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Public Health Foundations & Practice - HEA00065M

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  • Department: Health Sciences
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Steven Oliver
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2020-21

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2020-21 to Spring Term 2020-21

Module aims

  • To introduce students to the scientific, ethical and historical foundations of public health.
  • To encourage students to develop skills in the critical evaluation of the evidence required for effective public health interventions.
  • To introduce students to current models of public health practice.
  • To encourage students to think both locally and globally around the key challenges to public health.

Module learning outcomes

At the end of the module students should be able to:

  1. Critically discuss the main scientific underpinnings to public health.
  2. Set contemporary public health practice in its historical context.
  3. Undertake an expert assessment of key public health indicators.
  4. Critically evaluate the role of preventative medicine.
  5. Recognise key linkages between public health ethics and human rights.
  6. Critically evaluate public health systems at national and international levels.
  7. Provide a broad overview of contemporary public health practice and evaluate measures of success.
  8. Clearly present their knowledge and critical thinking about public health in posters, presentations and written work.

Module content

The module will be structured around the following taught sessions

Autumn term (Foundations)

  1. Understanding health, public health and their determinants
  2. The history of public health
  3. Demography and public health
  4. Measuring health and disease
  5. Health psychology and behaviour change
  6. Disease prevention (1o , 2o , 3o)
  7. Plan, conduct, interpret and report outbreak management
  8. Assessing population need
  9. Formative assessment poster session

Spring term (Public Health Practice)

  1. Systems for disease surveillance
  2. Developing public health policy
  3. Health Improvement
  4. Assessing evidence of effectiveness and cost- effectiveness in public health
  5. Multiple-agency work in public health
  6. Measuring and improving the quality of health services
  7. Public health ethics and human rights
  8. Leadership and management for public health
  9. Public health research


Task Length % of module mark
2500 Word Essay
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
2500 Word Essay
N/A 100

Module feedback

  • Feedback for formative assessment will be both oral and via structured assessment sheets.
  • Written feedback for summative assessment is provided on the standard proforma, within the timescale specified in the programme handbook.

Indicative reading

  • Donaldson, L.J. and Scally, G. (2009). Donaldson's Essential Public Health. 3rd edn. Radcliffe Publishing Ltd. ISBN-10: 1846192099. ISBN-13: 978-1846192098
  • Pencheon, D. Guest, C., Melzer, D. and Muir Gray, J.A. (Eds.). (2006). Oxford Handbook of Public Health Practice. 2nd edn. OUP Oxford. ISBN-10: 0198566557. ISBN-13: 978-0198566557
  • Lewis, G., Sheringham, J., Kalim, K. and Crayford, T. (2008). Mastering Public Health: A Guide to Examinations and Revalidation. 1st edn. Royal Society of Medicine Press Ltd. ISBN-10: 1853157813. ISBN-13: 978-1853157813.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): changes to courses

The 2020/21 academic year will start in September. We aim to deliver as much face-to-face teaching as we can, supported by high quality online alternatives where we must.

Find details of the measures we're planning to protect our community.

Course changes for new students