MPH Master of Public Health (Communicable Disease Prevention and Control) / Course details

Year of entry: 2022

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Course unit details:
One Health

Course unit fact file
Unit code POPH65081
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
Available as a free choice unit? No



‘One Health’ is a “worldwide strategy for expanding interdisciplinary collaborations and communications in all aspects of healthcare for people, animals and the environment” 
It is a relatively new concept, although its predecessors, such as ‘One Medicine’ have been around for over a decade.   ‘One Health is recognised globally   and has recently  gained momentum as a collaborative and trans disciplinary approach to human, animal and ecosystem health.  The alarming acceleration of climate change and its consequences, the devastating impact of pandemics combined with a multitude of related issues such as food security, AB resistance and the emergence of new environmental threats to health  highlight the need for a new approach. It is  impossible to tackle these with a single profession or disciplinary approach.
The increasing professionalisation of the ‘One Health’ field is accelerating  with significant and growing research outputs; emerging policies at the international, national and local levels; and standardisation of practice foretelling the creation of a new discipline with a new cadre of professionals within, or in addition to, current public health professions.


1.    To explore the relevance and benefits of ‘One Health’ by integrating human, veterinary and environmental health into a single framework. 
2.    To develop a transdisciplinary perspective of health to consider the major issues and debates facing humanity by breaking down the siloes across systems. 
3.    To explore how students can respond to global, national and local public health challenges with access to a research-enriched and blended teaching/learning environment. This approach encourages creativity and innovation in applying the principles and practice of ‘One Health’ to complex public health problems. 
4.    To provide a depth of knowledge and understanding of the literature relating to the governance, policies and legal considerations of the application of ‘One Health’ to participants’ day to day practice. 
5.    To develop the perspective and skills required to critically evaluate existing evidence and develop new evidence to support the implementation of ‘One Health’. 

Learning outcomes

Category of outcome Students should be able to: 
A. Knowledge and understanding

A1  Demonstrate a conceptual grasp of the relevance of theories and concepts drawn from ‘One Health’ to the practice of integrated human animal and environmental health in a holistic fashion.

A2 Critically evaluate evidence derived from theory; current research, innovation and development; good practice and experience and develop an innovative approach to applying these to practice.

A3 Explain and apply the value of reflective learning and self- development at an individual, team, organisational and networked wider systems level.

B. Intellectual skills

B1 Critically analyse, evaluate and synthesise relevant theoretical and empirical research within the context of ‘One Health’. 

B2 Tackle public health problems presented in the context of ‘One Health’ demonstrating an ability to draw on relevant theory and practice through application in the workplace or case studies. 

B3 Plan, conduct and report on a piece of independent study, and demonstrate the application of the ‘One Health’ approach to a relevant problem in their own context. 

B4 Critically reflect on their self-development and learning, demonstrating an ability to analyse aspects of their relationship to the ecosystem in relation to their professional and personal development

C. Practical skills

C1 Design and carry out a small–scale work- based analysis and application in relation to a potential ‘One Health’ policy or practice

C2 Evaluate their current professional or personal practice relating to human, veterinary, environmental health, in their own organisational and sectorial contexts and adapt their approach to embrace and utilise a ‘One Health’ approach.

D. Transferable skills and personal qualities

D1 Search, gather, critique and synthesise evidence from a range of sources and critically appraise its relevance to particular problems or settings. 

D2 Learn by critical reflection, experimentation and evaluation in the workplace



Key themes
•    An overview of the origins, the history and the evolution of the ‘One Health’ concept; its definition and the justification; as well as the evidence behind its successful transformation into a new discipline in its own right. 
•    The theoretical basis of human, animal and environmental health as part of the same ecosystem requiring a unified toolkit for its enquiry, policy and practice.
•    Practical applications to AB resistance, Zoonoses, and food security
•    Applications to infectious diseases
•    Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) including Mental Health and social wellbeing and their relationship to ‘One Health’
•    The economics of ‘One Health’
•    Policies, governance, ethical and legal considerations
•    Innovation, research and “futuring” of One Health
•    Exploration of the concepts of mutli-disciplinarity, interdisciplinarity and transdisciplinarity to the ‘One Health’ strategy. 

