Medicine, Nursing and Allied Health Professions


Contemporary Environment and Human Health

Module titleContemporary Environment and Human Health
Module codeHPDM027
Academic year2021/2
Module staff

Dr Rebecca Lovell (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks




Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

The environment in which we live is inextricably linked, both positively and negatively, to human health. This module focuses on the theoretical principles and concepts that are at the forefront of academic thinking and practices in environment and human health. The potential impacts of environmental change on human health will also be explored.

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

You will develop core knowledge and understanding of theories and concepts in environment and human health and their applications in a diverse range of practice contexts and settings.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

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

  • 1. Demonstrate a deep and systematic understanding of the key theories and concepts at the forefront of environment and human health
  • 2. Critically review contemporary debates around the impact of environmental change on human health and wellbeing

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

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

  • 3. Critically examine how environment and human health evidence is and should be applied to inform policy, guidelines and practice

ILO: Personal and key skills

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

  • 4. Demonstrate a professional ability to present an evidence-based and balanced academic stance

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

Whilst the module’s precise content may vary from year to year, an example of an overall structure is as follows:

  •  Introduction to environment and human health
  •  Living with climate change
  •  Contemporary environmental and health issues, policies and debates
  •  Sustainability and adaptation

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 activities20Delivered over 4 full days, each with 4 x 1.25 hours interactive student seminar sessions, including both lecture and workshop-oriented activities. 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.
Evidence synthesis750 words1-4Written

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
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
Report (100%)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

Frumkin H. (2001). Beyond Toxicity: Human Health and the Natural Environment. Am J Prev Med; 20 (3): 234-40.

Kampa M and Castanas E. (2008). Human Health Effects of Pollution. Environmental Pollution; 151: 362-7.

Landon M. (2006). Environment, Health and Sustainable Development. Maidenhead: Open University Press.

Bryman A. (2008). Social Research Methods. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Cronin P, Ryan F and Coughlan M. (2008). Undertaking a literature review a step-by-step approach. British Journal of Nursing. 17(1); 38-43.

UK Faculty of Public Health. (2009). Sustaining a Healthy Future. London, UK Faculty of Public Health.

Sala OE, Meyerson LA and Parmesan C. (2009). Biodiversity Change and Human Health.

Washington: Island Press

Morris G and Robertson R. (2003). Environmental Health in Scotland and the Health Improvement Challenge. Edinburgh: Royal Environmental Health Institute of Scotland.

World Health Organisation. (2005). Children’s health and the environment: A global perspective. Geneva: WHO.


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

ELE – HPDM027 2020/21 Module Pages

Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

Human health, environment, health, public health, global health, climate change, environmental change, sustainability, adaptation, mitigation, renewable energy, one health, policy.

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date