Major Health and Lifestyle Issues
This module will introduce you to the study of some of the diseases and risk behaviours, which have a major impact on the health of the UK population such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, obesity, sexually transmitted diseases, poor mental health, smoking, physical inactivity and substance misuse. You will research, identify and discuss these conditions and behaviours and also identify and discuss government policies that have informed health promotion and public health practice to address them.
Social Context of Health and Illness
The module encourages you to begin to analyse people’s health using perspectives from sociology, social policy, history and epidemiology. Initially, the module will provide a historical overview of how health was understood, supported by some sociological analysis. For example, a traditional approach towards health and illness will be illustrated by the Great Plague of 1665, biomedical and interactionist approaches will be compared using a medical approach to stroke with an individual’s experience, a structuralist approach will be illustrated by the Victorian Public Health movement, current understandings about poverty and health, and an introduction to socio-economic inequalities in health through the lifecourse.
Environment and Health
You will explore the aspects of the physical environment which have an impact on health such as housing, food security, air/noise and water pollution and waste disposal. They will be introduced to the principles of health needs assessment of populations, asset mapping and health impact assessment. Neighbourhoods as a setting for health promotion will be the basis for field research which will include an examination of multi-agency partnership working and community development. Global environmental health issues will be addressed i.e. climate change and resource degradation. Key publications from the World Health Organization and major UK strategy documents will be drawn upon to help reflect on current health promotion and public health practice in context.
Psychosocial Aspects of Health and Team Skills
The aims of this module are to enable you to: develop a holistic and psychosocial perspective of understanding self and others in a health-related context; develop communication and critical reasoning skills, to; acquire an awareness of team skills; and gain self-directed learning skills for life-long learning. Topics may include, at an introductory level: theories of the self, group dynamics, psychosocial theories of health and human behaviour, and the influence of a range of factors on health such as stress, inequalities, age, ethnicity and gender. The learning process will encourage thinking around a wide range of ethical, legal and practical issues. Self- awareness, communication skills and group dynamics will be taught as part of the Problem Based Learning (PBL) process.
Communicating Health Information
This module aims to facilitate the development of your health-related communication skills across a range of media, including mass, print and electronic media. You will investigate verbal and non-verbal, written and graphic forms of communication. The module will give you the opportunity to develop and enhance your communication skills, using and applying knowledge from theory, research and from other year one modules.
The aims of this module are to support you in developing appropriate academic learning skills, initial research skills and the application of information technology. You will be encouraged to manage your own learning which will enable you to develop your written and oral communication skills and demonstrate the qualities and key skills necessary for future employment. This module will provide a sound foundation to contribute to your success across other modules.
Promoting and Improving Health
The aims of this module are to facilitate your understanding about a wide range of concepts of health (including health as a right, health as a responsibility) and approaches to health promotion and improvement. You will analyse the process of health promotion activity with individuals, small groups and within settings. You will learn how to plan and evaluate effective health promotion strategies. Strategies will include working with individuals, working with groups and working within settings using the ‘settings approach’.
Working in Health
Firstly, the module will explore changes in the world of work today. Fordism and post-Fordism in the world of work will be discussed. You will be made aware of commissioning, NHS and Public local government structures for delivery of health promotion and public health. Discussion will focus on how this will impact on you following graduation. Job descriptions in health will be examined and you will identify what will be essential in your applications and what is not.
Inequalities in Health
The study of health inequalities is an important area of analysis that highlights and seeks to explain the differences in health status between and within social groups and aims to develop your knowledge and understanding of health inequalities across geographical regions, as well as in specific social groups. The module also aims to critically evaluate initiatives and national and local policies that have focused on reducing health inequalities.
This module will review the nature of hazard and risk, reflecting on the principles of epidemiology, infection and outbreak control, screening and immunisation, health protection, emergency planning, new and emerging infections and global threats. Students will be encouraged to reflect upon and critically evaluate challenges associated with surveillance, monitoring, risk assessment, risk management and risk communication.
Health Research and Evidence Based Practice
During this module you will learn how to conduct a small research study and gain an understanding of a variety of research methodologies. You will be introduced to both quantitative and qualitative research approaches. This will be followed by a step by step explanation of the research process. You will be provided with an understanding of how to search the literature and, from this, develop the ability to identify relevant aims and objectives, make decisions on the nature of appropriate research designs, recruit reliable and valid samples of the population, identify appropriate data collections and examine data analysis methods resulting in solutions to the research question.
Aspects of Mental Health Promotion
The module aims to broaden and deepen your understanding of the concepts of mental health and well-being and it aims to explore, discuss and evaluate a variety of means to improve and promote mental health and well-being. The effect on mental health that the use of physical activity, drama, literature, music and singing has will be detailed and you will evaluate the evidence underpinning their claims to promote mental health across the lifespan.
