MPH Occupational Health
Year of entry: 2022
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Course unit details:
Public Health Benefits of Green and Blue Space
|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|
The course unit is aimed at students who have an interest in, or work in, public health and/or primary care or similar settings, especially those in local authorities and other local, community service delivery organisations. Public health professionals need to have a good understanding of how the local environment affects the health of the populations they serve. The positive health effects of spending time in and around natural environments have become well documented. We value our green spaces, such as parks and forests, and blue spaces, such as canals, and lakes and coastal areas. These natural benefits to health also have important, additional benefits as mitigating measures against climate change. There are recent calls for the instigation of ‘green prescribing’ to encourage patients to grasp the opportunity to improve their health and wellbeing without the use of medication and other costly interventions offered by health and social services. By educating future public health professionals in these opportunities, we further the possibility of improving health and local environments, and reducing the burden on overstretched services.
This unit is mandatory for the Environment and Public Health stream.
- Synthesise the evidence base relating to the beneficial impacts on health and wellbeing of having access to green space and blue space
- Investigate the additional co-benefits gained by the provision of green and blue space, such as social and natural capital
- Introduce green space, blue space and urban design policies and actions taken to improve access and encourage usage, such as green prescribing
- Develop understanding of the specific health impacts, interventions, and design options which will allow public health professionals to create policies and practices and, design and deliver appropriate services for the setting in which they work
- Critically synthesise and analyse the impact of green and blue space on health and wellbeing in different settings, both locally and globally.
- Systematically analyse the policies and measures aimed at increasing access to green and blue space and encourage usage and associated impacts on health and wellbeing.
- Systematically appraise and evaluate research, for example, from planning, urban design, green and blue space and effects on health and wellbeing, both locally and globally.
- Critically identify and analyse additional impacts of green and blue space provision and evaluate effectiveness.
- Introduction to green and blue spaces and urbanisation
- Urban planning and design
- Green and blue space and health and wellbeing
- Quality or quantity? Standards and indicators
- Green prescribing and the health services
- Green infrastructure
- Co-benefits of green and blue space provision
- Green and blue space – a global perspective
- Inspiration from around the world
- The future of urban green and blue spaces
Teaching and learning methods
- Analytical skills
- Students will critically analyse approaches to urban planning, and public spaces and infrastructure provision, and apply their knowledge to the development of place specific and appropriate policies and interventions,
- Students will be encouraged to acknowledge their responsibility in advocating preventative responses to protecting the health of their specific communities through the inclusion of health and green and blue spaces in appropriate policies, strategies and plans.
- Project management
- Students will need to demonstrate understanding of project management skills in their choice of approach to the assignments and use planning techniques to ensure their completion.
- Oral communication
- Students will be equipped to communicate with urban planners and improve their ability to undertake collegial working practices. Students will be able to argue the evidentiary case for the provision of high quality, accessible green and blue spaces.
Assessments for this course unit have a practical focus and the midterm and final assignments are linked – one overall project that is presented as Part 1 (midterm) and Part 2 (final). Students will be provided with full guidance and support in developing their assignments.
Weighting within Unit (if relevant
|1,500 words equivalent|| |
|2,500 words equivalent|| |
No required text.
|Independent study hours|
|Christine Greenhalgh||Unit coordinator|
If you have any questions about the content of this unit, please contact the course unit leader, Christine Greenhalgh, via email on email@example.com. If you have any other queries, please contact the PGT programme administrators via email on firstname.lastname@example.org.