module specification

SH7009 - Health Improvement (2020/21)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2020/21
Module title Health Improvement
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School School of Social Professions
Total study hours 200
74 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
93 hours Guided independent study
33 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Group Coursework 30%   Oral group presentation
Coursework 70%   4000 word report
Running in 2020/21

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester North Monday Evening
Autumn semester North Monday Evening

Module summary

Health Improvement is one of the three pillars of Public Health, alongside Healthcare Public Health, and Health Protection. The module explores theory, policy and practical aspects of Health Improvement within an International, and England context. This module covers the impact of the wider determinants of health, and the psychosocial aspects of health.

This module aims to:

  • Develop an advanced understanding of the foundations of Health Improvement
  • Provide an understanding and analysis of the social determinants of health, health inequalities, and health across the life course
  • Appraise the complex nature of behaviour and its influences, identifying how to intervene to effect change
  • Give an advanced understanding and application of the principles, models, and concepts of Health Improvement
  • Equip students with the knowledge and skills to assess a public health issue, design an intervention strategy to overcome this issue, including an evaluation plan to assess the implementation process and impact
  • Understand the commissioning of Health Improvement services in England


This module covers the following areas: -

The foundations of Health Improvement, concepts, and principles LO1, LO2
Health across the life course LO1, LO2
The social determinants of health and health inequalities LO1, LO2
Models, frameworks, and theories of Health Improvement LO2, LO3
Behavioural approaches to health and wellbeing LO2, LO3, LO4
Intervention design, planning, and evaluation LO4
Commissioning of Health Improvement LO3, LO4

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

The module teaching is based on weekly lectures and seminar classes, where specific group-work exercises have been developed to provide students with an opportunity to examined in more detail some of the main conceptual and methodological issues covered in lectures.

The approach to teaching is based on facilitating the application of concepts, methods and principles to practice-related contexts. This approach to teaching aims to develop students’ ability to think critically about data and evidence, and to draw appropriate inferences in accordance with the stated learning outcomes.

The above teaching methods will be complemented by students’ independent study on the module. Students will be required to read, on a weekly basis, recommended chapters in the core textbook, or to access other relevant educational material.

Learning outcomes

Upon completion of this module students will be able to:

1. Critically understand and evaluate the determinants that influence population health outcomes and explain their significance in relation to Health Improvement
2. Appraise the complex nature of behaviour and its influences, identifying how to intervene to effect change
3. Discuss and apply relevant models, frameworks, and theories of Health Promotion to influence change
4. Develop and defend an intervention strategy and evaluation plan to tackle a public health concern

Assessment strategy

There are two scheduled summative assignments on this module. The module is passed on the aggregate score of the two assignments.

The first assignment is a 20 minute oral group presentation of a Public Health problem, an analysis of that problem including its implications and its determinants.

The second assignment is a 4000 word report detailing the design, development and evaluation of an evidence-based intervention to overcome a determinant / behaviour related to a public health problem.


Naidoo J and Wills J (2016) Foundations for Health Promotion. 4th ed. London: Elsevier Limited.

Wilson, F., Mabhala, M., Massey, A. (2015) Health improvement & wellbeing. Strategies for action. Berkshire: McGraw Hill

Buck, D., and Gregory, S. (2013) Improving the Public’s Health – A resource for local authorities. London: The Kings Fund.

Buck, D., and Maguire, D. (2015) Inequalities in Life Expectancy – Changes over time and implications for policy. London: The Kings Fund.

Department of Health. (2010) Healthy Lives, Healthy People: Our strategy for public health in England. London: The Stationery Office for HMG.

Naidoo, J., and Wills, J. (2004) Public Health and Health Promotion. Developing Practice. 2th ed. London: Bailliere Tindall

Marmot, M. (2015) The Health Gap: The Challenge of an Unequal World. London: Bloomsbury Publishing

Michie, S., Atkins, L, and West, R. (2014) The behaviour change wheel. A guide to designing interventions. London: Silverback

Wanless, D. (2004) Securing Good Health for the Whole Population. London: HM Treasury

World Health Organisation (1986) The Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion. Geneva: WHO

Online resources:
Department of Health
Public Health England
World Health Organisation