INTRODUCTION:Public health palliative care is a term that can be used to encompass a variety of approaches that involve working with communities to improve people's experience of death, dying and bereavement. Recently, public health palliative care approaches have gained recognition and momentum within UK health policy and palliative care services. There is general consensus that public health palliative care approaches can complement and go beyond the scope of formal service models of palliative care. However, there is no clarity about how these approaches can be undertaken in practice or how evidence can be gathered relating to their effectiveness. Here we outline a scoping review protocol that will systematically map and categorise the variety of activities and programmes that could be classified under the umbrella term 'public health palliative care' and highlight the impact of these activities where measured. METHODS AND ANALYSIS:This review will be guided by Arksey and O'Malley's scoping review methodology and incorporate insights from more recent innovations in scoping review methodology. Sensitive searches of 9 electronic databases from 1999 to 2016 will be supplemented by grey literature searches. Eligible studies will be screened independently by two reviewers using a data charting tool developed for this scoping review. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION:This scoping review will undertake a secondary analysis of data already collected and does not require ethical approval. The results will facilitate better understanding of the practical application of public health approaches to palliative care, the impacts these activities can have and how to build the evidence base for this work in future. The results will be disseminated through traditional academic routes such as conferences and journals and also policy and third sector seminars.