Professional course

Healthy Cities

30 credit Masters level module

About this course

Course code:
Professional/Short Course
Architecture and the Built Environment
Programme leader:
Laurence Carmichael

Page last updated 18 September 2018


This module seeks to introduce you to the role of the built environment, at all scales, in contributing to human health and well-being.

You will be introduced to health impact assessment as a way of bringing together planning and health agendas and as a tool to improve proposed developments and policies and build consensus.

On successful completion of this module, you will be able to:

  • Identify and critically evaluate the environmental determinants of health.
  • Explain, by use of relevant evidence, the relationship between the planning of settlements and health, particularly in relation to obesity, mental wellbeing and health inequalities.
  • Analyse the interaction between planning systems and public health in Government policy and practice.
  • Apply, to a professional standard, the process of health impact assessment and other useful tools which can be applied to HIA.
  • Analyse a complex development proposal in relation to health and wellbeing and make recommendations for improvement.

Careers / Further study

This module contributes towards:

  • MSc Urban Planning
  • MSc Environmental Management
  • MRes Social Research (Sustainable Futures).



  • The nature of settlements, providing the local human habitat, and the relationship to health and well-being: the settlement health map.
  • The conceptualization of the urban environment in terms of global and local environmental sustainability.
  • The relationship between health and planning/design: obesity, physical activity and active travel; mental well-being, social networks and neighbourhoods; health equity, social inclusion/exclusion and strategic land use and transport policy.
  • The operation of the spatial planning system in the UK, with a special emphasis on inter agency collaboration.
  • An introduction to the reality of decision-making on spatial plans and projects: the roles of the private and voluntary sectors, and public sector investors.
  • The assessment of plans and projects through sustainability appraisal and health impact assessment, with an introduction to the HIA process.
  • Different HIA tools, including the Spectrum approach to assessment: in theory and in practice; and learning to assess the impact of a development on health and well-being.

Learning and Teaching

Scheduled learning includes lectures, seminars, project supervision, demonstration, practical classes and workshops; supervised time in studio/workshop.

Independent learning includes hours engaged with essential reading, case study preparation, site visits to study area, assignment preparation and completion etc.

Study time

Total contact time: 72hrs


The assessment will be based upon two components:

A Health Impact Assessment of a proposed development project. The outputs for this assessment will be a report and a presentation.

A short guidance note prepared for planning practitioners about how to integrate health into planning practice and decision-making processes.


Study facilities

Find out more about UWE Bristol's facilities and resources.

Prices and dates

There is currently no published fee data for this course.

Supplementary fee information

Please visit full fee information to see the price brackets for our modules.

Funding may be available to support your learning. Please contact your Trust Education Lead. If you work in the Private, Independent and Voluntary Sector, please contact your employer who will advise you.


Please see our timetable for full date information. 

How to apply

How to apply

You can apply online for this course.

For further information

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