This is drawn from a combination of 40 credits carried over from your CHLP PGD (or other eligible postgraduate qualification); and 40 credits earned from successful completion of ‘Year 2’ (lateral entry) of the MPH-CH. 

  1. Is Martin Luther Christian University recognised by the UGC?

Yes, the creation of the university is in accordance with the University Grants Commission Act, 1956 under Section 2(f) and the university is empowered to grant degrees under Section 22 of the UGC Act. See FAQs – Martin Luther Christian University 

  1. I am CHLP alumni. How am I eligible to join the MPH-CH (lateral entry) degree programme?

The eligibility criteria for the MPH-CH (Year 2) are as follows: 

Qualifications and Experience:

CHLP alumni and alumni from the Madhya Pradesh Community Health Fellowship Programme (MPCHFP) who meet credit requirements (40 credits) and with a minimum of 1200 hours of learning; and have been awarded the Community Health Learning Programme Post Graduate Diploma (CHLP-PGD) facilitated by SOCHARA-SOPHEA and accredited by MLCU. 

Postgraduates of Medical and Health Sciences, and other disciplines including Community Development and relevant Social Sciences (with a minimum of 2 years demonstrated work experience) and a long term interest in Community Health; and who wish to seek admission to MPH-CH (Year 2). (Such students’ past PG course transcripts must meet the required minimum 40 credits and 1200 learning hours for eligibility to enter Year 2 of the MPH-CH). 

  1.  How do I apply for the lateral entry MPH-CH (Year 2)?

Write to us at expressing your interest to apply for the MPH-CH along with your updated curriculum vitae, a 500-word essay on a public health issue of relevance to India and a 300-word personal statement on ‘Why I wish to do an MPH-CH’, a copy of your CHLP-PGD or other related postgraduate degree certificate and transcript and two referees with contact details (email and mobile number). Then, to apply, fill-in the Google application form which will be shortly uploaded on the SOCHARA website ( 

  1. What do I gain from the MPH-CH? 

Through the MPH-CH, you will develop skills and competencies to use a community health approach to public health issues and to strengthen the public health system. The modules and research project will strengthen your analytical ability through the curriculum mentioned below. You will get an experiential learning opportunity to take up a community-based health research project with any health development organisation including your current organisation, supported by a mentor and the team. 

The group process provides a space to discuss, reflect, share experiences and learn from each other. The personal mentoring process during the programme ensures that you begin to internalise the community health approach  along with getting guidance for planning  your future course of action.   

You get to interact with experienced practitioners of community health, public health and health policy in the country. You will also have access to extensive resource materials on community health and development available on our digital platform and in our Community Health Library and Information Centre (CLIC).

  1. What is the curriculum structure of the MPH-CH?

The curriculum follows the university semester structure and being Year 2 of the MPH-CH, it includes Semester 3 and Semester 4. Semester 3 includes an orientation module along with 8 online modules and 3 in-person modules in Shillong. Semester 4 includes a six-month research project and an in-person set of sessions in Bengaluru through a Community Health Changemakers’ Confluence (CHCC). The curriculum includes public health topics and issues covered under the umbrella themes of Community Health Approaches to Public Health Issues, Research Methodology and Research Ethics, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Bioethics, Health Promotion, Integrated Healthcare, Technology and Health, Gender Studies, Reproductive Health and Life Skills Education, Culture and Health, Conflict and Disaster Response, and other context relevant themes like Right to Health, Climate Change and Health, Career Development. The curriculum retains an element of flexibility to ensure that the course content stays relevant in which the participants can also add topics that need to be covered.

  1. What am I expected to do during the learning programme?

As an MPH-CH participant, you will be required to participate in the programme orientation and module learning through ninety-minute online live sessions, three times a week, the schedule for which is fixed based on the convenience of the majority of participants enrolled in the course. You are also required to actively engage with the learning materials shared via the learning management system (LMS). Sessions for the previous batches have been scheduled from 2:30 pm to 4:00 pm / 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm / 6.30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m  with a flexibility to extend by 30 minutes if required. Online live sessions include guest lectures and sharing of lived experiences, constructive critical reflection, learning debriefs, practical assignments and presentations, group work, journal clubs. You will also be required to participate in the sessions facilitated by MLCU, in Shillong and those facilitated by SOCHARA-SOPHEA in Bengaluru, in person. 

