SHE Level 5
SCQF Credit Points 15.00
ECTS Credit Points 7.50
Module Code MMB725029
Module Leader Agi McFarland
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 enhance student knowledge and understanding in relation to key principles and theories underpinning public health and public health practice. This will include an overview of the history of public health and current theoretical frameworks. The principles of health needs assessment will be examined. The importance of public health policies as well as factors influencing the formulation of public health policies will be explored. Additionally, wider public health workforce and the ways in which leadership can influence the success of public health interventions are critically discussed.


The following topics form the key strands of this syllabus which will be explored in depth: -360b7 The context of public health including public health policy, primary care and health improvement b7 Concepts underpinning the study of public health b7 Health Needs Assessment b7 Approaches to key health promotion priorities b7 The public health workforce b7 Leadership in public health

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:1. Critically analyse and evaluate theoretical frameworks and principles in relation to a range of public health issues2. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the application of the principles of epidemiology to public health practice3. Critically analyse and evaluate the implementation of public health policy4. Distinguish between different health promotion strategies and justify their application to public health practice 5. Critically analyse and evaluate the application of the principles of health needs assessment to public health practice 6. Offer critical analysis that compares and contrasts the contribution of a range of disciplines to the development and provision of public health services.

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. The module equips students with the skills to be able to apply social determinants of health approach in critically identifying and evaluating public health related issues. Teaching and learning activities are employed to suit a diverse student population. Where appropriate teaching/learning materials are drawn to reflect local, national and/or international contexts. Students are guided to undertake 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. Sessions within the module are designed to encourage students to reflect upon the extent to which public health practice is evidence-based. UK and international case studies are used to illustrate and guide discussions on public health concepts and frameworks. For example, UK government health strategies and policies, as well as World Health Organisation and global public health initiates (for example, the United Nations Millennium/Sustainable Development Goals) are used to inform key discussion on public health policy. Additionally, students are encouraged to apply key public health tools and principles (for example, health needs assessment and to identify public health related issues in specific populations and inform potential interventions. Students are expected to critically appraise and evaluate the value of relevant field specific literature. Formative assessment opportunities and guided tasks will allow students to identify learning strategies to meet their personal learning needs.

Indicative Reading

BARR, J. DOWDING. L. 2016. Leadership in Health Care. London: Sage. BARTELY. M., 2004. Health Inequality: an introduction to concepts, theories and methods. Cambridge: Polity 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. (5 th edition). London: BMJ Books. DONALDSON. LJ., SCULLY. G. 2009. Donaldson's Essential Public Health. (3 rd edition). Oxford: Radcliffe Publishing. GILLAM. G., YATES. J., BADRINATH. P. 2012. Essential Public Health: Theory and practice. (2 nd edition). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. GUEST., C., et al. 2013. Oxford Handbook of Public Health Practice. (3 rd edition). Oxford: Oxford University Press. GRAHAM., H. 2007. Unequal Lives: Health and Socioeconomic Inequalities. Berkshire: Oxford University Press. SCRIVEN., A. 2010. Promoting health: A practical guide. (6 th edition). Balliere Tindall: Edinburgh. ORME., J., TAYLOR, P., HARRISON, T., GREY, M. (2007) Public Health for the 21st Century. (2nd edition): Berkshire: Open University Press. WILSON., F., MABHALA., M. 2009. Key Concepts in Public Health. London: Sage

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
Independent Learning 72.00
Directed Learning 12.00
Assessment 30.00
Tutorials 12.00
Lectures 24.00

Assessment Methods

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