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Unit information: Evaluation of Public Health Interventions in 2021/22

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Evaluation of Public Health Interventions
Unit code BRMSM0006
Credit points 10
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Caldwell
Open unit status Not open




School/department Bristol Medical School
Faculty Faculty of Health Sciences

Description including Unit Aims

This unit introduces the key concepts and principles of evaluation for public health interventions. It emphasises the importance of understanding complexity when designing study evaluations and that complexity may be a feature of the intervention as well as the context in which it is implemented. Students will be introduced to advanced randomised designs and alternative non-randomised study designs. All teaching and learning is research-led and will draw on the public health intervention expertise within the Department of Population Health Sciences. Learning is situated within the MRC framework for developing and evaluating complex interventions and MRC guidelines for conducting a process evaluation, whilst drawing on recent developments in systems thinking for public health improvement.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the unit students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate understanding of frameworks for developing, evaluating and implementing complex public health interventions
  2. Demonstrate awareness of a systems perspective to evaluating public health interventions
  3. Apply understanding of the key steps for process evaluations as described in the MRC guidelines for process evaluations.
  4. Describe methods available to evaluate the effectiveness, implementation, acceptability and equity of public health interventions.
  5. Assess strengths and weaknesses of randomised and non-randomised study designs for evaluation of public health interventions.

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 assessment to enable the ongoing learning of students will be built into all sessions and will include approaches such as the use of exercises, quizzes, feedback from discussion and strategic questioning.

The unit is assessed by a 2500-word project. Students will design an evaluation of a public health intervention (100% of unit mark) (ILOS 1-5).


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. BRMSM0006).

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.