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Public health

Health workers in discussion

Public health covers a huge area of work – from protecting the public against disease and tackling health inequalities to working to improve the health of communities and supporting individuals to make healthier choices. To enhance the public’s health and wellbeing, rather than just treating disease, governments, organisations, communities and households need to work closely together.

Public health is therefore ‘everybody’s business’ – an engaging and exciting subject to study, whether your interest is professional or personal. It asks questions and challenges thinking. Why does health and disease vary across populations and how are these patterns discovered? Is a focus on whole population health more effective than targeting just high risk groups? How much priority should be given to reducing health inequalities between social groups? Can people’s behaviour be changed and are there ethical issues in doing this? Why is partnership work so challenging? What role should governments play in health improvement?

We offer a range of courses and qualifications enabling you to discover the world of public health and answer these questions for yourself. You can study a single course tailored to your professional or personal needs, including Promoting public health: skills, perspectives and practice which links to the Certificate in Promoting Public Health, or work towards a diploma or degree tailored to your professional or personal needs. You’ll find yourself studying alongside all sorts of health and social care professionals from general and specialist areas – including public health, nursing, education, social work and other local authority, voluntary and private sector services.

A richness of experience and breadth of work is conveyed through the multi-media study materials. Case studies of real change in real communities and of public health professionals tackling difficult issues and researching, planning and implementing projects will bring your learning alive. You’ll discover skills and techniques that will give you a public health skill-set to use, whatever your role and workplace.

Watch community workers tackling public health issues in a UK context

Hear about global health issues

Listen to Ilona Kickbusch, a former Director of Health Promotion at the World Health Organization, discussing the impact of globalisation in this extract from our study materials.