Module Catalogue 2024/25

HSC8045 : Public Health Protection

HSC8045 : Public Health Protection

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Sheena Ramsay
  • Lecturer: Dr Lindsay Bramwell, Dr Gayle Dolan, Dr Kirsty Foster, Mrs Dor Wilson, Dr Simon Wilkinson, Dr Petra Manley, Dr Simon Howard
  • Owning School: Population Health Sciences
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0
European Credit Transfer System

Modules you must have done previously to study this module

Pre Requisite Comment



Modules you need to take at the same time

Co Requisite Comment



This module introduces students to the key principles of public health protection, illustrated by reference to common communicable diseases and environmental hazards in the UK. Students will develop an understanding of major factors contributing to health protection risk, the fundamental principles of assessment and control of these risks. Local and national methods of surveillance will be described, including their application in monitoring patterns of illness in the population and identification of outbreaks of communicable disease. Examples of communicable disease outbreaks and environmental investigations will be used to illustrate the commonly used epidemiological methods and demonstrate the importance of partnership working in health protection.

Outline Of Syllabus

The sessions include the following topics and themes:
•       Principles of Health Protection
•       Health Protection Surveillance
•       Outbreaks and incidents
•       Risk Perception and Communication in Health Protection
•       Emergency Preparedness and Response

•       Communicable disease control
•       Vaccine preventable disease
•       Gastro-intestinal infections
•       Blood-borne viral infections
•       Sexually transmitted infections
•       Respiratory infections: Tuberculosis and Legionella

•       Environmental hazards
•       Introduction to toxicology
•       Contaminated land and public health

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

By the end of the module, students will be able to:
• Describe the causes, mechanism of transmission, prevention and control of important and common communicable diseases and infections, and disease caused by exposure to chemical and physical hazards, including their social context.
• Describe the principles of public health protection surveillance, the local and national mechanisms for surveillance of health and environmental data.
• Define and describe the roles and responsibilities of individuals and organisations in dealing with incidents and outbreaks at local, national and international level, including emerging diseases.

Intended Skill Outcomes

By the end of the module, students will be able to:
• Compare and contrast strengths and weaknesses of different epidemiological approaches to the investigation and control of outbreaks of communicable disease and infection, and the analysis of associations between environmental factors and health.
• Critically discuss the strategies for prevention of communicable disease and infection, and environmental disease, and particularly where applicable, the immune response, principles and practice of immunisation programmes, and methods to minimise harm due to environmental hazards.
• Be able to use and apply relevant sources of information in providing advice on communicable disease and infection control, emergency planning, and control of environmental hazards.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture101:3015:00Present in person
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture41:004:00Pre-recorded sessions
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion111:0011:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading111:0011:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study591:0059:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

This is largely an interactive module which draws on the experience of tutors and students. Most sessions are suited to seminar format with student and tutor led preparation, presentation and discussion. The module is delivered entirely by staff from Public Health England.

The teaching and learning methods used are designed to maximise opportunities for students to reflect on and incorporate their own experience into their learning.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M1002000 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The written assignment will test the students understanding of the principles of public health protection, and their ability to synthesise and critically appraise relevant sources of information to produce advice, strategy or other form of written commentary on key and current areas of public health protection


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Welcome to Newcastle University Module Catalogue

This is where you will be able to find all key information about modules on your programme of study. It will help you make an informed decision on the options available to you within your programme.

You may have some queries about the modules available to you. Your school office will be able to signpost you to someone who will support you with any queries.


The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2024 academic year.

In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described.

Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2025/26 entry will be published here in early-April 2025. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.