Teaching and learning methods

The course unit will be delivered online or potentially as a blended learning course unit. It is designed to capitalise on a variety of media for learning online. This will include reading material developed by tutors, videorecorded lectures, online quizzes, tests and interactive tasks, discussion forums and a reflective learning journal. Participants will be expected to read primary literature and key references and to engage with online group discussions. 

Specific collaborative and individual exercises and online discussion tasks relating to core practices and case studies/examples will be set, to encourage participation.

Furthermore, application of skills will be facilitated by case studies, simulations, work based exercises, student- led seminars and potentially field work. Teaching/learning methods  will be selected on the basis of their best alignment with the specific learning outcomes for each topic. 

Assessment of the learning will include end of topic assessments, the application of their learning to a workplace issue/ a field work based problem/ or a case study and a critical analysis of one of the key topics within One Health.

Employability skills

Analytical skills
Analytical skills are closely linked to participants¿ ability to manage day-to-day responsibilities related to problem-solving and project skills. Participants will be able to analyse cases, situations and phenomena and use their analysis to develop solutions that work.
Group/team working
Public health professionals cannot work in isolation. Participant will be exposed to tasks that encourage them to collaborate with others, leading to experiences that helps them practice how to work with different professionals (social workers, healthcare professionals,decision- makers), citizens and other stakeholders both in simulated situations and in a workplace setting.
Most employers expect their public health professionals to be self-starters who can solve problems creatively and are able to innovate. Week 10 of the unit is dedicated to innovation, creativity and ¿futuring¿ of One Health where students will be given tasks and activities to explore their creative side and work on innovative solutions to common public health issues.
Public health professionals are expected to lead the way to healthier lifestyles for societies and citizens as well as exploring ways in developing sustainable improvements in public health. Participants will be given the tools techniques and processes in ethical leadership and practice their leadership and influencing skills as a cross-cutting theme across the entire unit.
Project management
Public health projects involve the management of a range of resources including people, finances, time and administration, etc. Some of the tasks and activities in the unit will be project based and thus, allow for the development of crucial project management skills.
Oral communication
Communication skills are crucial for participants¿ success as a public health professional. Most organizations employ public health professionals to design, develop and implement health education programs and support services for their members. Participants will be asked to present and communicate project ideas, proposals, theses, etc. and to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of their learning from the unit.
Problem solving
Problem solving is at the heart of PH professionals¿s work. Creative, innovative and effective problem solving will be central to the activities participants will be expected to participate in.
Participants will be provided with tasks involving review of the literature and practice inquiry based learning and project work.
Written communication
Written works in the unit are designed to develop participants¿ critical and reflective writing skills, including also how to write research reports and a variety of other forms of written communication.

Assessment methods

Assessment Task Length Weighting within unit
Practical assignment 1000 words 30%
Critical assignment 3000 words 70%


Feedback methods

Students will be provided with personalised feedback for their mid-term and final summative assignments, within 15 working days for mid-term assignments and 20 working days for final submission.

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

Recommended reading

Books / Journals
Zinsstag, J. Schelling, E.  Crump, L. Whittaker, M. Tanner, M. Stephen,C. :  One Health 2Nd Edition. 
The Theory and Practice of Integrated Health Approaches
CABI Oxford, 2021

Deem, S. L, Lane -de Graaf, K.E. Rayhel, E .A.: Introduction to One Health: An Interdisciplinary approach 
to planetary health
Wiley &Son New Jersey 2019

Atlas, R.M. Maloy, S.: One Health: People Animals and the Environment
ASM Press Washington 2014

Gibbs, E.P. (2014) The Evolution of One Health: A decade of progress and challenges for the future
Veterinary Record January 25, 2014 pp.85-91

Mackenzie J.S . McKinnon, M. Jeggo M.  One Health: From Concept to Practice.  Chapter 8 
in Yamada, A et Al. Confronting Zoonoses: A One Health Perspective.
Springer Japan 2014

K. Gruetzmacher, W.B. Karesh, J.H. Amuasi, et al., (2020) The Berlin principles on one 

Study hours

Independent study hours
Independent study 150

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Andrew Mee Unit coordinator
Judit Csiszar Unit coordinator

Additional notes

If you have any questions about the content of this unit, please contact one of the course unit leaders, Judit Csiszar ( or Andrew Mee ( If you have any other queries, please contact the PGT programme administrators via email on

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