Health Studies

BSc single honours Health Studies / Health Promotion / Public Health 2019/20

Year of entry

The Health Studies suite of degree programmes includes: BSc Health Studies; BSc Health Promotion and BSc Public Health.

The Health Studies degree courses will equip you with the knowledge and skills necessary to meet the requirements of the public health workforce to practice as either a practitioner with a public health component to your work or as a specialist public health practitioner.

The Government is supporting the expansion of public health and health promotion, and wanting graduates to have a good understanding of the range of issues that cause ill health, and know how to improve people’s health and wellbeing. The Health Studies degree courses aim to meet these requirements.

Top reasons to choose this course

Our team has over 30 years’ experience of academic leadership and research at Canterbury Christ Church University in the field of health promotion and public health and we were one of the first universities to teach these subjects to undergraduate students.

“The Health Promotion/Public Health lecturers are brilliant and it feels an honour to have been taught by them. They have made our classes fun and interactive, and they listen to us. I recommend this degree to everyone!”

Year 2 student Health Studies

This course is for students interested in pursuing a career in public health and health promotion.

"What a journey! Studying Health Studies has been a time of self discovery, and one that has broadened my understanding of life and the position that health takes within that. The support from the University and the lecturers has been incredible, and I am genuinely sad to see it coming to an end. The best decision I have made, and thank you to this course, I now look forward to a career in which I can thrive."

Hannah Brisley Year 3 Health Studies student

Our Health Studies degree courses focus on teaching and learning around the growing understanding that the prevention of ill health and promotion of health and wellbeing is far better for individuals and society than a sole focus on curing illness.

As a Health Studies student you will study the mental, emotional, social, physical, spiritual, political and environmental influences on health and how current Government policy aims to address these.

Core modules

We continually review and where appropriate, revise the range of modules on offer to reflect changes in the subject and ensure the best student experience. We will inform applicants of any changes to the course structure before enrolment.

Year 1

Major Health and Lifestyle Issues (20 credits)

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 (20 credits)

This module will help you to understand health in a number of different ways, using history, sociology and government policy. It will begin by exploring some of the ways in which health and illness were understood in the past, including within traditional systems of medicine from around the world. The module will then move through key historical events such as the Great Plague of 1665 and the Victorian Public Health movement in order to show how people’s views of health have changed over time. Finally, modern understandings around the relationship between poverty, inequality and health will be explored throughout the life course, from childhood to old age.

Environment and Health (20 credits)

You will study how the physical environment can impact on health. These aspects include housing, food security, air/noise and water pollution, waste disposal, climate change, and resource degradation. Students will be introduced to the principles of sustainability, 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 and will include an examination of multi­agency partnership working and community development. Contemporary literature, 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 - single honours only (20 credits)

The aims of this module are to enable you to: develop a holistic and psychosocial perspective of understanding self and others in a health­related context; develop communication and critical reasoning skills, to; acquire an awareness of team skills; and gain self­directed learning skills for life­long 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 - single honours only (20 credits)

This module aims to facilitate the development of your health ­related communication skills across a range of media, including mass technology, print and electronic media. You will investigate verbal and non­verbal, written and graphic forms of communication. The module will give you the opportunity to develop and enhance your communication skills, explore the importance of good communication skills across the wider public healthworkforce using and applying knowledge from theory, research and from other year one modules.

Academic Development - single honours only (20 credits)

The aims of this module are to enable you to develop appropriate academic learning skills, initial research skills and understand how the application of appropriate information technology can contribute. This module utilises lectures, seminars and personal reflection and directed activities to enable you to manage your own learning, 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.

Year 2

Promoting and Improving Health (20 credits)

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 health improvement. You will explore how the concept of health promotion has developed to become a process of enabling people to increase control over, and to improve their health. You will analyse the process of health promotion activity with individuals, small groups and within ‘settings’ as well as social and environmental interventions. You will learn how to plan and evaluate effective health promotion strategies.

Working in Health - single honours only (20 credits)

This module will explore changes in the world of work today and how this might impact on service provision and human health and flourishing. You will work with key public health and health promotion competencies to reflect and understand what skills and knowledge are desirable within those workforces. Job specifications in health will be examined and you will identify what will be essential in order to ensure that your cv demonstrates the required skills. You will be made aware of commissioning and NHS and Public local government structures for delivery of health promotion and public health.

