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Essentials of Environmental Public Health Science (Module)

Module description

This module is run jointly by King’s College London and Public Health England (PHE).   It is both an academically validated Masters level module, taken as an elective option by postgraduate Master of Public Health students, and can also be taken as a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) option by PHE employees and employees of other local and national public health agencies and industry.

Students will normally be graduates in a relevant discipline, with background knowledge in the health sciences. 

The aims of this short (1 week full time) course are to develop a knowledge and understanding of essential science and engineering concepts in relation to human interactions with the environment. This will include some organisational and legal issues. The purpose is to facilitate an analysis and evaluation of complex circumstances for different environmental media (land, water and air) leading to appropriate decision-making and incident response management, with effective communication with the media, public services and the general public.

The module is aimed at the broad range of public health professionals involved in preventing and responding to environmental hazards including chemical incidents.  It will strongly complement the 7BRPH012 Essentials of Toxicology for Health Protection module.

At the end of this module and associated reading students will:

  • understand basic  terminology and concepts;
  • demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of essential physical, biological, chemical, and engineering concepts in relation to non-infectious environmental hazards, including chemical incidents, and be able to integrate information across disciplines in problem solving;
  • evaluate the scope and limitations of available incident information, and identify the need for further information such as by environmental sampling; 
  • analyse and evaluate complex circumstances leading to appropriate decision making and problem solving;
  • co-operate with professionals from other agencies in the design and organisation of a response to a hazardous incident.
  • develop an appropriate ethical public communication strategy for a hazardous incident.
  • be aware of national and international organizations and their role in service provision;


  • be able to integrate the above in analysing and reporting upon an incident, evaluating and interpreting the evidence base and develop appropriate health protection advice.  

Staff information

Not applicable

Teaching pattern

Lectures and seminars

Module assessment - more information

Not applicable

Key information

Module code 7BRPH016

Credit level 7

Assessment coursework written examination/s

Credit value 15

Semester Semester 1 (autumn)

Study abroad module No