This module aims to provide you with the opportunity to explore, in depth, the global factors that influence health and wellbeing and the role of the United Nations, the WHO and other international agencies in addressing the challenges. The basic biological factors involved in major global health issues will be considered, but greater emphasis will be given to major global threats to health – including poverty, food insecurity, gender inequality, and lack of health services, housing and sanitation, the consequences of globalisation in trade, international conflicts, climate change, resource depletion, pollution, and migration. Turning to efforts to address global health issues, the module will critically assess the work of the United Nations, the WHO, World Bank, IMF and other international agencies including non-governmental organisations.
Principles of Epidemiology
The overall aim of this module is to introduce you to the field of epidemiology so that you may understand how it relates to the practice of health promotion and public health. It will provide you with an overview of the approaches for describing patterns and measures of disease frequency and identifying factors that cause diseases in groups of people and to examine methods commonly used in epidemiology to evaluate them. You will examine the impact on society of selected major health issues and health/lifestyle behaviours, using identified sources of health data.
The aim of this module is to give you the opportunity to undertake an in depth study of a health promotion or public health topic of particular interest to them. You will be given the choice of completing an empirical study or a literature-based study. You will select a topic of personal interest, based on previous modules within the course and also your career aspirations. Group sessions will be organised during Year 2 to guide you in selecting an appropriate topic for their dissertation and to ensure that you fully understand the requirements and scope of the dissertation. You will be individually supervised, and given guidance about the key databases you will be using, the essential features of systematic searching and research methods.
Likely optional modules
Ethics and Law in Health
The module will introduce you to some of the basic principles underpinning English law. Both statute and common law will be examined in as far they inform modern health, health promotion and public health practice. You will be introduced to the major theories of ethics as commonly applied in resolving particular issues in health. You will explore health equity law and ethics at the beginning, during and at the end of life. On completion of the module you will have an awareness of the complexities confronting individuals and families when attempting to resolve ethical and legal difficulties.
The module will examine a range of psychological theoretical perspectives and discuss their importance to understanding health, health promotion and public health. Particular emphasis will be placed on the cognitive behavioural perspective. The importance of the bio-psychosocial model will be highlighted, perhaps using an example such as stress. Motivation, individual and group behaviour processes, as well as the importance of relationships and social support will be examined as they relate to health and health behaviour.
Health Education and Children
The module will examine the normative and expressed health needs of children in the UK with reference to current epidemiological, socio-economic and psychosocial evidence, including children’s own views expressed in the literature. Students will be asked to critically explore the methodological, ethical and practical factors which need to be considered when carrying out research with children. They will be introduced to a range of current national policies which concern children’s health, health education and public health.
Negotiated Workplace Learning
The module aims to offer you the opportunity to explore an aspect of health in the workplace, using and building upon prior learning across the course. This module requires you to be systematic, reflective and critical in examining an aspect of health in the workplace and to be working or to have some work experience. This might be work you do part-time to support your studies or it may be voluntary work you do through the work experience offered by the Kent and Medway Public Health Workforce Development Manager. You will use only your observations of the workplace to complete the assignment, so should not require permission from the workplace.
Physical Activity and Health
You will examine physical activity and sedentary behaviour prevalence and methods of surveillance and monitoring. The role of physical activity as an emerging area of priority within public health will be outlined, and the effectiveness of different health promotion strategies using physical activity promotion will be discussed using both the available evidence and an understanding of behavioural epidemiology. Students will examine the link between research outcomes and health or social policy formation within public health.
Public Health Nutrition
The module begins by examining the latest findings about what the British population eats, variations within the population, what they should be eating according to age and gender and why they eat what they eat. This will be supported with references to current research and national diet-based and food-based recommendations. You will practice carrying out individual dietary assessments using national food guides, food labels, food tables, and dietary analysis computer software. You will critically assess the pros and cons of different methods.
Sex and Relationships Education
The theoretical components of adolescent development and attachment theories will provide the framework of this module. The importance of effective communication with young people, colleagues and other professionals on matters of relationships, sex education, sexual health and screening will be identified and explored. The influences of society, culture, age and sexual orientation will be examined, together with their possible implications on practice. These influences will be used to challenge personal belief systems and constraints. International, national and local provision of services related to sex and relationship education and sexual health will be explored. The importance of maintaining standards in practice by using health promotion models and relevant research will be considered.
Substance Misuse and Health
The module will introduce you to the history of substance misuse and familiarise you with related terminology, concepts and frameworks for understanding levels of substance use. The module will explain how substance misuse is situated on a continuum of severity and is influenced by multiple factors. You will develop an understanding of how different types of substances, routes of administration and personal, psychological and environmental factors interact to impact on people’s physical, mental, social, emotional and spiritual health, as well as that of the wider community.