PHPS30020 Public Health Medicine, Epidemiology & International Health

Academic Year 2023/2024

The module is structured into three blocks over three weeks.

In the first week (Epidemiology and Research Methods), students learn the fundamentals of epidemiology, including the construction and interpretation of basic indicators used to monitor population health and the different study designs used to advance medical knowledge. The aim is for students to interpret the results presented in tables and figures- and the interpretation of statistical parameters reported in randomized clinical trials, meta-analyses observational Studies and studies assessing the accuracy of diagnostics tests.

The course further develops students' understanding of the population's perspective of health and public health medicine principles and practice (Week 2). The lectures and seminars cover the following topics: social and environmental determinants of disease, epidemiology and determinants of cardiovascular diseases and cancer, one-health, cancer screening, surveillance of infectious diseases, public health policy, advocacy, health promotion and theories of behavioural change, and basic principles of health economics and the financing and organisation of health services. In addition, students are introduced to the concept of unconscious bias and its influence on clinical encounters and healthcare team’s performances.
The third week introduces students to the critical issues in Global Health; the science of climate change, current health impacts of climate change, advocacy to reduce carbon emissions in healthcare, health public health emergencies, health services in developing countries and Sustainable Developments Goals.
The material is delivered through face-to-face lectures with additional mandatory reading and self-guided learning.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On successful completion of the module, students should be able to:
(1) Critically appraise data (epidemiology, clinical research, diagnostic tests, and biostatistics);
(2) Identify and map causal pathways and the determinants of health and health inequalities;
(3) Apply screening concepts, and interpret diagnostic test parameters and performance;
(4) Demonstrate understanding of the Public Health governance and roles ( Monitoring Population Health, Health Promotion and Prevention, Health Services organization and performance, and Health Economics, Infectious Diseases surveillance and control);
(5) Demonstrate an understanding of current global health challenges.

Indicative Module Content:

Week 1
Epidemiology: Principles and rational. Interpreting counts, rates and ratios. Why standard rates? Epidemiological study designs: observational versus interventions; quantitative, mixed methods and qualitative Research Methods Types of variables—patient-Reported Outcomes Measures.
Interpretation of statistical tests used in medical research.. Construction, application and Interpretation of relative rIsk, relative risk reduction, absolute risk reduction, number needed to treat, odds ratio, and mean difference. Understand the concepts of the direction of the effect estimates, the strength of effects estimates, and the precision of effect estimates—principles of screening and the use and interpretation of diagnostic tests.
Week 2
Public Health and population health. Public Health measures and policies that impact life expectancy. Prevention Lifestyle factors, Chronic disease epidemiology. Social and environmental determinants of health. Infectious Disease (contact tracing, surveillance). Health Service delivery and principles of health financing. Audit and quality improvements in medicine. One Health and antimicrobial resistance. Unconscious bias in health systems and its impact on health outcomes. Behavioural change theories applied to individuals and populations.
Week 3 Global Health.
Sustainable Development Goals and Global Health
Health Services in low-income countries, low resource settings.
Overview of the scientific evidence of climate change and Public Health implications. Advocacy

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Small Group


Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
The module includes face-to-face lectures by experts in the field. Lectures are combined with face-to-face tutorials to support students in learning the material.
Directed learning (documents posted)

Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Additional Information:
Prerequisite: Clinical Stage I

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade In Module Component Repeat Offered
Examination: Four short answer questions (Students must answer one question from each block and can choose an extra question) and a MCQ
2 hour End of Trimester Exam No Standard conversion grade scale 40% No


Multiple Choice Questionnaire: MCQ in Brightspace based on week one and week two tutorials (Friday week 2)
Week 2 n/a Standard conversion grade scale 40% No



Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring Yes - 1 Hour
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

If individual students request feedback on their exam/MCQ that will be provided after provisional marks are published.

Schneider M, Schneider HS. Introduction to Public Health. Sixth ed. Burlington, Massachusetts: Jones & Bartlett Learning; 2021;2020.

Epidemiology and Biostatistics:
Fletcher RH, Fletcher SW, Fletcher GS, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Clinical Epidemiology: The Essentials. 6th ed. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins Health; 2021.

Sullivan LM. Essentials of Biostatistics in Public Health. Third;3; ed. Burlington, Massachusetts: Jones & Bartlett Learning; 2018;2017
Name Role
Professor Patricia Fitzpatrick Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Celine Murrin Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Professor Akke Vellinga Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Professor Patrick Wall Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Ms Carolyn Ingram Tutor
Assoc Professor Carla Perrotta Tutor