Professional course Introduction to Environmental and Public Health (online)

Entry year
Course code
Professional/Short Course
Health and Social Sciences
Distance learning
Programme leader
Dr Jo White

15 credit Masters level module

Page last updated 2 April 2020


Accreditations and partnerships:

On successful completion of this module, you will be able to access, synthesise, critically analyse and apply knowledge and understanding of:

  • Theoretical, philosophical and conceptual foundations of environmental and public health, derived from the natural, social, human and environmental sciences.
  • Determinants of health and illness, particularly in relation to social, environmental and political contexts.
  • Political values and ethical frameworks in environmental and public health.
  • Historical and geographical trends in the development of environmental and public health.
  • Health and social inequalities as determinants and consequences of health status and experience.
  • Health risk and surveillance from epidemiological and social science perspectives.
  • Environmental and public health ethics, rights and accountabilities.
  • Contributions of different sectors, institutions and professions to environmental and public health.

Careers / Further study

This module can contribute towards:

PG Cert/PG Dip/MSc Environmental Health/Environmental Health Studies.



The module syllabus covers:

  • Philosophical and theoretical perspectives on health, illness, public health and environmental health, including epistemological and ontological arguments and social theories of subjectivity/objectivity, induction/deduction, structure, agency, human nature and modernity.
  • Philosophical perspectives on community and society: community organisation; group and organisational theory; political ideology (individualism, collectivism, communitarianism, market capitalism, etc).
  • Political and ethical values in environmental and public health: e.g. beneficence, equity, social justice, altruism, interdependence, social responsibility, harm principle, freedom, risk, etc.
  • Contributions of primary academic disciplines to environmental and public health, specifically sociology, ecology, psychology, education, political science, economics and biomedicine.
  • Historical and geographic trends and developments: evolution of the environmental and public health field; rise and prominence of biomedicine and scientific rationality; national and international political developments (including WHO and UN); global environmental and public health trends.
  • Determinants of health and illness: national and international trends; cultural, social, environmental and political contexts; key health drivers.
  • Inequalities in health, healthcare, opportunity and social status: social justice; rights and freedoms; local, national and international classification and social stratification (occupation, income, ethnicity, race, culture, religion, generation, age, gender, sexuality, opportunity and ability); political and ethical debates on inequality.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching is delivered in the format of online lectures, as audio podcasts or video capture, using appropriate software (e.g. Adobe Presenter, PowerPoint, etc.), online seminars and other web-based activities. Online seminar activities engage student-centred active learning techniques using online, Blackboard-based discussion platforms (e.g. Collaborate or equivalent) and blogs.

Essential, indicative and supplementary online learning materials and resources are also provided via Blackboard, with links to online library resources.

Study time

This is a distance learning module; there are no face-to-face contact hours. Directed learning is provided for each module, more detail of which is provided in the online Module Handbook and on the module Blackboard site.

You are supported via on-line communication (e.g. e-mail, collaborate, etc.). Approximately 30 hours of directed study (e.g. online lectures, seminars, etc) are delivered via Blackboard.

Prices and dates

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 click on the Apply Now button to view dates.

How to apply

How to apply

You are required to apply online for your CPD modules, which you can take as stand-alone courses or as part of an undergraduate (level 3) or postgraduate (Masters level) programme.

For further information