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Last modified: 22 May 2019 17:07

Course Overview

Public health is the art and science of improving health through the organised efforts of society. This course supports students in developing a critical understanding of the breadth of public health approaches to protecting, promoting, monitoring and improving health among the population as a whole.

The course is core to the MPH programme, but also open to students interested in understanding the population-based approach to health. All must be registered for the course and complete all assessments. The course is suitable for students wanting a professional (specialist/ practitioner) public health career and also for those wanting a related academic career.

Course Details

Study Type Postgraduate Level 5
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus Online Sustained Study No
  • Dr Mike Crilly

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Any Postgraduate Programme (Studied)

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?


Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

This second semester course is based around the ‘health needs assessment’ approach (burden of ill-health and effectiveness of intervention) in relation to the provision of services/support in the context of political-economic-social circumstances to improving the health of a population. The course covers the core concepts of public health (including population at risk, prevention, effective intervention, monitoring population health, burden of disease and health inequalities) across the three major public health domains of health protection, health promotion and healthcare evaluation.

On completion of the ‘Health Needs Assessment’ course students should be able to:

  1. Describe the relevance and contributions of health protection, health promotion and healthcare provision towards improving population health as a whole.  
  2. Locate, utilise, analyse, interpret and present data obtained from the major sources of information commonly available to assess population health.
  3. Integrate the underpinning scientific approaches of epidemiology and biostatistics within the context of ‘health needs assessment’ as a rational approach to improving the health of a population.
  4. Demonstrate the ability to undertake the assessment of health needs in relation to a relevant public health issue and make recommendations to improve health based on the best evidence available.
  5. Communicate public health related information orally and as a professionally written report to support a critically argued approach to improving the health of a population.

The course provides an opportunity for MPH students to select a ‘health needs assessment topic’ that will form the basis for their ‘professional public health report’ or ‘academic manuscript’ research-based coursework which is undertake in the third semester.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

  • 1 Lecture during University week s 25 - 34
  • 1 Oral during University week 33

More Information about Week Numbers

Summative Assessments

1st attempt: 2000 word essay (70%), written examination (20%), powerpoint presentation (10%).

Resit: oral viva examination

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.



Course Learning Outcomes


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