MPH Master of Public Health (Environment and Public Health)

Year of entry: 2021

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Course unit details:
Infection Prevention & Control

Unit code POPH65552
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Summer semester
Offered by Division of Population Health, Health Services Research and Primary Care
Available as a free choice unit? No


Due to the ongoing pandemic, for 2020/21 only the Infection Prevention and Control module will run as an online unit.  The unit will have intensive teaching days in the week of 21st June 2021 where participation will be required.


This unit aims to:
  • Identify the impact of healthcare associated infections and provide an introduction to the art and science of Infection Prevention and Control, appraising the evidence-base behind policies, guidance and implementation.
  • Equip students with the skills to apply core principles of Infection Prevention and Control in their professional settings.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this unit, successful students will be able to:
  • Analyse the evidence-base for healthcare associated infections and discuss the impact on and implications for public health. 
  • Explain the core principles of Infection Prevention and Control. 
  • Analyse the burden of healthcare associated infections globally. 
  • Critically appraise the evidence-base informing policy, frameworks and best practice in Infection Prevention and Control. 
  • Discuss the implementation of policies and guidance in relation to Infection Prevention and Control in global settings. 
  • Analyse the potential impacts of different scenarios and examine the appropriate responses. 
  • Evaluate the health impacts, mitigations and adequate responses to healthcare associated infections in specific settings. 
  • Develop and apply Infection Prevention and Control strategies in real world settings. 
  • Apply root cause analysis, audit or outbreak investigation of healthcare associated infections in specific settings. 
  • Apply principles of evidence-based practice. 
  • Work as a team to produce collaborative output. 
  • Transfer knowledge gained to professional settings.   


  • Burden of disease from healthcare associated infections. 
  • Infection Prevention and Control teams and procedures. 
  • Basic communicable disease control. 
  • Audit, surveillance and investigation. 
  • Antibiotics and antimicrobial resistance. 
  • Practical applications of guidelines for Infection Prevention and Control teams, including hand hygiene, personal protective equipment and cleaning. 
  • Case studies (including Staphylococcus aureus, TB, Clostridium difficile, Norovirus, bloodborne viruses, Ebola). 
  • Infection Prevention and Control in global settings. 
  • Practical applications of root cause analysis/audit/outbreak investigation. 

Teaching and learning methods

This course unit will include an e-textbook provided through the University library and additional reading of articles, policies and media publications will be required. Peer reviewed publications will be highlighted (and accessible through the University library), and key publications, frameworks and guidelines will be utilised throughout the course. Where relevant, issues relating to wider applications of Infection Prevention and Control in the media will be incorporated. Students will be encouraged to explore their own sources.

The online course materials will include reflective study tasks and topic based discussions hosted on blackboard. Students will undertake ungraded, self-administered quizzes to gauge their own progress in the online content. Topic specific learning outcomes for each study week will supplement the intended learning outcomes set out above.

In 2020/21 the face-to-face element of the course will take place online. Students will need to be available to take part in full-time teaching sessions for a three-day period in the week of the 21st June 2021. During these sessions students will take part in tutorials led by practitioners and experts in Infection Prevention and Control, delivered through a combination of real-time and recorded activities.  Students will work together to complete a group assignment in the form of a presentation based on the course material and the learning from the sessions, which will be awarded a group mark.

A final individual summative written assignment will be set at the end of the course.


Employability skills

Analytical skills
Students will critically analyse latest frameworks, guidelines and best practice related to Infection Prevention and Control, and the challenges to implementation.
Group/team working
In this module, students will work together to apply and present the principles and practical skills of Infection Prevention and Control.
Project management
Students will be required to consider the development, planning, and implementation of appropriate responses to infection in healthcare settings.

Assessment methods

Assessment task     


Weighting within unit (if relevant)

Midterm assignment

Group presentation (group mark)


Final assignment   

2,000 words



Feedback methods

Students will be provided with personalised feedback for their group presentation and final summative assignment, within 15 working days for the group presentation and 20 working days for final submission.

Further opportunities for formative feedback (on non-assessed work) will also be provided during a course unit.

Recommended reading

Weston, D (2013) Fundamentals of Infection Prevention and Control: Theory and Practice (2nd ed) John Wiley and Sons: Oxford (available as ebook).

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Practical classes & workshops 30
Independent study hours
Independent study 120

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Hannah Waterson Unit coordinator

Additional notes

If you have any questions about the content of this unit, please contact the course unit leader, Hannah Waterson, via email on If you have any other queries, please contact the PGT programme administrators via email on

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