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Nutrition For Public Health And Principles And Practices Of Health Promotion (Module)

Module description

This 15 credit module comprises two 'half-modules':

A) Nutrition for Public Health

Nutrition is a key component in the aetiology of many major multifactorial diseases of concern to public health professionals. Nutrition-related policies are increasingly being seen as ways of preventing disease and promoting good health. This course aims to improve students’ understanding of these issues.

Students will develop a deeper understanding of the role of nutrition in the causation and prevention of certain diseases and the impact of public health policies on the nutritional status of key groups with the population.

B) the Principles and Practice of Health Promotion

Principles and Practice of Health Promotion is the second part of the 15 credit elective module ‘Nutrition for Public Health and the Principles and Practice of Health Promotion’. This module is offered by the School of Medicine as part of the postgraduate (M level) programme, Master of Public Health. It involves 18 hours of contact time spread over six weeks (i.e. 3 hours per week). It is organised by staff from the Department of Education and Professional Studies (DEPS) within the School of Social Science and Public Policy (SSSPP). Sessions are run by staff from the DEPS, as well as by an external lecturer from the National Social Marketing Centre.


The module provides grounding in the philosophy, theory and practice of health promotion, and its practice in health care and health care- related contexts.

It encourages participants to develop critical and reflective understandings of the nature of health, and the range of philosophical and theoretical perspectives associated with the concept. It develops critical understanding and appraisal of, as well as reflection on, the nature of the relationship between people and their social contexts in terms of the impact this produces on the health of individuals and populations.

It develops critical understanding and appraisal of different methodologies and a range of models for planning, implementing and evaluating work aimed at promoting health. It also encourages participants to reflect critically on their own practice, or potential practice, in this field.

By the end of this half- module, participants will be able to: 

  • Identify, critically appraise and engage in thoughtful reflection on a range of different conceptualisations of health and its promotion and how health behaviour can be and is influenced; 
  • Understand, critically appraise and thoughtfully reflect on the relationship between the health of individuals the environmental and social context in which they operate; 
  • Understand, critically appraise and engage in thoughtful reflection on the relationship between public policy and the health of individuals and populations; 
  • Understand, critically appraise and thoughtfully reflect on the range of approaches to the planning and implementation of health promotion activity including health education, community development / engagement and social marketing, and their theoretical underpinnings; 
  • Understand, critically appraise and thoughtfully reflect on different methodological approaches to, and practices in, the evaluation of work aiming to promote health; 
  • Apply understanding, critical appraisal and reflection developed during the course to their own professional practice, or potential practice.

Staff information

Not applicable

Teaching pattern

The module will use a variety of teaching methods including lectures; small group work; plenary discussion sessions; examination of case studies; and student- led presentations. The dual rationale underpinning this variety is encouragement of student capacity to engage with and develop the core health promotion skills of communication and presentation; and to allow significant opportunities for mutual exchange of information and ideas.

Module assessment - more information

Two pieces of assessed coursework.

Key information

Module code 7MHPH014

Credit level 7

Assessment coursework

Credit value 15

Semester Semester 2 (spring)

Study abroad module No