SHE Level 5
SCQF Credit Points 15.00
ECTS Credit Points 7.50
Module Code MMB723303
Module Leader Agi McFarland
School School of Health and Life Sciences
Subject Nursing
  • A (September start)
  • B (January start)

Summary of Content

This module will encourage and enable students to undertake activities that will enhance their knowledge and understanding of the principles and theories of public health and their application to current public health practices. This will include an overview of the history of public health and current theoretical frameworks, the principles of epidemiology and health needs assessment and the importance of public health policies and the wider public health workforce in supporting the application of theory to practice.


The context of public health including public health policy, primary care and health improvement Concepts underpinning the study of public health Epidemiology Health needs Assessment Approaches to key health promotion priorities The public health workforce Leadership in public health

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:- Critically analyse theoretical frameworks and principles in relation to a range of public health issues- Critically analyse and evaluate the application of the principles of epidemiology to public health practice.- Critically analyse and evaluate the implementation of public health policy- Critically analyse and evaluate the application of the principles of health needs assessment to public health practice - Offer critical analysis that compares and contrasts the contribution of a range of disciplines to the development and provision of public health services.- Identify learning needs in relation to PLP (SCPHN Students: Standards of Proficiency for SCPHN and where relevant for nurse prescribing)

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The module is delivered online via GCU learn or classroom based. Students may elect to study the module EITHER online OR on campus, but may not transfer between both. Academic components will be delivered via lectures, seminars, tutorials, interactive discussions, directed and self directed study. This combination will depend on whether the module is being delivered on site at GCU face to face, blended at GCU or a venue other than GCU e.g. contractual international agreement or being delivered completely online. The fundamental aim of the teaching and learning strategies are to meet the educational needs of experienced professionals. Students will be encouraged to work in a self-directed manner, taking responsibility for their own learning, personal development and practice competence.

Indicative Reading

Bartley M, (2004), Health Inequality: an introduction to concepts, theories and methods, Policy Press. Bhopal, R. (2002) Concepts of Epidemiology: An integrated introduction to the ideas, theories, principles and methods of epidemiology. Berkshire: Oxford University Press. Coles L., Porter E. (2008) Public Health Skills: A practical Guide for Nurses and Public Health Practitioners. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing Ltd. Coggan,D., Rose, G., Barker, D. (2003) Epidemiology for the uninitiated. 5th ed. BMJ Publishing Group Davies M & Macdowall W. (2005) Health Promotion Theory. Berkshire: Oxford University Press. Ewles, L. (2005) Key Topics in Public Health: essential briefings on prevention. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone Ewles, L., Simnett, I. (2003) Promoting Health: A Practical Guide. London: Bailliere Tindall. Graham H. (2007) Unequal Lives: Health and Socioeconomic Inequalities. Berkshire: Oxford University Press. Gray M. (2009), Evidence-based health care and public health: how to make decisions about health services and public health, Churchill Livingstone. Green J. and Tones K. (2010) Health Promotion: planning and strategies. (2nd edition) London: Sage. Griffiths S, Gillam S, (2007), Public health and primary care: partners in population health. Berkshire: Oxford University Press. Lucus, K. Lloyd, B. (2005) Health Promotion: evidence and experience. London: Sage Orme, J., Taylor, P., Harrison, T., Grey, M. (2007) Public Health for the 21st Century. (2nd edition): Berkshire: Open University Press. Pawson R, (2006), Evidence based policy, a realistic perspective. London: Sage. Scriven A, Garman S (2005) Promoting Health: global perspectives. Hampshire: Palgrave MacMillan. Scriven A, Garman S (2007) Public Health: social context and action. Berkshire: Oxford University Press. Siddell, M. et al (2003) Debates and Dilemmas in Promoting Health: a Reader. Berkshire: Oxford University Press. Shaw, M. Dorling, D., Gordon, D., Smith, G. (2000) The Widening Gap: Health Inequalities and Policy in Britain. Bristol: The Policy Press. Taylor G. & Hawley H. (2010) Key Debates in Health Care. Berkshire: Oxford University Press. Watterson, A. (2003) Public Health in Practice. Hampshire: Macmillan. Wilson F & Mabhala M (2008) Key Concepts in Public Health. London: Sage. Useful URLs: AFTERnow: <> Association of Public Health Observatories: <> Department of Health: <> Glasgow Centre for Population Health: <> ISD Scotland: <> NHS Health Scotland: <> National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence: <> PHORCaST: <> Scottish Community Development Centre: <> Scottish Government: <> Scottish Public Health Observatory: <>

Transferrable Skills

Work in a self-directed manner, taking responsibility for own learning, personal development and practice competence - Develop communication and IT skills to underpin effective learning - Communicate effectively in both written and oral forms - Work effectively with others - Underpin professional development by integration of theory and practice - Develop enhanced awareness of connections between knowledge, skills and values in relation to self and others.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Lectures (FT) 9.00
Assessment (FDL) 30.00
Assessment (FT) 30.00
Seminars (FDL) 9.00
Directed Learning 22.00
Non-SCPHN Independent Learning 80.00
Seminars (FT) 9.00
SCPHN Practice 80.00
Lectures (FDL) 9.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Placement 1 n/a 0.00 45% Obligatory Placement for students only undertaking SCPHN pathway
Course Work 01 n/a 100.00 50% 3000 Word Essay