Health Studies

BSc single honours Public Health and Health Promotion 2020/21

Year of entry

Public Health and Health Promotion 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. This course aims 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 public health and health promotion and we were one of the first universities to teach these subjects to undergraduate students.

“The Public Health and Health Promotion 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 friendly and highly-experienced programme teaching team welcomes students from all walks of life, with a wide variety of interests. If you are passionate, as we are, about social justice issues, preventing illness, tackling health inequalities and making a difference to the health and wellbeing of people in the settings of their everyday lives, then a career in public health could be for you.”

Adele Phillips Programme Director

Public Health and Health Promotion focuses 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 Public Health and Health Promotion 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

Communicating Health Information (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 health work force using and applying knowledge from theory, research and from other year one modules.

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.

Key Concepts in Health and Wellbeing (20 credits)

This module will help you to analyse health and illness from a social perspective. It aims to introduce students to the basic concepts of public health and health promotion while developing understanding of the range of factors that influence health. The historical development of public health will be discussed and students will be introduced to the newer discourses on health and wellbeing. Students will be encouraged to explore the concept of health from a range of different perspectives.

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.

Personal and Academic Development (20 credits)

This module has been designed to support you to develop the necessary personal and academic skills for success in Higher Education. Students will be encouraged to develop both written and oral communication skills, use information technology to support their researching skills and understand how to get the most out of University resources. Additionally, students will be encouraged to develop their ability to manage deadlines, proactively organize their own learning, become more independent and reflect on the development of their graduate skills.

Public Health and Team Skills (20 credits)

The aims of this module are to enable you to develop a holistic understanding of how the different components of the public health workforce work together to improve the health and wellbeing of individuals, communities and the whole population. You will be encouraged to gain insight into their own employability within this field, develop your communication and critical reasoning skills and acquire an awareness of effective team work.

Year 2

Developing Employable Public Health Practice (20 credits)

The aim of the module is to enhance students’ employability skills and attributes through an understanding of competencies, commissioning and practical skills that are relevant to working in the area of health. You will be supported to develop insight into your own abilities, consider what kind of leader you might become and have opportunity to creatively and innovatively address real-world problems.

Health Promotion (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.

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.

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. You will examine local and national patterns of health and illness and explore sociological explanations for inequalities in health. The module also aims to critically evaluate initiatives and national and local policies that have focused on reducing health inequalities.

Researching Health and Wellbeing (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

Dissertation: Public Health and Health Promotion (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 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 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.

In addition to the dissertation module, students will be able to choose 4 other modules from a range of options which complements their personal interests and employability.

Likely optional modules

Year 2

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.

Psychology and Health (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

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.

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.

Negotiated Workplace Learning (20 credits)

The module aims to offer you an enhanced opportunity to build upon your prior learning across the programme and examine this within a neighbourhood, a specific community group, workplace or setting for health. This module requires students to be systematic, reflective and critical in examining health and consider the development or application of skills and competencies.

Physical Activity, Health and Wellbeing (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.

Relationships and Sex 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.

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. You 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.

The Public Health and Health Promotion degree programme aims to develop knowledge, skills and Graduate Attributes that a wide variety of employers, both in the private and public sectors, are looking for. This programme is particularly suitable to prepare you for a career in the health, social, leisure and education sectors. Throughout the course of the programme, we aim to prepare you for transition into meaningful employment or further study.

The degree programme provides suitable entry qualifications which will contribute to becoming a registered health promotion or public health practitioner. It also opens up routes into teaching, through PGCE, and prepare you for further postgraduate study at all levels through to PhD. This programme is normally accepted for entry graduate­ entry into health professional and social work programmes of study.

Typical areas of employment that you can enter after completing this degree programme are:

  • Commissioning public health services
  • Public health intelligence and surveillance
  • Health trainer
  • Project management: bid writing, community engagement and empowerment
  • Health policy and electoral reform
  • Health research
  • Communicating health information through social marketing and health-related media
  • Health services improvement and administration
  • Criminal justice system work in prisons and probation
  • Housing support, welfare and citizen’s advice
  • International development and global health: education programmes, tackling poverty, human rights
  • Charity work: fundraising, improving life-chances for vulnerable people and those with disabilities
  •  Non-Governmental Organizations
  • Undertake further study to become a Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner
  • Improving healthy lifestyles (e.g. physical activity, sexual health, smoking cessation, drugs and alcohol, weight management)
  • Town planning, urban development and regeneration, healthy places
  • Health protection, health improvement, environmental health, health and safety officer, risk management, emergency planning
  • Occupational health – workplace health and wellbeing, human resources
  • Coaching, mentoring, counselling, supporting people with mental health issues, youth support work
  • Leisure industry
  • Food sustainability, pollution reduction, climate change
  • Teaching and the wider education sector
  • Civil service

For further information about careers in public health, please read the following document, ‘Rethinking the Public Health Workforce’.


Tuition Fees for 2020/21 have not yet been finalised. Course webpages will be updated with Tuition Fee information once these have been agreed.

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 Public Health and Health Promotion programme includes 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 Public Health and Health Promotion 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 assessment methods used within the Public Health and Health Promotion programme aim to provide a wide range of possible methods for students to demonstrate and enhance their abilities and Graduate Attributes. Each module generally has one or two assessments from the following range: essays (includes reflective essays, case study essays, or essays that review or critique research), individual presentations, research reports, literature reviews, projects, seen and unseen examinations (usually 2 hours) and portfolios.

The Public Health and Health Promotion assessment strategy conforms to University’s General Regulations for the Conferment of Awards, section 13 of the Regulations for Taught Awards. For each 20 credit module, there will be 200 hours of learning time and the assessments are usually weighted at 4,000 words or equivalent.



Full-time study

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Full-time study

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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

UCAS institution code

  • C10


  • 3 years full-time


  • September 2020

Entry requirements




Last edited 29/08/2019 15:55:00

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Last edited: 29/08/2019 15:55:00