SHE Level 5
SCQF Credit Points 15.00
ECTS Credit Points 7.50
Module Code MMB725027
Module Leader Abdul-Razak Abubakari
School School of Health and Life Sciences
Subject Nursing
  • A (September start)
  • B (January start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge


Summary of Content

This module aims to encourage and enable students to undertake activities that will develop and enhance their knowledge and understanding of epidemiological approaches and their application to public health practice. It particularly aims to develop a practical understanding of how the techniques used to undertake epidemiological studies can be applied to gather and interpret knowledge which can support the planning and implementation of new public health initiatives and evaluate existing activities.


-360b7 Sources of epidemiological data b7 Risk and measures of health and disease b7 Types of epidemiological studies: e.g. descriptive studies, case control studies , cohort studies and intervention studies b7 Chance, bias and confounding b7 Screening b7 Surveillance

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the module the student should be able to:1. Critically analyse and evaluate the application of the principles of epidemiology in the context of public health and social action2. Critically analyse, compare and evaluate a range of epidemiologic study designs and their appropriate application to public health practice3. Critically appraise, analyse and evaluate the role of chance, bias and confounding in current literature where epidemiological data are significant4. Assess, quantify and compare the risk of health related outcomes in populations and population subgroups5. Demonstrate critical understanding of alternative evidence based approaches in the planning, delivery and evaluation of existing and new public health interventions6. Determine key principles underpinning population-based prevention of ill health including scientific and ethical considerations for population-based disease screening.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The module is delivered online via GCU Learn and classroom based. Students may elect to study the module EITHER online OR on campus, but may not transfer between both. The module will equip students with the requisite skills to be able to apply social determinants of health approach in critically identifying, analysing and evaluating public health related issues. Teaching and learning activities are carefully employed to suit a diverse student population and wherever appropriate teaching/learning materials are chosen to reflect local, national and/or international contexts. Main activities carried out by students are directed and independent study to develop knowledge and skills relating to the identified learning outcomes. The teaching and learning strategies employed include: lectures / video lectures, narrated presentations, seminars / online asynchronous group discussions and tutorials / online self-directed study to engage students in the key concepts which will then be developed through directed reading, guided activities, literature searching and student initiated reading. Online students will be provided with a variety of online teaching and learning approaches such as online lectures, discussion boards, synchronous and asynchronous discussion activities. Students will be given opportunities to engage in debate and tutorials online via GCU Learn; interacting with not only other online students but also the face to face module cohort. In relation to public health application, students are encouraged to reflect upon the sources of epidemiological data used to underpin public health and how these data are generated and applied. UK and international data sources, such as UK national health surveys and World Health Organization's databases, are used to inform relevant discussions. Also national public health systems and activities (e.g. screening services for diabetes, and breast and prostate cancers) are used to guide classroom and online discussions. Additionally, students are encouraged to apply key epidemiological principles and methods (for example, epidemiological study designs and measures of health outcomes) to identify public health related issues in specific populations and inform potential interventions. Relevant past and contemporary public health issues are meticulously chosen to inform module discussions and debates. Students are guided to choose topics from their practice and countries/local settings to inform seminar discussions and their summative assessment tasks. Tutorial and group presentation sessions are used to provide formative assessment opportunities for students.

Indicative Reading

BARTON. B., PEAT. J., 2014. Medical Statistics: A Guide to SPSS, Data Analysis and Critical Appraisal.(2nd edition). Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell. BERKMAN, L.F., KAWACHI. I., 2000. Social Epidemiology. New York: Oxford University Press. BHOPAL, R., 2008. Concepts of Epidemiology: An integrated introduction to the ideas, theories, principles and methods of epidemiology. 2 nd ed. 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. COGGON,D., ROSE, G., BARKER, D., 2003. Epidemiology for the uninitiated. 5 th ed. BMJ Publishing Group DONALDSON L.J. & SCALLY L., 2009. Donaldson's' Essential Public Health. 3 rd ed. Oxford: Radcliffe Publishing Ltd. DOS-SANTOS-SILVA, I.,1999. Cancer Epidemiology: Principles and Methods. Lyon, France: World Health Organisation's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). EARLE, S., LLOYD, C.E., SIDELL, M., & SPURR, S., 2007. Theory and research in promoting Public Health. London: SAGE Publications GRAY J. A. M., 2009. Evidence-based health care and public health: how to make decisions about health services and public health. London: Churchill Livingstone. GREENHALGH, T., 2010. How to read a paper: the basics of evidence-based medicine 4 th edition. Oxford: Wiley Blackwell. HEBEL, J.R. & MCCARTER, R.J., 2012. A study guide to Epidemiology and Biostatistics. 7 th edition. Washington: Jones and Bartlett Learning. OAKES, J.M. & KAUFMAN, J.S., 2006. Methods in Social Epidemiology. San Francisco: Wiley and Sons. ORME, J., TAYLOR, P., HARRISON, T., GREY, M., 2007. Public Health for the 21st Century. 2nd edition. Berkshire: Open University Press. PORTA, M., 2008. A dictionary of epidemiology. 5 th ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press ROTHMAN, K.J., GREENLAND S. & LASH T.L., 2008. Modern Epidemiology. 3 rd edition. London: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. SCRIVEN A, GARMAN S., 2007. Public Health: social context and action. Berkshire: Oxford University Press. Webb P & Bain C (2010) Essential Epidemiology: An Introduction for Students and Health Professionals. 2 nd ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. WILSON F & MABHALA, M., 2008. Key concepts in public health. London: Sage. WOOD M., 2014. Epidemiology: Study Design and Data Analysis. 3 rd ed. London: CRC press (Taylor & Francis group).

Transferrable Skills

-360b7 Work in a self-directed manner, taking responsibility for own learning, personal development b7 Develop study and IT skills to underpin effective learning b7 Develop communication skills; written, oral and listening b7 Demonstrate an ability to contribute to professional discussion b7 Work effectively with others b7 Underpin professional development by integration of theory and practice b7 Develop enhanced awareness of connections between knowledge, skills and values in relation to self and others b7 Demonstrate critical thinking and problem solving skills in a range of situations

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Tutorials 12.00
Independent Learning 72.00
Directed Learning 12.00
Assessment 30.00
Lectures 24.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Essay n/a 100.00 50% Essay 3000 words