Inequalities in Health (20 credits)

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.

Health Protection (20 credits)

This module will focus on protecting people’s health by ensuring the safety and quality of food, water, air and the general environment. It will consider some of the important health risks associated with the transmission of infectious diseases, as well as chemical and nuclear incidents, and in doing so highlight some of the steps that can be taken to help deal with these threats.

Health Research and Evidence Based Practice (20 credits)

During this module you will learn about some of the different types of research that can be carried out, and how to conduct a small research study of your own. You will be introduced to both quantitative and qualitative research approaches, followed by a step-by-step explanation of the research process. You will be provided with an understanding of how to search for evidence and to develop the ability to come up with aims and objectives for your research, pick the right research design, find participants to study, and then make sense of your findings in order to help you to answer your research question.

Year 3

Aspects of Mental Health Promotion (20 credits)

This module aims to develop students’ understanding of the concepts of mental health, wellbeing and happiness and examine ways in which these concepts can be measured. Students will consider the effectiveness of interventions designed to improve mental health, such as physical activity, the arts, music, spirituality and complementary and alternative medicine.

Global Health (20 credits)

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 World Health Organisation (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, and other international agencies including non­governmental organisations.

Principles of Epidemiology (20 credits)

The overall aim of this module is to introduce you to the field of epidemiology, the study of how and when diseases occur in different groups of people, 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.

Dissertation (20 or 40 credits)

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. You will be given the choice of completing an empirical (research) study or a literature­based 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 your 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

Year 2

Ethics and Law in Health (20 credits)

This 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.

Health Psychology (20 credits)

The module will look at how psychology can help us to gain a better understanding of the health of individuals and whole populations. Students will learn about theories of motivation, group processes and social perceptions and consider how these theories can be used to help explain healthy lifestyle behaviours, such as physical activity and exercise, sexual behaviour, substance misuse and eating behaviour.

Year 3

Health Education and Children (20 credits)

The module will examine the normative and expressed health needs of children in the UK with reference to current epidemiological, socio­economic 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 (20 credits)

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 part­time to support your studies or it may be voluntary work you do or have done recently. You will use only your observations of the workplace to complete the assignment, and are therefore not required to obtain permission from the workplace.

Public Health Nutrition (20 credits)

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 diet­based and food­based 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 (20 credits)

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 within this module. 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.

Physical Activity and Health (20 credits)

This module will examine the link between physical inactivity and health and the type, frequency and intensity of physical activity needed to prevent long term disease such as cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancer. You will examine physical activity and sedentary behaviour patterns in the UK and those methods of surveillance and monitoring that are used to assess them. 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 theory.

Substance Misuse and Health (20 credits)

This module will examine different patterns of drug and alcohol use in different groups of people and consider the impacts on physical, mental and social health. Students will develop an understanding of how patterns of drug use are influenced by personal and environmental factors and critically evaluate measures taken to reduce drug and alcohol use in individuals, nationally and globally.

Health and Work (20 credits)

The module aims to provide students with the opportunity to explore, in depth, the contemporary political, social and contextual factors that influence health and wellbeing in the workplace.

Contemporary issues such as absence and presenteeism, sedentary work, musculoskeletal health and mental health will be examined along with the consequences of not managing these positively and proactively. The management of good health and wellbeing at work will be contextualised within health promotion, and organisational and behaviour change theory and existing recognised best practice standards.

The Health Studies degree courses open up routes into teaching, through PGCE, and prepare you for further postgraduate study at all levels through to PhD. They are also normally accepted for entry into the National Health Service, graduate­ entry health professional and social work courses and community development work.

The Health Studies degree courses aim to develop a variety of skills and attributes that a wide variety of employers, both in the private and public sectors, are looking for. Health Studies is particularly suitable for careers in the health, social, leisure and education spheres.

The degree courses in Health Promotion and Public Health provide suitable entry qualifications which will contribute to becoming a registered health promotion or public health practitioner.


The 2019/20 annual tuition fees for this course are:

  UK / EU Overseas
Full-time £9,250 £11,900
Part-time £4,625 N/A

Tuition fees for all courses are payable on an annual basis, except where stated.

Please read the 2019/20 Tuition Fee Statement for further information regarding 2019/20 tuition fees and year on year fee increases.

