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Unit information: Public Health in Practice in 2021/22

Unit name Public Health in Practice
Unit code BRMSM0004
Credit points 10
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Kyla Thomas
Open unit status Not open




School/department Bristol Medical School
Faculty Faculty of Health Sciences

Description including Unit Aims

This unit provides students with the skills, techniques and context to practice public health, across the three domains of public health (health protection, health improvement, and healthcare public health). The unit will cover health needs assessment, methods to assess the impact of a plan on population health, communicating public health issues to the public, improving health within a political context including the use of advocacy, partnership working, and development of public health policies and strategies. Throughout the unit ethical principles of public health will be considered in the context of public health practice. The unit enables students to explore these issues in relation to key public health issues (whole system health and social care planning, sustainability, digitalisation, globalisation, and new developments).

Intended Learning Outcomes

The student should be able to:

  1. Design a health needs assessment to inform the development of a policy or strategy to improve population health
  2. Critique different approaches to assessing the impact on health of a policy, plan or project
  3. Select and prepare appropriate methods of communication with the public about a public health topic
  4. Recommend the case for prevention within a whole system approach to planning and provision of health and social care
  5. Demonstrate the opportunities for digital developments to improve population health
  6. Justify the role for public health with regard to sustainability, climate change, and economic development
  7. Provide public health advice to commissioners by critically appraising the evidence for a new technology, drug, or intervention to provide public health advice

Teaching Information

There will be 10 teaching weeks. Teaching will include learning activities set by the tutor including lectures (synchronous and asynchronous), small group work, discussions, individual tasks, and practical activities (face to face or online).

Directed and self-directed learning will include activities such as reading, accessing web-based supplementary materials, critical analysis and completion of assessments.

Assessment Information

Formative assessments will support learning of students by using exercises, quizzes, feedback and writing a press release.

Summative assessment of the unit will be through coursework (short answer questions) which will require the student to demonstrate skills and knowledge developed across the unit (contributing 60% of final unit mark) (ILOs 2-7). Students will also complete a short project designing a health needs assessment to inform the development of a policy or strategy to improve population health (40% of final unit mark) (ILO 1).

An overall score of 50% will be required to pass the module..


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. BRMSM0004).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.