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Public Health Foundations and Practice - HEA00160M

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  • Department: Health Sciences
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Gerardo Zavala Gomez
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2023-24
    • See module specification for other years: 2024-25

Module summary

This course will enable you to develop an understanding of the theory, principles and practice of public health internationally and in the United Kingdom. It will give you the opportunity to understand the sources of information to measure health and disease, and apply appropriate health protection, health promotion and disease prevention strategies in order to improve public health.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 1 2023-24

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

  1. Critically discuss the historical and contemporary aspects of public health.

  2. Critically evaluate public health systems at national and international levels.

  3. Articulate a broad overview of contemporary public health practice and evaluate measures of success.

  4. Clearly present an in-depth knowledge and critical thinking about public health

Module content

  • Public health: Introduction to the module and assessment
  • Historical and contemporary public health perspectives
  • Demography and data
  • Measuring life and health, from data to intelligence
  • Health improvement, psychology and behavioural change
  • Public health needs assessment and methods
  • Public health economics and sustainability
  • Ethical issues in public health
  • Field epidemiology and outbreak scenario 1
  • Field epidemiology and outbreak scenario 2
  • Leadership and management for public health


Task Length % of module mark
Extended abstract
N/A 50
Oral presentation/seminar/exam
N/A 50

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Extended abstract
N/A 50
Oral presentation/seminar/exam
N/A 50

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


  • Schneider, M.J., 2020. Introduction to public health. Jones & Bartlett Learning.
  • Donaldson, L.J. and Rutter, P.D., 2017. Donaldsons' essential public health. CRC Press.
  • Guest, C., Ricciardi, W., Kawachi, I. and Lang, I. eds., 2013. Oxford handbook of public health practice. OUP Oxford.
  • Lewis, G., Sheringham, J., Bernal, J.L. and Crayford, T., 2014. Mastering Public Health: A postgraduate guide to examinations and revalidation. CRC Press.
  • Berridge, V., 2011. Public health in history. McGraw-Hill Education (UK).


  • Journal of Public Health
  • European Journal of Public Health
  • Public health
  • International Journal of Public Health
  • American Journal of Public Health

Online resources

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.