Overseas students, please note that there is an additional fee of £1,450 per year of study for placement costs. You will also be required to fund your own travel and accommodation costs.

Additional course costs

Although we aim to minimise any additional costs to students over and above the course tuition fee, there will be some additional costs which students are expected to meet.

Costs applicable to all students

Text books Own purchase text books
Travel to other sites Where travel to other sites is required, this will be payable by the student
Library Fees and Fines Where students fail to return loaned items within the required time they will be responsible for the cost of any Library Fees and Fines applicable
Printing & Photocopying The cost of printing and photocopying undertaken by students to support their individual learning are payable by the student
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire / photography are additional costs payable by the student

Course specific costs

Text books Total cost will depend on modules selected for study
Printing & Photocopying Total cost will depend on modules selected for study

General principle policy

The University’s general principles policy for additional course fees are set out here

CategoryIncluded in the tuition feeAdditional cost to student
Field trips (including trips abroad and trips to museums, theatres, workshops etc) No, if the trip contributes to the course as an optional module. Yes if the trip is optional.
Travel and accommodation costs for placements  No

Travel and accommodation costs for professional placements within the Education and Health & Wellbeing Faculties.

Travel and accommodation costs for other work placements. 
Text books No Own purchase text books.
DBS / Health checks No Yes
Professional Body registration No Yes
Travel to other sites (e.g. travel to swimming pool for lessons) No Yes
Clothing / Kit Yes, where the clothing / kit is essential for Health & Safety reasons. Yes, where the clothing is kept by the student and not essential for health and safety reasons.
Learning materials Essential learning materials (excluding text books) in connection with the course. Additional materials beyond the standard provision essential for the course or where the costs are determined by the student’s area of interest and the outputs are retained by the student.
Library fees and fines No Yes
Printing and photocopying No Yes
Social events No, unless the event forms an essential part of the course. Yes, unless the event forms an essential part of the course.
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire/ photography are additional costs payable by the student.

The Health Studies Programmes include a wide range of teaching and learning strategies.  These strategies are designed to encourage you to develop as independent learners as you progress through the three levels. Individual strategies will be appropriately chosen, bearing in mind factors such as the numbers of students undertaking a module, and the specific content of the module. Most modules emphasise active learning in order to develop the qualities, knowledge and skills outlined in the programme aims. Some modules will include organised visits. The programme will be supported by University’s virtual learning environment.

Most modules on the courses consist of 50 hours contact (teaching) time supported by 150 hours of independent learning.  Extensive reading lists are given for each module and students will be navigated through the learning material with a structured lecture and seminar schedule.

The Health Studies teaching team has over 30 years’ experience of academic leadership and research at Canterbury Christ Church University in the field of health promotion and public health and we were one of the first universities in the UK to teach these subjects to undergraduate students.

The Health Studies Programmes’ Assessment Strategy conforms to the University’s Regulations for the Conferment of Awards of the Undergraduate Academic Framework, sections 3.19 to 3.46 in the University Arrangements to Support the Academic Framework, the University’s Assessment Policy. 

The assessment demands and balance are informed by the Undergraduate Academic Framework. For each 20 credit module, the assessments are weighted at 4000 words or equivalent. The assessment methods used within the Health Studies Programmes aim to provide a wide range of possible methods for students to demonstrate and enhance their abilities. Each module generally has two assessments from the following range:  essays (includes reflective essays, case study essays, essays that review or critique research or essays based on a trigger), presentations (group or individual), research reports, literature reviews; projects, examinations (2 hour) and portfolios.

At Level 4, you will be asked to complete at least one formative assessment for 3 of your 6 modules; this will be in addition to the summative assessments.  Thereafter all assessments, at all levels, are summative in that they contribute to measuring the extent to which you have achieved the learning outcomes of the module.


Full-time study

Apply via UCAS


Full-time study

Need some help?


For advice on completing your application please contact the Course Enquiry Team:

Tel: +44 (0)1227 928000
Tel:+44 (0)1227 928000  (0)1227 928000


Contact our International Team

Fact file

UCAS course code

  • B900 Health Studies
  • BL95 Health Promotion
  • BL9M Public Health

UCAS institution code

  • C10


  • 3 years full-time

    6 years part-time


  • September 2019

Entry requirements



Last edited 06/12/2018 12:11:00

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Last edited: 06/12/2018 12:11:00