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Unit information: Health protection: Environmental, chemical and radiological hazards and occupational health in 2021/22

Unit name Health protection: Environmental, chemical and radiological hazards and occupational health
Unit code BRMSM0005
Credit points 10
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Professor. Frank De Vocht
Open unit status Not open




School/department Bristol Medical School
Faculty Faculty of Health Sciences

Description including Unit Aims

This unit aims to equip students with an understanding of contribution of the general and occupational environments to population health, and the role of chemical exposures therein. Students will gain knowledge about basic toxicological principles and an understanding of important environmental and occupational chemical, radiological and physical hazards, as well as on the impact of major national and global public health events including climate change and natural disasters such as flooding. Students will gain practical experience and knowledge of the measurement, assessment and modelling of exposures in the outdoor and indoor general environments and the occupational environment, and gain an understanding of how these are used to estimate health risks in these settings using epidemiological and risk assessment methods.

Students will be considering the public health impact, framework of response and the legal framework of environmental and occupational disasters. Students will discuss the ethical issues related to environmental and occupational hazards, including the ALARA and precautionary principles, throughout.

Intended Learning Outcomes

By the end of this unit students will be able to

  1. Be aware of and describe important environmental and occupational hazards and discuss their impact on public health.
  2. Describe and explain the basic toxicological concepts relevant to chemical hazards
  3. Understand how chemical and physical exposures are measured, and be able to model and assess these.
  4. Understand how exposure assessment and epidemiology inform risk assessments, and be able to conduct a basic risk assessment
  5. Explain multi-agency response arrangements and epidemiological approaches to protect public health during acute environmental incidents and natural disasters
  6. Discuss current and future challenges in the field of environmental and occupational health both the in UK and globally.

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 student learning by using exercises, quizzes and group exercises.

The unit is assessed by two pieces of summative coursework:

  1. A group project and presentation will contribute 30% of the unit mark (ILOs 1-2,4)
  1. Short answer questions contribute 70% of the unit mark (ILOs 1-6).

A 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. BRMSM0005).

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.