You will be required to take up a six-month community-based health research project, prepare an idea draft and research proposal for the same, seek scientific and ethical approval and implement your project in a planned, rigorous and responsible manner. You will be supported and guided for the same by your assigned tutor-mentor. The project can be undertaken in the geographic area where you are based and in the current organisation you are working with. SOCHARA will support linking you to an organisation through our partner network if required.  

  1. What is the teaching methodology used in the MPH-CH?

Participants are encouraged and expected to take ownership of their learning and progress through the course of the programme through actively engaging with the many opportunities and platforms made available in the MPH-CH. Such opportunities include active engagement with the LMS, additional learning materials, learning facilitators and cross-learning through tutor-mentorship, journal clubs, participant-led sharing and debrief sessions, publications and write-ups.  

Learning facilitation is conducted by both MLCU faculty and SOCHARA-SOPHEA adjunct faculty, team members as well as guest facilitators.  Learning facilitation includes a variety of interactive methods like presentations, discussions, debates, small group work, reflective writing, role plays and simulations, experiential visits, webinars, meetings and conferences, activity planning and implementation, etc.

  1. How will my learning be assessed during the MPH-CH? 

You will be required to share your personal learning objectives and revisit these during the course of the programme. You will also be required to submit written and evidence-based module learning reflections on your conceptual understanding of topics covered after every module. Use of creative methods of expression (art, poetry, etc) is also encouraged. This will count towards your assessments in addition to the assessed assignments and your regular and active participation.

  1. What is the duration of the programme?

The duration of the programme is 12 months, inclusive of holidays.

  1. When does the programme begin?

The programme begins on the 1st of August 2024.

  1. Is it a full-time or part-time programme?

It is a part-time hybrid programme, and you can continue with your current work.

  1. How many hours per week should I devote to the program?

Participants will have to dedicate a minimum of 12 hours/week to the programme.

  1. What are the programme fees?

Please refer to the fees structure document under MPH academic year 2024-25 (for one Year) in the linked university document. 

  1. Do I have to be based in SOCHARA, Bengaluru for the duration of the programme?

This is a hybrid programme with both online and in-person sessions (in Shillong and Bengaluru) along with community-based health action projects carried out by participants in their respective geographies. Your orientation to the programme will begin online on 01 August 2024.  You will have to join the in-person sessions at MLCU in Shillong, Meghalaya from 12 to 30  August 2024

You will be required to be at SOCHARA, Bengaluru for the Community Health Changemakers Confluence (CHCC). The travel cost will be borne by participants and the accommodation and food costs will be partially borne by SOCHARA.

  1. Can I discontinue the programme at any time?

We encourage you to apply only if you are sure of being a part of this programme for one year. We acknowledge that unanticipated circumstances can occur which may force you to take a break or discontinue. We will provide as much support as possible in that situation to make it possible for you to complete the programme. You may refer to the university’s policies on Fees and Payment – Martin Luther Christian University for further information.

  1. Does one receive a certificate after completion of the programme?

Yes, on successful completion of the MPH-CH, you will be awarded the MPH degree by Martin Luther Christian University (MLCU), Shillong. 

  1. What is the selection process?

Your application documents will be reviewed carefully, your referees will be contacted, followed by an online interview with a selection panel for 30 to 45 minutes. Further to this you will be informed of the outcome and you will have to then complete your enrollment with the university.

  1. Whom do I contact for more information?

Please write to

You can call us on- +91-9037817721 or +91-8050649602.

Please call us between 9:30 am to 5:30 pm, between Monday to Friday. 

Thank you for your interest in MPH-CH