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Contemporary Environment and Human Health

Module titleContemporary Environment and Human Health
Module codeHPDM027
Academic year2023/4
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 expert-led small group learning, interspersed by personal study undertaken at your own pace and supported by our internet resources.

The majority of this module is delivered online, with some content delivered in-person during the Foundation Week.

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 activities15All student taught sessions: - Face-to-face scheduled in week 1, then lectures, Q&A sessions, small-group discussions in tutorials and seminars in synchronous sessions on Teams/Zoom. - Small-group discussion in tutorials and seminars in person in week 1, and then synchronous group discussion on Teams/ Zoom - Workshops involving face-to-face classroom teaching in week 1, and then by synchronous sessions on Teams/Zoom
Guided independent study35Session preparation and follow up work utilising resources provided on ELE including asynchronous structured materials (such as short pre-recorded lectures, podcasts, asynchronous workshop activities, discussion forum posts and so on)
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 and 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

Colls, R. and Evans, B., 2014. Making space for fat bodies? A critical account of ‘the obesogenic environment’. Progress in human geography, 38(6), pp.733-753.

Cook, J., Oreskes, N., Doran, P.T., Anderegg, W.R., Verheggen, B., Maibach, E.W., Carlton, J.S., Lewandowsky, S., Skuce, A.G., Green, S.A. and Nuccitelli, D., 2016. Consensus on consensus: a synthesis of consensus estimates on human-caused global warming. Environmental Research Letters, 11(4), p.048002.  

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.

HM Government, 2019. Tackling antimicrobial resistance 2019-2024: The UK’s five-year national action plan. HM Government.

McMahon, B.J., Morand, S. and Gray, J.S., 2018. Ecosystem change and zoonoses in the Anthropocene. Zoonoses and public health, 65(7), pp.755-765.

Phoenix, C.,  et al. 2013. Paradigmatic approaches to studying environment and human health: (Forgotten) implications for interdisciplinary research. Environmental Science & Policy 25, 218-228.  

Power, A., Bell, S.L., Kyle, R.G. and Andrews, G.J., 2019. ‘Hopeful adaptation’ in health geographies: Seeking health and wellbeing in times of adversity. Social Science & Medicine, 231, pp.1-5.

Romanelli, C., Cooper, D., Campbell-Lendrum, D., Maiero, M., Karesh, W.B., Hunter, D. and Golden, C.D., 2015. Connecting global priorities: biodiversity and human health: a state of knowledge review. World Health Organisation/Secretariat of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity. 

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

Twohig-Bennett, C. and Jones, A., 2018. The health benefits of the great outdoors: A systematic review and meta-analysis of greenspace exposure and health outcomes. Environmental research, 166, pp.628-637.

Whitmee, S., Haines, A., Beyrer, C., Boltz, F., Capon, A.G., de Souza Dias, B.F., Ezeh, A., Frumkin, H., Gong, P., Head, P. and Horton, R., 2015. Safeguarding human health in the Anthropocene epoch: report of The Rockefeller Foundation–Lancet Commission on planetary health. The Lancet, 386(10007), pp.1973-2028.

Zywert, K., 2017. Human health and social-ecological systems change: Rethinking health in the Anthropocene. The Anthropocene Review, 4(3), pp.216-238.

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