Medicine, Nursing and Allied Health Professions


Ecological Public Health

Module titleEcological Public Health
Module codeHPDM032
Academic year2021/2
Module staff

Dr Tim Taylor (Lecturer)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks




Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

In the context of public health, ecological thinking considers the multiple complex interactions between humans and their environment and the health impacts. This module introduces the core concepts and principles of contemporary public health. Threats to health, based on population health analysis, are considered along with informed health decision making to prevent disease and promote health.

No pre-requisites or specialist knowledge are required to undertake this module, which is well suited to interdisciplinary learning. Delivery is via four focused days of expert-led small group learning, interspersed by personal study undertaken at your own pace and supported by our internet resources.

Module aims - intentions of the module

By undertaking this module you will develop a critical insight of ecological public health and the relationship of health and healthcare systems with the environment in its broadest sense. The module aims to equip individuals with advanced knowledge, understanding and skills to protect and improve health and address inequalities.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Demonstrate critical appraisal of the contemporary theories and concepts that underpin the environmental and social determinants of health and health inequalities
  • 2. Explain and apply approaches that can be employed to measure and improve population health

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 3. Demonstrate originality in the assessment of the ecological public health of a population

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 4. Communicate accurately and effectively a contemporary evidence base

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

Defining ecological public health

Measuring and improving health, including the social determinants of health and health inequalities

Epidemiology and population health across the lifespan

Screening, behaviour change and personal & organisational resilience

Health policy and practice within the NHS

Learning and teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning & teaching activities20All student taught sessions. Face-to-face scheduled lectures may be replaced by short pre-recorded videos for each topic (15-20 minutes) and/or brief overview lectures delivered via MS Teams/Zoom, with learning consolidated by self-directed learning resources and ELE activities. - Small-group discussion in tutorials and seminars may be replaced by synchronous group discussion on Teams/ Zoom; or asynchronous online discussion, for example via Yammer or ELE Discussion board - Workshops involving face-to-face classroom teaching may be replaced by synchronous sessions on Teams/Zoom; or Asynchronous workshop activities supported with discussion forum
Guided independent study30Session preparation and follow up work utilising resources provided on ELE
Guided independent study100Reading and assignment preparation


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Class discussions and small group work activitiesEach taught session1-4Facilitator and peer feedback in class. Feedback may be provided via synchronous or asynchronous online discussion.
Public health briefing (written)350 words1,2,4Written feedback

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Public health report1002000 words1-4Written


Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Written assignment – public health report (100%)Written assignment – public health report (2000 words)1-4Typically within six weeks of the result

Re-assessment notes

Please refer to the TQA section on Referral/Deferral:


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Donaldson L and Scally G. (2009). Donaldsons' Essential Public Health. 3rd Revised Edition London: Radcliffe Publishing Ltd.

Kessel A. (2010). Air, the environment and public health. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Lopez RP. (2011). The built environment and public health. Jossey Bass.

Marmot M. (2010). Fair Society, Healthy Lives: The Marmot Review. London: University College London.

Marmot M. (2015) The Health Gap, Bloomsbury, London.

NHS Scotland. (2010). Environment and Health in an era of ecological public health.

NHS Scotland. (2010). Good Places: Better Health.

Rayner G and Lang T. (2012). Ecological Public Health. Oxon: Routledge.


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

ELE : HPDM032 2020/21 Module Pages

Module has an active ELE page

Indicative learning resources - Other resources

An up to date reading list of journal articles will be provided on ELE.

Key words search

Ecological public health, public health, health, human health, population health, promotion, screening, epidemiology, environment, resilience, behaviour change.

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date