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Foundations of Public Health Practice: The Public Health Approach

Imperial College London via Coursera

Overview

The Public Health Approach course is the first instalment of the wider Foundations of Public Health Practice specialisation from Imperial College London's Global Master of Public Health (MPH). The scope and content of this course has been developed from the ground up by a combined team of academics and practitioners drawing on decades of real-world public health experience as well as deep academic knowledge. Through short video lectures, practitioner interviews and a wide range of interactive activities, learners will be immersed in the world of public health practice.

Designed for those new to the discipline, over four modules (intended for four weeks of learning), learners will become familiar with the scope, origins, ethics, principles and paradigms of public health practice. But there is also important foundational content for those coming from more experienced practitioner backgrounds. The 'Public Health Approach' is a phrase that is used widely to describe an up-stream, preventive, values-driven and evidence-based approach to improving population health. By the end of this course, learners will be confident with identifying and describing a wide range of public health challenges using the language and reference points of the public health profession.

The subsequent courses require the knowledge from this course, as learners will be introduced to the public health toolkit of health needs assessment and evaluation, before taking deeper dives into behaviour change and health protection.

Syllabus

  • Welcome to the course and Module 1: The public health approach
    • This first course, "The Public Health Approach", part of the wider Foundations of Public Health Practice specialisation, is designed to introduce learners to public health practice: whether new to the topic, or coming with a wealth of experience. This first module, entitled "Principles of Public Health Practice" introduces learners to the scope, origins and ethics of public health. The module begins reviewing different frameworks of public health that have been used, settling on a hybrid model comprising four domains: health improvement, health protection, healthcare public health and health intelligence. And this sets the scene and structure for the remainder of the specialisation. Learners are then taken through a very rapid and concise history of public health, before contrasting ideas of public health ethics with those of more traditional biomedicine.
  • Welcome to Module 2: The wider determinants of health
    • This first course, "The Public Health Approach", part of the wider Foundations of Public Health Practice specialisation, is designed to introduce learners to public health practice: whether new to the topic, or coming with a wealth of experience. This second module, entitled "The Wider Determinants of Health" introduces the wider determinants paradigm: a very different and much broader world-view that recognises much more of the socio-cultural, economic and environmental influences on population and individual health. We introduce learners to the differing ideas of equality and equity and the centrality of combating health inequalities.
  • Welcome to Module 3: Prevention and early identification
    • This first course, "The Public Health Approach", part of the wider Foundations of Public Health Practice specialisation, is designed to introduce learners to public health practice: whether new to the topic, or coming with a wealth of experience. This third module, entitled "Prevention and Early Identification" formalises understanding of prevention, early identification, resilience and screening. We also begin to explore ideas of strategy and policy and the skills needed for the aspiring professional.
  • Welcome to Module 4: Politics and policy in public health
    • This first course, "The Public Health Approach", part of the wider Foundations of Public Health Practice specialisation, is designed to introduce learners to public health practice: whether new to the topic, or coming with a wealth of experience. This fourth and final module builds on the knowledge and understanding established in the prior three modules. This module focuses on the art of public health: examining how we work in political environments, with stakeholders and where a myriad of external influences and personal ideology combine.

Taught by

Dr Richard J Pinder

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Reviews

5.0 rating, based on 1 reviews

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  • This is a sweet comprehensive overview of the science and art of public health practice, focusing on the bigger relevant picture of the field rather than the individual/reductionist concepts and techniques to deliver context-informed interventions at the population level. The course creators, more than academics in their ivory tower, incredibly demonstrate their practice of the approach through the endeavors they spearheaded. I am looking forward to complete the Coursera Specialization started by this offering.

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