MPH Occupational Health

Year of entry: 2022

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Course unit details:
Occupational Exposure Control

Unit code POPH60161
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Division of Population Health, Health Services Research and Primary Care
Available as a free choice unit? No


This unit develops your critical understanding and judgement of process control, applying theory and practice of exposure control when examining various practical topics including ventilation, containment and behavioural factors in the workplace.


This unit evaluates exposure control strategies, including equipment and techniques used in controlling exposure to hazards.  The unit examines various practice-based topics including the role of ventilation, containment, behavioural factors and PPE in the workplace. A range of work settings are evaluated with analysis of key issues in exposure control for example, control of dermal exposures and implementation of effective dermal risk assessment, communicable disease and infection control in workplaces.

Learning outcomes

The learning outcomes intend to:

      Develop critical understanding of process control and the need for judgement in setting priorities.

•      Use evidence-based practice to examine the technical and legal factors involved in process control.

•      Critically analyse the hierarchy of controls and how they are applied.

•      Apply theory and practice of exposure control for ventilation systems, communicable disease control, dermal exposure, and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in the control of risks to health.

•      Enable students to make independent decisions that are based on evidence and research in relation to behavioural factors, ergonomics and cost benefit analyses


Process Control Strategy


      Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

      Human Behaviours

      Dermal Exposure

      Communicable Disease Control

Teaching and learning methods

Learning and teaching will take the form of online materials supported by online lectures, webinars, group discussion, tutorial, face-to-face workshops and practical experience days where relevant.

Blackboard will be used for course materials including group discussions, announcements and updating of content, relevant lecture slides and additional reading, written example sheets and for online formative assessments.

Knowledge and understanding

On completion, students should be able to:

      Apply and synthesise knowledge of the concepts and principles of managing ventilation systems used to control hazardous substances in the workplace.

•      Demonstrate critical thought and application in relation to the types of PPE available when working with hazardous chemicals and other forms of PPE available for use with some physical and mechanical risks.

•      Demonstrate critical understanding of the range of strategies that can be used to control dermal exposure and how these fit into the hierarchy of controls.

•      Demonstrate understanding of factors that influence human behaviour and the significance of behavioural change in reducing exposure to risk in the workplace.

•      Apply the principles of the hierarchy of control and the management of health risks to develop control strategies for workplace health hazards

Intellectual skills

On completion, students should be able to:

      Critically evaluate the key aspects of a well-developed control strategy and health protection programme

•      Critically evaluate existing measures used to control exposure, including ventilation and PPE

•      Critically assess the range of strategies that can be used to motivate and perpetuate behaviour change.

•         Interpret outcomes of peer-reviewed research in the context

Practical skills

On completion, students should be able to:

      Critically evaluate strategies used for the control of occupational exposures in a range of workplace settings

•      Communicate developments in practice to a wide audience

•      Use principles of evidence-based practice to review and improve practice

•      Identify areas of uncertainty to formulate focused, answerable questions

Transferable skills and personal qualities

On completion, students should be able to:

      Independently gather, organise, and evaluate information from a variety of sources and develop an evidence-based approach to occupational hygiene practice.

•      Understand the influence of a wide range of factors when negotiating with others within the field of occupational hygiene

•      Communicate complex ideas in concise written formats appropriate for a range of stakeholders

•      Apply and synthesise knowledge of health, legislation, and business in the management of work-related issues affecting both individuals and groups.

Employability skills

Analytical skills
Students will have an understanding of process control and the need for judgement in setting priorities.
Project management
Students will understand the influence of a wide range of factors when negotiating with others within the field of occupational hygiene.
Problem solving
Students will know the range of techniques that can be used for developing an effective health surveillance system in a variety of different workplaces.

Assessment methods




Workplace Exposure Control Case study


3,500 words

Feedback methods

  • Assignment feedback is available to all students. 
  • Feedback on summative assessments is provided following ratification of results by the Examination Board.
  • Two web-conference tutorials involving small group teaching provide formative feedback to students.

Recommended reading

  • American Industrial Hygiene Association.  The occupational Environment: its evaluation, control and management 3rd ed.  AIHA Press 2010. ISBN 9781935082156.
  • BS EN 529:2005. Respiratory protective devices. Recommendations for selection, use, care and maintenance. Guidance document. BSI 2005. ISBN 0580469085.
  • BS EN 374-3:2003. Protective gloves against chemicals and micro-organisms. Determination of resistance to permeation by chemicals. BSI 2003. ISBN 9780580678561.
  • BS 7184:2001. Selection, use and maintenance of chemical protective clothing. Guidance. BSI 2001. ISBN 0580386147.
  • Cherrie J, Howie R, Semple S. Monitoring for Health Hazards at Work 4th ed. Wiley-Blackwell 2010. ISBN-10: 1405159626, ISBN-13: 978-1405159623.
  • COSHH Essentials: HSG 193. HSE Books 1999. ISBN 0717624218.
  • Gardiner K, Harrington JM. Occupational hygiene.  Blackwell Publishing 2005. ISBN 1405106212.
  • Gawkrodger DJ. An illustrated colour text: Dermatology. Basic Principles: Churchill Livingstone 1992.
  • HSE. HSG 258 Controlling airborne contaminants at work: A guide to local exhaust ventilation (LEV). HSE Books 2008. ISBN 9780717662982.
  • HSE. INDG408 Clearing the air: a simple guide to buying and using local exhaust ventilation (LEV). HSE Books 2008. ISBN 9780717663019.
  • Lunt J, Lee R, Carter L. Systematic review of preventative behavioural interventions for dermal and respiratory occupational health hazards. HSL 2007/36.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Tutorials 4
Independent study hours
Independent study 146

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Anne Clayson Unit coordinator

Additional notes

If you have any questions regarding the content of this unit, please contact the Course Unit Leader, Anne Clayson, via

If you have any other queries, please contac the Programme Admin team via

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