MPH Occupational Health / Course details

Year of entry: 2021

Coronavirus information for applicants and offer-holders

We understand that prospective students and offer-holders may have concerns about the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. The University is following the advice from Universities UK, Public Health England and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Read our latest coronavirus information

Course unit details:
Health and Workability (Occupational Medicine)

Unit code POPH68840
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Division of Population Health, Health Services Research and Primary Care
Available as a free choice unit? No

Overview

This unit is designed to meet the needs of medical practitioners who want to gain a deeper understanding of the issues around rehabilitation and return to work, including appropriate adjustment and/or redeployment. The unit is delivered using blended learning, with extensive online materials including case studies, directed reading and face-to-face teaching to familiarise students with a range of concepts and principles that underpin Occupational Health.

The unit introduces the skills required for workplace and/or clinical assessments and outlines the important role of promoting health within the workplace. The unit expands on the law elements within the introductory units and outlines the legal responsibilities of employers regarding fair and equitable working practices and in maximising the potential for individuals to return to work after illness or disability. The Unit also provides students with a further awareness of musculoskeletal disorders (ergonomics) and common mental health problems (the biopsychosocial model of disease) and provides the student with an introduction to independent study, exploring how to choose a research topic and how to develop a research question.

Aims

This unit assists in the development of skills required for carrying out workplace and/or clinical assessments and aims to give the student a deeper understanding of the issues around rehabilitation and return to work, including appropriate adjustment and/or redeployment. The unit also provides the student with an introduction to independent study, exploring how to choose a research topic and how to develop a research question. 

Learning outcomes

The learning outcomes intend to provide the student with:

  • an understanding and awareness of the skills required to carry out workplace and/or clini assessments;
  • an approach to tackling a research topic/question;
  • sound knowledge of how European Community law affects the practice of occupational health in the UK;
  • an understanding of ergonomics;
  • an understanding of the effects of shift work on health and social life;
  • a sound knowledge of the steps involved in successful rehabilitation;
  • an understanding of recent developments in policy and practice in relation to common mental health problems and work; and
  • an understanding of where health promotion fits into occupational health.

Syllabus

  • Workplace and Clinical Assessment Skills
  • Advanced Occupational Health Law
  • Workplace Health Promotion
  • Work and the Older Employee
  • Ergonomics
  • Shift Work and Daily Rhythms
  • Rehabilitation and Return to Work
  • Choosing a Research Topic and Literature Review
  • Developing the Research Question
  • Common Mental Health Problems and the Workplace
  • Introduction to Audit

Teaching and learning methods

Learning and teaching will take the form of online lectures, webinars, group discussion, tutorial, face to face workshops and practical experience days, independent research and study, online quizzes and simulations, literature searching, problem solving and report writing.

Knowledge and understanding

On completion, students should be able to:

  • understand how to evaluate the likely effects of agents on health, and advise on their prevention and management; including the effects of working practices (shift work) and workers’ demographics (the ageing workforce);
  • display an awareness of common musculoskeletal disorders (in terms of ergonomics) and mental health problems (the biopsychosocial model of disease); and
  • understand how to choose a research topic and develop a research question.

Intellectual skills

On completion, students should be able to:

  • consider a range of issues and influences that affect an individual’s fitness for work and work performance;
  • appreciate the importance of good health and wellbeing for people of working age, in terms of health promotion;
  • realise the importance of rehabilitation and workplace adaptations in occupational health practice; and
  • understand the importance of research and related activities in occupational health practice.

Practical skills

On completion, students should be able to:

  • plan and carry out an assessment of a working environment;
  • carry out a clinical assessment of a work-related disease; and
  • apply skills acquired in order to undertake a research project.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

On completion, students should be able to:

  • consider patients’ health in respect to their employment and work tasks;
  • know how to communicate with managers and employers in relation to patients’ health and well-being; and
  • use the research skills acquired in other disciplines i.e. beyond occupational health practice.

Employability skills

Analytical skills
Students will be able to consider a range of issues and influences that affect an individual's fitness for work and work performance.
Problem solving
Students will be able to carry out a clinical assessment of a work-related disease and an assessment of a working environment and provide appropriate solutions to identified issues.
Written communication
Students will know how to communicate with managers and employers in relation to patients' health and well-being.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written assignment (inc essay) 100%

Feedback methods

Formative assessments with automatic feedback are available throughout the unit as an aid to understanding the course materials. Feedback for the summative assessments is provided by tutors via Blackboard. Students may also receive direct feedback from interaction with session leaders throughout the course of study.

Recommended reading

  • Agius R, Seaton A. Practical occupational medicine 2nd ed. London: Hodder Arnold 2005. ISBN 034075947X.   
  • Tar-Ching A, Gardiner K, Harrington, JM. Occupational health (Pocket Consultants) 5th ed. Wiley-Blackwell 2006.  ISBN- 10 1405122218; ISBN-13 978-1405122214.
  • Bridger RS. Introduction to Ergonomics 3rd ed. CRC Press 2008. ISBN 0849373069.
  • Kloss DM. Occupational health law 6th ed. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell 2020.  ISBN 978-1-118-93623-8.
  • Waddell G, Burton AK. Concepts of rehabilitation for the management of common health problems. London: TSO 2004. ISBN 0117033944.
  • Hobson J and Smedley J (Eds). Fitness for work: the medical aspects 6th ed. OUP 2019. ISBN 9780198808657.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Seminars 2.5
Independent study hours
Independent study 147.5

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Melanie Carder Unit coordinator

Return to course details