BSc Public Health (Distance/Blended Learning) / Course details

Year of entry: 2023

Course unit details:
Evidence Based Practice Y1

Course unit fact file
Unit code POPH10011
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Available as a free choice unit? No


This unit will explore what we mean by evidence based practice (EBP) and teach the skills required to find, appraise and use different types of evidence from the published literature. We will explore the importance of EBP in public health practice and learn how it improves population health and wellbeing. 


The unit aims to: develop the students’ basic understanding of evidence based practice, including how to find the evidence, how to appraise the evidence and how to use the evidence.

Learning outcomes

Category of outcome Students will be able to:
Knowledge and understanding

A1 Understand how to apply evidence to inform professional practice and decision making

A2 Understand the strengths and limitations of traditional concepts of evidence-based practice and how these relate to their own work or profession

Intellectual skills B1 Identify and evaluate the evidence required for public health practice
Practical skills

C1 Find existing sources of evidence relevant to clinical and non-clinical health questions

C2 Be able to critically appraise common research designs and assess the published literature

Transferable skills and personal qualities

D1 Reflect on EBP principles and applications

D2 Develop communication skills to implement EBP



  • What is EBP and how does it improve population health and wellbeing? 
  • Identifying Public Health issues 
  • What are some important ethical considerations in evidence-based public health research? 
  • Evaluating evidence – are some forms of evidence are more reliable than others? 
  • What are the steps involved in conducting a literature review? 
  • An introduction to different types of study design e.g. case-control studies, cohort studies and randomised controlled trials 
  • Practical application of EBP in the real world- barriers to implementation of EBP and examples of implementation in real-world settings

Teaching and learning methods

The majority of the course will be through elearning which will include required and additional learning, self-tests and discussion boards. There will be 5 webinars that will be recorded to allow synchronous and asynchronous learning.

Employability skills

Analytical skills
Group/team working
Oral communication
Problem solving
Written communication

Assessment methods

Formative assessment task Length Feedback method Weighting within unit
Discussion boards N/A Written feedback 0%
Online quizzes N/A Automatic feedback 0%
Summative assessment task Length Feedback method Weighting within unit
Recorded presentation of a critical appraisal of a peer-reviewed publication 10 minutes Written feedback 100%


Feedback methods

  • Students will receive written feedback from tutors on the recorded presentation of a critical appraisal of a peer-reviewed publication     
  • Students will receive written feedback from peers via a discussion board task on using EBP in public health  
  • Students will receive automated feedback when they complete the online quizzes

Recommended reading

CASP (2021). CASP - Critical Appraisal Skills Programme. [online] CASP - Critical Appraisal Skills Programme. Available at:

Fink, A. Evidence-Based Public Health Practice. Los Angeles, SAGE, 2016. Print 

Gray, M. Evidence-based Healthcare and Public Health: How to Make Decisions about Health Services and Public Health. Third edition.London, Elsevier, 2009. Print. 

NICE (2018). Principles for putting evidence-based guidance into practice. [online] . Available at:

Rychetnik L, Hawe P, Waters E, et al. A glossary for evidence-based public health. Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health 2004;58:538-545. Available at: 

Titler MG. The Evidence for Evidence-Based Practice Implementation. In: Hughes RG.. Patient Safety and Quality: An Evidence-Based Handbook for Nurses. Rockville (MD): Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US); 2008. Available at:

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Seminars 10
Independent study hours
Independent study 190

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Helen Davidson Unit coordinator

Additional notes

For every 20 course unit credits we expect students to work for around 200 hours. This time generally includes any contact times (online, recorded and live), but also independent study, work for coursework, and group work. This amount is only a guidance and individual study time will vary.

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